I was out with the Moray Mountaineering club at the Jacobite Club hut at Invercroft near Achnasheen. There were only 4 members out we did our COVID checks. It’s a grand bothy situated just of the road and has a gangway to the hut across the flood plane we were glad we had that as the river was in spate and the ground flooded. We had a day out and arrived back pretty wet and soon had a good fire on. It was an early night I slept downstairs to ensure I did not wake the others with my coughing. To be honest I had a poor nights sleep but we were all up early to make the best of the short daylight. It was a short drive to Achnasheen and very wet. There were no other cars parked the weather forecast was putting folk off.
The path to Fionn Bheinn is well signed but the ground was so wet rarely have I seen the mud and wetness. Sadly as we started up the hill we found a dead snipe on the path. What a sad start to the day and it was a beautiful bird.
Fionn Bheinn to those who do not know it classed as a boring hill. Yet to me having done it from many angles it not . In winter many ski it and there is winter climbing on the back corrie. I have seen this Corrie often and the cliffs are interesting.
There are some routes on it now. The views on a good day are stupendous a 360 degree panorama of Scotland’s great hills. It is a slog as much of it is bog higher up and you have to pick a line through it. So to me this is the way you should in my mind judge a hill. I had a great day many years ago from the Fannichs and the views of hidden back Corrie’s and the views of so many hills are spectacular. The snow hard going from about 600 metres with slush and wet ground making the walking hard going. I was with Maggie who was loving the day doing some navigation and like me stopping as we were hit by the spindrift blowing across the hill. I fell in a hidden hole in the Peat hags covered in snow right up to my knee. Maggie had to help me out and it hurt. Maggie took breaking the snow now thigh deep and I took some painkillers. We had a break and pushed on, the Spindrift on the ridge was spiralling up the winds were a lot higher there. At 800 metres I said I would struggle going on, Maggie was great so we turned round and set off down.
I took it easy but my knee was very sore each step had to be carefully placed. There were signs of avalanches on the steeper slopes with the ground wet below the snow and the wind drifting. I am sure there will be some trouble on the hill on the big cliffs.
I was glad to get down Maggie was patient as I had stomach cramps as well. Not my day we made it too the car still no one else there but saw a majestic stag cross the swollen river. That was stunning. I had decided to go back home so we went back to the bothy changed and waited for Alaister and his hill partner to come of. They were on a great Corbett near Coulags and had a superb day on one of the best Corbett’s in Scotland An Ruadh-stac.
It was an easy drive home but I was feeling exhausted and glad to have a bath and recover. Yet despite the weather the injury it was so good to be out. The hills were looking great despite the rain and heavy snow winter is here now. There is a lot more snow about than you think so be careful.
Todays tips – I had to change gloves twice snow very wet !
Flask with hot Tea was great
Check weather and avalanche reports.
Thanks to Maggie Alister and Dan and the Jacobite club for the use of the hut sorry we missed Addele we mat on the