Hill: Binnein Shios
Date: Sunday 23rd March 2014
Company: Just myself
Distance: 24km, Ascent: 545m
Time: 6Hrs 20Mins
After walking in rain, hail and snow on Friday and Saturday, it was great to walk today in sunshine with blue sky overhead. I parked in the large lay-by near Luiblea, which is also used for ascents of Creag Pitridh, Geal Charn and Beinn a'Chlachair and for walking access to Corrour Estate.
An ascent of Binnein Shios is often combined with an ascent of Binnein Shuas. However, it was my intention today to ascend Binnein Shios only. I am considering leaving Binnein Shuas for my final Graham (assuming I ever complete them).
From the lay-by I set off walking along the excellent quality track which skirts round Binnein Shuas and carries on to Lochan na h-Earba (and beyond). I last walked this track in 2004 for ascents of Creag Pitridh, Geal Charn and Beinn a'Chlachair.
River Spean and Binnein Shuas:
The track today was mostly clear of snow which made for much faster progress than the day previous where much time was spent trudging through drifts.
Track leading to Lochan na h-Earba:
On reaching Lochan na h-Earba, I could not take the track next to the loch as it was flooded. Instead I took the higher track. The water was right up to the edge of the higher track.
Higher track round West-end of Lochan na h-Earba:
Looking along Lochan na h-Earba:
Flooded lochside track:
The circa 4km walk alongside Lochan na h-Earba was straight-forward. During the walk along this track the weather changed from sun to snow to sun to snow and back again to sun.
Track alongside Lochan na h-Earba:
On seeing the East-end of Binnein Shuas, I was glad that I was not descending it today. The descent off the East-end would have been 'interesting' given the large drifts of snow above the gullies.
Looking back to Binnein Shuas:
On reaching a track junction, I took a left turn to head for the bridge over the narrow section of Lochan na h-Earba.
The ascent of Binnein Shios was fairly easy. I made my way up towards the end of the line of trees.
Looking back from ascent of lower slopes of Binnein Shios:
Looking towards Binnein Shuas during ascent of Binnein Shios:
Ascending next to the treeline up Binnein Shios:
Once on the ridge, I stopped several times to take photos.
Binnein Shuas and Loch Laggan from Binnein Shios:
Ascending Binnein Shios:
I took the following panoramic photo with my iPhone - not too bad a photo for a phone camera.
Panorama from Binnein Shios (Click on photo to see full-size version):
Lochan na h-Earba from Binnein Shios:
Looking towards East top of Binnein Shios from West top:
The walk from the West top to the East top was the most difficult part of the day owing to several snow drifts.
Looking back to West top:
On reaching the summit, I stopped for my first drink of the day and to put on some sun cream. I then carried on for circa 100m to reach another small bump.
At the summit of Binnein Shios:
East-end of Loch Laggan from circa 100m beyond summit:
I then returned back down to Lochan na h-Earba via exactly the same route by following my inbound footprints.
Looking across to Binnein Shuas:
On reaching directly opposite to Binnein Shuas's crags, I stopped to take some photos. One of the best climbs in Scotland (Ardverikie Wall - HS) goes up the side of this hill.
Binnein Shuas crag (zoom):
Binnein Shuas crag (zoom):
For the final five or six kilometres it was just a case of head down and plod on.
Binnein Shuas and Binnein Shios:
Fantastic to walk in nice weather. Roll-on Spring