For the 3rd day and 2nd leg of my winter Munro bagging trip, I decided to tackle a relatively simple couple of Munros that were close to where I’d spent the night – Beinn a’Chaorainn and Beinn Teallach. This pair of hills lie west of Creag Meagaidh, a mountain I’d camped on with my dad a couple of years ago, so I was keen to complete this wee cluster of Munros.
My morning started with a gorgeous sunrise from my accommodation at Tulloch Farm. I got myself sorted and left for the short drive of a few minutes to Roughburn, where there was space to leave my car without impeding access to the logging roads that lead into the forest on the north side of the A86. The weather was once again rather hazy, but very pleasant for walking in and without rain or clouds, so I really couldn’t ask for much more!
After a section of forestry, most of which had been felled, I soon found myself on open hillside, following a rather boggy and indistinct path up the featureless hillside. There wasn’t much excitement to report during the ascent, but as I climbed higher the views opened up behind me over Lochaber, giving me a look at where I’d spent the last couple of days.
Other than a fence to cross (at a gate thankfully), there was absolutely nothing of interest on the ascent of Beinn a’Chaorainn. This would change once I reached the southern summit of the hill though, which I did just under 2 hours after setting off from the car at Roughburn. I was met with a spectacular snow-covered ridge which led between the 3 bumps that make up the summit plateau (the middle one being the true summit). There wasn’t much wind at all and I hadn’t seen a sole at all so far – what a place to have all to myself!
I soaked up the surroundings as I carefully made my way across the snow, taking care to remain well away from the corniced edge.
Another few minutes saw me to the summit of my first Munro of the day, where I stopped for a quick snack and a drink and to check in with home (mostly to make my dad jealous that he had missed out). I headed on my way once more, heading north towards the final bump in the ridge before striking off on the northern slopes towards the bealach below.
I had dropped around 400m to reach the bealach after Beinn a’Chaorainn, but thankfully the ascent of its neighbour was a little less, so I trundled on and made my way up the northern slope of Beinn Teallach, once again stopping occasionally to take in the views that were opening up to the north, with the wild expanse of hills and glens around Glen Roy and Corrieyairack dominating the view.
The ascent of Beinn Teallach was a little more interesting, with a couple of steeper and rockier sections made more fun by the snow and ice. There were no difficulties though and I reached the summit about 90 minutes after leaving Beinn a’Chaorainn.
With more awesome scenery to enjoy, I sat and had another snack and a drink and soaked everything up. I could see the Lochy Munros where Sarah and I had been only a couple of weeks before – We’ll be back for you Meall na Teanga!
Refuelled, it was time for me to head on my way, following the gentle southern slopes towards the forest below. There were hints of a path on the upper parts of the hill, but nothing much to speak off as the going became boggier and more tussocky. It was relatively easy going though and I made good progress towards a gate that lay below, separating me from the track back to the car.
The final obstacle of the day was the Allt a’Chaorainn, which I read couple be a little tricky at times and perhaps impossible in spate. Thankfully the level was very low and I easily made it across using some larger boulders as stepping stones. Another short distance later, I reached the forest track that would take me all the way back to the car. Even from the forest track the views were awesome and I was in no hurry to finish what had been another epic day in the hills.
I finally reached the car after 5hrs and 15mins. Pleased with my efforts, I got fed, watered and changed and headed along the A86 and then south on the A9 for the final instalment of what had been a rather awesome trip so far.