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Boriswalking with Black Panther: Beinn an Rubha Riabhaich

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:57 pm
by BlackPanther
Beinn an Rubha Riabhaich (457m) is a TUMP situated 7 miles from Beauly, between Glen Orrin and Strathconnon. Another good target for a local walk. Originally, we planned to cycle up Glen Orrin and climb it from the south, but in the end we decided, driving the short distance to the southern side of the hill would be more convenient, as there is a good track going up from this side. The track was built for Fairburn Windfarm, so today's report could be named "walking on the windfarm side" or "in the shadow of mighty turbines" but I thought that the name of the TUMP in the title will be more appropriate.

Tackling the southern slopes also allowed us to add a second TUMP, Creag Mhor, to our little circuit. I was surprised by the superb views from this short walk. We will definitely return here in winter - easy access to high ground and ample room to park at the start of the walk from Loch Achonachie side.

Track_FAIRBURN WINDFARM 13KM.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


From the main gate, it's "a long and winding road"...
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Views open up very quickly. My attention was drawn to one hill in particular...
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This is Sgurr Marcasaidh, a local Sub'2000er. Only 30m shy of being a Graham and a tough little mountain!
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On this wider pano, we actually have three Sub'2000 Marylins. To the left, is Creag Loch nan Dearcag, Sgurr Marcasaidh in the middle and to the right, Carn Faire nan Con:
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The fourth Sub'2000er, Torr Achilty, dominates the view over Loch Achonachie:
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We gained about 200m in height and now we could see the forest of turbines above us. I'm not a fan of windfarms, but what choice do we have?...
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Looking back down the track, we decided to return via this interesting little ridge, rather than retracing our steps through the turbine forest...
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The Fairburn wind turbines are HUGE, much bigger than those on Cnoc Udais. And the noise they were making! Whoooosh! Whooosh! Too much time here and my migraine would come back with a vengeance!
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As we were studying the hills on the horizon, we noticed that we were very close to the outlying tops of Carn na Coinnich, and they looked soooo tempting for another day!
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Beinn an Rubha Riabhaich may be a nice hill in itself, bu the views are partially spoiled by the turbines...
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The summit lies just 300m away from the end of the track by the last turbine, but we decided to leave the yellow brick road earlier to traverse a couple of peat-hag ridden lumps and bumps. Just to make it feel like a mountain walk...
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Kevin on the wild side of the hill...
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View south-west to Loch Orrin and the Glen Affric hills beyond:
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The Fannichs now snow-free (mostly):
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A wider western pano, including Carn na Coinnich and Sgurr a' Mhuilinn behind:
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Kevin on his way to the summit:
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The top of Beinn an Rubha Riabhaich is easy to find as it hosts a trig point. Another TUMP in our collection!
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Weather had been cloudy and windy so far, but when we reached the top, we found ourselves under an unexpected sunny spell. Enough sun to make photos interesting and a good excuse to stay here a bit longer...
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A shower passing over Beauly Firth and Inverness:
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Ben Wyvis:
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The controversial Cul Mor and Cul Beag seen from the north-western side:
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Lovely views in all direction, including Strathconon hills, the Fannichs, a few glimpses of Torridon and - of course, why not? - another windfarm!
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The easiest way back is to retrace your steps to the beaten track, but we preferred to do a circular, traversing to Creag Mhor, with only 32m of reascent it is hardly a tough job:
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Kevin leading the way to the final climb of the day :lol: :lol: Let's pretend we are on Everest :roll:
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View east from the summit of Creag Mhor, Cul Mor to the right:
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One more TUMP in the bag:
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By now weather was lovely, much warmer and quite sunny. From the top of Creag Mhor we had a good perspective to the nearby Sub'2 Marylin, Tor Achilty. Funny that having lived nearby for years, we never bothered to climb it. From my research online I know, this one is notorious. A lot of forest trashing. We actually walked the paths and tracks along Loch Achilty, and there is no easy access to the eastern end of Tor Achilty which is the highest point. Maybe one day, we will climb it, just to prove we can do it even if it involves fighting the trees with your fists :lol:
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Kevin and Lucy posing on the easy summit :lol:
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Lovely view down to the green fields of lower Strathconon:
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From Creag Mhor we descended the wide, heathery ridge, plenty of rocks to pose on but also a lot of ticks hiding in the vegetation...
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The last look to now sunny Ben Wyvis:
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In two spots along the ridge we found shattered remains of something like mini-trig points? Single fence posts?
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The windfarm track from above:
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Finally, we crossed Allt Sgubach and returned to the beaten track which took us back to the main gate. The whole circuit was very enjoyable - as much as walking in the shadow of turbines can be. But in the current climate, I'll take any hillwalk! We can't be picky :wink:

Re: Boriswalking with Black Panther: Beinn an Rubha Riabhaic

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:31 am
by gld73
Looks like a good option for when I've only got half a day (or I'm so unfit after lockdown that I can't manage a munro?!). Good views of some of the sub-2k's nearby too …. Sgurr Marcasaidh is an interesting hill with different route options (I've just done it once, avoiding the bracken-forest ascent route straight up from the dam), Carn Faire nan Con was a nice quick one to do from the main road at Garve …..and Tor Achilty :shock: . I'd do the others again, but not Tor Achility, I thought it'd be a good winter option, but changed my mind when I was up to my waist in snow on the steep forested sides. If there's anything like a path to the summit, I didn't find it! I've done munros which were less hassle :lol:

Your lockdown walks in the area are giving me some nice ideas for routes to do when I can't drive far (or have got out of bed too late to travel further away once we're allowed!)

Re: Boriswalking with Black Panther: Beinn an Rubha Riabhaic

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:43 am
by Thorny Wheeler
For anyone planning to cycle this route, the pedestrian gate at the start on the Loch Achonachie road is passable by bike.