Back in boots – Creach Bheinn summit camp May 2017

Date: Saturday-Sunday 6th-7th May 2017
Participants: Us
Weather: Dry, mainly sunny
Distance: 11.7 + 5.4km
Ascent: 1160 + 50m

A nice looking forecast for the weekend. Having been on enforced downtime due to a foot injury we were keen to get out and see if fitness had returned.

Plotted on the Friday evening in Fort William – beers outside in the sun for once. Decided to head to Mull in the morning.

An early start saw us at the Corran Ferry for the first run at 0630, and then a pleasant drive through Ardgour and Morvern had us standing in the sun at Lochaline for the first crossing to Mull.

A lovely crossing with interesting clouds above the Sound of Mull.

We weren’t planning on anything too challenging. Pottered around a little, and then headed through Glen More to ascend Cruach Coireadail – a rather easy little Mull Graham. Parked at NM 616 303 and headed north on a faint ATV track to the shoulder before heading NW to Mam a Tiompain.

Spotted a Golden Eagle cruising along the ridge line.

Cruach Coireadail is a grassy ridge, very pleasant walking.

Arrived at the summit and had a snack while enjoying the view to Ben More and Loch Scriodain.

We have only rarely had a decent view south from Mull. Today we had a clear view of Jura.

Turned around and headed back to the car – a view of the planned overnight spot:

North towards Loch Ba.

East along Glen More to Sgurr Dearg.

And so to the main course – all feet were feeling fine so we drove round to Lochbuie. We’d had Creach Bheinn on the radar for a summit camp for a while. How to work it into a camping weekend hadn’t been clear. This seemed to fit.

Parked at the little parking space at NM 615 255. Took the path up Gleann Chaiginn Mhoir for a few hundred metres before breaking off and beginning the ascent of Creach Bheinn.

Nice view of Ben Buie.

Got some decent views of a male cuckoo displaying too.

Hauled ourselves up the hill – fitness had definitely suffered from a month off and a steep Mull Graham with a camping pack was reasonably hard work.

A few distractions – the Colonsay ferry (possibly MV Clansman) went past.

Spotted a Golden Eagle sitting on the crags above us as we ascended – it moved on as we approached.

Took about 2 hours to reach the summit – a few choices of pitch, tried to pick a spot with a decent view.

Now to relax – nowhere to go for about 16 hours. Got the insulating gear on and took in the views.

Creach Bheinn is a superb spot – it sits out with views NE up Loch Linnhe to Fort William, and has clear views south to Jura and across to Arran. A really excellent viewpoint.

South across the ends of Loch Spelve and Loch Uisg to the Garvellachs and Jura:

Scarp 2 and the Paps of Jura:

Garvellachs and Scarba:

H and Jura:

Scarp and Jura:

Watched the MV Isle of Lewis passing from Barra to Oban:

View up Loch Linnhe:

Had our tea and sat around enjoying doing nothing. Eventually the sun began to set.

Trig point:

Rum behind Ardnamurchan:

Garvellachs:

Off to bed – a decent night’s sleep. Up for dawn with a lovely light washing over Mull.

Still a good view south to Jura and Colonsay:

Had a very leisurely start as the light changed:

Glen More:

Rum past Sgurr Dearg:

Watched a pair of Golden Eagles patrolling below us to our south. Also spotted a smaller flying carnivore in development in the summit pool:

A last view across Lismore towards the Aonach Eagach:

Then we toddled off down the hill to the car. Lochbuie is one of our favourite places on Mull – a great spot for wildlife surrounded by eye-catching hills. Took a wander around enjoying the coconut scent of the gorse.

Eventually had to leave to catch the afternoon ferry from Craignure. Another fine Mull trip and fitness returned.

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