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Not as steep as we feared!

Not as steep as we feared!


Postby cparky3 » Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:26 pm

Route description: Beinn Sgritheall

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Sgritheall

Date walked: 25/09/2020

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 1095m

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This was our first visit to Kintail, and having kicked off with the Five Sisters (oh my gosh a big day!) it was hard to decide which of the many other mountains to tackle next. But with the forecast looking good, the prospect of stunning sea / mountain vistas from remote Beinn Sgritheall enticed us in.

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Arnisdale bay


It’s a lovely drive to Arnisdale on a sunny day. You can park on the seafront in a stunning little bay, just down from the start of the walk which was easy to find due to a helpful sign. Currently you need to pass through a little construction site on the road to reach the gate where the path starts, but this was no problem.

Having read the WTH description we were ready for a steep ascent - and were not disappointed! But the rough path is ok to follow, after passing a couple of streams it keeps close to a set of old boundary posts, as it heads steeply up the hill. It was slow going reaching the bealach, with lots of hidden “tops” but after passing through a miniature pretty coire towards the top, and greeting a mountain goat (!), we finally emerged at the small lochan at 604m.

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The miniature coire


From here, you’re straight up the flank of the mountain. The path is easy to follow, beginning very steeply and then emerging on a mini plateau to the left around ~700m up, where you have a lovely view of the Arnisdale bay. Here the screes above look steep and intimidating. However if you edge around to the right, you’ll see a fairly major cairn, and here there is a path that heads up, initially cutting a diagonal rightwards across the slope, and then zig zagging upwards towards the ridge. The going was indeed steep, and to be honest I didn’t spend too much time looking back at the drop behind me! But the path is good, avoids most of the scree, and we enjoyed the bucket like steps that take you to the ridge.

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Steep ascent to the ridge


At this point you’re struck by the amazing panoramic views - definitely do this walk on a clear day!! It’s one of the best views we’ve ever had in Scotland (maybe the best!) and certainly one of the best munro views of Skye. You then follow the ridge up to the top. Photos do not do it justice...

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The ridge to the top


Following a long lunch we headed down the west ridge. Initially affronted by the stone towers that appear to drop to the valley on either side - but quickly spotting the path that edges down and around them. The path took us all the way to the 365m lochan - don’t go past it, but instead immediately turn almost back on yourself left to follow a path down the hill towards the bay.

At this point you might feel like your work is done, but you are, quite literally, not out of the woods yet. After some bog, you enter the bleaberry wood, which is rather pretty in the sunshine, but provides many obstacles - tree roots, and steep descents! However we never lost the path, and fairly quickly emerged onto the ferny and very boggy hillside. At this point we could see the road 100 or so metres below, but the going is boggy, slippery with no semblance of a path. We noted it would be very difficult to do this route the other way round, as looking back 5 minutes later, I couldn’t make out where we’d emerged from the wood at all!

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The woods


We were indeed grateful to reach tarmac and didn’t mind the walk back to the car, as it was peaceful and we had great views across the bay to Knoydart. 10 out of 10 munro day! We can’t wait to come back to tackle the Knoydart munros next.
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cparky3
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 10
Munros:17   
Grahams:1   
Joined: Sep 25, 2020
Location: London

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