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Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley


Postby jmarkb » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:22 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Date walked: 14/02/2016

Time taken: 6.75 hours

Distance: 15.5 km

Ascent: 1000m

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Both our previous ascents of Beinn Fhionnlaidh have been from Glen Etive. I'd never much fancied the up-and-down west ridge route from the Glen Creran until some friends recommended this circuit (which appears in one of Ralph Storer's books), and uses an old stalkers path to access the hidden valley between Fhionnlaidh and An Grianan.

We set of from Elleric, turned left at Glenure House, and then right up a short piece of track that ends at the top of the woods. The start of the old stalkers' path is reasonably obvious, but it soon fades out: looking at the 1:25k map we actually kept a bit too low near the burn, but the going is easy enough. Further on, we picked up the path again just before it passes through a small col. It then loses a little height and traverses above the Allt Bealach na h-Innsig for a while until meeting the burn at a lovely hidden meadow. We followed the burn past a higher meadow and then its left branch until the ground opens out at around 500m. There's no real path other than some deer tracks, but the going is generally good. We then took a rising line to join the east ridge of Beinn Fhionnlaidh at the obvious col. From here there's a nice section of ridge with a couple of wee rocky steps leading to the summit (in common with the Glen Etive route).

After a sunny sheltered lunch stop, we headed off down the normal west ridge route back to Elleric. As you can see from the photos, we were just of the edge of clear skies to the south west and cloudier weather to the north, with shafts of light briefly picking out the various summits. I'd recommend this as the nicest way of doing this hill: it would also give access to the scramble on the south face - one to come back for in summer time!


Fhionnlaid.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



View to Mull from the stalker's path
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The first meadow
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Beinn Sgulaird
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Looking back down the hidden valley
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Approaching the col
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Unusual patterns in the snow
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The Buachailles
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Beinn Bheithir
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Approaching the summit
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Mull
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Cruachan
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Stob Ban
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Summit rocks
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Bidean
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The west ridge
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Beinn Bheithir
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Fraochaidh
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Sgorr a' Choise
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Ben Starav
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Glas Bheinn Mhor
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Snow shower over Loch Creran
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Stone Age Scousers nicked my wheels.... :o
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jmarkb
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby katyhills » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:31 pm

Lovely report and great pix - love the one of Glas Bheinn Mhor in particular, but they're all terrific. I didn't see much from the summit when I did this hill some years ago [ too much clag] so thanks for those great views :D
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby IanEzzi » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:56 pm

Looks great! I've done Fhionnlaidh about 3 or 4 times now, and each time pretty much vowed not to come back (1st time was a traverse from Glen Coe via Sgurr na h'Ulaidh which was excellent, every other time has been the boggy trudge up from Creran).

That said it always rewards with the views in the winter, and your route and the glen on the other side would probably be great alternatives, so maybe I can revisit another couple of times :D
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby jmarkb » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:19 pm

katyhills wrote:Lovely report and great pix - love the one of Glas Bheinn Mhor in particular, but they're all terrific. I didn't see much from the summit when I did this hill some years ago [ too much clag] so thanks for those great views


Thanks Katy, you're very welcome!

IanEzzi wrote: so maybe I can revisit another couple of times


I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, but a decent winter day certainly helps!
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby Phil the Hill » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:16 pm

I've been planning this route for next May (I have the Ralph Storer book), so good to see it recommended. Looks stunning on a good winter's day.
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby dogplodder » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:14 pm

Not done this one so your report will come in handy some time soon hopefully. Your photos are wonderful. :D
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby basscadet » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:59 am

The hidden valley looked a lot nicer in your pics than mine - there is a wee scramble you can do to the summit from there, which we got a really damp day for! Looked like your day was amazing :clap:
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby jmarkb » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:30 pm

dogplodder wrote:Not done this one so your report will come in handy some time soon hopefully. Your photos are wonderful.


Thanks! Hope you get a decent day for it....

basscadet wrote:The hidden valley looked a lot nicer in your pics than mine - there is a wee scramble you can do to the summit from there, which we got a really damp day for!


Saw your report after we did it - looks like the scramble would be good when dry!
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:38 pm

Great photos - the zoomed ones of Sgorr a' Choise and of Stob Ban are my favourites - but they are all good!

Looks like the perfect winter's day on the hill.
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby Peter Finlay » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:45 pm

I climbed Beinn Fhionnlaidh in1997 when my son Hamish was 3 and I scratched with a small stone his initials on the summit cairn! That was HIF - Hamish Ian Finlay - so you see why Beinn Fhionnlaidh was a bit special! It was cloud all the way for me, so it is fantastic to have these really wonderful pictures of how it can look! Somewhere under that snow in your 13th photo there might just still be the initials 'HIF' 20 years on! He's turned out to be very keen on climbing - his first Munro was Ben More on Mull when he was about 7 - nice you can see it in one of your photos. I know he wants to get up B. Fh. to see if those initials of his have survived! He lived in Arran from age 6 and has climbed everything here. When17 he made made a short film of himself on Cioch na h'Oighe still on YouTube under 'Hamish Finlay - Climbing Mountains with my Dog'! Quite a fun watch! Copy and paste link if you like:


I found you through your post about Corrie Church. Seems you were in Annat as a child around when I was minister in that church (1973 - 78). Great to have all these old Torrridon photos and the one of Donnie Merchant's shop. You remembered and described it perfectly, and it must have seemed, just as you say - 'like something from a bygone era' - to a boy from Edinburgh! I was often in it chatting to that lovely old highland gentleman.
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby ancancha » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:55 pm

Stone Age Scousers nicked my wheels..

Probably a weegie, Scousers didn't get that far north until the bronze age :wink:
Nice photos jmarkb :clap:
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh's hidden valley

Postby jmarkb » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:27 pm

Peter Finlay wrote:I climbed Beinn Fhionnlaidh in1997 when my son Hamish was 3 and I scratched with a small stone his initials on the summit cairn!


Hi Peter, that's a lovely story and a nice wee video!

Peter Finlay wrote:I found you through your post about Corrie Church. Seems you were in Annat as a child around when I was minister in that church (1973 - 78). Great to have all these old Torridon photos and the one of Donnie Merchant's shop. You remembered and described it perfectly, and it must have seemed, just as you say - 'like something from a bygone era' - to a boy from Edinburgh! I was often in it chatting to that lovely old highland gentleman.


Yes, it would have been at the same time - I think our first holiday up there would have been in 1973, when I was 7, and we returned several times in the following few years. I enjoyed reading your stories very much on the other thread.

Our favourite camping spot was in a little pull-off just east of Shieldaig overlooking Ob Mheallaidh (it's still there, but the entrance is blocked off with boulders), and I absolutely fell in love with the area that first time. My first 3000ft hill was Tom na Gruagaich, though it was only later promoted to Munro status.

I do remember the shop as being full of all manner of things, and I also remember a American couple coming into the shop declaring loudly "We need some bug spray!", which raised a quiet smile from Mr Mackenzie!


ancancha wrote:Probably a weegie, Scousers didn't get that far north until the bronze age
Nice photos jmarkb


:D and thanks!
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