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Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot


Postby Sunset tripper » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:12 am

Route description: Foinaven circuit

Corbetts included on this walk: Foinaven

Date walked: 10/06/2019

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 24 km

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It was a few years ago while sitting on top of Arkle that we looked across and decided that we had to walk the entire ridge of Foinaven.
Foinaven as seen from Arkle
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Several years have passed since and the stars have never aligned to make it happen until last month.
Here are some of the options we had.
1. An out and back from Loch Stack to Ganu Mor like Black Panther and Kevin had done. :shock:
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75252
2. A linear route from Loch Stack to Gualin House and then cycle the many miles back to the start. :crazy:
3.As above but one person thumbs a lift back to the start. :crazy:
4.Convince someone to give us a lift and twiddle their thumbs for 9 hours while waiting for us. :roll:
5.Do the WH route and miss out the main part of the ridge. :(

There was also a list of rules, some of which seemed to be made up on the day.
1. It had to be a nice day. :D
2. A linear route of the ridge was required.
3. All tops had to be visited.
4. Someone had to remember the car keys.

Years passed and none of these things ever looked likely to happen so with a half decent forecast for Monday 10th June it was decided we (2 people) would take 2 cars drive to Gualin House drop one car and then down to the car park at Lone with the other car and walk back via Foinaven.
We left Inverness at 5.30am and with a clear road we were at the car park near Gualin House in less than 2.5 hours. Then the short drive down to the Loch Stack car park at Lone. We set off and it very nearly went t***$ up from the start as we had left the car keys for the other car in the car we had just left :roll: but realised very quickly and a short walk back and all was well, ready to start again. The scenery is outstanding throughout and from the start.

Arkle
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The route was long and tough but straightforward in good conditions.

New_Route (22).gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



On the track up to the Bealach Horn
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From leaving the track at the bealach up to the first top An t-Sail Mhor seemed to take forever. The cloud was down and we couldn't see Foinaven but as we made our way across to the start of the ridge, all was revealed.
First view of Foinaven ridge
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A' Cheir Ghorm
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The initial descent on to the ridge from the 808 point is loose and steep but looked a lot worse than it was.
Looking back at the first descent
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If you are ever get to this point beware of the man who lives in the howff. :shock:
Howff dwelling manny
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The next part up to Lord Reays seat was the best part for me. A bit airy and some mild scrambling if you stick to the ridge line. The most exposed part could be avoided to the left but no need really.
Looking back from Lord Reays seat
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Some views from the ridge
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Eventually we had arrived at the highest point of Foinaven - Ganu Mor, where I proceeded to the wrong cairn.
Ganu Mor - not the true summit :roll:
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Leaving Ganu Mor we met a couple, the only folk we saw all day - we then visited Ceann Garbh the last top, because it was one of the rules to visit all the tops and luckily it was a good exit point at the end of the ridge :wink: A never ending descent down the east ridge to eventually reach the track in Srath Dionard then the long walk out.

Fionaven is a great hill which ever way you do it but I would thoroughly recommend this route as one of the best days to be had on the Scottish hills...
…..and remember if you don't visit all the tops it doesn't count. :wink: :wink: :wink:
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Borderhugh » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:52 am

I like your wee report. That's exactly the way I would like to do it. I have to say the Foinaven ridge does look intimidating when viewed from Arkle.
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Jaxter » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:03 am

I had a good laugh at the car keys mishap - it's never happened to me (yet) but I've heard so many stories where folk have got to the end before realising :lol:

This is exactly what we're planning to do, although I suspect we'll end up cycling the 15 miles :crazy: :crazy:
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:25 pm

Beautiful report and so glad you got a great day for it. Deserved that after waiting so patiently! :lol: That huge, magnificent bulk of quartzite really is something else, isn't it :D Thank you - reignited the flame to do the ridge some time when the visibility's being kind.
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:25 pm

