Traverse: Achnashellach to Achnasheen
Hills: Carn Breac and Beinn na Feusaige
Date: Sunday 19th August 2012
Company: John, Bob, Derrick, Graeme and myself
Distance: 23km

I set out yesterday morning on the monthly MMC Bus Meet, destination Achnashellach. Club bus meets are a great way to get out onto the hills cheaply. £12 for the day.

After dropping members off at various starting points along the A890, I got off the bus at Achnashellach along with John, Bob, Derrick and Graeme and a number of other members who were heading for the Corbett Fuar Tholl.

Our group then set off to undertake a traverse from Achnashellach to Achnasheen, via the Fionas Carn Breac and Beinn na Feusaige.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the A890, we followed the track up to Achnashellach Station and then, after crossing the railway line, took a right-turn onto a track through the forest below Carn Odhar. This track had Health and Safety signs advising “No entry” because of tree-felling. We chose to ignore these signs as there was no active tree-felling taking place.

Phone box at start of track at Achnashellach:

Track through forest on slopes of Carn Odhar:

Once past an area where trees had been recently felled, we got some good views back towards Loch Dughaill and Balnacra.

Looking back towards Loch Dughaill and Balnacra:

We followed the track round Carn Odhar until a few hundred metres before the Coulin Pass, from which point we took to the hillside.

Ascending track towards Coulin Pass:

The ascent of Carn Breac was pathless but the going was fairly good underfoot. As we gained height we got increasingly good views of the South Torridon hills and then also the North Torridon hills.

View from lower slopes of SSW ridge Carn Breac:

Looking back towards Loch Dughaill and Fuar Tholl:

Ascending Carn Breac:

Looking across to Liathach and Beinn Eighe:

We reached the relatively flat summit ridge of Carn Breac two hours after setting off.

Summit ridge of Carn Breac:

It took just under 30 minutes to traverse the summit ridge to reach the summit stone shelter and trig point of Carn Breac. We stopped for a good break at the summit to soak in the views and have a bite to eat.

Stone shelter and trig point at the summit of Carn Breac:

There are quite good views across to Liathach and Beinn Eighe from the summit of Carn Breac and also great views down to Loch Coulin.

Liathach, Beinn Eighe and Loch Coulin from summit of Carn Breac:

South Torridon hills from summit of Carn Breac:

Loch Coulin from summit of Carn Breac (zoom):

Meadow pipit at summit of Carn Breac:

During the descent from Carn Breac, we saw a couple of dozen red deer.

Red deer seen during descent from Carn Breac:

Before reaching our second Fiona of the day, we had to ascend Meallan Mhic Iamhair.

Meallan Mhic Iamhair:

Graeme, Derrick, Bob and John ascending Meallan Mhic Iamhair:

View across to Torridon hills from Meallan Mhic Iamhair:

From Meallan Mhic Iamhair, we decided to skirt round the Southern side of Lochan Meallan Mhic Iamhair to get to Beinn na Feusaige.

Lochan Meallan Mhic Iamhair and Beinn na Feusaige:

Carn Breac was Derrick’s 599th Marilyn. Beinn na Feusaige would be his 600th – a key figure for gaining entry to the ‘Marilyn Hall of Fame’.

Derrick heading for Beinn na Feusaige:

As we ascended Beinn na Feusaige, John advised of plane wreckage on the hill. We didn’t have a grid reference for the crash site with us, and a quick check online also failed to come up with a grid reference, so we spread out and searched the hillside during our ascent.

Looking back to Carn Breac from slopes of Beinn na Feusaige:

During the ascent, Bob found a piece of piping and John located the crash site .

The wreckage is from a B26 which took off on 3rd June 1943 on a flight from Iceland to Prestwick. The aircraft flew in over the Scottish coast off-course on a day of low cloud, fog and drizzle. The aircraft unfortunately crashed into the side of Beinn na Feusaige killing all five airmen aboard.

Wreckage a short distance below summit of Beinn na Feusaige:

Crash site a short distance below summit of Beinn na Feusaige:

Crash site a short distance below summit of Beinn na Feusaige:

Torridon hills from Fuar Tholl to Beinn Eighe:

A’Mhaighdean and Ruadh Stac Mor (zoom):

On reaching the summit of Beinn na Feusaige, we congratulated Derrick on reaching 600 Marilyns and took a few photos of Derrick at the summit.

Derrick at the summit of Beinn na Feusaige:

From the summit of Beinn na Feusaige, we still had quite a distance to walk to reach Achnasheen. We set off down the hillside following a line of rusty fenceposts and then a very low dyke to reach the col between Beinn na Feusaige and Carn Beag.

Descending Beinn na Feusaige towards Carn Beag:

We then made our way across to the summit of Carn Beag.

Looking back to Beinn na Feusaige:

Looking back to Beinn na Feusaige:

Loch Maree between Beinn Eighe and Slioch:

Loch Maree (zoom):

I was particularly impressed with the views across to Loch Maree from this section of the ridge. I was also a bit surprised to find such a good shelter and a trig point at the summit of Carn Beag, which must be visited fairly infrequently as it isn’t on any of the main hill lists.

Shelter and trig point at the summit of Carn Beag:

From Carn Beag, we dropped down to reach a very wide, extremely ugly track. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is the ugliest, most disgraceful mess of a track I have seen anywhere in Scotland. This track extends for miles and miles across the hillside. Bulldozed to a great depth with all the rubble and mess just left at the side of the track. Is this an attempt to get road infrastructure in place for a windfarm? Is it just some mad landowner with no concern whatsoever for the beauty of the hillside? This monstrosity of a track is clearly visible from the roadside as one approaches Achnasheen. I think this mess needs to be sorted out, at the expense of the landowner. Come on MCofS and Highland Council, get your act together and kick the estate owner up the ass for this.

On the monstrosity of a track that leads out to Achnasheen:

On the monstrosity of a track that leads out to Achnasheen:

Heading down to Achnasheen:

It was great to eventually leave the track to make our way across to the Ledgowan Hotel for a few drinks.

A great day out .