walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive

Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive


Postby J888ohn » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:12 pm

Route description: Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Date walked: 09/10/2016

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 15.1 km

Ascent: 1042m

4 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).


Track_2016-10-09 153833.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



First off, if anyone wants to follow this route, ignore the part where the GPS heads towards Clach nam Meirleach after the summit of Fhionnlaidh. This led to Big Tommo and I having one of our dodgiest moments in the hills for a good few years :shock: but more on that later........

Unbelievably this was my first new munro since June! Almost every day off I've either came off a back shift and been too tired or the weather has been rubbish. Since we're both heading to Kintail for the WH meet in a few weeks it was time we got our hill legs going again.

In June I'd bagged Sgurr nah-Uliadh from Invercharnan and this was to be our starting point for the ascent of Fhionnlaidh, simply because it was less distance for us to travel to tackle it from the Glen Etive side. Again it was a 3km trudge up the forestry road to the junction in the paths and this time we turned left to head down hill and cross the river. The footbridge is non existent (unless you are a competent gymnast on the parallel bars!) but luckily there were plenty of big stones to help us hop across the water. The path was obvious the other side of the river and wound it's way through the tall grass towards the top of Meall nan Gobhar.

It was a cracking day, most un-October like, and I ended up slapping on some Factor 50 sun cream (closet Ginger..... :lol: ) Hardly a cloud in the sky and great views back to Starav and its neighbours.

P1030632 (640x480).jpg


P1030633 (640x480).jpg


P1030634 (640x480).jpg


Simple case of wandering along the path which gradually got steeper and then climbed quite a bit through this gully. The path was still obvious all the way up the right hand side of the stream.

P1030635 (640x480).jpg


This climb led us up to a flat bealach between Meall nan Gobhar and Fhionnlaidh. For some reason I completely lost my sense of direction here and turned left towards Gobhar instead of the bloddy obvious Munro in front of me! :roll:

P1030636 (640x480).jpg
Not at all obvious where the Munro is.......


Up the rocky slope to reach the final walk to the summit the path did become patchy but there was a series of small cairns to follow. There was no obvious path that they marked but it took us in a nice diagonal line up the slope to the summit ridge where we met the path that took us all the way to the summit. As we gained a bit of height the sea started to appear in the distance to the west and we could smell the salt water on the air, quite a cool experience. :)

P1030637 (640x480).jpg


P1030639 (640x480).jpg
Walk to the summit


Now that we were almost there the views opened up all around us. It was spectacular and Nevis was particularly noticeable as it had a small crown of cloud floating just above the summit.

P1030641 (640x480).jpg


The summit was gained quickly with a couple of small scrambles up some rocks (this was to be the least of our problems soon....) We met two guys who had came up from Glen Creran. We had taken 2hrs and 20mins to get here whilst they had taken 3hrs and said the path was quite indistinct and boggy. The views from the top were stunning!

P1030642 (640x480).jpg
West over the sea


P1030643 (640x480).jpg
Glencoe, Mamores and Nevis


P1030644 (640x480).jpg
Beinn a'Bheithir


P1030645 (640x480).jpg
Mouth of Glen Etive joining Glen Coe


We stayed and chatted to each other for a while and had some lunch. The sun didn't take away the fact that it was still cold up at the summit so we ended up packing up and heading off as we'd formulated a plan to get Sgurr na h'Ulaidh too. Word of advice, don't form this plan, or at least don't EVER follow our route!!!!!!! :shock:

We wandered off westwards along the ridge towards the valley between the two Munros. Getting closer to the edge the ground started to slope away from us but we managed to find our way onto a kind of shoulder heading north west towards Clach nam Meirleach. I knew there were crags here, I'd also read that there was a way through them even though it looked impossible, I'd imagine this was ascending through them rather than descending. We could see the valley floor but we couldn't see what was coming directly below us. We stupidly soldiered on and ended up right in the middle of the crags.

This turned into our worst moment in the hills for years. We're not new at this, we should've known better but we ended up pretty much rock climbing and scrambling our way down and round the crags which was made even more difficult by our big packs, nevermind the fact we had only our hands and feet to stop us from tumbling down. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!!!!!!!

I'm not ashamed to say at one point I thought I was stuck but Big Tommo managed to find another way. This still involved me climbing back up a slope easily over 45 degrees with nothing but rudimentary skills learned from a few trips to indoor climbing arenas. Anyone watching from Ulaidh must've though what the **** are those two idiots up to! We made it to the bottom, mostly through sheer luck and a bit of route picking and decided to just call it quits and head back to the car so followed the access path for Ulaidh back to the forestry road and back to the car.

P1030649 (640x480).jpg
The crags we came down. The photo really doesn't do the difficulty of them justice.


Daft way to end a great day just in the name of getting another summit. Fhionnlaidh is an easy munro to get from Glen Etive and I don't know why most, if not all the guide books use the route from Glen Creran. Just be happy to have reached the summit of it and don't be tempted by Ulaidh. Leave that for another day!
User avatar
J888ohn
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 126
Munros:183   Corbetts:4
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jul 8, 2011
Location: Falkirk

Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive

Postby big tommo » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:04 pm

:shock: think this was me most of the way down through the crags. Great day out though :D
User avatar
big tommo
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 16
Munros:115   Corbetts:1
Joined: Apr 21, 2014
Location: Bellshill

Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive

Postby basscadet » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:21 am

Brilliant :) You see so much more of the mountain from that side :clap:

I've been meaning to go up Fionnlaidh by your descent route for ages - I thought the trick was to stick to the fence? I guess I'll see if I ever get round to it! :lol:
User avatar
basscadet
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:52
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:33   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:17   Islands:21
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive

Postby J888ohn » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:05 am

basscadet wrote:Brilliant :) You see so much more of the mountain from that side :clap:

I've been meaning to go up Fionnlaidh by your descent route for ages - I thought the trick was to stick to the fence? I guess I'll see if I ever get round to it! :lol:


Basscadet we thought the fence was what to follow too, until it plummeted off a cliff! So I wouldn't advise that tactic lol
User avatar
J888ohn
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 126
Munros:183   Corbetts:4
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jul 8, 2011
Location: Falkirk

Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive

Postby Phil the Hill » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:18 pm

Did this one from Glen Creran earlier this year - largely because I've done other hills from Glen Etive and fancied a different approach. You can bike the first bit to the house but the path up the West ridge is much easier to find on the descent than the ascent. I went up the wrong spur, and then had a steep climb to the lochans.

Ralph Storer recommends a route from Glen Creran where you traverse by the path to the South of the hill, then climb the East ridge and descend the West ridge. I think that would probably be the best route to get the most from the hill.

Great views, as you say. It was a worthy 250th Munro for me.
User avatar
Phil the Hill
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 330
Munros:261   Corbetts:26
Grahams:5   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:137
Wainwrights:58   Islands:8
Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Location: Wallington, Surrey

4 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chazzyboy19, MJ Miller, Roger T, sjfleming and 39 guests