Amazing Spectres on Beinn Damh (human and otherwise)

Route: Beinn Dàmh (or Ben Damph)

Corbetts: Beinn Damh

Date walked: 07/11/2015

Time taken: 8.15 hours

Distance: 11.9km

Ascent: 927m

Track_2015-11-07 Beinn Damh.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I'm BAAAAAACK!! Ok, so apologies to everyone for my lack of walk reports and comments on others' reports. I've had an exceedingly busy summer at work and was working very long hours. So, although I did an average of a walk per fortnight, I didn't take the time to write up the reports (I believe I'm about 11 behind) or even visit the WH web-site very much. :(

However, I'm going to write up the last report first, not least because I promised PeterR and 2manyYorkies (who I met on the summit) that I would post their photos. (Basscadet and LeithySuburbs, I've also got the Beinn Bhan report to do with your photos - I have not forgotten!) It will take me some time to catch up, so please be patient with me.

This past weekend I decided to pay a return visit to Beinn Damh and do the whole ridge still hoping to be back at the car before dark. Well, on the way over the Bealach na Ba in the dark I hit a rock which had rolled down off Sgurr a'Chaorachain onto the middle of the road. I didn't think I had any major problems but took a detour to Lochcarron Garage as a warning light did come on. This took 1.5 hours out of my day so knew when I got to the start of the walk that I probably wouldn't fit in the west tops.

The start of the walk was pretty mundane as the cloud was down and I couldn't see the summit or even the lower tops of the hill. However, once I got up the path (which seems more eroded than my last visit) to the bealach things started to brighten up and I had high hopes of a clear summit. I also saw two tiny figures on the path below.

As I made my way towards the summit the cloud lifted a bit but by the time I got there the visibility as pretty limited. However, now and again a bit of sun broke through and I was running around the summit looking for any views when two spectres appeared out of the mist. I knew they were coming as I had been hearing voices for a while (so to speak). Well, it turned out to be PeteR and 2ManyYorkies (Jonathan) from this site! They told me the WH meet was in Torridon so probably more WHers around too. Great to meet you guys!

We had a bit of a chat and all decided it wasn't the place for stopping so they headed down ahead of me. Just a couple of hundred metres from the top I saw the clouds separating and all the mist pored into the corries below Beinn Damh - absolutely clear and full sun on the south/west side. This happened almost instantaneously and was quite magical to behold. Of course, the conditions now were perfect for witnessing a Brocken Spectre. I could see Pete and Jonathan down below and they were walking with heads down along the narrow(ish) ridge so I started hollering like a mad woman in case they missed the show. Sometimes these phenomena don't last long at all so I was worried they might miss it. No fear of that as it went on and on and changed from being very distant to appearing fairly close.

After spending an age watching the BS I moved on to the bealach and stopped for lunch. I could see Pete and Jonathan climbing up to the subsidiary top and they seemed to spend ages up there too. What a wonderful place to be!

I just retraced my steps following the helpful little cairns through the boulderfield and noticed the wonderful rays forming over Loch Damh to my left.

I packed my camera away and with a whoosh a ptarmigan flew over my head swiftly followed by an eagle. What a missed opportunity! Oh well! Anyway, the ptarmigan got away - it wouldn't have been so lucky had it not gotten airborne. The last time I was up here I saw the remains of a ptarmigan not long abandoned. At the time I was wondering if it was a fox - now I know it probably wasn't. I kept seeing the eagle but never when I had the camera out. However, when I got home and looked at all the photos I realized I'd capture an image of it after all - see below.

Just as I rounded the corner to the next bealach I saw a partial rainbow with its shadow over Upper Loch Torridon. This too lasted for ages but I assumed it was bringing rain with it. Well, it never hit me and the weather continued to provide a show all the way down until the last few hundred metres when a steady drizzle started.

An amazing day of spectres on Beinn Damh!

Here are the photos:

Torridon village and Liathach from just above the tree-line.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Beinn Alligin clears up.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-3 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Beinn Alligin and Liathach.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-4 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

From the bealach - Loch Damh, Loch Coultrie and Loch Kishorn.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-5 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Looking back down to the bealach and the north-west end of the hill is almost clear.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-6 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

There are good paths on this hill (for a Corbett!)
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-7 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

The two spectres, oops, I mean, gentlemen I met on the top. (Pete and Jonathan)
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-8 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Guarding the cairn - in the mist!
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-9 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

On the descent things are decidedly looking up. You can see Pete's red jacket, down and left of centre.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-10 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

The guys taking in the view.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-11 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

One of the wonders of nature. At least I'm full of wonder when I see one.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-12 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

And one more.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-13 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

The guys on the ridge.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-14 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

The east slope of Tholl nam Biast with the Achnashellach hills behind Loch an Eoin.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-16 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Crossing the boulderfield (well marked) with Lich Damh below and Beinn Bhan in the distance.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-17 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Wider view taking in the two Corbetts of Sgurr Dubh and Sgorr nan Lochain Uaine. Beinn na h-Eaglaise is on the left in the mid-distance.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-18 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

I saw an eagle a few times - see above - but did not think I got a photo of it. However, there it is centre top - you may need to click to enlarge as it's kind of tiny!
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-19 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Rays over Loch Damh.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-27 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Rainbow over Upper Loch Torridon.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-20 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

The rainbow was the result of a very isolated shower and Beinn Damh remained dry.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-21 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-23 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Torridon Village from the descent.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-24 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

Getting cloudy again and the drizzle started a bit further down when I got to the wood.
ImageBeinn Damh 2015.11.07-25 by Annie MacDonald, on Flickr

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Location: Applecross
Activity: Mountaineer
Mountain: Beinn Bhan
Place: Applecross
Gear: Walking Poles
Ambition: To climb An Teallach

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