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Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnlaidh


Postby mrssanta » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:34 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Fhionnlaidh, Sgor na h-Ulaidh

Date walked: 23/08/2014

Distance: 19 km

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This was the English bank holiday weekend and to be honest after a heavy week at work I didn't really feel like driving 6 hours and back for a weekend of getting hypothermia as promised by MWIS. However, Rudolph was in Deeside visiting his family and only had a train ticket back to Stirling where I was to pick him up and head for the hills. It was a fantastic weekend and well worth the effort.
At least when you go lightweight camping there isn't much stuff to pack, so I left Yorkshire in good time and actually it was quite relaxing spending a few hours driving familiar roads and listening to "saturday live" and other such cheery stuff on radio 4.
The original plan had been to show off Glencoe to a friend but unfortunately she couldn't come after all so we changed plans and headed down Glen Etive instead.

sgor na-h'ulaidh and beinn fhionnlaidh.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


I met Rudolph off his train and of course we headed to our favourite establishment, the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum, for a good lunch. I now have one of their magic yellow mugs which entitles me to a free cup of tea every time I visit.
We set off from Invercharnan in Glen Etive at about 4.30pm which gave us just over four hours till sunset.
The track from Invercharnan passes through forest which has been clear felled giving some lovely views to the surrounding hills and is good going to the edge of the forest.
argylls hidden gems 005.jpg
Glas Bheinn Mhor

argylls hidden gems 006.jpg
First view of Beinn Fhionnlaidh

argylls hidden gems 009.jpg
the great Ben Starav

argylls hidden gems 010.jpg
Cruachan

argylls hidden gems 012.jpg
Sgor na-h'Ulaidh now appearing on the right

After this the path continues boggily but easily up the glen through the long grass towards Meall nan Tarbh where we reached our camp spot at about NN116503. We got here about six o'clock and pitched our tent, set out our sleeping bags and continued up towards the Bealach Clach nam Mearleach. The terrain in this section was very lumpy with long tussocky grass, large hummocks and not much in the way of path but it was a pleasant evening and the visibilty was great so we had no real problem. I was glad of good boots though as my ankles are not made for such terrain!
argylls hidden gems 020.jpg
My success with panoramas is limited but this one has worked. Meall nan Eun on the left, then Meall Tarsuinn, Stob Coir'an Albannaich (the big one), Glas Bheinn Mhor, Meall nan Tri Tighearnan, Ben Starav (the other big one) and on the right, Cruachan and its pals. Fantastic!


The last section from the bealach to the summit is pretty steep with some scrambly bits, nothing too difficult, and mainly follows a line of old fence posts, although not at this point, where the path goes up a nice ledge to the left.
argylls hidden gems 026.jpg
go left here

argylls hidden gems 027.jpg
Like this

argylls hidden gems 028.jpg
and suddenly there is a view over the Firth of Lorn to Mull

We reached the top at just shy of 8pm, just at the same time as a cloud. What a shame.
argylls hidden gems 029.jpg
rather unexpected gully just before the top

argylls hidden gems 030.jpg
Rudolph on the summit

but as quickly as it blew in, it blew out again leaving some lovely mysterious views.
argylls hidden gems 031.jpg
And me a moment later!

argylls hidden gems 036.jpg
I took lots of pictures but this is Aonach Eagach peeking out behind Bidean. Rudolph is glad he has done that and doesn't ever want to go back.

some of Grandma's paradise slice on the summit was a stroke of genius!
Now we had to hoof it back down to the tent, getting there in time for a quick cup of tea before it became too dark to see.
Morning came and Rudolph's alarm went off at 7.10am. (Stop that thing for goodness sake, it's the weekend!!) But poking my head out of the tent was just marvellous!
argylls hidden gems 042.jpg
what I saw when I stuck my head out of the tent at 7.15am

We packed up and left camp at about 9am as I was not inclined to rush and needed at least two cups of tea before I would come out and play. The plan was to traverse around the bottom of the cliffs on the east side of Bheinn Fhionnlaidh, stash the camping gear while we went up and down, and pick it up on the way out.
argylls hidden gems 044.jpg
crossing the burn

We took a line between the black rocky outcrop above and the lighter one below.
argylls hidden gems 043.jpg
the line we took is the broad green bit from bottom right to top left.

after a wee climb we traversed round without any difficulty as there were numerous animal tracks which came and went but provided good going underfoot.
We came to a nice big rock at about NN111443 where we rolled all the camping gear up in the tent flysheet and left it.
From this point we were not far from the path which goes up to the right of the little gorge marked on the map to the bealach at point 595 and then continues up the hill.
argylls hidden gems 054.jpg
Ptarmigan

