Amazing Spectres on Beinn Damh (human and otherwise)
by AnnieMacD » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:02 pm
Route description: Beinn Dàmh (or Ben Damph)
Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Damh
Date walked: 07/11/2015
Time taken: 8.15 hours
Distance: 11.9 km
Ascent: 927m5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I'm BAAAAAACK!! Ok, so apologies to everyone for my lack of walk reports and comments on others' reports. I've had an exceedingly busy summer at work and was working very long hours. So, although I did an average of a walk per fortnight, I didn't take the time to write up the reports (I believe I'm about 11 behind) or even visit the WH web-site very much.
However, I'm going to write up the last report first, not least because I promised PeterR and 2manyYorkies (who I met on the summit) that I would post their photos. (Basscadet and LeithySuburbs, I've also got the Beinn Bhan report to do with your photos - I have not forgotten!) It will take me some time to catch up, so please be patient with me.
This past weekend I decided to pay a return visit to Beinn Damh and do the whole ridge still hoping to be back at the car before dark. Well, on the way over the Bealach na Ba in the dark I hit a rock which had rolled down off Sgurr a'Chaorachain onto the middle of the road. I didn't think I had any major problems but took a detour to Lochcarron Garage as a warning light did come on. This took 1.5 hours out of my day so knew when I got to the start of the walk that I probably wouldn't fit in the west tops.
The start of the walk was pretty mundane as the cloud was down and I couldn't see the summit or even the lower tops of the hill. However, once I got up the path (which seems more eroded than my last visit) to the bealach things started to brighten up and I had high hopes of a clear summit. I also saw two tiny figures on the path below.
As I made my way towards the summit the cloud lifted a bit but by the time I got there the visibility as pretty limited. However, now and again a bit of sun broke through and I was running around the summit looking for any views when two spectres appeared out of the mist. I knew they were coming as I had been hearing voices for a while (so to speak). Well, it turned out to be PeteR and 2ManyYorkies (Jonathan) from this site! They told me the WH meet was in Torridon so probably more WHers around too. Great to meet you guys!
We had a bit of a chat and all decided it wasn't the place for stopping so they headed down ahead of me. Just a couple of hundred metres from the top I saw the clouds separating and all the mist pored into the corries below Beinn Damh - absolutely clear and full sun on the south/west side. This happened almost instantaneously and was quite magical to behold. Of course, the conditions now were perfect for witnessing a Brocken Spectre. I could see Pete and Jonathan down below and they were walking with heads down along the narrow(ish) ridge so I started hollering like a mad woman in case they missed the show. Sometimes these phenomena don't last long at all so I was worried they might miss it. No fear of that as it went on and on and changed from being very distant to appearing fairly close.
After spending an age watching the BS I moved on to the bealach and stopped for lunch. I could see Pete and Jonathan climbing up to the subsidiary top and they seemed to spend ages up there too. What a wonderful place to be!
I just retraced my steps following the helpful little cairns through the boulderfield and noticed the wonderful rays forming over Loch Damh to my left.
I packed my camera away and with a whoosh a ptarmigan flew over my head swiftly followed by an eagle. What a missed opportunity! Oh well! Anyway, the ptarmigan got away - it wouldn't have been so lucky had it not gotten airborne. The last time I was up here I saw the remains of a ptarmigan not long abandoned. At the time I was wondering if it was a fox - now I know it probably wasn't. I kept seeing the eagle but never when I had the camera out. However, when I got home and looked at all the photos I realized I'd capture an image of it after all - see below.
Just as I rounded the corner to the next bealach I saw a partial rainbow with its shadow over Upper Loch Torridon. This too lasted for ages but I assumed it was bringing rain with it. Well, it never hit me and the weather continued to provide a show all the way down until the last few hundred metres when a steady drizzle started.
An amazing day of spectres on Beinn Damh!
Here are the photos:
Torridon village and Liathach from just above the tree-line.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Beinn Alligin clears up.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-3 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Beinn Alligin and Liathach.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-4 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
From the bealach - Loch Damh, Loch Coultrie and Loch Kishorn.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-5 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Looking back down to the bealach and the north-west end of the hill is almost clear.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-6 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
There are good paths on this hill (for a Corbett!)
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-7 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
The two spectres, oops, I mean, gentlemen I met on the top. (Pete and Jonathan)
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-8 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Guarding the cairn - in the mist!
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-9 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
On the descent things are decidedly looking up. You can see Pete's red jacket, down and left of centre.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-10 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
The guys taking in the view.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-11 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
One of the wonders of nature. At least I'm full of wonder when I see one.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-12 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
And one more.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-13 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
The guys on the ridge.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-14 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
The east slope of Tholl nam Biast with the Achnashellach hills behind Loch an Eoin.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-16 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Crossing the boulderfield (well marked) with Lich Damh below and Beinn Bhan in the distance.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-17 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Wider view taking in the two Corbetts of Sgurr Dubh and Sgorr nan Lochain Uaine. Beinn na h-Eaglaise is on the left in the mid-distance.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-18 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
I saw an eagle a few times - see above - but did not think I got a photo of it. However, there it is centre top - you may need to click to enlarge as it's kind of tiny!
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-19 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Rays over Loch Damh.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-27 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Rainbow over Upper Loch Torridon.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-20 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
The rainbow was the result of a very isolated shower and Beinn Damh remained dry.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-21 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-23 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Torridon Village from the descent.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-24 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
Getting cloudy again and the drizzle started a bit further down when I got to the wood.
Beinn Damh 2015.11.07-25 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr
by katyhills » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:00 pm
What a fantastic walk - the weather didn't look too promising at the start, but it actually enhanced the pix. Superb ridge - I'm very jealous of your day
by BobMcBob » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:16 pm
by Silverhill » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:09 pm
by dav2930 » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:18 pm
by Huff_n_Puff » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:55 pm
by mrssanta » Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:20 am
by emily_b » Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:08 am
by 2manyYorkies » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:16 am
by Mal Grey » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:51 am
Beinn Damh was pretty much my first proper Scottish winter mountain, also in atmospheric conditions, but under deep powder. We never made the summit, running out of daylight after spending so long wading through thigh deep snow, but in many ways that day is to blame for still spending a week in Scotland almost every winter for the last 25 years.
by basscadet » Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:34 am
by dogplodder » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:02 pm
by AnnieMacD » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:37 pm
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