Hill: Glas Bheinn
Date: Friday 21st March 2014
Company: Just myself
Distance: 14.1km, Ascent: 815m
Time: 4Hrs 45Mins


The weather forecast for today was fairly awful, the actual weather was the same. I set off from home around 6.30 to arrive at the start of the walk by 10.00. I parked at the Eas Chia-aig car park.

In the car park, I noticed a Forestry Commission sign advising that 'the track was closed' due to the reason 'the track was closed'. I chose to ignore the sign as there was no sign of any other vehicles and given the horrible weather, felling was unlikely.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Eas Chia-aig is a fantastic road-side waterfall. Definitely worth seeing when the Abhainn Chia-aig is in spate.

Eas Chia-aig:


From the waterfall, I started my ascent of the track next to the waterfall. Within a matter of minutes, I encountered the first of numerous obstacles. Today turned out to be as tough as an army assault course.

Start of the obstacle course:


After negotiating a number of trees that were blocking the track, I then had to walk on top of several hundred metres of slippery wet branches.

Wonderful terrain:


Wonderful terrain:


Beyond the mess resulting from recent felling, I encountered a new track running alongside the Abhainn Chia-aig.

Onto a new track:


At first I found the track quite useful, but was soon upset at the destruction the Forestry Commission have caused bulldozing a complete mess of a track through this glen. The track is completely over-sized, in places at least 10m across. The verge at the side has also been scraped away making the mess possibly as wide as 15m in places.

The track at Ledgowan (Achnasheen) has received much bad publicity. This track is just as bad, albeit it is not so visible from the road.

Over-sized track:


Bulldozed mess:


The new track did make for fast progress however it was much nicer to get onto the old track.

Old track:


As the Abhainn Chia-aig was in spate, I was hoping that the bridge marked on the map was still there. Thankfully it was, but I had to climb over a six-foot deer fence to get to it. Not sure why there isn't a stile over the deer fence at the bridge!

Bridge over the Abhainn Chia-aig:


After crossing the bridge over the Abhainn Chia-aig, I had to cross the Allt Tarsuinn. No bridge for that crossing, just icy rocks.

Looking back at crossing of the Allt Tarsuinn:


Beyond the crossing of the Allt Tarsuinn, the snow was dingin' doon and visibility was very poor. Wet grass under fresh soft snow made the ground very slippery.

Looking towards Glas Bheinn:


Deer:


The most enjoyable part of the day was the ascent of Glas Bheinn. I was quite surprised to be walking up through 2-3 inches of fresh snow as only five days previous I ascended two Munros with less snow. I stopped a few times during the ascent to get the camera out of the rucksack to take a photo.

Looking back to the Abhainn Chia-aig during ascent of Glas Bheinn:


Ascent of Glas Bheinn:


Ascent of Glas Bheinn:


Looking back:


A glimpse of Loch Lochy:


Ascent of Glas Bheinn:


As well as heavy snow, hail and poor visibility, it was also quite windy up top. I could make out sizeable cornices to my left, which I stayed well clear of.

Poor visibility - cornices to left:


I didn't stop at the summit today, instead I continued on to descend towards Loch Arkaig.

Summit of Glas Bheinn:


The descent was really cold, walking directly into the strong wind.

Selfie:


I eventually picked up a vehicle track which was very wet underfoot.

Descent towards Loch Arkaig:


Looking back to Glas Bheinn:


Descent to Loch Arkaig:


It was a relief to reach the road and walk back circa 2.5km along the road to the car. Loch Arkaig is one of my favourite lochs and I also really like the Loch Arkaig road - it is an 'interesting' drive.

Loch Arkaig:


Not the most enjoyable day out but good to get out and up a hill.