Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Friday 10 April 2009 - A Fine Mountain Day - Beinn Liath Mhor

A one-legged man attempts the wrong gate in Coire Lair

The rain had eased by the time Pam and Paul turned up for today's escapade with Andrew, Sue and me.

Bagger Martin set off independently - desperately seeking Graham, or was it Marilyn? Or both?

Ken and Anne chose a coastal day, hoping to see interesting birds, etc. Anne had spotted a golden eagle at Attadale on Wednesday. (It proved to be both challenging and wet.)

Meanwhile Max nursed his arthritic ankle, perhaps feeling a little queasy after having washed down the other cottage's meringue mountain with sloshings of red wine.

The five of us parked up by the main road at Achnashellach and headed along the familiar (to me) path into Coire Lair. Fragrant pink alpine flowers (below) adorned grassy banks by the railway station. Lots more flowers are coming into bud and flower, and a brilliantly blood red rhododendron is flowering just by the station.

Lousewort, by Achnashellach Station

I'd been here three weeks ago on my last trip to these parts. Although that week's weather had been generally better, the nearby mountains had been in cloud on that visit. Today they were clear, and the weather was due to improve.

Ascending into Coire Lair, with Beinn Liath Mhor ahead

We wisely took our chance and headed straight up to the ridge of Beinn Liath Mhor, with our obligatory 11 am tea and CCS stop, and a southerly wind just about behind us. Views were extensive, and as we approached the first 876 metre summit the peaks of Torridon came into view, together with those of the Fisherfield Forest and An Teallach.

On the way we had been discussing walking poles.
"I dry mine out after every trip" observed Sue.
"I've had mine for 15 years and have never even cleaned them" bragged Andrew.

A few minutes later, Andrew appeared looking sheepish, using just one pole. Closer inspection revealed two jagged bits of tube protruding from his rucksack. "I slipped" he offered, as his feeble excuse!

As we strolled along the 2 km ridge to Beinn Liath Mhor's 926 metre summit we saw cloud coming in from the south and west. We hastened to the top, beating the cloud and enjoying lunch with fine views over Upper Loch Torridon and beyond.

The view to Kinlochewe and beyond, with the Fisherfield Forest ahead, and the jagged crest of An Teallach in the distance to the left

Looking back along the ridge


Although two folk in front of us, the only people seen today, headed on up the next peak, any thoughts of continuing to Sgorr Ruadh to bag our second summit of the day were soon dispelled by descending cloud and light rain. So we headed down the fine stalkers path into Coire Lair, past an intact and well concealed SSI (Site of Strategic Importance), and back to the car in showery weather, well satisfied with our 6.5 hour stroll.

Whilst 'the other cottage' visited Kyle for fish 'n chips, our small band finally cracked its food mountain problem with a four course extravaganza.

A final visit to say goodbye to the others revealed a fairly tired band of holiday makers after all this week's fresh air and exercise; early nights were deemed prudent.

So, another little excursion has come to an end. There will now be a brief pause in transmission whilst we clean the cottage, whizz home, and process a few photos in a bid to brighten up this week's postings.

Here's today's route - 15 km with 1130 metres ascent, taking just over six and a half hours, including numerous breaks:



James Boulter said...

Have enjoyed reading your trip reports and am looking forward to seeing the photos. Getting excited as my trip up there starts on Friday.........

Alan Sloman said...

Don't keep going on about the SSI's! It's my life-line!

This will be very confusing to everyone, but all will become clearer in a few weeks time.

Phreerunner said...

Have a great trip James - you certainly won't need axe or crampons unless going very high. We did use them on Aonach Meadhoin, but these mountains were clear of snow up to 950 metres, and further north the Torridon hills looked virtually completely clear.

Phreerunner said...

Photos have now been uploaded - see today's posting. Have a great trip James, if you haven't set off already.