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WH Autumn Meet: 50 shades of Torridon

WH Autumn Meet: 50 shades of Torridon

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:50 pm

Route description: Beinn Dàmh (or Ben Damph)

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Damh

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Bidein Clann Raonaild

Date walked: 10/11/2018

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1231m

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A few days before the Autumn WH Meet, weather forecast was gloomy. Rain, rain, even more rain, gale force winds, low cloud. I wondered if the curse of Walkhighlands was upon us again, but in the end, it wasn't. The Autumn Meet was an absolute success (many thanks to Hugh who organized it so close to our home!). We spent some time up on the hills. We meet some old friends and some new ones. We even managed to keep our tent standing in the gusting wind on Friday evening! :lol:

Kevin worked on Friday so we only arrived in Torridon at 8pm and immediately started to look for a good spot to pitch. There was some dry ground at the far end of the campsite, but we opted for a small hideout just by the gate. It was surrounded by trees and shrubs, protecting us from the gusty wind:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 001.JPG

We caught up with other folks on Friday evening in the hostel. Different groups planned to do different things, but for us it made little difference which hill we'd pick as it would be a repeat anyway. So why not return to one of our favourite Torridon Corbetts, Beinn Damh? I have already climbed it in summer time, in winter conditions, now it was a good occasion to experience it in late autumn.
In the end it was just us and Kerrie, another group went for the neighbouring Graham Beinn na h-Eaglaise (we met them on the descent). As we were leaving the lay-by, it was raining cats and dogs, but thankfully, the rain didn't last long.

Track_BEN DAMPH 10-11-18.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

We took a short break by the waterfall. It was easier to see it now with no leafs on the trees:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 006.JPG

The rain stopped altogether shortly after we left the forest path and started the ascent up the Toll Ban. I remembered the path was quite boggy higher up and indeed, since our last visit here, it suffered badly from erosion and small landslides, but it is still walkable :D
A quick breather with cloudy weather in the background:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 010.JPG

Because it was a windy day, I hoped that the gusts might blow the clag away. At the moment, it was still cloudy higher up but I could see the perspective for clear summit:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 014.JPG

Liathach (sort-of clear) and the village of Torridon. To the left, still cloudy Alligin. I knew there was another brave group of Walkhighlanders marching up this one, and I wished them good luck. At the moment, it looked like they would not see much from the ridge :(
2018-11-10 whm torridon 016.JPG

In contrary, "our" hill had potential for some really good panos. The clag was thinning and as we climbed up towards the high bealach below Meall Gorm, I knew we were in it to win it :lol:
On the eroded section of the path:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 019.JPG

On the bealach, another break for photos. It was still quite windy...
2018-11-10 whm torridon 023.JPG

...but views south along Loch Damh were tremendous:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 032.JPG

The path was less obvious from here, but having been to this hill twice, I knew more or less where to go. We still managed to hop over a few unnecessary boulders en route, but who cares :lol: I was glancing back towards Meall Gorm - one day we will come back to visit this outlying top as it looks interesting - must be a good viewpoint:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 029.JPG

Even if you don't know the hill well, there are cairns marking the path so you won't get lost...
2018-11-10 whm torridon 035.JPG

...and reaching the top of Bidean Toll nam Biast is always a WOW moment, when the superb views east to the other Torridon hills are revealed...
2018-11-10 whm torridon 036.JPG

Snack break on the first top. The summit was not far away, but we didn't know what conditions we'd have on the very top, so we better fill up now!
2018-11-10 whm torridon 044.JPG

The summit of Beinn Damh, now in sight:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 039.JPG

Beinn Dearg and Beinn Alligin with cloud lifting slowly:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 047.JPG

As we continued to the top, the sun came out and brightened the sandstone world around us. It was a wonderful opportunity for Kevin to play the game of sunshine and shadows with his camera!
The summit of Beinn Damh casting shadow onto the glen below:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 053.JPG

The lower tops and the cliffs seen from near the summit:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 051.JPG

