Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Fionn Bheinn and Inverlael, May'15

Richard was leading a group into remote Fisherfield, but due to the unseasonable low temperatures, we changed plans and headed for the Fionn Bheinn and the Inverlael Munros instead. Here's his account of the weekend....

After a forced change to the programmed trip into the Fisherfield due to a large amount of snow and some very cold windy weather coming in I met up with the group in Achnasheen on a sunny afternoon to walk up Fhionn Bheinn. It was a lovely warm climb as we discussed the new plans on the way up the boggy lower slopes. It didn't take us long to reach the snow and we made our way more slowly up to the ridge and into the very very cold wind. The views were great with snowy summits in all directions as well as some icier patches on the way to the summit. We didn't hang about and were soon back at the car park with our plans for an early start the following day to make for the Beinn Dearg hills from Inverlael.

We met at the large car-park at Inverlael forest entrance. It was a fantastic start to the day and the sunshine was out with a cool breeze making for the perfect walk in along Gleann Sguaib which was very wintery as we reached the upper corrie beneath the beallach. There were a few other walkers out and some helpfully broken tracks through the snow in places. It was very cold at the pass and more layers were put on for what remained of the day. It got quite windy at times and it was Baltic. 

We made our way directly up Conna Mheall first and were pleasantly surprised to find it calm on the summit as the wind was bouncing over the ridge as it hit the steep east face. A bite to eat and we set off for Beinn Dearg where we caught up a very large group of walkers so headed past them to enjoy the summit views in increasing winds and lovely sunshine. 

The deep snow made for a quick return to the beallach and we were soon working our way up the beautiful Meall nan Ceapraichean in lots of snow and met several Ptarmigan along the way seeking shelter from the cold wind. Eventually we found some relative shelter from the wind and topped up the fuel tank with food and drink. The weather was due to come in from the east later in the day and we could see the clouds building. It took us no time at all to reach our last summit Eididh nan Clach Geala though legs were beginning to tire towards the summit.

On our way down we encountered a large herd of red deer avoiding the cold winds and soon we too were enjoying much warmer milder walking as we picked up the path back to Inverlael. A fabulous day and lovely snow conditions. Forecast for tomorrow however wasn't looking promising !

The last day and we met up as planned near Loch Glascarnoch as planned. Before we could get ready the cars began to rock in the wind and soon strong gales and driving sleet were all around us with no end in sight and we decided to head for home and abandon the day having enjoyed such a good day on Beinn Dearg yesterday. It would have been a desperate day to be up high with huge waves on the loch not to mention the rivers!