A' Ghlas-bheinn - 918m
Saturday 15th December 2012

Weather/Conditions: Clear skies, good visibility and cold. About right for the time of year!
Distance/Ascent/Time: 4km / 450m / 1h 22m
Accompanying: Alone

This was the first of an annual trip to Kintail. Kev McKeown had booked out the Kintail Trekkers Lodge and a pile of us went for a weekend of hills, drink and winter conditions. The objective was A' Ghlas-bheinn, a hill out the back of Morvich. It's in plain view from road but remains somewhat of an anonymous hill, and a mountain I'd not yet been up.

It was more of a social day than a determined peak bagging one. We were all out just for a good time and a chat. We started from the Morvich parking at the end of the road, which leaves you with a few kilometres before you gain the foot of the mountain. The weather seemed somewhat oppressive, with flat grey skies and mountains dusted with snow. It was December, after all.

It was a somewhat convoluted route by which we gained A' Ghlas-bheinn, and there are better ways to do it. But this was my first time in the area and I hadn't yet worked out the best way to negotiate the forests. Once at the foot of the hill, we headed straight up the front (brutal!) and in a direct line toward the summit. Snow and mist closed on where the mountains flattens out at 700m and from there it was a long plod to the summit cairn.

It was at this very moment that the rain arrived. This always seems to happen on the summit... We descended getting completely drenched. All the way down was a soaker. I thought about Beinn Fhada for a moment, and knew that I really badly wanted to do it now. But I also thought about how entirely impractical it would be to do so. The drop toward Beinn Fhada is great and the height gain back to the summit even greater. But to continue on and get a second Munro was hardly conceivable, no matter how much I wanted to do so. Later that night I vowed to do it the following morning, but a late night and a party atmosphere put those ambitions firmly to bed.

On descent, we strayed onto the wrong spur (slightly north), traversed to the correct spur, met the forestry tracks, and followed them all the way out.

I don't recall if we intentionally walked out to the road at this point - I think it's possible that Kev and I just missed the turn off to the parking. But it was a long plod on tired legs, on tarmac, which always hurts a bit more. The rain had passed and it was getting dark. We made it to the bridge over the River Croe where we got picked up at last light.

Photos: Kintail Morning & Drive Home

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.15am Morvich parking
(4.25) 1.40pm A' Ghlas-bheinn
(7.15) c. 4.30pm Pick up, road nr. Morvich

Written: 2015-08-08