Torridon and the Cairngorms, Sunday 22nd November 2020

The chosen venues for this meet were Beinn Eighe, Beinn Damh and Glen Einich.

A party of nine IMC members arrived at the foot of Beinn Damh on Sunday 22 November in what might be described as indifferent weather – cold, windy and damp. Mindful of club policy on numbers, and with the Covid safety officer present to keep us right, we straggled up to the viewpoint above the waterfall and split into two parties from there. John, Karen and Ryan went up the glen on the east side of the Allt Coire Roill and ascended the hill by the steep SE shoulder/ridge which comes out neatly on the summit of Spidean Laoigh. They then descended along the main ridge, merging with the larger party of Arthur, Catherine, Daniel, Irene, Richard and Robin along the way. This second party  ascended and descended by the main ridge having decided it was too blowy and the rock and grass too greasy to descend down the SE route. It started hailing as we left the summit – pictured above – and with a very strong wind driving the hail horizontally it was deemed quite enough to just get off the hill in good order. Luckily the hail didn’t last although the wind did. A brief flirtation with the idea of adding Meall Gorm and Sgurr na Bana Mhoraire to the day was blown away somewhere along the ridge. The views in between the showers were great and despite the weather it was a most enjoyable day.

Dougie and Brian had an excellent day on the Beinn Eighe massif, approaching via Coire Mhic Fhearchair – above – then under the Triple Buttress and up the main stone shoot. With the first top being 1km north along the ridge gave the first exposure to a cold gusty wind, necessitating gloves! Ruadh Stac Mor gave intermittent views back east along the main ridge. Beinn Eighe’s middle peak of Coinneach Mhor could be traversed around at the 900m mark which meant a bit of kicking steps into snow covered track, but the wind assistance enabled the second top of Spidean Coire nan Clach to be reached quite quickly. Heading back into what was now quite a strong wind for 250m reached the Trig Point, then a descent into the coire and out of the wind. The worst of the weather did not seem to appear until the 2km walk back along the road; although very dreich and windy, it failed to dampen good spirits.

Michael, Andreas and Ewen chose the easterly option of a bike trip up Glen Einich from Coylumbridge. It was a good bike ride through the forest, but out on the open ground thoughts of a hill were quickly abandoned; it was windy enough at valley level, goodness knows what it was like on the tops. One side stream coming off the slopes of Braeriach was very deep and gave a few problems, but luckily Ewen did not have to rescue Michael after he fell in! Andreas had the good sense not to attempt it. They resolved to come back and climb Braeriach when the days were longer and the weather better, and retreated to Tiso’s cafe in Aviemore. The picture is of Sgoran Dubh Mor and Beag from Loch Einich.

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