Climbing Tom A' Choinich

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Tom a' Choinich was the first Munro I climbed, in July 2003, one of the hottest summers recently in Scotland.  We stopped off for a week's holiday in Glen Affric on the way back from on holiday on Orkney, and had a look in the guidebook for something to do.

Tom A' Choinich is normally climbed along with with Toll Creagach, but we decided that might be too much for us, so just did the one.  There is a bit of parking at the west end of Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin, from there a track and then a path take you about 2 miles alongside a small stream, on fairly level ground to the start of a ridge which leads to the summit.  Since this first part is at fairly low altitude, and because of the water, and trees, and sunshine, and lack of wind,  this was where the midgies took the heaviest toll, and made us walk fairly fast.

We climbed up the ridge in blazing sunshine, which made the mica shine spectacularly.  

Stopping for a rest on the way up Tom a' Choinich

Fortunately we'd had the sense to bring large amounts of water with us, so made it to the top without too much difficulty, although there were quite a few false summits.  Even in the middle of summer the top of a Munro can be fairly inhospitable, but this time it was like a day on the beach.  It being the first time we'd climbed one, we didn't think it was too unusual.

Summit of Tom a' Choiinich

On the walk back down, the kids were able to race off ahead, with the thought of more provisions and water in the car, and a dip in the loch to cool down, since it was still very hot.  Those with older knees took a bit longer.

View back down to Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin

Next to the loch there is some woodland, and some short, extremely scenic walks.  Here's a picture of a Scots Pine that we took once we got back down.

Scots Pine in Glen Affric


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