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Kintail - 3 Grahams and a Meet

Kintail - 3 Grahams and a Meet


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:25 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn a' Chapuill, Beinn Clachach, Biod an Fhithich

Date walked: 30/10/2016

Time taken: 15.25 hours

Distance: 38.3 km

Ascent: 2781m

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Another week in the Northwest - unfortunately without the weather of last week, but what do you expect at a Meet? We travelled up to Sheil Bridge on Thursday night - a miserable rainy drive in the dark. Fortunately the rain abated as we reached the campsite - we nipped in to pitch the tent in the dry before driing to the Kintail Lodge for some keenly awaited grub. As fine as usual it was too. Back to the tent before 10 and a quiet night - we were the only ones at the site.


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



Friday began with sunshine and blue skies - we drove along to Corran for the day's objective, Beinn Clachach. It was only last Sunday we climbed its southern partner, Druim Fhada, charming to be back in this lovely area again. The route begins from the community hall and goes through the tiny settlement of Corran, picking up a waymarked trail into Glen Arnisdale. Beinn Sgritheall, to our left, glowed ochre in the morning sunshine. As we walked into the glen, our mountain, Beinn Clachach, appeared an increasingly impressive and rugged hill. We continued on past the bridge, alongside the River Arnisdale. I knew we had to cross this in a few kilometres - I was not sure there was a bridge (none on my 1:50000 map) and the river was white crested and fast flowing after the night's rain. The track leads through beech and birchwoods, autumn colours radiant. We climbed a little then dipped to come in sight of Dubh Lochan, which we'd seen from above last week. And there, just before the outflow from the lochan was a footbridge. Much celebrating from the Sick Kid, I can tell you :lol:

Sgritheall
ImageP1140203 by Al, on Flickr

Clachach
ImageP1140205 by Al, on Flickr

Autumn colour
ImageP1140209 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140211 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140212 by Al, on Flickr

A bridge!!
ImageP1140213 by Al, on Flickr

...but not suitable if you're a horse
ImageP1140214 by Al, on Flickr


Crossing the bridge took us to a deer track leading up a spur to Bealach an Fheadain. We continued until we met a craggy face. It looked unlikely to be bypassable on the right, definately wasn't on the left, so we needed to scramble up it - quite a tough wee route on steep heather, with stunted trees barely hanging onto the rocks below. As I waited for Allison, an eagle soared below, heading back into the glen. Fine views out to the sea as we climbed. The remainder of the ascent up this shoulder was uneventful, the views opening to include Ladhar Bheinn. The summit section is knobbly and rocky with clefts to be negotiated before the summit cairn is achieved.

Outflow from Dubh Lochan
ImageP1140216 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140217 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140218 by Al, on Flickr

This bit's a little steep
ImageP1140219 by Al, on Flickr

Easy from then on
ImageP1140221 by Al, on Flickr

Ladhar Bheinn coming into view
ImageP1140223 by Al, on Flickr

Knobbly top
ImageP1140224 by Al, on Flickr

Summit
ImageP1140227 by Al, on Flickr

We headed west to visit the 618m top labelled as the summit on the OS map. Good views to the Corbetts to the north, Beinn nan Caorach & na h-Eaglaise. We headed north into Coire Chorsalain - easy descent on soft heather, keeping to the east of the crags, then picking up the stalkers path that runs down to the Allt Utha. The falls of Eas na Cuingid were splendid. At the bottom of the hill was a large field with numerous hielan coos and their sprogs. However, standign guard at the bridge was the bull, glowering at us. He wasn't for budging. Fortunately there was a track on our side of the rier too, so we managed to avoid him :roll:

To the west top
ImageP1140228 by Al, on Flickr

Neighbouring Corbetts
ImageP1140229 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140230 by Al, on Flickr

Descent route
ImageP1140231 by Al, on Flickr

Waterfall
ImageP1140233 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140234 by Al, on Flickr

Druim Fhada
ImageP1140236 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140238 by Al, on Flickr


We drove back to the campsite where Pat, Maya and Tommy arrived later, then headed up to the hostel to say hello. Good to see folk again - we haven't been to a (Scottish) meet since Torridon last autumn. Left before the quiz however, in search of an early-ish night.


