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Two fine walks in Ardnamurchan

Two fine walks in Ardnamurchan

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:04 pm

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn Gaire, Beinn Mheadhoin (Morvern), Croit Bheinn

Date walked: 11/09/2016

Time taken: 13.25 hours

Distance: 36.3 km

Ascent: 2183m

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Drawn back to Ardnamurchan after 4 days last weekend - how could I resist such a fine place. Weather wasn't promising much - heavy rain and gale force winds promised for Friday overnight. Not something that's likely to stop us :lol: Away from work about 3.30pm and a drive up to the Corran Ferry then on to Sunart - choice of either Strontian or Resipole campsite. we hadn't stayed in the latter and it was a bit closer to Saturday's hills, so we chose there. An email from Rory at the campsite said it was fine to turn up and pitch if we were later than the reception opened, also the Resipole Hill Race would be happening on the Saturday. I'd no idea what thet meant in terms of business, but reckoned hill-runners wouldn't be too rowdy - they're fit buggers.

We arrived at the site at 7 and got pitched near a young couple who were in the hill race and who had secured their small tent to a nearby tree with a tow rope. Inventive. As it happened, the wind wasn't bad at all overnight (or maybe that;s just the Hilleberg for you - could be a storm outside and you'd never know :wink: ) Saturday morning was dryish and we hoped the weather would behave itself for us and for the runners. Called in at reception, paid for the tent and chatted to said Rory, who told us about 35 runners had registered and there would be a music session about 8.30 that night. Drove along to Kinlochmoidart, passing Fergie MacDonald - the Accordion King - in Mingarry. Parked up at the end of the public road and set off to the footpath through the glen, passing a sign asking you to phone about your route for stalking purposes. Not exactly easy when there's no phone reception - much easier if the info had been put up on line - I couldn't find any info on numbers to call for these hills during the week. I felt a bit uncomfortable at not being able to phone - though we saw nor heard any sign of stalking during the day.

croit2.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The conquest of Croit Bheinn and Beinn Gaire involves a long walk up through Glen Moidart then Glen Gluitanen. Glen Moidart is reputedly one of the wettest glens in the west, just what we wanted after a couple days heavy rain. Snorkelling gear maybe? The first section's fine - along track on the east of Loch na Lochan and across the River Moidart on a footbridge. The bogginess started now - although much of the next few kilometres has timber laid down along the ATV track which helped considerably. We passed a broken Argocat tread - God - if it's too rough for Argocats how will we fare? To our left were a couple of Simms - Sgurr Dhomhuill Beag & Mhor - which I'd thought about including in the route but considered against. Another time. We continued along the floor of the glen, going from 39m height above sea level to a dizzy 94m after walking for about 6km. Hmmm. We passed evidence of former habitations - maybe sheilings? at Assary and Ulgary. At Bealach na Lice one needs to climb the height on the left to get through the pass, then drop down a bit, continuing up alongside the river. We stopped for lunch within clear sight of Croit Bheinn and considered the best route up.

ImageP1130826 by Al, on Flickr

Kinlochmoidart House
ImageP1130827 by Al, on Flickr

Argocat track
ImageP1130829 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130831 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130832 by Al, on Flickr

The Simms we didn't do
ImageP1130833 by Al, on Flickr

View to Bealach na Lice
ImageP1130834 by Al, on Flickr

Croit Bheinn in the distance
ImageP1130837 by Al, on Flickr

Croit Bheinn
ImageP1130838 by Al, on Flickr

It's a steady pull over grass with the odd crag thrown in. Most of the dreaded ferns have withered away to brown husks - though these can still trip you up- evil to the end. Over to the left is Druim Fiaclach - the toothed ridge - I'd been up on when first climbing the Rois Bheinn hills. As we neared the summit I could see the rain following us up the glen - it was time for waterproofs, but fortunately only a couple of showers. At the summit there were great views to Beinn Odhar Bheag and Beinn Mhic Cedidh - fondly remembered as "the day of the Clegs". With a glance to Loch Shiel to the east, we headed back down to Bealach a'Choire Mhoir and onto our next hill - Beinn Gaire.

Druim Fiaclach
ImageP1130839 by Al, on Flickr

Rain chasing us up the glen
ImageP1130840 by Al, on Flickr

Summit - looking to Beinn Odhar Bheag/Mhic Cedidh
ImageP1130844 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Shiel
ImageP1130846 by Al, on Flickr

Odhar Bheag
ImageP1130847 by Al, on Flickr

This involves a lengthy walk over undulating ridgeback, having to avoid peat hags and other soggy parts in places. The eye is drawn to Sgurr na Ba Glaise and Rois Bheinn on the right. Over a minor summit then on to the peak - a devilish 666m spot height at the top. From here I could see the sun silvering Loch Moidart over to the west, looking like a giant shiny jigsaw piece. Beinn Resipole loomed bulky and dark on the left. Rain came on heavily for a time during the descent - our route followed Allt na Fhithich down between the rocky prominence of Sgurr Gorm and Sron Dubh an Eilich. Again boggy going in places and steep too - we crossed to the north side of the Allt and met a fence line which we followed down to the reservoir, before regaining the track at the Hydro building. Pausing for a few moments by the River Moidart, I watched an eagle soar effortlessly along the top of Creag nan Lochan back and forward. Glorious.

