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Pensioners Torridon Weekend (WH Meet)
by Fife Flyer » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:04 pm
Munros included on this walk: Fionn Bheinn, Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe), Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe), Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)
Corbetts included on this walk: Fuar Tholl
Date walked: 08/11/2018
Time taken: 19.9 hours
Distance: 54 km
Ascent: 4040m4 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).
One of the few benefits of being retired is that we can decide to add a day or two to the weekend and that is what we did. I volunteered to drive and the 3 of us managed to squish into my small family car with ease and also easily managed the 400+ mile trip on one tank of petrol. The plan was to leave Fife at 7 o'clock with our next stop being breakfast in Inverness. I must mention our breakfast for all the wrong reasons, quantity and quality it was fine, but as we all had bacon we all ended up having a bit of a raging thirst.
In an effort to keep Parminder's Munro tally moving we opted to nip up Fionn Bheinn, especially as we were passing through Achnasheen. My last visit to Fionn Bheinn was the opposite of wall to wall sunshine, I trudged up the hillside with Callander Girl and we saw absolutely nothing, couldn't see or find a path and ended up amongst the peat hags.
So after our 'big breakfast' we arrived at Achnasheen and parked in the last available space in the railway station car park, kitted up and set off on our way. We found the path rather easily and it certainly helps if you can see ahead and where you are going.
Thursday 8th Nov 2018 - Fionn Bheinn
Time: 3hrs 10mins
Participants: Me, George and Parminder
Says it all
Shades of my last outing in the Borders, barking dogs, not as many or as aggressive
We didn't fancy crossing this as there are no handrails
Looking back down towards Achnasheen
One of the locals posing for us
Looking back down over the bogfest - that can be avoided, as we did on our descent
Part of the hydro scheme?
Looking towards the summit trig
Fionn Bheinn is certainly a fantastic viewing point
For anyone venturing up Fionn Bheinn I would suggest heading up the shoulder which is east of the path, that way you will avoid the bogfest - we did that for our descent like all hills the boggy areas are so obvious when you are able to look down on them.
Friday 9th Nov 2018 - Beinn Eighe
Participants: Me, George, Parminder and Steve Smart briefly
After a cool evening in the hostel due to the heating and hot water being out of order we decided to try avoid digging out our head torches by having an early start. I knew the walk would take about 7 or 8 hours and as the daylight hours were becoming limited so we wanted to start walking by 7.30am. As usual I didn't sleep very well, the bedrooms were freezing, however a couple of seconds under the duvet body heat was soon restored. We all got up about 6am and left just as it was starting to get light. The hostel really is a superb base for any of the nearby big hills of Eighe, Liathach & Alligin within a 10mins drive.
Bonus shot, Beinn Eighe taken from the roadside on the way to the Hostel
The very friendly stag at the Beinn Eighe car park, obviously used to being fed and expects it too
We opted to tackle the route anti-clockwise for a number of reasons which turned out to be a great idea. We had the wind behind us on the ascent and it was forecast to strengthen as the day progressed. My only concern was the descent down to the lochan near the triple buttresses as it was badly eroded 3 years ago and unlikely to have improved.
Early morning 2km walk along the road
Good path with a nice gradient until the steep stuff is reached
Not much water coming downhill, Liathach peeking out
Looking down and across the road to Sgurr Dubh
Zoomed shot of Loch's Clair and Coulin
Steeper section which is badly eroded
Looking towards the eastern end of the ridge
Looking across to Liathach
The final push up towards the summit, looking down on the southern shoulder
Gairloch zoomed, nice and sunny just about all day and we hardly saw the sun all day
Looking NW, stunning view
A few action shots
Looking back along the ridge
The way ahead with the 2nd summit in the distance
Atmospheric shot with the cloud rushing in
Sun still shining at Gairloch
Looking back round the ridge
Looking down at the descent route as we were passing en route to our second summit
2nd summit, no views, it was very windy and freezing
It was whilst we were having lunch in a sheltered spot below the summit a fellow walker appeared out of the greyness and as he neared we soon recognised who had appeared - Steve Smart. We had a chat and finished our lunch whilst Steve nipped up to the summit and returned to join us for the descent down to the bealach before our descent. Steve was invited to join us but he fancied walking into the strong wind and tackling our first Munro. For the record he must have run round the ridge, as he was sitting with a smug look on his face in his car when we arrived back at the car park.
Here is a brief video which demonstrates how strong the wind was, had to stop abruptly as I thought I was going to lose my hat
The beginning of the descent
George casually looking up
Apologies to Parminder as he features in the majority of the descending photo's, I think he was secretly making it look tricky so he could have his photo taken.
Waiting and shouting advice
At this point Parminder got cramp, hence the lack of smiling and was informing us quietly
Easy peasy now
This slightly lower down and it looks like Parminder is climbing back up to enjoy it again
Easy path now
Looking back - the descent route looks almost vertical
Triple Butress again with a bit of cloud hovering
The path on the long walk out, Liathach posing nicely
Our friendly stag waiting for us, I gave him the majority of my Granny Smith apple, which he struggled to eat
Granny Smith on the ground, George chopped it up for him
Waiting for George's Pink Lady apple, which he much preferred
That was Beinn Eighe, a fabulous ridge and days walk.
