Hill: Bidein Clann Raonaild
Date: Saturday 27th February 2016
Company: Myself, Becky and Cuillin
Distance: 6.6km, Ascent: 300m
Time: 3Hrs 10Mins

I wasn't planning on walking today, however on looking at the MetOffice forecast yesterday evening, and seeing lots of little yellow balls, I had a change of mind. The forecast looked incredible except for Fraserburgh. I had to come up with a plan which would not only provide great views but which would also be achievable in snowy conditions by my nine year-old daughter and dog. The plan would obviously also have to avoid Fraserburgh!

Saturday evening MetOffice forecast:

Just over five years ago, I ascended Bidein Clann Raonaild. Even though it was a mediocre day, I still got great views. I had made a mental note to return and re-do this hill on an excellent winter's day. Today would be that day.

I parked just off the A832 next to the track leading to a nearby transmitter. This track also leads all the way to the summit of Bidein Clann Raonaild.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

There was snow today from start to finish. The underfoot conditions were good as the snow was fairly soft and not too deep. It was -4C at the start and +4C by the time we returned to the car. There are limited views until clearing the forest.

Becky and Cuillin ascending the track up through the forest:

However once beyond the forest, the views just get better and better. Fuar Tholl was instantly recognisable thanks to its Mainreachan buttress.

Fuar Tholl and Beinn Liath Mhor:

Fuar Tholl (zoom):

We had lots of fun during the ascent to take Becky's mind off the 3.3km snow plod to the summit.



Achnashellach hills:

During the ascent, views are pretty much limited to the East and South. You have to wait until reaching the summit for the best views i.e. to the North and West.

Fionn Bheinn and Loch a' Chroisg:

We took a couple of short diversions to visit plentiful icicles. Beyond the icicles, the snow was covered in millions of sparkling ice crystals.

Lots of icicles:


Looking back:

On approaching the summit, the Coastguard Rescue helicopter flew right past before making its way across towards Beinn Eighe.

Coastguard Rescue (zoom):

Becky was pleased to see the summit come into view as walking through snow was tiring.

Approaching the summit of Bidein Clann Raonaild with Liathach and Beinn Eighe coming into view:

Fuar Tholl and the South Torridon Munros:

Becky approaching the summit of Bidein Clann Raonaild:

It was not particularly cold at the summit so we spent at least twenty minutes up there having some food, drink and admiring the stupendous views.

Becky and Cuillin at the summit of Bidein Clann Raonaild:

Becky borrowed my sunglasses to keep the sun out of her eyes. My walking poles and gaiters were also apparently useful.

Becky and Cuillin at the summit of Bidein Clann Raonaild:

Great views from the summit:

Liathach and Beinn Eighe from the summit:

While Becky was having some lunch at the summit cairn, I had a wee wander across to another nearby viewpoint.

Loch Torridon:

Great views:

Carn a' Ghlinne cliffs:

Becky and Cuillin at the summit:

As I had carried a tripod up the hill, I took the opportunity to get a couple of family pics of myself, Becky and Cuillin.

Family pic:

Family pic:

I also took a couple of panoramic shots using my iPhone. The iPhone camera is pretty-good in good light and I really like the panoramic mode.

iPhone panorama:

iPhone panorama:

We returned to the car via exactly the same route. This will be a day to remember for some time. This has got to be one of the finest Sub2000ft viewpoints. Maximum reward from minimal effort.