Hills: Farragon Hill and Meall Tairneachan
Date: Sunday 4th April 2010
Company: Myself and Beinn
Time: 5Hrs 20Mins
I set off at 09:00 this morning up the road leading to Foss Mine with the intention of ascending Farragon Hill, having already ascended Meall Tairneachan back in January 2009.
Start of track to Foss Mine (from B846):
I made quite fast progress up the good track. On reaching the end of the forest I went to check my map. $h1t! - it was still sitting on the seat of my car. Having ascended more than 200m, I really didn't fancy going back for it and so opted to continue on.
Looking back towards Beinn a Chuallaich:
On the track towards Foss Mine:
As I approached the high point of the track, visibility began to deteriorate and I was regretting not having a map. I didn't want to end up lost in the mist so got out my GPS and began marking the occasional waypoint.
Nearing the track high point in low cloud:
The track passes only 50m below the summit of Meall Tairneachan. As Meall Tairneachan was shrouded in low cloud, and having ascended it previously, I continued to follow the track downhill towards Foss Mine.
Looking down to Foss Mine:
Was quite surprised to find people working at the mine on Easter Sunday.
Without having the map, I mistook Creag an Loch for Farragon hill. I ascended too easily to the summit of Creag an Loch - this got me thinking 1) where are the crags mentioned in the SMC book and 2) why is the height nearly 50m lower than it should be. Doh, wrong hill!
Creag an Loch:
Looking back to Opencast Mine:
I spent ten minutes or so at the top of Creag an Loch hoping for the low cloud to lift. It did.
Couldn't believe however how far off Farragon hill was.
Farragon Hill from top of Creag an Loch:
I didn't like the look of the drop off of Creag an Loch towards Farragon hill and so reversed my ascent back to the track at Foss Mine. I then correctly followed the track round the North side of Creag an Loch. On seeing the crags of Creag an Loch, I was glad I didn't try a direct descent.
Creag an Loch (craggy side):
After leaving the track, I continued on across snow-covered hags towards Farragon hill.
The ascent of Farragon hill was quite straight-forward.
Looking back to Creag an Loch and Meall Tairneachan:
Beinn at summit of Farragon Hill:
At the top, I marked the grid reference into my GPS to confirm, on looking at the map in the car, that it was the actual summit.
Lochan a' Chait:
I returned via the same route until reaching Foss Mine, where I stopped for a short break.
Descent off of Farragon Hill:
Looking back to Farragon Hill:
Meall Tairneachan and Foss Mine:
I then ascended back to the high point of the track just below the summit of Meall Tairneachan. As Beinn hadn't been up this hill previously, we nipped up and back down in not much more than 10 minutes.
Beinn at summit of Meall Tairneachan:
Once back on the track we descended easily and quickly back to the starting point.