This hill is one in a million!
Wish we could have done the traverse but doubling back the ridge had its advantages - more scrambling :lol: :lol:
Glad you had a good day for it. In wet conditions these quartzite slabs could be dangerous, but in good weather, one of the best mountains in Scotland. We're tempted to go back and do the WH route, just for the sake of bagging the only top we missed the first time :lol:
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby rockhopper » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:01 am

Superb and well worth waiting for the preconditions. Was up here last year but weather not so good and just went up/down. The traverse is (yet) another item to add to the (ever lengthening) to do list. Thanks :)
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:17 pm

Borderhugh wrote:I like your wee report. That's exactly the way I would like to do it. I have to say the Foinaven ridge does look intimidating when viewed from Arkle.

Cheers Hugh. It does look intimidating but in good conditions fairly straightforward but a long day - for me anyway.
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:28 pm

Jaxter wrote:I had a good laugh at the car keys mishap - it's never happened to me (yet) but I've heard so many stories where folk have got to the end before realising :lol:

This is exactly what we're planning to do, although I suspect we'll end up cycling the 15 miles :crazy: :crazy:

Ha ha, I don't think we would have been laughing, initially anyway, when we got to the other end and found we had no keys.
I think the bike would be a good option. If we had left the car at the parking area on the busy NC 500 route near Gualin house and did the cycling at the start early on. Their are plenty of places to stash the bikes near the Loch Stack car park.
All the best, look forward to the report. :D
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:50 pm

EmmaKTunskeen wrote:Beautiful report and so glad you got a great day for it. Deserved that after waiting so patiently! :lol: That huge, magnificent bulk of quartzite really is something else, isn't it :D Thank you - reignited the flame to do the ridge some time when the visibility's being kind.

Thanks Emma. It was a great day. :D
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:04 pm

BlackPanther wrote:This hill is one in a million!
Wish we could have done the traverse but doubling back the ridge had its advantages - more scrambling :lol: :lol:
Glad you had a good day for it. In wet conditions these quartzite slabs could be dangerous, but in good weather, one of the best mountains in Scotland. We're tempted to go back and do the WH route, just for the sake of bagging the only top we missed the first time :lol:

We had thought about doing your route out and back but it looked like a lot harder day. I underestimated the walk out and terrain from Ganu Mor to Gualin though.
The descent off Ceann Garbh to the track by the river is around 4k and very steep initially and rough going all the way to the track. I was glad to eventually get there but still a long walk to the road from there.
The WH route circuit over Ceann Garbh would be quite a tough outing on it's own but well worth it.
Cheers :D
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:08 pm

rockhopper wrote:Superb and well worth waiting for the preconditions. Was up here last year but weather not so good and just went up/down. The traverse is (yet) another item to add to the (ever lengthening) to do list. Thanks :)

Cheers Rockhopper. I know what you mean about the to do list. I think mine is infinite.
The up and down you did is a tough outing on it's own.
All the best. :D
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:45 pm

Great report and the day sounds like it was worth waiting for. We have done half the ridge from the Loch Stac end, and our to do list has a there and back from Gualin House to complete it, wish we had taken two cars first time!
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:32 pm

Foinaven is just the best hill :D Definitely deserves a traverse.
I like your descent route coming off east back to the track - so much easier than the horrendous one we chose the first time, coming off the northern shoulder of Ceann Garbh and walking over/round a million boggy pools.
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Coop » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:23 pm

Great report.
1st pics I saw of Foinaven and I said " I'm doing that one day"
This report and route has refuelled that.
Just need 2 things for next year.

Someone with another car
A clear dry day
Maybe thats 3 things.
Anyway brilliant, well in and cheers
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Re: Foinavon - a 100 to 1 shot

Postby Sunset tripper » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:36 am

Cairngorm creeper wrote:Great report and the day sounds like it was worth waiting for. We have done half the ridge from the Loch Stac end, and our to do list has a there and back from Gualin House to complete it, wish we had taken two cars first time!

Cheers CC. There's good routes in from Gulain also. A' Cheir Ghorm ridge looks pretty good. :D
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