Ben Killilan and Sguman Coinntich. Virus distraction therapy. October 2016.

Date: Saturday 22nd October 2016
Distance: 21.6km
Ascent: 1200m

We’d headed into the weekend with hopes of a summit camp, however there was uncertainty over cloud cover on Saturday and windspeed overnight. Combined with the certainty that one of us was labouring under a vile viral infection we swapped the gear out of the camping packs and arranged a bed for Saturday.

We’d visited Faochag and Sguman Coinntich back in 2010, the day was reasonable but patchy. Sguman Coinntich has the kind of views we like – a combination of hills, lochs and sea.

We’d had an ascent from Glen Ling on the cards for a little while so we drove up to Killilan with the day packs.

As we left the car the wildlife theme of the day was evident – thousands of fieldfares and redwings on migration.

The track to Glen Ling heads up from Killilan at the phone box and loops round into Glen Ling. It ascends about 70m to give a view down to Loch Long.

Killilan:

We visited Glen Ling once before in winter – the stags are obviously fed as they seem quite untroubled by passers by.

One of them actually started to follow behind for a while, at a distance.

Stag:

Only 7 miles out of Dornie, Kilillan is little-visited. Only 4km out of Killilan Glen Ling seems oddly remote. The glen is just south of Attadale and Ben Dronaig so gives a perspective on these areas.

Glen Ling:

There is a track which ascends on the east side of Allt Coire Dail Aiteil into the so-named corrie.

It weaves quickly uphill and opens up views to the north. Maol Chean Dearg was looking quite dearg.

MCD and ARS:

Ben Killilan ascent:

We crossed the Allt at about 470m (NG 977 324) before picking an easy line of ascent west and then south to approach the ridge of Ben Killilan at its low point at NG 969 317.

Coire Dail Aiteil:

Once on the ridge we got a view of our abandoned provisional camp site for the night – Beinn Sgritheall.

Beinn Sgritheall:

Headed out to the west of the Ben Killilan ridge – Sgurr na Cloiche. This has pretty decent views down to the head of Loch Long and out to Skye.

Loch Long:

Looking NE we could see the hills around Loch Monar too.

loch Monar:

Sat and had a break and ate our lunch, sheltering from a rather cool breeze. After about 45 minutes we headed east along Ben Killilan to Bealach Mhic Bheathain.

Sguman Coinntich from Ben Killilan:

There’s a view across the Coire Fraineach, Coire Caol and Coire Shlat to Faochag. Beyond are Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan and on to Carn Eighe/Mam Sodhail.

Coire Shlat and on to Ceathreamhnan:

There was some interesting light on An Ruadh Stac and Maol Chean-dearg, with Beinn Damh and Beinn Alligin still shadowed.

North to Achnashellach Hills:

Approaching the bealach there is a view down Coire Mor. There’s a good track running up here from Killilan if the direct approach/return is wanted.

Coire Mor:

Bealach Mhic Bheathain is rather steep – we took a slanting ascent to the right (west) which kept us on a reasonable gradient. A couple of small cairns and goat/deer tracks suggest others use this line.

A further 600m to the Corbett summit and another chance to enjoy the views.

MCD and ARS:

The Corbett is also a grandstand for the head of Loch Long.

Loch Long and Skye:

There’s a decent view of Eigg through a gap, although Rum is a little obscured.

Eigg:

The Cuillin and the Skye Bridge were easily visible.

Skye Bridge and Cuillin:

The best light was reserved for Torridon – Liathach was finally illuminated.

Liathach and hills to its south:

Bidean a Coire Sheasgaich was a little harder to pick out from the jumble of hills to the NE though.

Sheasgaich and surrounds:

After a brief pause we headed back to Bealach Mhic Bheathain and then dropped due south to pick up the track 400m below which runs west to Falloch.

The track is of reasonable quality, as we dropped down to tree level the thin stream of passing fieldfares picked up in density again as they were dropping into available rowan trees.

Across the glen the north arms of Ceathreamhnan were catching a little sun.

Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan from descent to Glen Elchaig:

Back to the glen and it was 3km back to the car along Glen Elchaig.

Glen Elchaig:

A nice loop – both Ben Killilan and Sguman Coinntich are excellent viewpoints. An excellent distraction for the viral team member.

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