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



Saturday had pretty poor weather, unfortunately. We had planned to do Beinn a'Chapuill from Gleann Beag and set off just after 9 to drive the 15 miles there. Parked by a cattle grid at Gairshie and walked through the farm at Balvraid. Neither the cows nor the sheep were for getting out the way. At least there were no bulls this time. We continued along the track, past a ruined broch (Dun Grugaig) which we went and had a sniff at - an impressive location. Onwards through birchwoods, we could see the long curving ridge of our hill stretching up on the right, across the river. On through the woods til we spotted the suspension bridge, across and up the hillside. The ascent is easygoing, 600m in two and a half kilometres. A good looking ridge - pity we weren't seeing it on a better day.

ImageP1140240 by Al, on Flickr

Ruined broch
ImageP1140242 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140243 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140244 by Al, on Flickr

Our ridge
ImageP1140245 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140246 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140250 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140251 by Al, on Flickr

The top of the mountain is once again knobbles and crags - quite confusing in the mist as to which bump is the highest. We were aiming for the 759m knobble, with a cairn atop but also visited the 755m top (of no significance whatsoever - maybe a good viewpoint on a day with some visibility. Then on to the 742m top which - just like yesterday's hill is erroneously labelled as the summit. The surveyor for these two hills was obviously on something :lol: From here it was a steep descent down to the west, following a gully. This was the route the SMC guidebook suggests, though I'm not entirely sure it is easier than coming off to the north if you pick your spot. Anyway we had a lovely time in descent, following a stream down, disturbing a herd of deer and managing to avoid injury.

Summit
ImageP1140252 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140254 by Al, on Flickr

Descent
ImageP1140255 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140256 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140257 by Al, on Flickr

Once down on flatter ground it is still quite a long slog back to the road. We headed north, parallel to the river and made for the edge of the tree line descended steeply to the Abhainn a Ghlinne Bhig and followed deer tracks to the north of the tree plantation before finally crossing a deer fence (for the third time today) and gaining a track that took us over the bridge and back to the car. We were surprised to find Scoob, Fi and Bellis parked nearby, having done the same hill, started after us and finished before us :lol: On the way home we called in at the two impressive brochs just along the glen.

You've heard of the Uffington White Horse - this is the Gleann Beag Green Octopus. (For those Lovecraft afficionados, yes it could be Chthulu :wink: )
ImageP1140258 by Al, on Flickr

Lichen forest
ImageP1140259 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140260 by Al, on Flickr

Dun Troddan
ImageP1140261 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140263 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140264 by Al, on Flickr

Dun Telve
ImageP1140265 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140267 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the tent we rustled up a makeshift meal, showered and got ready to walk the couple of miles to the Youth Hostel. A fine night was in the making, good talk and of course the quiz, which our team managed to end up third in. After the group photos we decided to head for home before the shenanigans began (we didn't know if there would be any shenanigans, but with a WH meet there was bound to be mischief of some sort or other :lol: ) Even so, didn't get to bed til quarter to one, which is way too late for a hill-night (even if the clocks were going back overnight).

Quiz time
ImageP1140271 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140272 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140273 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140274 by Al, on Flickr


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



Sunday's treat was to be Biod nam Fhithich - a hill I've looked at numerous times. There was no way we were doing the quick route (ie the one that leads you ujup to the Saddle) - i wanted the whole ridge to enjoy. So did Graeme, Hugh and David who we met at the campsite and caught up with on the ridge. An enjoyable walk, in better weather than we had expected. Fine views along Loch Duich, across the glen to the Sisters, with their heads in cloud. Sat at the fine airy summit for lunch then dropped down into Coire Caol to follow the stalkers path back to Gleann Undalain. The three lads were intending to climb Sgurr Mhic Barraich having descended to 99m (only another 700m to go boys) but sanity prevailed :wink: Back at the car in four and a half hours - a good short day out. Thanks to Darren for arranging the Meet!

Glen Undalain
ImageP1140276 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140281 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Duich
ImageP1140282 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140283 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140284 by Al, on Flickr

Fine summit ridge
ImageP1140286 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140287 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140288 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140289 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140291 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140293 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140294 by Al, on Flickr
User avatar
weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1955
Munros:237   Corbetts:62
Grahams:78   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:383   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Kintail - 3 Grahams and a Meet

Postby Graeme D » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:28 pm

Three good days there Al with something to commend them all. You have whetted my appetite for when I get round to doing the Grahams and Corbetts around Sgritheall. Good walking with Alison and yourself today. Take care and hopefully we'll catch up again soon on the hills. :D
User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 3665
Munros:227   Corbetts:114
Grahams:67   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

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