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A wander round Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

A wander round Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn


Postby GillC » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:12 am

Munros included on this walk: A' Ghlas-bheinn, Beinn Fhada

Date walked: 01/07/2016

Time taken: 9.3 hours

Distance: 22 km

Ascent: 1820m

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As my count down to compleation continues, I thought I would try to write up a report for my last 25 Munros. Its been a busy 2016, having finished 2015 on 200, I reached the end of June with 64 new ones in the bag. My final hill is worked out, Bynack More, so its now become an excercise in logistics and just hoping the weather plays ball lol

With a day of owed hours to add to my weekend, I planned a blitz of some outlying balloons in Kintail and Strathfarrar.

The forecast was not great, in fact, quite bad, but I bit the bullet, packed the car and headed off to Kintail on Thursday as soon as the siren sounded end of work. :wink:

John was working the weekend so this was to be a solo camp trip, Gilly no mates. I arrived at Shiel Bridge around 9pm, shop closed so unable to pay up. Tent up on a nice wee secluded corner where we had pitched for the South Shiel Ridge back in May. No midges to speak of and dry...for now. Pitched the tent, gear unpacked and in. I'd stopped in Fort William for a Maccy D's so no need to cook, just open the wine lol :D

I settled down early enough, with time for one more read through the route and check the map for the morning.

No real darkness so an early morning and headed off to Morvich booted up and ready to walk at 6:40am. Got a new camera recently and this was its first outing,,,lots of arty shots,,(IMHO) 8)

The parking at the National Trust Centre is fairly limited but as it was early, I had no problems, wee donation in the money box, optional. Headed off past the caravan club site and round to the Outdoor centre and beyond. Still dry but grey clouds were stirring all around.

After taking the signed route to "Falls of Glomach and all other walk routes" (in the world, anywhere??) rising above the houses, got my first spit of rain, erred on the side of caution and put on the jacket and rucksack rain cover,,just in time for the rain.............to go off! :shock: still,,kept them on for now.

1 Bit of the local wildlife.JPG
Bit of the local wildlife


Its a lovely stroll up alongside the river with amazingly green valley walls all around. Passed the open space of the return track and was now able to see the many shoulders coming down from a'Ghlas-beinn, some I'd been warned not to take but all easy enough to follow down to where they would meet the many forest tracks,,should the need arise to come off that way...always thinking Gill, always thinking. :wink:

2 Heading up the track.JPG
Heading up the track

3 Looking over to the foothills of A'Ghlas-beinn.JPG
Looking over to the foothills of A'Ghlas-beinn


On the subject of thinking,,my mind now turned to the upcoming river crossing of Allt a Choire Chaoil , marked on the WH route as " may be difficult or dangerous in spate" There has been a lot of rain in the area and most of the rivers on the way to Kintail last night were running high and white. What of this one? approaching and being able to pick out the zig zag path on the other side, the river was running below a raised area but, off to the right, I could see it, crashing down Coire an Sgairne to meet Choire Chaoil. At this point, I thought,,if its that bad up there, I might not get over and feeling a little peeved, pushed on to the river anyway. On getting there,,yes,,it was fairly high,,but as the ground had levelled out there was none of the white clouds of water. Got the poles out here, extended to help with the crossing,,,then sat down and watched a wee dipper bird playing around the rocks, fab. Finally broke myself away from that and crossed over with no problems at all.

5 Dipper....JPG
Dipper on the river

4 Back down the glen.jpg
Back down the glen


On and up the steepish zig zag section, very easy going underfoot.

6 Promise of blue skies.JPG
Promise of blue skies?

7 A lovely wee rainbow.jpg
A lovely wee rainbow

8 Sun making the green GREEN and the rainbow fade.JPG
Sun coming through and making the green GREENER and the rainbow fade

9 Arty black and white shot.JPG
Artsy black and white setting on the new camera


The weather got a bit grey here and another very light shower passed over. Shortly after, but before I'd reached the plateau, another longer and heaver shower came on,,hood up, head down and push on up. :roll:

10 Nice big corrie.jpg
Up to the corrie


I had kind of thought that the plateau would have been broader and longer but you are actually still climbing a fair bit and it was with a bit of a surprise that I looked across Coire Toll a'Mhadaidh to see the cylindrical trig only a short distance away. I'd spent a lot of time on the way up with the new camera, playing with settings, zooms, effects etc, so took me longer than I'd anticipated to get here. Arrived at 10:20am.

