Flying up (and down) Fionn Bheinn

Route: Fionn Bheinn, Achnasheen

Munros: Fionn Bheinn

Date walked: 17/11/2019

Time taken: 3.15 hours

Distance: 9.17km

Ascent: 783m

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The weather forecast suggested our visit to Fionn Bheinn would very likely be accompanied by some precipitation, and rain on the van roof overnight supported that. This was our last hill of the weekend, after which we planned to drive as far south towards home as possible, so wanted to be finished by early afternoon. We worked on the assumption that we would get up and down in four hours, so set off in light drizzle at just after 08.30.

It didn’t feel as cold as the previous two mornings and many of the boggy areas we hoped may have been frozen had thawed. We followed the track to the east of the allt until the flatter ground before heading north toward our objective, which was shrouded in mist. Once we reached the lower slopes we lost sight of any track, and so just headed straight up towards the col. The snow was soft enough to not require crampons, each step settling in about ankle deep. For once I was glad to be following in Neil’s footsteps - quite literally - as it meant I didn’t have to work quite so hard. There was no view all the way, so it was a pleasant surprise to reach the cold, although having worked up a bit of a sweat on the climb we didn’t hang around and headed west for the summit. Arriving at the trig just under two hours after departing, there was no views and no shelter so we agreed to head straight back down before taking on any food.

Fionn Bheinn2.jpg
Fionn Bheinn

Heading back to the col in a number of places our footprints had been filled in with blown snow in only a few minutes - good job we weren’t depending on them to find the way. From the col the initial descent was super fast with the snow promising a firm base for each downward step and we flew down, probably faster than we might have done in good weather if we had to watch for rocks or any other irregularities that might twist an ankle.

As the ground levelled we stopped for coffee and sandwiches for about ten minutes, before continuing down.
By now my feet were quite damp - I think three days of my boots being immersed in snow had saturated the leather. So I trudged through all the wet bits without trying to walk round them, which again meant we made good time.
We arrived back at the van at quarter to twelve giving a round trip time of three hours fifteen. This was a bonus as we now had the option to drive home the same day (only 8.5 hours), which whilst tiring for the driver meant I could work on Monday and save that day’s planned leave for another trip :D

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