Hills: Meall Luidh Mor and Binnein Shuas
Date: Wednesday 22nd April 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 21km, Ascent: 900m
Time: 6Hrs

A day off work, coinciding with a good weather forecast, saw me up and away by 05:15 this morning en-route to the West Highlands for an ascent of Meall Luidh Mor (a Sub2000ft Marilyn) and Binnein Shuas (a Graham). I arrived at the Moy lay-by and was off walking by 08:00.

An ascent of Binnein Shuas today would leave me with 50 remaining Grahams, should I ever decide to try completing them. I have found many of the Grahams somewhat dull in comparison with the Munros and Corbetts. Binnein Shuas however would certainly not be dull!

On seeing Loch Laggan this morning, I stopped to take a photo.

Loch Laggan:

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the lay-by on the A86, I set off walking towards Torgulbin and subsequently followed the wide vehicle track skirting round Meall Luidh Mor.

Abhainn Ghuilbinn:

Spider's web glistening in early morning sunshine and inversion:

As Meall Luidh Mor is completely surrounded by trees, I knew I would have to skirt round the hill to reach a firebreak.

During the walk along the vehicle track, I passed 'Elf & Safety signs warning of tree felling ahead and prohibiting access. I ignored them. Further along the track, I passed more 'Elf and Safety signs warning of construction ahead with signs advising 'Keep Out'. I ignored them too.

Track skirting round Meall Luidh Mor:

On reaching a wide firebreak, I followed it for several hundred metres up the hill. On reaching the end of the firebreak, I squeezed between a couple of trees to gain access to the open hillside.

Ascent through the trees on Meall Luidh Mor:

As I progressed above the tree line, I enjoyed views back towards Loch Laggan and Binnein Shuas.

Loch Laggan and Binnein Shuas (zoom):

View during ascent of Meall Luidh Mor:

Loch Laggan, Lochan An Tuirc and Binnein Shuas during ascent of Meall Luidh Mor:

On the way to the summit, I skirted past the NE top which has a larger cairn than the summit. I visited the summit cairn, the trig point and then returned back the way I came with a short detour to ascend the NE top during the return.

Looking towards the trig point from the summit cairn of Meall Luidh Mor:

View from the trig point on Meall Luidh Mor:

Loch Laggan, Lochan An Tuirc and Binnein Shuas (zoom) from NE top of Meall Luidh Mor:

I returned via exactly the same route almost as far back as the car. On reaching Luiblea, I followed the track leading towards Lochan Na h Earba.

Binnein Shuas from track:

I could see no tracks or paths leading up Binnein Shuas. I therefore decided to follow the main track to its high-point before taking to the hillside. From the high-point I followed a faint path, really just a depression in the grass, up the hill.

Ascending Binnein Shuas from the track high-point:

The ascent to c.500m was very easy. Saying that, it was now 20C and I was feeling the heat.

Looking back during ascent of Binnein Shuas:

The final couple of hundred metres of ascent was much more interesting. In near perfect visibility the route finding was straight-forward.

Approaching the craggy upper section of Binnein Shuas:

Ascending Binnein Shuas:

View during ascent:

Loch Laggan and Creag Meagaidh hills:

Looking towards the summit of Binnein Shuas:

A short distance below the summit, I walked alongside a lovely crag. I think there must be numerous short climbing routes on this outcrop. This reminded me that one of the best climbing routes in Scotland is on Binnein Shuas, a multi-pitch route called Ardverekie Wall (HS).

Walking alongside a nice crag en-route to the summit:

Loch Laggan Reservoir:

Final ascent to the summit of Binnein Shuas:

On reaching the summit, I sat down for a while on the summit rock to soak in the views.

View from the summit of Binnein Shuas:

View from the summit of Binnein Shuas:

Looking towards Binnein Shios from the summit of Binnein Shuas:

It was nice to see neighbouring Binnein Shios. I ascended this hill on a stunning Winter's day.

I descended the upper rocky section of Binnein Shuas by following my in-bound route. Once below the rocky section, I decided to take a more direct line back towards Luiblea.

Looking back to Binnein Shuas during descent:

During the descent, I aimed for the track at the end of Loch Laggan. On reaching the track, I followed it back out to Luiblea and then out to the car.

Approaching Luiblea:

Looking back to Binnein Shuas from the bridge over the River Spean:

Binnein Shuas is a fantastic hill. This is a hill I would be happy to ascend again and again.