To Beinn Gaire
ImageP1130849 by Al, on Flickr

Rois Bheinn hills
ImageP1130852 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Gaire
ImageP1130854 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130856 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Moidart
ImageP1130857 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Resipole
ImageP1130859 by Al, on Flickr

View back to Kinlochmoidart
ImageP1130860 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130862 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130864 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130866 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130870 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130871 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130872 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the car in seven and a half hours, not bad considering the rugged terrain. Back to the campsite, stopping off at the store in Acharacle. We ate well in the tent whilst the heavens opened. As we were camped just a short distance from the marquee the music was to be held in we waited to see what would happen - 8.30 came and went and no music (unless it was one of the fabled Silent Celidh evenings :wink: ). Anyway sleep beckoned we heard nothing but the rain and wind all night. Sunday morning was bright initially - we chatted to the hill running couple in the wee tent who had been very pleased with the event and the post-event buffet. We sdaid our goodbyes and drove down the Lochaline road, turning off for Kingairloch then doubling back onto the lower road just before Camusnacroise and parking just past the Boathouse Restuarant. The tops of the hills were still clad in cloud and the weather didn't look all that promising - very windy indeed from the moment we left the car.

ImageP1130873 by Al, on Flickr

mheadhoin3.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The route for Beinn Mheadhoin starts just beyond the power station and uses the forest track to head up Sgurr Shalachain - most of the forest now having been felled. We left the footpath when we reached a sign saying Footpath to Shalachain Flats and simply headed up the open hillside on our left. The going is reasonably easy after some long grass at the start - mostly short grass/heather. We made the top of Sgurr Shalachain in good time, fighting against a fierce wind all the way. The cloud was starting to lift on the summit of Mheadhoin and I hoped we might be in for a clear view when we reached the top. Before that however we had a Simm - Meall na Greine - to visit, a pleasant trot along the broad ridge. We found a (relatively) sheltered spot for lunch out of the wind. We could hear the chuntering of the quarry workings when the wind dropped.

Sgurr Shalachain to the right
ImageP1130874 by Al, on Flickr

Kingairloch House
ImageP1130876 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130879 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130883 by Al, on Flickr

Top of Meall na Greine
ImageP1130885 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Mheadhoin
ImageP1130887 by Al, on Flickr

From here we followed a fence line down into Bealach a'Choire Bhain then round to the summit of Beinn Mheadhoin - graced by a pointy cairn and a trig point. Views were grand - out to Mull to the west, where I could make out the twin Grahams, spiking up in front of Ben More, that we still have to climb. Next we continued SE to Beul Coire nan Each, another Simm. From here the circuit from Beinn na Cille/Fuar Bheinn/CreachBheinn stood out to the north. We drew ever closer to the superquarry and finally we could see it over the hillside - huge area of rock that's been hollowed out of the mountain. Continuing round the horseshoe there's a fence and warning signs about the quarry (in case you don't spot it :wink: ). I wondered how on earth they got those huge dumper trucks there in the first place - didn't come over in the Corran Ferry I bet!

Summit Mheadhoin
ImageP1130892 by Al, on Flickr

Ridgeline ahead
ImageP1130893 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130894 by Al, on Flickr

View towards Mull
ImageP1130897 by Al, on Flickr

Glensanda Quarry
ImageP1130899 by Al, on Flickr

Fuar Bheinn/Creach Bheinn
ImageP1130900 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130902 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130903 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130904 by Al, on Flickr

Our descent route followed the line of Meall an Doire Dhubh, undulating a bit. At the last (cairned) knobble there's a stalker's path that makes the final descent easy, though the last section has become something of a quagmire. Back on flat land at South Corry, we followed the road then footpath, across a couple of bridges and past North Corry farm back onto the road. A fine day's outing - even the weather played ball (except for the wind). On the drive back to Corran Allison squealed with excitement as a large sleek black otter jumped down from the sea wall just ahead of us and nipped over the road into the ferns. We got to Corran just as the ferry was loading :D and enjoyed a rather choppy crossing. Lots of idiots on the road overtaking in all kinds of daft places - but we made it home in good time.

You can just see the stalker's path to the right
ImageP1130907 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130908 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130910 by Al, on Flickr

Mossy wall
ImageP1130912 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Mheadhoin being the middle one, funnily enough :wink:
ImageP1130913 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130914 by Al, on Flickr
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Re: Two fine walks in Ardnamurchan

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:40 pm

Glen Moidart is a bonnie one right enough i ve yet to do Gaire & Croit Bheinn saving for crisp winter day then i get distracred by something else ...... this year !

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Re: Two fine walks in Ardnamurchan

Postby GillC » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:05 pm

Ahhh,,bonnie Ardnamurchan, used to holiday in Kilchoan, Sanna as a kid. Glorious place. Ever checked out the aerial pic of it? ,,,looks like a giant boxer dogs head lol.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=aeria ... ocpLRLM%3A

Would like to spend more time here actually,,note to self. Lovely pics too, :clap:
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Re: Two fine walks in Ardnamurchan

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:59 pm

Great stuff, WM. :clap: :clap: :clap: Some really appealing hills you feature - Ardnamurchan goes on to my ever growing list... :) . I envy you the views, the eagle and the otter... :D
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