Hills: Fionn Bheinn and Meall a'Chaorainn
Date: Friday 30th September 2011
Company: Myself and Beinn
Time: 3 Hrs 50 Mins
Dog friendly: Yes

It was a lovely day today in the North-East. I therefore headed West, with some reluctance, hoping that I could summit a couple of hills before meeting the weather-front coming in from the West.

I fancied doing a second-round Munro and a new hill - Fionn Bheinn and Meall a’Chaorainn therefore fitted the requirement perfectly. I last ascended Fionn Bheinn on 3rd June 1998.

I’ve had a stinking cold for the past few days so the ascent today was a bit of a miserable one undertaken with many a cough and a splutter .

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I followed a path on the East-bank of the Allt Achadh na Sine to a height of circa 500m.

Ascent alongside the Allt Achadh na Sine:

Ascent alongside the Allt Achadh na Sine:

Looking back towards Achnasheen:

Looking back towards Achnasheen:

Allt Achadh na Sine:

When the gradient started to ease-off, I left the path and made my way directly towards Fionn Bheinn.

Fionn Bheinn:

Strathconon hills:

As I made my way up Fionn Bheinn, on looking back I spotted a group of stalkers walking towards the peat hags below. I looked back quite frequently to check out where they were heading. They stopped at the hags and were checking out Meall a’Chaorainn. Great! – would I still be able to ascend Meall a’Chaorainn without getting into a debate?


I continued on up Fionn Bheinn and eventually lost sight of the stalkers.


Looking across to Meall a’Chaorainn:

Looking towards Achnashellach hills:

Beinn took the opportunity to cool down a bit on the way up.

Cooling down:

Torridon hills:

Big sky and distant hills:

I was impressed with the views from the summit. My previous ascent was a long time ago and I couldn’t recall having had such good views on this hill previously.

Approaching the summit trig point:

View from summit:

View from summit:

Beinn at the summit (Loch Fannich in background):

After a quick drink at the summit, and a few photos, we made our way back roughly the same way towards the col between Fionn Bheinn and Meall a’Chaorainn.

I headed back the same way hoping to catch sight of the stalkers to see where they were. I couldn’t see them.
Decision time – I decided to go for Meall a’Chaorainn. I avoided most of the peat hags between the hills.

Heading for Meall a’Chaorainn:

As I ascended Meall a’Chaorainn, I could hear and then see a group of deer on the slopes of Fionn Bheinn.

Deer on slopes of Fionn Bheinn:

Ascending Meall a’Chaorainn:

Extensive hags between Fionn Bheinn and Meall a’Chaorainn:

Ascending Meall a’Chaorainn:

On reaching the summit of Meall a’Chaorainn I could see that the rain wasn’t that far away. It looked like it was already raining in Torridon.

Beinn at the summit cairn of Meall a’Chaorainn:

As I made my way down the hill I heard a really loud firing sound followed by a fshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Hearing what I thought to be the sound of a bullet going through the air, I wondered if they had taken a shot at (or near) us.
The film First Blood come to mind and I was John J. Should I cover my face in peat and hunt them?
No sod that for a game of soldiers, it was time to get our asses out of there .

We quickly headed across Aonach Dubh and then towards the Allt Achadh na Sine an down to Achnasheen. Thankfully we got off the hill no problem

I really HATE stalking season.
Why were there no signs at the start of the trade-route up Fionn Bheinn advising of stalking?