Coulin

Coulin Forest Munros, 22-24 March 2019

A blog post from one of our mountain adventures in the Scottish hills and mountains. Some hard winter hiking on Munros in Scotland's north-west. Richard Kermode was leading.

Coulin Forest Munros



Day 1 - Moruisg

The weather forecast deterioated in the days leading up to this weekend, so much so we changed itinerary with Slioch now at the start of our event. This mountain often has a sheltered approach, but after meeting up with Jeanette, Julia, Slaveya and David with the rain was pouring and wind roaring we decided to try for Moruisg instead. We were blasted on the walk to Moruisg and as we squelched energetically up the hill the wind got stronger and stronger until we were forced to admit defeat at arouund 650m. Although conditions dried up as we descended, waterfalls were now streaming up into the air. Back down, everyone headed off to explore more sheltered glens by car and dodge the heavy squalls!


Day 2 - Sgorr Ruadh and Beinn Liath Mhor

Our second day was an adventure into the wilds to the south of Glen Torridon to climb Sgorr Ruadh and Beinn Liath Mhor. It was much colder and the winds were less though the forecast was for some wintery showers off and on through the day. We soon caught one as we sweat off past the Ling hut through the Corrie of a thousand hills. After that it was lovely walking and only odd showers as we followed the old path towards the impressive Coire Grannda. It's a stunning place with huge cliffs and plenty of boulders deposited by the glaciers in the last ice age not to mention some moraines.

We enjoyed some sunshine as we walked through the fresh snow and some melting ice up to the beallach and sensational views into upper Coire Lair. Sgorr Ruadh was calling and looking fantastic with some fresh snow in places and some older patches that were thawing. The wind was strong and cold as we weaves our way up onto the ridge and slowly to the airy summit ridge to enjoy fantastic views in all directions. As we took some photos a figure appeared behind us moving at speed and it was Steven come to say hello having already done Beinn Liath Mhor and on his way to Maol Chean Dearg! We shared some information, banter and sweets before heading different ways down the flanks of one of Scotland's best peaks.

As we descended the wind had eased a bit making the going easier and a few sheltered spots for some food in the sunshine possible. It didn't take us long to scramble up to the quartzite boulderfield summit of Beinn Liath Mhor and having gone through and other wintery squall we made the sunmit in time for some views and a hot drink whilst it briefly raged around us. Our descent north through the intricate sandstone tiers of rock and quartzite boulders went quickly as the snow was soft and ground drier that you'd expect. Once back on our approach path we had some food and drink before walking back out. There were some showers with the sunshine along the way, but accompanied by some fantastic rainbows to make for a wonderful finish to a truly classic day.


Day 3 - Fionn Bheinn

Our final day of the weekend and Scottish weather just wasn't playing ball - strong winds and snow were forecast! We met up in the morning with various options for the day, but after a rather unpleasant drive to Achnasheen, it was just me and David heading up Fionn Bheinn...

A soggy start with lashing rain, stream like paths and boggy everything saw us flying up the hillside and soon into fresh wet snow! We layered up in a maelstrom and set off into the weather making good time as we wandered between the peat hags towards the mountain summit. Goggles were on and mine were steamy as we made our way up onto severe blizzard conditions and through some deep fresh snow drifts. Visibility was zero on the final ridge to the top and we embraced the trig point on arrival with the wind trying to blow us off.

Not a day to linger and we were soon striding down through the snow passing another walker on the way. It was a testing day and we enjoyed the descent with some brighter sunny spells between squalls feeling quite elated at having reached the summit. Against the odds, we were drying out when we reached our cars, though it may take a while for our boots to actually dry out!

A fun trip with a good group and some very memorable days.

More photos by Richard Kermode, Steven Fallon and some of the group are here on Flickr.



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