beinn chabhair take 2

Sun, Jan 30, 2011

Back in December I tried to get up Beinn Chabhair, my second last Munro but was beaten back by the sheer depth of snow, so with the forecast set fair, I booked a cheap room at The Drovers Inn and jumped on the last ferry on the Friday night. Two and a quarter hours from Mallaig on mostly deserted roads. Saturday morning, a hearty breakfast of two packets of Alpen, a large bowl of very tasty porridge, toast and coffee and I was off up the hill and the brutal ascent up the Beinn Glas burn. I had the usual winter gear as I didn’t want to miss the summit for lack of crampons as it was rather icy.

Beinn Chabhair from the moor

There was lots of snow as far as Glencoe but south from there it was pretty sparse although higher up the path was unusable due to several inches of iron hard ice. Last time I’d come up here it took me 4 hours to get just short of Lochan Beinn Chabhair as I was down to about 1Km/h in places due to the snow. Today, I got to the summit in 3 hours! You just have to hand it to a bowl of porridge in the morning. I only had a 5 minute banana stop, just below the ridge and was happy to just keep plodding on. A full winter pack/axe/crampons and the big La Sportivas didn’t make any difference to my pace. What a wonderful day!

Looking west along the Beinn Chabhair ridge

True to the forecast, it cleared up although the higher hills were wearing cloud caps. It was a grand day to be on the hill.

The summit of Beinn Chabhair from the first top

I had lunch at the first top, wrapped up in a lovely Rab Infinity, warm and toasty and on the way down I lazed in the sun at the wee bridge near the sheiling. Ten folk on the hill including myself, which is a bit of a contrast from the northern hills I frequent, where I normally don’t see anyone.

You can see all the pics here.

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