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Beinn na Cille

Beinn na Cille

Postby Norman_Grieve » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:23 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn na Cille

Date walked: 12/04/2010

Time taken: 3.25 hours

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Sir Derby Simon liked this wan, so hopefully will Annie, who likes a guid laff. :lol:
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Postby Norman_Grieve » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:24 pm

Climbed Beinn na Cille, in Morven, wi newbie & learner driver, my Indian fiend HM yesterday, following 5 1/2 hr trek fae Aberdeen.

Threw him in the deep end wi drive over pass from Glen Gairn to Strathdon, followed by the Lecht & Bridge o' Brown hairpins then the notorious Loch Laggan road.

HM successfully negotiated all this in blinding warm sunshine whilst smoking furiously, vigorously denying being tired, despite yawning widely.

He finally let me take the wheel o' his recently aquired auld jalopy at Roy Bridge, thus narrowly avoiding having to drive onto the car ferry at Corran, which was to have been the 'sting in the tail'.

HM had earlier surprised me when I'd picked him up in Kincorth by announcing that he had decided to scale the peak in dress shoes, having earlier agreed to my suggestion that he while away the hours of my ascent by reading a book.

He again took over the reins for a mildly hair raising drive along the single track B8043. The section poised above a steep drop above the shore of Loch Linnhe, with just a fragile wall inches fae my side o' the car was especially entertaining.

At least here HM could not attempt to pass oncoming vehicles by driving off my side o' the road, which despite my repeated entreaties, he continued to do on all other occasions, often perched on the very lip of yawning drops.

After a final near-miss encounter with a large tractor at yet another hairpin beside Glengalmadale farm, we came to a final shuddering stop just across a bridge above Kingairloch House.

Setting off just after 3pm, in very warm sunshine, we soon entered the welcome cool shade of the largest, most westerly of 3 plantations on the SW flanks of the hill.

We hadn't gone more than a few hundred yards up the forest track when I all but fell over a large 5 pointed antler, the best I've found in years. Not too long after we reached the end of the paved track at the top of the wood, where a wide gap in the deer fence explained the unexpected find.

There was a faint grassy vehicle track leading off up the gentle grassy slopes to the SE, so we followed this in a pleasant cool light breeze, under still largely cloudless skies.

The 'track' soon petered out and we made fairly steady progress up the rather tussocky, slightly boggy ground until it dawned on HM that we were heading for much steeper rocky slopes below the skyline.

At this point he suggested that he wait for me while I climbed the hill and he'd see me on the way down. I related various dire scenarios to him, involving rescue teams, newspapers, TV... and when I pointed out more traces of an ellusive track up ahead, he reluctantly decided to continue.

I also pointed out some Red Deer amongst the small crags on and just below the skyline and explained to him that, as these are small animals, hardly bigger than a dog, the slopes above were obviously far shorter than he had at first imagined.

Luckily he had seen Roe Deer around the hotel where he worked and suitably impressed we resumed our steady upward progress. Once we hit the stepper ground he got a signal on his mobile and took a long phonecall from his concerned wife.

By the time he had managed to convince her that all was well and he was in safe hands, he had scaled a good part of the steepish section. However, as the ground again levelled out but the top failed to materialise, his spirits sank anew.

Once more he argued that I could bag the summit whilst he sunbathed but after I regaled him with stories of the tragic fates which had met previous walking partners, from whom I had got separated, he again resumed his upward progress.

Thence ensued several more similar conferences, as a succession of false summits were reached, each further, more distant height coming into view provoking an exclaimation along the lines of "I'm not climbing that".

On each occasion I would declare that the next highest point visible was undoubtedly the top & would take at most 5 minutes to reach, up the gentlest of easy ground.

Such cajoling, a few brief stops for refreshment & photos, interrupted by the odd further call fae HM's concerned wife and we finally arrived on the summit, a not too disgracefully slow 2hrs after setting out.

HM's spirits immediately lifted and he produced a large bag of a spicy snack, which he had recently brought back fae his homeland, just 2hrs drive fae the Taj Mahal. This apparently contained cashew nuts but tasted remarkably similar to Bombay Mix.

HM seemed suitably impressed with the splendid summit view, round from faint hazy Ben More on Mull to snowy Ben Cruachan, over Lismore Island in Loch Linnhe to the SE, all the way past the Glen Coe hills up to a himalayan Ben Nevis floating in a sea of hazy to the NE.

Closer at hand to the north I could see the twa Corbetts Fuar Bheinn and Creach Beinn, which I had climbed on my tod, including the long ridge over Meall nan Each, just across Glen Galmadale. On that occasion I'd decided to leave our current hill for another day, in gathering darkness, mist & gale.

Having polished off a packet of my Asda Egg & Cress sarnies HM then declared himself ready for the descent. For some reason he seemed a bit dubious about setting off straight down for the road, closer to the rocky E.edge of the steep S. flank o' the hill, rather than retracing our footsteps.

After some easy scrambling down broken slabby rocks just below the summit he pointed out that I no longer had the 'Antelope horn'. Cursing, I was about to reascend the couple o' hundred feet of steep, rocky ground, when smiling he produced the beast's much prized cast off antler.

The next 500ft or so of descent went smoothly, down moderately steep, broad, even, pretty dry slopes of shortish grass. We passed a couple of Ptarmigan a few yards to our left amongst some rocks, which remained quiet & still, suggesting they were nesting.

As a sizeable, fast moving boat approached the mouth of Loch a' Choire, 1500ft below, trailing a long plume of spray in it's wake, the hillside dropped away much more steeply below us.

HM expressed some alarm, indicating that this was surely going to be too much for him. Evenly, I asked him if he wanted to call the rescue and he asked how long it would take for them to arrive. I replied that it might take a few hours & they might not be too impressed when they got here, so he bravely decided to attempt the descent.

We picked a line traversing left to right below a line of broken crags stretching away towords the craggy SSE nose. This also avoided a couple of stream gullies cutting down close to the left edge of the most easterly of the 3 plantations above the road past Kingairloch.

I soon found that the cheap walking boots which I'd foolishly purchased the previous day, without even bothering to try them on, were giving my ankles little or no support. Thus, HM was having little trouble keeping up in his shoes and soon gained in confidence, even suggesting that I cut back to the right, fairly low down above the road.

The pupil turns the master, I exclaimed & duly took his advice, thence cutting back left under some steep outcrops. HM then asked if it would take us about 20 minutes to reach the road, which was now only a couple of hundred feet below. I replied that he could probably make it in less time than that if he crawled on his hands & knees.
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Long awaited photies.

Postby Norman_Grieve » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:27 pm

OK, OK, herebe the photies...

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Re: Beinn na Cille

Postby AnnieMacD » Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:36 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: I did have such a laugh. Thanks for posting and put it in the book too.

"... my Indian fiend HM yesterday, ..." is this a typo? It was a good way to get started in any case. :clap:

As for driving on the single-track roads ... One day I'll write an instruction booklet :roll:
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Re: Beinn na Cille

Postby RiverSong » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:08 pm

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Re: Beinn na Cille

Postby captainslow » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:56 pm

I'm almost disappointed, not quite as epic as usual :wink:
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