Monday, 21 February 2011

Fionn Bheinn - Getting The Legs Warmed Up

Fionn Bheinn is perhaps one of the least inspiring of the Munros but it will do for today, a warm up to get the legs used to exercise and get a feel for the amount of snow cover on the hills. Having had a good weekend in Aberdeen avoiding the horrible  weather forecast on the mountains and catching up with an old friend I'm in the mood to get out on the hills. I left Aberdeen at eight this morning and by the time I arrived at Achnasheen the base for the week a quick up and down is in order.

This is not Fionn Bheinn
The route itself is a grassy slog up out of the village, cloud and haze block out most of the view as I climb higher. There is no path but it is easy just to handrail the stream that spills down the flanks of the mountain. The going looks boggy but the turf is still slightly frozen making the going a bit easier.

The snowline is at about 650 to 700m but it is soft and my feet sink in making the ascent a bit of a plod. I had thought about bringing my skis as from the map Fionn Bheinn looks a good peak for a ski decent which would certainly liven up what is quite a boring hill . I am glad I didn't though as there really is not enough cover to justify lugging the weight all the way up for a couple of hundred meters of ski run. That said if the cover was there it would make a fine run al the way to the valley.

 Bit of a grey day all round, looking towards Sgurr a Choire-rainich

Just before the summit I reach the main ridge which drops steeply down into the northern coire of the mountain. There is a bit of a cornice and the north facing slopes appear to have held on to the snow much better which is promising as most of the gully's I'm thinking of trying during the week all face north.

On a clear day I think the view from up here may be quite spectacular. I get brief hints of the main Fannichs massif to the north rising above the loch of the same name. There are routes I want to do there including a classic grade III called "The Resurrection" but that's for another trip. I turn from the rimed up trig point and make my way back down off the hill.

Tomorrow the plan is to walk round the back of Beinn Eighe, climb Morrison's Gully on to Sail Mor and traverse round onto Spidean Coire nan Clach. Lets see what the morning brings. 

The road down to Kinlochewe, fantastic drive.

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