3rd November 2012.
I awoke to the usual club meet hangover early on Saturday morning but any tendency to malinger was banished by the stunning morning outside the hut.
Folk were heading off in various directions but Jules and I had already arranged to go to An Ruadh-stac whilst we were still relatively sober the previous evening.This seems to save a lot of time in the mornings :) Richard blagged a lift off us on his way to bag some exotic new square for Geograph along with a couple of esoteric tops to the east of Moruisg.We dropped him off at the end of Loch Sgamhain and then a few miles down the road we spotted our old mucker Alistair booting up in the car park at Achnashellach.We pulled over for a quick gab as we hadn`t seen him since his last Munro party the previous year.
Parked at the usual place at Coulags before heading off up the river and were soon approaching the bothy at Coire Fionnaraich.
It didn`t seem like 11 years since we last stayed there during the Grand New Year Bothy Tour of 2001
We`d started off in Invermallie where we shared the bothy with the Lochaber Mountain Rescue team on their annual piss up.This seemed to set the tone for the next week
Sleep was at a premium as the bagpiper managed to stay up all night !
From Invermallie we drove up to Coulags and into Coire Fionnaraich for the next night,some of the party taking a detour via this ditch on the way
This was on the main Inverness to Kyle road which was pretty treacherous to say the least.If my memory serves me correctly from there we went to Suileag,which was freezing as usual,then Glendhu,followed by a horrendous walk round the loch in waist deep snow drifts to land at Glencoul bothy for New Years Eve.Needless to say we had the place to ourselves .Amazingly the temperature rocketed overnight and the snow had more or less gone leaving us to squelch out along the southern shore of the Loch Glencoul back to Kylestrome the next morning.
Anyway,back to the present.We wended our way up the path to the col pausing briefly to talk to a local woman from Dornie who had turned back after having been put off by the sight of An Ruadh-stac on reaching the col.It did present an impressive frontage.
Traversing past the lochans after the col…
Beinn Damh from the lochan.
Maol Chean-dearg on the way up.
Despite it`s imposing prescence the face didn`t present any difficulties and we were able to make a more or less direct route up.Not that Jules would have turned back anyway as this was his third attempt as his missus had balked on both previous ocassions.
The eastern corrie of Beinn Damh.
Some pics from the summit.
Close up of the ridge on Liathach.
Looking over the gullies on Sgurr na Feartaig to the hills south of Achnashellach.
Myself with the Torridon hills behind.
Time was getting on though and after something to eat we headed off on a southerly direction leaving the remains of our sandwiches for the ravens that had been present for the last hour.It was pretty hard going down boulder slopes with snow covering the gaps between the rocks.Jules shouted over to me and pointed across my shoulder and on looking round there was a golden eagle flying past about 20 metres away Of course Sods Law dictated that my camera had been put away for the day and by the time I whipped it out it was a lot further away.For what it`s worth here`s a grainy eagle shot….
We saw him/her sneaking back for the remnants of our sandwiches
The least said about the route down to Cnoc na h-atha the better but after that it was straightforward down to the car.Went along to the Strathcarron Hotel and treated ourselves to a few pints before heading back up the road to Inver Croft