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It's Creag Rain-ich men!

It's Creag Rain-ich men!


Postby BlackPanther » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:40 pm

Route description: Creag Rainich, via Loch a'Bhraoin

Corbetts included on this walk: Creag Rainich

Date walked: 12/02/2012

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 17.2 km

Ascent: 718m

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We haven't climbed in the north-west of Highlands since... let me think... first days of November 2011. Weather was always better on the southern and eastern side. But forecast for the coming weekend gave us a glimpse of hope that we may be able to change our direction and visit Torridon or Assynt. Our final choice fell on Creag Rainich, a Corbett on the edge of the Fannichs, which is said to be a good viewpoint.
There's little information about this hill online, only a few reports on hill walking sites. It looks like this mountain is very underestimated by mountain maniacs, probably because it's surrounded by plenty of higher and more attractive Munros. I'm so glad we picked it for our walk, we had the hill just for ourselves, enjoyed it to the full (including views - superb!) and I can now say in capital letters: CREAG RAINICH ROCKS THE PARTY! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Weather looked a bit uncertain when we were driving past Ben Wyvis and along Loch Glascarnoch. Ben Dearg group was in cloud and Kevin started complaining with his usual "we should have gone east, we would have had better conditions, blah, blah..." Grrrrrr! :evil: I hate him in such moments!
At the end of the day, I proved my husband wrong, he had to admit defeat! :lol:
We started from the parking area at the bend of A832, past the small forestry plantations. There were three other cars already parked there but I guess all the walkers must have gone for the eastern Fannichs Munros (Sgurr Breac, Sgurr nan Clach Geala, A'Chailleach). Behind us, An Teallach was covered in grey cloud:
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There was nobody in sight when we walked to the track leading to Loch a Bhraoin and then to the loch shore, but I didn't mind. I was in the zone :D
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On the new path to Loch a Bhraoin:
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A short stop by the loch gave us a good opportunity to photograph the area and surrounding mountains in a bit of a sulky mood:
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With almost no wind down in the glen, the loch acted like a mirror:
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The first part of this route is very easy, as it takes very little effort to walk the track along Loch a Bhraoin. One doesn't gain any height at this point, but the scenery is lovely and even on a darker day one can enjoy it!
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We were lucky - as we continued walking along the loch shore, clouds slowly dispersed (at least some of them did :lol: ) and we ended up feeling like spring was on the doorstep! How a little sunshine warning your body can make the difference...
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Looking back along Loch a Bhraoin:
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At the opposite end of the loch, with Groban and Ben Bheag dominating the view:
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Steep slopes of A'Chailleach across the loch:
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Having reached the opposite end of the loch, we consulted the map and decided to follow the only fence that was in sight. This route is suggested for ascent by SMC Guide, though there is no prominent path up the slope:
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The first 100-150m uphill were wet and squelchy, but nothing too difficult for a cat desperate to climb a mountain :D :
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Very quickly some good views opened up, especially down to the glen and the loch:
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Lochivraon Lodge and Groban:
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Something rocky and "torridonian" peeking out from behind a gentler slope. Hmmm... I sniffed good views and sped up!
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Weather was still good, some cloud but not much wind. Especially the western side looked beautiful, with dark-brown hills and patches of blue sky:
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Another short break to film the views. At this point it definitely felt like a spring walk:
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...even though more distant hills had a completely different story to tell:
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Southern Torridon still enjoying sunshine:
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Unlike Beinn Dearg and friends, they never cleared:
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Nearing the summit, we encountered some slippy patches of snow and ice...
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... yet the were not an impassable obstacle. Quite the opposite - they provided some good fun!
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Beinn Eighe getting moody again:
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Eventually we reached a tiny lochan at about 700m point. It was frozen solid but we decided not to test the thickness of the ice and walked around it towards the southern, lower top of the Corbett, Meall Dubh. And here we encountered the Fisherfield Munros for the first time:
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Slioch was there as well, another mountain high on my priority list:
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One quick panorama and we can go! Easier said than done. Kevin loves playing with the camera :lol: :lol:
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From the top of Meall Dubh, we could at last see the main summit of Creag Rainich. It was cloud-free, hoooray!
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Weather was changing for the worse now and I hurried Kevin up to the summit, I wanted to get the best of the views before cloud comes in and spoils the day. Pushing quickly up the slope, I heard that silly song about raining men play in my head:
"I feel stooormy wheather moving in
About to begin
Hear the thuuunder, Don't you loose your heaaaad..."
Luckily, the final climb wasn't a problem at all and in a short time I was sitting on the top of the trig point, pulling funny faces:
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The summit is a small plateau with no cairn, just an old, crumbling trig point. Give it a few years and it will fall apart completely...
Now, I will leave you with the views from Creag Rainich. The front we feared so much never reached us, it sat over An Teallach. The NW side was dark, but the panorama was still breathtaking! God bless mother Nature!
Sgurr Ban and Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair:
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Close-up:
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Slioch and more distant Beinn Eighe:
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One very angry An Teallach!
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Looking south towards the Fannichs:
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One last pano:
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A lonely ptarmigan wandering about:
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Eventually, it was time to go back. Wind picked up slightly and it got colder so we preferred to keep moving to stay warm :D On the way down, we changed our route and instead of going back along the fence, we cut across the shoulder of Meall Dubh. This turned out to be relatively easy going, wet but not too bad. And all the way we could admire the grand panorama down to Loch a Bhraoin:
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We took a longer break on the shore of Loch a Bhraoin (plenty of boulders to sit on) and enjoyed the silence, the quiet desolation of this place. One of many special moments we shared while walking in Scotland... Was it a Valentines Day walk? I don't know but it felt special indeed.
I hope with my story I did the justice to Creag Rainich. It's a superb hill and it deserves some more interest :D Meow!
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BlackPanther
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Re: It's Creag Rain-ich men!

