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Watching the Sunset on Sgulaird

Watching the Sunset on Sgulaird

Postby Raynor » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:37 am

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Sgulaird

Date walked: 18/09/2020

Time taken: 4.9 hours

Distance: 13.3 km

Ascent: 1189m

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I had checked the forecast for Friday and it looked to be a great day so I was surprised to open the curtains and find the entire world had disappeared inside blanket fog. I was meeting my sister early in Balmaha as she wanted to do conic hill. We decided to make use of the two cars and do a linear walk along the WHW from Drymen. A bit longer than I had expected but nothing too strenuous other than the sun that was quickly burning the cloud away.

There was an impressive cloud inversion and the whole of loch lomond was covered. Naturally it cleared a few minutes before we got to the top.


This must be one of the most photographed scenes in Scotland. I added another to my collection.


I've always seen photos of the highland cows on Conic Hill but today was the first time I had met them. They were really docile and were lined up by the path where there was a line of people taking photos with them. The discussions ranged from "how do they get their fringe like that" to "haw whit man that's a pure belter haw haw"...


It was really warm by now and I was keen to pick up the pace and get down so I could head north to do a proper hill. I had been wanting to do Beinn Sgulaird for ages but it was one of those ones where I thought it had to be perfect weather to justify it. Today was that day!

The drive was a lot longer than I realised and I didn't get there until just before 4 but I was always hoping to catch the sunset up there so wasn't too bothered.

The path goes through a couple of deer fences than goes up a very steep track. No messing about.



I was following the WH route on viewranger which has you turn off and up onto the grassy ridge. I "chose" to ascend by the return path instead. I definitely did not just walk past the massive cairn without noticing....

Looking back


After a very steep and slippy grassy ascent, the gradient eases off a bit and becomes a more gradual climb. Having viewranger has kind of brought an end to being surprised by false summits. I almost miss the shock of thinking you are near the top, then you realise what is still left to do. This would definitely be one of those hills as you don't quite realise just how big and far away it actually is until you get up the first section.


Views starting to open up.



Some locals


The path goes up and down quite a bit and becomes very rocky with several boulder field sections. I lost the path a few times and just picked my way through.


Eventually I got high enough to see the actual hill and it looked miles away!



The light was starting to fade by the time I made the summit. I was getting confused looks from other people I met who were coming down. I met another guy near the top who was camping over night. I was kinda jealous...




After some chat and photos, I realised I really had to get moving. I wanted to be well clear of the boulder fields and back on the grassy ridge before it got properly dark. Just before I left, two eagles swooped right across the valley and landed miles away. Won't be winning any photography awards with this one unfortunately.


The sunset was casting some nice lighting on the hills.


Sgulaird looking very orange.



I was lucky to still be up high and in the perfect place for the proper sunset.



Head torch on for the rest of the way back, complete with a few slips and bog falls. I really lucked out with the conditions and was very glad I had been saved this hill for a great day.


Sgulaird-sunset.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Posts: 176
Munros:77   Corbetts:8
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:12   
Joined: Jun 11, 2017

Re: Watching the Sunset on Sgulaird

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:31 pm

Some lovely pics - t's a fine hill.

I also spent an hour and a half or so in the dark on my way back from this one, albeit in the opposite direction (Glen Etive).

Isn't the most dramatic feature of this one the pronunciation of the name??? :shock: !!! :roll:
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Posts: 2994
Munros:169   Corbetts:30
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

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