Fionn Bheinn Skitour (Achnasheen)
Still very cold; skitouring conditions are excellent but motoring is sometimes challenging. The remote control for unlocking my car met a soggy end some years ago, forcing me to open it with a key like everyone used to in the old days. This old-fashioned ritual becomes problematic when all the locks are choked with ice. Last week at Cairngorm I was fortunate enough to have some warm dregs in my flask which I used to free up the lock. When I got back to the car after a thirsty Sunday morning skitour my flask was empty but with a little cunning I was still able to use its contents to open the door!
Fionn Bheinn is an outlier of the Fannichs whose peathagged slopes rise above Achnasheen. It's not the most inspring hill I have ever climbed but it is both a short ascent and very accessible, being within an hour's drive of Inverness This makes it a great choice for around the solstices; either as a quick hit on a summer's evening after work or, as I experienced it on the 27th, an excellent skitour for the short days of midwinter. It is at its best when the peat hags that scar its slopes are filled with snow, but its isolated position makes it a fine viewpoint at any time of year.
Slioch from the summit of Fionn Bheinn.
The ridge of Liathach caught the early morning sun as I ascended Fionn Bheinn. Beinn Eighe is to the right