The best way to impress girls :wink:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 054.JPG

The summit wasn't as windy as we expected. It was OK to sit for a few minutes, have a sandwich and admire the panoramas...
2018-11-10 whm torridon 062.JPG

Kevin kept himself busy taking photos. The best views were to the east/south east to Maol Chean Dearg and An Ruadh-Stac. From this angle they looked like twins:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 060.JPG

I studied Beinn na h-Eaglaise, hoping to see the other WH group on the summit:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 057.JPG

View north to Beinn Alligin, now sunny spells even there:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 058.JPG

We returned the way we came. I know there is a scrambling route down via Stuc Toll nam Biast, but no way I was trying it today (if ever at all!) :lol: :lol:
On the way down I had to stop to swap my thin gloves for the winter ones - it was cold on the ridge!
Happy Kerrie, who added a new Corbett to her tally:
2018-11-10 whm torridon 068.JPG

Weather was decent all the way down, the winds dropped and it stayed dry. On the main path we bumped into Malcolm's group returning from Beinn na h-Eaglaise. This is indeed a superb Graham and given some nice weather, I'd be happy to do repeat this one, too.
We returned to the campsite, had a quick shower and dinner before the evening quiz. As always, it was great fun, lots of shouting, squeaking and laughing, too many empty bottles and not enough time to talk to everybody. At some point I was running around with Kevin's phone, taking photos, but as light was not great and my hands a bit shaky (too much "little water" possibly :wink: ) most of the snaps came out blurry. Of course i didn't think of such an obvious thing like using the flash :lol: :lol: Definitely too much water in my system :wink:
On Sunday morning weather looked superb, but Met Office said, it was going to change by midday, so after packing up and saying good bye to everybody, we headed for home, but decided we had enough time to stop on the top of Glen Docherty and climb Bidein Clann Raonaild, which is said do be an excellent viewpoint. We were not disappointed. It is indeed a tremendous vantage point, easily accessible by a good, dry track. And weather held for long enough!
We parked by the gate at 079584. The track goes all the way to the summit from here. We encountered a few boggy puddles on the way but nothing too taxing :lol:

Track_RAONAILD SUB11-11-18.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Happy Panther ready to meow:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 008.JPG

The track goes through the forest first...
2018-11-11 whm torridon 031.JPG

...only to emerge on the open moorland. The gate used to be padlocked but it is not any more. Views are good even lower down.
The Coulin hills:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 033.JPG

South-east to Achnasheen and Fionn Bheinn:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 040.JPG

Soon we reached the summit, marked with a large cairn...
2018-11-11 whm torridon 063.JPG

...and a phone mast plus extra man-made structures. They do spoil the feeling of being on a mountain summit, maybe, but at least they don't spoil the surrounding vistas!
Me and Lucy on the top. Bidein Clann Raonaild is a Sub'2000 Marylin so we added another, if small, mountain summit to our tally:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 060.JPG

Panoramic view of the Torridon Giants, Beinn Eighe taking the center stage, Liathach seen from a very steep angle:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 054.JPG

Liathach - close up:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 025.JPG

Meall a'Ghubhias:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 049.JPG

Fuar Tholl:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 028.JPG

Beinn Eighe:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 024.JPG

2018-11-11 whm torridon 019.JPG

Beinn Tarsuinn and Mullach Choire Mhic Fhearchair:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 015.JPG

Wider pano to the north:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 009.JPG

One last snap including the mast:
2018-11-11 whm torridon 005.JPG

I was surprised how good the views had been from this small top. I can recommend it to anybody, even the beginners. It may not be worth sacrificing the whole day but could easily be added to a shorter mountain day in Torridon. We intend to visit it again in full winter conditions - fingers crossed we have a good winter this year!
Weather is looking extremely good for the coming weekend so expect more meowing mountain stories soon!
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Mountain Walker
Posts: 3709
Munros:260   Corbetts:172
Sub 2000:56   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

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