Beinn Fhionnlaidh (959m)
- Pronunciation: Bine Ee-yoon-lie
- Translation: Finlay’s Mountain
- Total distance: 15.2km
- Total time: 4hrs 55mins
- Total ascent: 1041m
- Weather: Started bright but turned misty as day progressed. Felt warm with no wind.
- Start / end location: Forestry car-park at the end of the no-through road at the head of Loch Creran [OS Map Sheet 50 – Grid Ref: NN 035 488]
- Map: A map of route can be found here – it may take a few moments to load into a separate window. The map displays on most browsers, but not unfortunately Internet Explorer.
We travelled along the north side of Loch Creran (a sea loch), which was as calm as a millpond, and continued along the tiny public road at the head of the loch to reach the start of today’s walk. From the forestry car-park we headed through the Glenure Estate and across the River Creran and up to Glenure House. Just before arriving at the house the path turned sharply left behind some other estate houses before heading towards a small area of forestry. We continued on the track for a few hundred metres before forking to the right onto another track that led east and quickly onto the open hillside.
The walk was then a very straightforward climb, steep at first, up the long, broad and indistinct WSW ridge of Beinn Fhionnlaidh. Near the start of the ridge fine mist enveloped the surrounding slopes: hugging the contours in thin wispy ribbons. It was a lovely climb, and very different in character from many of our other recent mountain ascents as the route was almost entirely free of snow except only a few small pockets remaining near the top. Often there was no real discernible path to follow: a thin path would come and go but would often disappear as we negotiated the craggy sections of rocks.
At about halfway way up we heard a bird call that we’ve not heard before. Its call was a shrill peep sound, which it repeated about a half dozen times. I did see it flying, but as it was quite a way in the distance I couldn’t identify it other than being able to estimate its size to be about that of a snipe – so I’m guessing that it was probably either a Dotterel or a Golden Plover.
Once we reached the summit of Beinn Fhionnlaidh at 959m or 3,146’ our views were restricted to just a few tens of metres, although we could imagine that the situation of this hill would give some great views towards the Munros in Glen Coe and Glen Etive, as well as westward to the islands of Lismore and beyond to Mull.
We retraced our steps back to Glenure without seeing another sole on the hills and then headed to the Castle Stalker Tearoom for a well earned beverage: it was after all our tenth Munro climbed in only five consecutive days on the hills.