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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Falling back in love with it in Elleric

Falling back in love with it in Elleric


Postby Magoo82 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:00 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Date walked: 30/11/2017

Time taken: 5 hours

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2017 has been a funny year for hillwalking. I don't feel like I've done an awful lot, in fact I've probably done fewer than ten munros. Those have included the Aonach Eagach ridge traverse and one on Skye so it's not all been doom and gloom and there was also a week long trek through the Kashmir Himalayas in July but I've just been sidetracked with other stuff. Running, injuries, and just life in general have got in the way a little bit. When that starts to happen you begin to wonder if you're maybe just lacking the motivation to make it a priority anymore.

Anyway, the forecast for Thursday was looking excellent and i'd bought myself a new pair of winter boots in the Black Friday sales (i'm such a crap socialist, canna help a bit of unnecessary materialism) and seeing as I've worked pretty hard recently to get ahead of the game with my work projects my boss authorised a day's annual leave and so I set off for Elleric for a crack at Beinn Fionnlaidh.

Things went awry to begin with as I took the wrong road onto a landrover track that was worrying my poor we two wheel drive VW Polo and a helpful gillie from the estate pointed me back towards the car park. By the time I was ready to go it was 11am and I was a bit concerned about potentially descending in the dark but I decided to just "see how it goes". It was a decision i'd be glad of but more about that later.

The way through the estate onto the hill is well signposted and I passed a couple of fearsome looking stags on the way through.

ImageElleric by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

ImageElleric by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

ImageElleric by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

The initial heave up onto the shoulder is pretty boggy and not a walk i'd want to be doing in spring or autumn. Thankfully the freezing temperatures mitigated the worst of the bog though and soon the views started to open up behind me of Loch Creran and ahead to the end target.

ImageUntitled by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

ImageElleric by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

Once above the snowline the half-way lochan was reached with the crisp winter air affording glorious views of the surrounding mountains.

ImageElleric by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

There were inverted dog footprints in the snow. I believe what happens here is that the snow beneath the footprint is compressed by the weight and when the wind blows away the lighter layer of snow the little towers of compressed snow are left exposed.

ImageUntitled by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

I was the only person on the hill all day and the trouble with walking alone in winter is that you have to break trail through the snow all day on your own with no footprints to step into. I won't lie, the final 100m of ascent was a trial for tired legs and cramp was becoming an issue but nevertheless the summit was reached at 2pm amid a bracing cold wind that the forecast had predicted would bring a windchill of -18C.

ImageElleric by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

This left me with two hours of daylight to descent but i'd be walking west into the setting sun and this was to provide some absolutely delightful views as the setting sun brought colour to the evening sky.

ImageElleric by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Ross McGowan, on Flickr

Had I started at 9am I would not have experienced that so I was glad of my late start. In the end the headtorch stayed in the bag and I reached the car at last light at bang on 4pm.

But it was pretty much the perfect winter hike. Great views, weather not too hostile, no blizzards, and a real treat with the sunset at the end. It's really reignited my passion for the mountains and I MUST endeavour to do more.
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Magoo82
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Posts: 139
Munros:173   Corbetts:5
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Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:1
Wainwrights:2   Islands:15
Joined: Apr 2, 2011
Location: Coldside, Dundee

Re: Falling back in love with it in Elleric

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:36 am

If a day like that doesn't reignite the passion, then nothing will!! Brilliant!

I had a similar winter day experience of this one last March - unbeatable...
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Alteknacker
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Re: Falling back in love with it in Elleric

Postby ancancha » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:07 pm

Fabulous colours in the sunsets photos :clap:
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ancancha
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 986
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Joined: Jun 30, 2014
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Re: Falling back in love with it in Elleric

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:06 am

Crackin pictures. :D
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