11 Summit number 1, Beinn Fhada.JPG
Beinn Fhada summit trig


I had thought of heading off over Meall a' Bhealaich and straight down to the bealach but, it didn't have a clear path, looked a bit rocky, and as I'd already used a lot of time getting to Fhada, I decided just to retrace back to the top of the zig zags and take a right there. As I neared the bottom of this section, I saw 2 peeps and a dog heading up. Stopping at the junction for a minute, I then headed off up to the cairn at the top of the bealach.

P1010177.JPG
Heading to the bealach


I did see the other two follow me up the same route , but that was the last I saw them. :shock:

Its a pleasant wee climb up the bealach, high sided and I was pretty glad I didn't take the alternative route over,,looked like a knee breaker that one lol.

Reached the big cairn, complete with the side stand of a motorbike sitting on top (why???) :shock:

13 Beallach cairn,,complete with motorcycle side stand.JPG
Cairn in the bealach,,complete with motorcycle stand,,what???


The small track to a'Ghlas-bheinn heads off to the left here, taking a turn left then right around some crags. Theres nothing to this but to keep plodding away. Its fairly steep pretty much all the way up to the summit, with only a small respite around half way. I never saw the lochan Loch a Chleirich, think I may have been slightly further east than I should have been. There were some fresh footprints on the track, hadn't seen any on Fhada so think there was someone up for A'GB.

14 Views over to the East.JPG
Views to the East

15 Wee derelict hoose.JPG
A wee derelict hoose by the loch, bit of a des res


I reached the fairly insignificant rocky summit at 13:30 by which time, the showers of rain were pretty much constant. Only short breaks in between, more hoods down, than jackets off lol

16 A misty summit of A'Ghlas-beinn.JPG
The misty summit of A' Ghlas-beinn

P1010190.JPG
Made it, some dodgy weather now


I had been told about taking the western ridge down, which eventually leads into trees and a bit of hacking through bracken etc. (Cheers Pauline) I made sure I headed a bit further North here, aiming for A'Mhuc. I had half a notion of heading due North and popping out to the Falls of Glomach. But with the rain impeding visibility a bit now, I opted for the North West descent. I could now see the trees of the Doris Day wood, (Dorusduain) and knew where the Glomach path emerged on the map, along side a small bridge. I also saw the mysterious footprint maker down below me. The rain was off for the last drop down to the path,,but my new camera had misted up so I didn't get the pic of the wee bridge I wanted boohoo.

P1010195.JPG
Heading down to A' Mhuc and the forest


Reached the track in the trees around 14:45, couple of bridges and changes of track here.

19 Back on the track down.JPG
Back on the track down


On the way up, I'd taken a mental note of the clearing in the trees where the path crosses the river and rejoins the outward track. The WH route wasn't too clear, so I checked the gate into the clearing, then moved on a bit to a footbridge, but that didn't feel right,,heading in the wrong direction, so back to the gate and through to the clearing lol.

Made my way over, getting back close to the river again and passing a HUGE tree with at HUGE rope swing. Shortly after, a very feint path led over to a gate which switched back and down to a wooden footbridge. Spotted some lovely wee rock piles on the river, probably built during the hot spell when the water would have been lower than present. Over and up through the trees, emerging at the return path. Sun out now and a lovely afternoon, so waterproofs all off, wee refuel and off down the track.

18 One of a few small cairns built in the river.JPG
One of a few small cairns built in the river

20160701_153825.jpg
Feeling accomplished


Back to the car at 16:10, boots off, wee drink. Managed to get the Shiel Bridge shop open so able to pay for my stay and get some vitals,,,crisps and diluting juice! Got the bag ready for tomorrows outing and settled down for a lovely evening by the tent, sun out, no midges, book in hand and wine in the other.

Really enjoyed the hills today, tough climb up A'Ghlas-bheinn but otherwise nice easy paths, good views on the whole, weather a lot better than I'd been expecting.

Night night :D
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Last edited by GillC on Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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GillC
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Re: Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby simon-b » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:06 pm

A nice round, Gill. I did those two by a similar route. One of the best things is the beautiful starting point near Morvich.
You got some good views in between the cloudy bits.
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Re: Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:10 am

Not long now Gill :clap:

We did these a couple of years back, but tried to be clever and traverse round the east side of Meall a'Bhealaich. It was "interesting" :lol:
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Re: Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby GillC » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:16 am

Cheers Simon. .and well done to you on your recent compleation :clap: :clap: :clap: Morvich is a fab wee spot. .loved the old yellow Shell pump there.