It was a good path to start with but suddenly it wasn't there any more (did we lose it or did it escape?) but it didn't matter as it was nice short alpine vegetation underfoot by this time and it was such a lovely day we could see exactly where we were going heading for the low point at about 800m on the ridge. the climb up to the summit was really great with some nice bits of hands on stuff and fantastic views in every direction. I took a lot of photos and it is really difficult to cut it down to only 25. And so much for hypothermia, it was hot!!!
argylls hidden gems 064.jpg
standing on the highest point, view to the West

argylls hidden gems 065.jpg
Rudolph with Sgor na-h'Ulaidh behind

It's especially fun to look at all the hills around and be able to identify them all because of having been up them. :D the hills in this area are all really distinctive and were looking fantastic in the sunshine.
argylls hidden gems 066.jpg
the Bookles

But you can't beat a view out to the West and the sea.
argylls hidden gems 067.jpg
Loch Creran, Lismore and Mull

We came back down to the tent by roughly the same route, getting back to our stash at about 1pm, just in time for a lovely cup of tea and some nosh.
argylls hidden gems 073.jpg
nice cup of tea

some chats to some lovely people on the way up and down, and it was especially nice to see Hayley and Derek on the top. Well done for standing on the trig point.
Then it was steeply back down through long grass to the forest, over the burn ---
argylls hidden gems 074.jpg
don't use the bridge!!!

and back down the track back to the car at about 2.30pm. On to the next adventure!
Last edited by mrssanta on Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mrssanta
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Re: Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnla

Postby Johnny Corbett » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:55 am

Great stuff from you guys again :D Can't believe Rudolph doesn't want to go back over the Aonach Eagach :shock:
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Re: Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnla

Postby dogplodder » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:45 am

Cups of tea figure strongly! What an idyllic weekend that turned out to be and well worth the drive from Yorkshire. The views are stunning - love the one looking west to Mull which is where we're heading tomorrow. :D
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Re: Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnla

Postby AnnieMacD » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:43 pm

Great read and photos. Love the view out your tent door first thing in the morning.
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Re: Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnla

Postby rockhopper » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:57 am

Hidden gems right enough :thumbup: A great area for walking as the views are stunning - cheers :)
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Re: Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnla

Postby Silverhill » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:23 am

Ah yes, the views towards Mull from these hills 8) . Perfect antidote for a heavy week at work! :D
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Re: Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnla

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:53 am

Gems for sure. Your spirits must have got a great fillip from that view from your tent when you awoke - wonderful.

Starav: your pic shows it at it's most seductive! :clap: :clap: :clap: I really must get up there before the days get too short...

I should try to get into this tea-drinking measured way of walking. The way you tell it, it sounds great. The trouble is, when you have a lot of miles to drive to get to the Highlands, the overwhelming temptation is to equate summits and distance with "much" and to try to pack in as "much" as you can.

But I guess "much" can also be a great cuppa after a great summit :)
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Re: Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnla

Postby litljortindan » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:01 pm

Well worth the effort indeed.
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Re: Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnla

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:29 pm

Cracking stuff from you guys once again.

"Don't use the bridge" way too late with this info..................I did. :shock: :shock: :lol:
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Re: Argyll's hidden gems Sgor na-h'Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnla

Postby mrssanta » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:55 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Great stuff from you guys again :D Can't believe Rudolph doesn't want to go back over the Aonach Eagach :shock:

I'd go tomorrow but he's not keen on heights!
dogplodder wrote:Cups of tea figure strongly! What an idyllic weekend that turned out to be and well worth the drive from Yorkshire. The views are stunning - love the one looking west to Mull which is where we're heading tomorrow. :D

Cup of tea! the best meal of the day :D I hope you had a lovely time on Mull
AnnieMacD wrote:Great read and photos. Love the view out your tent door first thing in the morning.

thanks, so did I! and no midges even at that time of the day.
rockhopper wrote:Hidden gems right enough :thumbup: A great area for walking as the views are stunning - cheers :)

Yes indeed I was so glad we had gone.
Silverhill wrote:Ah yes, the views towards Mull from these hills 8) . Perfect antidote for a heavy week at work! :D

oh yes. but this has been my first day at home since July! place is a tip :roll:
Alteknacker wrote:Gems for sure. Your spirits must have got a great fillip from that view from your tent when you awoke - wonderful.

Starav: your pic shows it at it's most seductive! :clap: :clap: :clap: I really must get up there before the days get too short...

I should try to get into this tea-drinking measured way of walking. The way you tell it, it sounds great. The trouble is, when you have a lot of miles to drive to get to the Highlands, the overwhelming temptation is to equate summits and distance with "much" and to try to pack in as "much" as you can.

But I guess "much" can also be a great cuppa after a great summit :)

Well I don't go very fast and a cup of tea is a great pick me up at the end of a long plod.
litljortindan wrote:Well worth the effort indeed.

Glad you enjoyed it.
gammy leg walker wrote:Cracking stuff from you guys once again.

"Don't use the bridge" way too late with this info..................I did. :shock: :shock: :lol:

oh dear! did you fall in? actually the water was quite low and easy to cross but I imagine after a lot of rain the bridge might be tempting.
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