Saturday 10th Nov 2018 - Ben Alligin
Time: 6hrs 20mins
Participants: Me, George, Parminder, Steve (Smart), Martin (G), Jamie & Danii (And Tara the collie)
Now we are onto Saturdays plan, on Friday evening I asked just about everyone what their plans were and managed to add a trio to our little group. The forecast wasn't overly clever, plenty of strong wind and the occasional shower, the afternoon was supposed to be improving so we opted to tackle the route clockwise with a view to saving the Horns till later. With the forecast better for later we 'binned' the early start and left just after 8am and were walking shortly after 8.30.
Looking south across Upper Loch Torridon
Early morning low level shot
Just about the only time we saw the sun
Slightly higher up, weather on the change
Looking worse, soon be in cloud
Trudging uphill into the cloud
Looking back downhill, cracking view
Quick pit stop
A brief view, I had to be quick to catch it
The way ahead
Almost a view
The happy crew
Different angle and a view
Brief video, had to cease abruptly as my hat was about to be removed by the wind
Another group shot
Arty shot, quite pleased with the outcome
The fun will begin soon
Another arty shot
The beauty of Torridon
The way ahead
Sun and low cloud make for some great shots
Taken from one of the cairns along the route
A couple of posers
Cloud getting in the way
Very arty shot, took quite a few - not like me
The long descent is now about to begin
Sun assisting with another arty shot on the side of Beinn Dearg
Most of the descending now done
Zoomed shot of the huge crack on the ridge
As promised the weather did improve, looking back at the Horns
That was Ben Alligin, back to the Hostel for shower and the usual Saturday evening fun and games.
Sunday 11th Nov 2018 - Fuar Tholl
Time: 5hrs 5mins
Participants: The usual gruesome threesome, Me, George & Parminder
The end of another successful Walk Highlands meet and like the rest of the folk who attended I would like to pass on our appreciation and thanks to Hugh for organising. Our plan for the Sunday was to have a relaxing day on the way home and I suggested Fuar Tholl as it certainly looked impressive when I tackled the nearby Munros a few years ago. Having said our goodbyes (to those who were up) we set off before 9am and were walking by 9.30. The forecast was certainly favourable as rain was scheduled to appear about 2pm and that turned out to be almost spot on (pardon the pun) as we were almost back at the car.
A quick photo of the hill at the back of the hostel, looking rather impressive
I parked in the layby come parking area in Achnashellach not far from the railway station, there were already a few cars there.
Achnashellach railway station, wonder what rush hour is like?
That is where we are heading, looks fairly close, the slight drawback is the ascent is from the other side
Good path which takes the majority of walkers to Beinn Liath Mhor and neighbour
Arty shot looking back
Parminder was nominated to lead, saves him dangling at the rear
Beinn Liath Mhor ridge which is a cracking walk
Looking across the glen to Beinn Liath Mhor and it's little lochan
Getting nearer to our target
You can tell when we are ascending as George has his head down
One of the many lochans at the foot of Fuar Tholl
Looking across to Maol Chean-dearg
Ascending up Fuar Tholl
Loch Carron not zoomed
Sgorr Ruadh again from higher up
Loch Carron zoomed
MCD again, too good not to post
Looking across to Beinn Liath Mhor from on high
BLM from the summit area of Fuar Tholl
Western end of Fuar Tholl and Sgorr Ruadh on the right
First of 3 short videos from the summit of Fuar Tholl
Selfie, don't take many as most of my photo's feature the other old yins
Our descent route, quite a long way down - George romping down
Parminder not quite romping downhill
George waiting for Parminder
Not quite romping down
Looking across to Sgorr Ruadh
Descent getting easier
Looking back at the impressive buttress
Fuar Tholl is a fantastic hill that is a superb viewing point at 907m it is only a few inches short of being a Munro. We met a young local couple on the ascent (they overtook us) and we had a good chat with them on the summit. We discussed our descent route whilst ascending and decided to follow the couple down the scree slope at Coire Mainnrichean, there is an obvious path and like most loose scree slopes is eroded. The descent probably cut off about 1km and saved descending over a scrambly bit on the way up Creag Mainnrichean. The walk out was rapid and we managed to catch up and then have a chat with Andy Lawson and his female walking partner (sorry forgotten your name), they had been doing one of the Munros they didn't manage earlier in the weekend.
Now it was just a matter of driving home, we had already decided to stop in Inverness for a burger and it was rather good.
A very productive weekend, the chances of visiting 5 Munros and a Corbett in November are probably very rare, so thanks again to Hugh for organising the weather as well.
by parminder » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:59 pm
by M4RTIN » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:22 am
Really enjoyed Alligin with you guys; always nice to get out on the hill with you guys.
by BlackPanther » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:41 pm
I must admit, we did Beinn Eighe multiple times, but we never thought about bum-shuffling down the stone shute. Brilliant exercise - must try it next time I'm up there
by sunshine65 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:36 pm
by kevsbald » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:08 pm
by Alteknacker » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:53 pm
As others, I appreciate the bum shuffle down the scree into Coire Mhic Fhearchair. The last time I was up there I also descended this scree by a bum slide, but on that occasion it was on deep snow .