JP- yep..that traverse would have been tempting as a final descent but not with another hill beyond lol.

It's funny how being in such places on your own heightens the senses somewhat, so much more aware of your surroundings. Lovely part of he country. :D
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Re: Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:24 am

GillC wrote:Cheers Simon. .and well done to you on your recent compleation :clap: :clap: :clap: Morvich is a fab wee spot. .loved the old yellow Shell pump there.

JP- yep..that traverse would have been tempting as a final descent but not with another hill beyond lol.

It's funny how being in such places on your own heightens the senses somewhat, so much more aware of your surroundings. Lovely part of he country. :D


I love Kintail, it has everything. A great drive through Glen Shiel, superb mountains and the scran at Kintail Lodge is decent as well. I remember being massively impressed by the view of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan from Fhada.

When are you aiming to finish?
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Re: Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby GillC » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:27 am

jupe1407 wrote:
GillC wrote:Cheers Simon. .and well done to you on your recent compleation :clap: :clap: :clap: Morvich is a fab wee spot. .loved the old yellow Shell pump there.

JP- yep..that traverse would have been tempting as a final descent but not with another hill beyond lol.

It's funny how being in such places on your own heightens the senses somewhat, so much more aware of your surroundings. Lovely part of he country. :D


I love Kintail, it has everything. A great drive through Glen Shiel, superb mountains and the scran at Kintail Lodge is decent as well. I remember being massively impressed by the view of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan from Fhada.

When are you aiming to finish?


Camped in my own this weekend...enjoyed the solitude. Not sure on finishing. .will by bynack more though...got two weeks off coming up and priority is fisherfields...then ring of steall. ....will see what else occurs lol
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Re: A wander round Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby martin.h » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:26 pm

Nice report Gill it gives some useful info especially your choice not to go to the bealach over Meall a' Bhealaich, it sounds like it could be torture, I'd planned to go that way when we get to do these, we'll be doing it the way you did, looks a lot better. :D

Hope the weather plays ball for you these coming weeks as you get closer to the big day.
Thanks and good luck :D
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Re: A wander round Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:01 pm

Hi, Gill, that's the best WH collection of super-happy grins! :D :D :D

Typical Scottish weather, eh?... We had similar conditions when climbing Fhada, the cloud was lifting from the Coire Gorm, made it look like a "steaming pot", and the air was very humid, we really felt like walking on top of a giant cooking stove.
A Ghlass Bheinn made me swear. It's so annoying with its countless false tops!
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Re: A wander round Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby Tomsie » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:44 pm

Hopefully weather will be kind and you get into single figures at least. :crazy:
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Re: A wander round Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby GillC » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:51 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Hi, Gill, that's the best WH collection of super-happy grins! :D :D :D

Typical Scottish weather, eh?... We had similar conditions when climbing Fhada, the cloud was lifting from the Coire Gorm, made it look like a "steaming pot", and the air was very humid, we really felt like walking on top of a giant cooking stove.
A Ghlass Bheinn made me swear. It's so annoying with its countless false tops!



Haha thanks :D but you should see the ones from Strathfarrar on Sunday,,,not many smiles there,,,, :shock:
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Re: A wander round Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby GillC » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:51 pm

Tomsie wrote:Hopefully weather will be kind and you get into single figures at least. :crazy:


Well....im sure with expert planning,,we can sort something out eh :wink:
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Re: A wander round Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby Borderhugh » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:58 pm

Camping with wine, book etc... - sounds all very relaxing and civilised Gill :)

Hadnt thought about doing these 2 in 'reverse' but will consider that an option. Was thinking about doing them then taking in Camban and then hoofing it up the back of Ciste Dubh.
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Re: A wander round Fhada and a' Ghlas Beinn

Postby GillC » Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:01 pm

Borderhugh wrote:Camping with wine, book etc... - sounds all very relaxing and civilised Gill :)

Hadnt thought about doing these 2 in 'reverse' but will consider that an option. Was thinking about doing them then taking in Camban and then hoofing it up the back of Ciste Dubh.

I think lynne has a plan to do fhada with ciste dubh Hugh....check it out lol :lol:
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