WH Spring Meet: Who let the dogs out?

Corbetts: Beinn Bhan

Date walked: 06/04/2019

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 25km

Ascent: 1032m

The time has come. Walkhighlands Spring Meet in Applecross! I was both excited and scared: it was going to be my debut as Quizmaster (or should I say Quizmistress?). Therefore, a few necessary arrangements have been made and precautions taken, including:
* no bison vodka on Saturday (after all, a drunk Quizmaster is no fun)
* a quick lesson in origami (to make paper crowns for the winners)
* another quick lesson in Gaelic (still managed to mispronounce half of the mountain names)
* a hopeless effort to invent political question not involving Brexit
I could only hope that my debut would not be a total disaster :wink:
But first and foremost, we prepared for camping. Our old tent was still usable, but Kevin mentioned he wanted to buy a new one. In the end, I'm glad he didn't hurry with this decision. Trying to work out how to put together a new tent for the first time in the dark - ha ha ha, that would be no fun at all!
Because Kevin worked on Friday, we could only kick ourselves that we missed a lovely, sunny day. As we drove over Bealach na Ba, we enjoyed a superb sunset, but by the time we reached the hostel, it was pitch dark. With added pressure to the word "pitch" :lol: :lol: :lol:
At least we knew how to assemble the tent, but running around with torches, trying to place the pegs was a strange experience :shock:
I must say, the Hartfield House hostel in Applecross is a lovely place. A long drive for everyone, even for us from Beauly, it took 2 hours, but well worth the time spent on bumpy roads. Great choice of venue, Malcolm :clap: :clap:

A large group of Walkhighlanders was going to attempt Beinn Bhan on Saturday, so we happily joined in. We had done this hill before but it didn't matter, we still knew it would be a good day. Unless mother nature found out about WH Meet and sent heavy rain (as she always does when WH meets happen).
Instead of climbing Beinn Bhan by traditional route from Loch Kishorn, an idea was hatched (David was the author of this plan, as far as I'm aware) to approach the Corbett straight from the hostel, via Strath Maolchaluim and up the long NW ridge. A walk looking straightforward on the map, proved quite long but not difficult underfoot. Some boggy walking on wet ATV tracks, a few boulders to hop over, some snow on the ridge. Overall, a grand day out :D
We started in a group of 17, 12 made it to the summit (plus two dogs), the full walk took 8.5 hours.

Track_BEINN BHAN 06-04-19.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Of course, when we left the hostel, it was raining. Why??? Because it was WH Meet!!!
The track up Strath Maolchaluim offered easy walking to begin with. After a few km, we reached a footbridge over the river. Hard to say what is this river called at this spot, lower down in the glen it is simply River Applecross, but higher up it divides into several smaller streams with Gaelic names impossible to spell even for me (and they say Polish is one of the most difficult languages in the world! :lol: ). The plan was to cross here, then ford another stream and pick a wet ATV track, heading up the NW shoulder of Beinn Bhan. Simples :D
The happy group after crossing the bridge:
We were all well prepared for cold, rain and wind, even the dogs :wink:
Thankfully, despite the recent rain, water level in streams was relatively low:
Soon we spied the track. Of course, it had to be squelchy!
As we climbed the first 200m, the rain stopped and as a result, cameras came out...
...and so did happy grins. Weather might not have been perfect, but it's always fun to be out walking with other Walkhighlanders!
Looking back to Beinn a'Chlachain, the only Applecross Graham:
The track, in some kind of form, can be followed about half way up the slope leading to the ridge, later it vanishes, but the ground is not too bad higher up. At some point, it was time for a snack break...
...but soon we were up and on our way again. David, Lynn and Gary leading the way:
A part of the happy group on the stonier ground close to the first top (710m). Apologies for not telling who is who in every picture, but it was hard to guess with everybody wearing waterproofs. Anyway, you all know who you are :wink:
Another photo break:
The first top on the ridge, the 710m one, has no name, but it is topped with a large cairn, so some people took the opportunity to pose for a cairn picture "just in case we don't get to the summit" :lol: :lol:
And I could understand their logic, because the true summit still looked very, very far... and very, very cloudy...
From this point, twelve brave souls decided to continue to the summit of Beinn Bhan. As we left the northern top behind, weather slowly started to improve:
We were now close to the edge of the famous Applecross cliffs and I must admit, they look so much more impressive with snow on them!
Panoramic version:
Stopping so close to the big drops, we couldn't miss the opportunity for a good photo session...
...but some activities proved, that walkhighlanders are no angels :lol: :lol:

By the way, just looking down that cliff might make you feel dizzy :shock:
We were now heading for the second top (790m) and the summit wasn't even in sight!
...but as we passed Loch na Beinne Baine, the true top of the Corbett eventually revealed itself, on the faaar horizon :lol:
We knew now, that we would make it to the top, even if it required more walking on snow and wet ground...
...but who would resist stopping once again to admire the mighty cliffs?

Looking back to the middle top:
And a panoramic shot:
The final 80 or so meters of ascent and here it was, the summit of Beinn Bhan:
Panoramic snap of Coire na Poite:
Panther in a dangerous pose close to the overhangs :roll:
But to my excuse, I wasn't the only person exhibiting odd behaviours...
Kevin and Lucy on the summit. For us this one was a repeat, she ticked her 87th Corbett!
We spent some time on the summit, surprised by good views (we were lucky that the clag lifted as we approached the top). Dozens of pictures were taken, many laughs and jokes exchanged, hopefully a few new friendships were born... But eventually, it was time to head back down. I was especially eager to get back to the hostel quickly, to have time for a nice hot shower. A stinking Quizmaster is no fun at all! :lol: :lol:
The happy group heading down, now with one more Corbett in the bag!
The return route was the same as for the ascent, with exactly the same impressive cliffs to our right:
...and Black Panther was as mad as she always is when up on the hills. Indeed, that day I was holding back a little, so my full meowing abilities were not displayed :lol: :lol: :lol:
After a long, slippery descent on the wet ATV track, the tired Walkhighlanders took a short break resting on the bridge...
...before following the better track tn the glen back to the hostel. A long-ish day but a grand one :D Many thanks to everyone in our Beinn Bhan group for company :D

The evening do brought some more meowing from yours truly (though dogging stole the show :wink: ). I hope that our quiz didn't disappoint, we did our best. Apologies if I sounded a bit frustrated from time to time, my throat was really sore towards the end, but still a positive experience. Can't wait till the next meet, and hope to see you all again (and climb another hill).

Bring on Ratagan!

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User avatar
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire
Interests: Hillwalking, cycling, jogging, mushroom picking and many other outdoor activities, meowing on mountain summits included :P
Activity: Mountain Walker
Mountain: Beinn Eighe
Place: Isle of Skye
Gear: well... my husband ;)))
Camera: FujiFilm Finepix HS10
Ideal day out: Anything - from beach strolls to scrambling up icy slopes. Just bring it on!
Ambition: Tick off all Munros...

Munros: 248
Corbetts: 154
Grahams: 109
Sub 2000: 40
Long Distance routes: Dava Way    Moray Coastal Trail   

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Last visited: Apr 18, 2019
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