Postby Gavin99 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:01 pm

Some lovely photographs of what looks a very nice walk. Interesting to see the Ptarmigan starting to moult, maybe spring has sprung !
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Gavin99
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Re: It's Creag Rain-ich men!

Postby quoman » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:26 pm

Looks a lovely walk by the loch and excellent picture's

By the way BP you never look like you struggle up the hills there's not a drip of sweat on you :lol: :lol:
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quoman
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Re: It's Creag Rain-ich men!

Postby monty » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:06 pm

Excellent report BlackPanther. Fantastic views of some of Scotlands best mountains. Been in the area a few times but still more to go back to, superb. :D
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Re: It's Creag Rain-ich men!

Postby mrssanta » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:09 pm

Sooo jealous
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Re: It's Creag Rain-ich men!

Postby Bod » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:43 am

Yes a great report there BP, you've got me thinking and planning again.......:). Here's to a great 2012 :)
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Bod
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Re: It's Creag Rain-ich men!

Postby kevsbald » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:36 am

Nice report there - thought about doing this en route to the Fisherfield Munros that I didn't do last year as part of a wild camp. Great views.
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Re: It's Creag Rain-ich men!

Postby ChrisW » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:26 pm

Lovely enjoyable report BP, what a beautiful day too - so glad the bad weather went around you allowing you to do justice to the hill. :D Really looks like Scotland in the late springtime rather than late winter.
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Re: It's Creag Rain-ich men!

Postby malky_c » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:08 pm

Great photos from a great area :D . I'm slightly jelous that you saw more than I did from there, but it's a summit well worth visiting.

If you like views of Torridon and Slioch from an odd angle, I can also recommend Groban on the other side of the valley. It doesn't look much on the map, but views like this more than make up for it:
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Re: It's Creag Rain-ich men!

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:55 am

Super photos. I'd thought about doing this last year when in Inverness, will have to get it done this year though after this report. Can't understand why your hubby wanted to head east :? Doesn't he know west is allways best :lol:
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