Beinn Fhada

In spite of its Munro status, Beinn Fhada has been described as a boring mountain. The name translates as ‘the long hill’, being as long as the whole of its neighbouring Five Sisters ridge. However, the summit plateau, Plaide Mhòr, is significant. It is the largest extent of preglacial land surface surviving in the western Highlands. The Ordnance Survey map gives Beinn Fhada the alternative name of Ben Attow which I think is just the Anglicisation of the Gaelic name as ‘fh‘ is not pronounced.

Meall an Fhuarain Mhòir
Loch Duich in the distance

The main photo is a view from the summit looking towards the high point of Beinn Fhada’s long easterly tail. A’ Chràlaig, (translates as the ‘basket’ or ‘creel’) is the highest of the distant peaks at 1120m.

An almost pure white seam of quartzite strikingly brilliant against the grey psammite schists of the summit plateau of Plaide Mhòr

The photo of the quartzite is taken looking along the northern ridge to A’ Ghlas-bheinn, another Munro at 918m.  Glas can mean either ‘grey’ or ‘green’. The sort of green of new spring grass. So the name is usually interpreted as ‘the greenish-grey hill but is probably a reference to the grey psammite schists. Both the quartzite and psammite are sedimentary rocks deposited as sandy margins and beaches of an ancient ocean.

 

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