Tuesday 7 May 2013

Tom a'Choinich and Toll Creagach.

Rafe - Gleann nam Fiadh 

We set off with high hopes, following an excellent weather forecast. The mist around the tops rapidly dispersing as we ascended, as predicted by the experts.

Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh 

Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh 

A 3km walk in, along Gleann nam Fiadh, through Caledonian pinewoods and past waterfalls, swollen by recent snow melt passed the time quickly.

Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh 

Gleann nam Fiadh from beside Allt Toll Easa

Creag na h-inghinn on Tom a'Choinich

Rafe - Ascent of Creag na h-inghinn on Tom a'Choinich

We crossed the Allt Toll Easa without any difficulty and proceeded up the zig zags to the start of the "ridge" up Creag na h'inghinn, the south east ridge of our first Munro, Tom a'Choinich.

Looking down Creag na h-inghinn on Tom a'Choinich

Looking back to Creag na h-inghinn, Tom a'Choinich

We chased the last of the mist up the slopes, but never managed to catch it, and as the views expanded the sun came out and lit up the snow.

Cornice on Tom a'Choinich

Rafe was ordered away from the rather precarious looking cornice.

Rafe looks south from Tom a'Choinich

South of Tom a'Choinich

Cornice on Tom a'Choinich

Soth west from Tom a'Choinich

A golden eagle soared over across the hill, just to the south of us, wheeling around and down into the glen.

Rafe and Jim - Summit plateau, Tom a'Choinich

What a glorious day. The summit plateau of Tom a'Choinich gave us 360 degree views of snowy summits and blue skies all around.

Views north from Tom a'Choinich, Loch Mullardoch

Tom a'Choinich from descent to Bealach Toll Easa

We descended into Bealach Toll Easa via the only hairy moves of the day, and this only due to a bit of unavoidable snow on the steep and somewhat exposed path just below the summit.

Bealach Toll Easa to Loch Affric

Bealach Toll Easa lunchtime views - Loch Mullardoch

We had lunch just west of the bealach with views to the north over Loch Mullardoch and the mountains beyond.

Tom a'Choinich from ascent of Toll Creagach

Toll Creagach from the West Top

It was a bit of a trudge up to our second Munro of the day, a grassy bank with a Munro Top along the way and a wide expansive summit plateau.

Tom a'Choinich from Toll Creagach

Views south west from Toll Creagach

The views opened up again - with Ben Nevis out of the clouds to the south, with many, many hills in between.

Toll Creagach summit

Descent south fromToll Creagach

We dropped off the plateau, down the southern slopes on pathless terrain, seeming to lose height quickly, but it was quite a time before we reached Gleann nam Fiadh.

Descent to Gleann nam Fiadh 

Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh 

We passed the waterfalls and the woods again, but this time sunlit, back to the start. We finished off the day with coffee and a cake at the Bog Cotton Cafe at the campsite.

Tom a'Choinich

Route:  Car park by Chisholm Bridge by Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin (NH215242), follow Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh along its glen, cross Allt Toll Easa before turning NE and following the path upstream. Creag na h-inghinn, Tom a Choinnich (Munro 41, 1112m), Bealach Toll Easa, Toll Creagach West Top (Munro Top 155, 951m), Toll Creagach (Munro 77, 1054m), south to Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh path and return to start.

Tom a'Choinich from Gleann nam Fiadh 

Statistics:  Distance: 17km  Ascent: 1100m  Time: 6hrs30mins

Tom a'Choinich from Gleann nam Fiadh 

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