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Ben More Circuit in the dry

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:38 pm
by johnbythell

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Dave and I did the Beinn Fhada-Ben More circuit in almost perfect conditions after several weeks of dry weather in May. My last attempt, many years ago, had been abandoned as it was so wet, water seemed to be swelling up out of the ground. Today was much drier under foot, with high cloud keeping it cool for the climb but good visibility. Our route followed the Walkhighlands description, except we were able to cut off the northwest corner due to the dry conditions.

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From the start near the Scarisdale River, looking towards the island of Eorsa on the Loch na Keal.

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From higher up the ridge, looking towards Eorsa and better views of Ulva and the Treshnish Isles in the distance.

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Looking along the Beinn Fhada ridge from the top of the first rise, at about 560 m.

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Spot the ptarmigan.

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Looking over towards Ben More (right) and A' Chioch (left).

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At the summit of Beinn Fhada, with the little lochan just below the summit.

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From the bealach, looking up the first section of the A' Chioch ridge.

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Steep, rough ground but not much scrambling. We avoided some of the scrambling higher up on the ridge, bypassing it on the path to the left, but eventually had to climb up a steep gully to regain the ridge near the A' Chioch summit.

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Looking at the final ridge climb onto Ben More from near the A'Chioch summit

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Looking south from A'Chioch to the upper reaches of Loch Beg and over the southern peninsula of Mull, with Jura on the horizon.

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The view back down the route, across the Gleann na Bienne Fada.

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From the bealach, the route looks easier up close than it does from a distance and the loose-looking scree isn't as bad as it looks here, at least in the dry.

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From high up on the final ridge, looking back down the route towards A' Chioch.

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The summit cairn. We didn't linger because weirdly the midges were out in force here. We hadn't noticed them until then.

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Slightly disconcerting view looking straight down the northern slopes.

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The view along the summit ridge.

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The shattered rocks of the summit slopes from the more popular route up to the west.

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The well-worn path down the western route with Staffa and the Treshnish Isles in the background.

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The waterfalls in the Abhainn Dhiseig not looking very impressive today.

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Because of the dry conditions, we decided to cut the corner and traverse down to the road. Probably not a good idea under more typical conditions, but it worked well for us.

An excellent day on the mountain, thanks to the mountain weather gods. A really nice round with no serious difficulties (or at least nothing that can't be avoided), and definitely a lot more interesting than the usual route up.