This weekend I had planned to do some Munros up at Spean Bridge way but a forecast of strong winds, fog and drizzle made the thought of that a drag. Negotiating tricky cornices on the Easains in poor visibility was something I had no particular wish to repeat. So instead I opted to do a couple of Grahams close to home - no snow!
I'd picked off 4 of the Luss Grahams in a couple of trips in the last few weeks and was quite enjoying them. Grahams in general seem under-rated as hills and I have to admit a considerable liking for the wee things. Beinn a'Mhanaich and Beinn Chaorach are easily done from Glen Fruin, only 30 miles from my house. I thought I'd add a couple of adjoining Simms, and maybe an outlying Highland Five if I was keen.
Parked at the start of the track, which lies on the edge of the Military Firing Range - there were a couple of very ragged red flags flying, but the route doesn't cross over onto the range, just skirts it, and these flags look like they are permanent fixtures anyway. No gunshots were heard. Steady pull up to the top of a'Mhanaich - clag down to about 550m. New gate just before the summit. Last time we were here it was Allison's 600th Marilyn on a very stormy day - better weather, if not views, today.
Up the Strone - MOD warning signs on the left
P2140201 by Al, on Flickr
P2140202 by Al, on Flickr
Followed the fence line down alongside quite a deep gorge that has been cut by a stream over the centuries. Chaorach looms steeply ahead - the fenceline continues up to the summit, where there's a trig point and a jumble of rocks on a possibly higher spot a little further on. I continue to follow the fence line onto Beinn Tharsuinn before descending into Bealach a'Chabair on my way to the Simms of Balcnock and Creag an Leinibh (crag of the infant?). A bit wet underfoot, but there was a clear path following the fence line. I've been attending an introductory course in philosophy over the past few weeks and was contemplating "justice", which had been yesterday's topic.
P2140203 by Al, on Flickr
P2140204 by Al, on Flickr
P2140205 by Al, on Flickr
P2140206 by Al, on Flickr
Arriving at Leinibh I couldn't see a cairn - eventually found a flattened one on top of a peat hag, which I rebuilt. Decided not to bother traipsing a further 3km to include the HF of Beinn Ruisg, which misses being a Simm by a few metres only. Retraced my steps to Tharsuinn and headed back to the car. Nice short day.
Top of Leinibh - squished cairn just visible
P2140207 by Al, on Flickr
P2140209 by Al, on Flickr
P2140212 by Al, on Flickr
View back to Balcnock and Leinibh
P2140214 by Al, on Flickr
P2140215 by Al, on Flickr
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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.