Easter in Glenelg - the only palindromic glen
by weaselmaster » Mon Apr 18, 2022 9:46 pm
Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn na h-Eaglaise, Beinn nan Caorach, Sgùrr Mhic Bharraich
Grahams included on this walk: Beinn a' Chapuill, Beinn Clachach, Beinn na Caillich (Kylerhea), Sgùrr na Coinnich
Date walked: 18/04/2022
Distance: 58 km
Ascent: 4091m5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I picked A up at 7.00 - having got to bed sometime after 2.30 the previous night she was a little bit tired I did say she could sleep on the drive up the road, but I suspect my choice of music in the car compromised that. We had a fairly good run up and stopped above Mam Ratagan to have an early lunch at about 11.30.
I intended to do Beinn a'Chapuill, Beinn Clachach and the two Corbetts Beinn Na h-Eaglaise and Beinn nan Caorach, which are all close together and mostly linked by bealachs. We could, had we wished, have added in Beinn Sgritheal, which also has a high bealach with Beinn a'Chapuill. But we didn't really need to do that. There were also three Simms along the eastern side of Gleann Aoidhdailean, which it would seem a shame to miss out - I have hardly done any Simms this year and would feel bad if we didn't do such nearby hills. I wasn't sure how far we'd get in the time remaining in the afternoon - I had hopes that we'd do Chapuill and climb up to Bealach Dhruim nam Bò to camp there - I'd noticed that looked a good camp spot the first time we were up these hills. If we could get up and back down Beinn Na h-Eaglaise by nightfall, so much the better.
We drove along Gleann Beag, past the brochs and along to the end of the road, where there's a lot of work going on at the house. There was possibly space to park there, if you had a bit of a brass neck, but given we were going to leave the car overnight it seemed better to park back by the cattle grid, where there's space for one car without blocking anything. I'd noticed, in Tortoise's report, that the bridge across from Torr a'Phreasachain was closed - we had a quick peek at it but it's quite a drop down to the river, so we continued along the track for about a kilometre where there's a ford and a track on the other side of the river. using this to encircle Srath a'Chomair we followed the line of the pylons up onto the long ridge of Beinn a'Chapuill. deer tracks help progress here. The summit is one of those with numerous bumps spread across it - I had made sure to check off which was the highest rather than wander about which we kinda did the last time.
9B63D394-DA78-4C9F-9246-DA20FEDFB270_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
17D4E70A-B93C-4D19-BCAD-14572E113DB5_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
7696D4BE-D183-450B-9CB4-7165302B912E_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
4FEF9B24-6262-4C5D-B3B8-4D22EBE9E143_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
591592BB-DEA7-47C7-B59F-D6C2585710C7_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
Once we had gained the top, we returned down the ridge for a way. My plan to camp high between the two Corbetts was in doubt as the winds were higher than expected. And I thought Allison was looking a bit tired - having a night of high winds making the tent flap around would not likely help with sleep. Having spotted some suitable looking spots at the foot of Sgritheal/Beinn Na h-Eaglaise I reckoned we should make for that and just have a longer day tomorrow. It's always nice to pitch beside water and not have to worry if you have enough for the morning. Tea eaten, story read, a quiet night of tinkling water promised a good night, but neither of us slept well. Typical!
Blue skies on Saturday morning and we were off up Beinn Na h-Eagalise from our camp. The worst thing about this hill is the very steep descent to Beinn Sgritheall, if you are including that, but we weren't. So it's a straightforward climb, first up to the bealach (where my plans to camp had failed to materialise - however it was a bit boggy anyway and not as good as I remembered it - we've camped on a lot of hills since that first impression) then a dip and up along the fence line to the summit. We could see a couple of folk heading up Sgritheall. We turned tail, headed back to the bealach and stopped for lunch before heading up Beinn nan Caorach. Clouds were beginning to fill up the sky, but it was still a good day to be out on the hills.
DE402F1F-6F7E-4900-8149-B8B72641B00A_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
D13EF00C-9AEE-4696-B160-01B4C56E7AE5_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
24DA7E49-F68C-49C4-8133-5990D0881195_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
BC8FF8A6-52BF-4E35-8A25-142F0C813A7F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
Eaglaise and Sgritheall from Caorach
0BA2A895-1F03-428A-BDAE-8993A81A00E8_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
883B8CC5-70F0-45AB-A58D-B5FD2F6162F0_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
F038C889-CE16-4F7E-9F72-C17249DA80BE_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
From the summit of Caorach we went of ESE along a fence line to Bealach Aoidhdailean. The easternmost termination of the ridge looks craggy, but it's grassy enough if you keep to the north side of the steep bits. There's a bealach at 415m with Beinn Clachach, which is only 643m, so it isn't much re-ascent to nab this Graham from here. We left the packs behind and climbed steeply up the grassy slopes to the summit, passing some pretty purple flowers which I think are Moss Campion. From here we returned to our packs and headed onwards to the Simms. We were making pretty reasonable time and I'd already decided we should just spend tonight in the glen and walk back to the car in the morning. The Simms appear to be western outliers of The Saddle, with the easternmost one being about a mile away from the 919m Munro Top of Sgurr Leac nan Each. The going is fairly good, there's a fence line to follow and we elected to come down into the glen by the cliffs of Creagan Dubh which looked less steep than continuing to the end of the ridge. Deer were grazing but ran off as we approached and we headed round to a spot Allison had noticed by the river on the walk in - just under the shelter of the forestry edge, which we hoped would keep some of the predicted nighttime rain off our tent. Lots of ticks in there however.
91585EB9-CC34-46F8-9C9E-69AEB3DF714B_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
The ridge off Caorach
D057705F-76B6-4878-8F70-AA65492CB94F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
FBB82811-9E14-4E3E-9DF3-83EC8474821B_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
9DBF0663-A94A-4524-8A63-579A3B045802_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
68ADEEB9-6168-4235-B633-332AF9D8EF23_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
75D11ABE-50EE-4177-9505-8C0DB1EE2864_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
E4582E86-AFD9-48BF-8D14-22D88335ABD3_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
928AF180-DC71-403D-9B21-C1AED5B38705_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
BD156569-FA72-4D0B-8E9E-6D174E69CFF3 by Al, on Flickr
We had another night of poor sleep, too hot and itchy cos of the ticks we'd seen when having our meal. It did rain a bit overnight but the tent was fairly dry by the time we got round to packing up. An hour or so back along to the car then onwards to the Skye ferry, something we'd looked at before (when we did the Kylerhea Grahams last time) but never travelled on.We parked at the cafe/shop just before the ferry and walked down, having missed the first crossing as we were changing rucksacks and heating water for the thermos. It was just us and an English couple, no cars on the way across. The English guy upset one of the ferrymen by saying his accent was clear evidence that he wasn't from these parts - he replied in an offended tone that he'd lived here for 60 years and considered himself Scottish even if he was born in Kent.
9AB3A154-5144-40E9-8E73-EA2BF4D82C87_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
07040145-193E-42E6-8CBD-0C30F7591E0D_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
I never like having a deadline to work to when in the hills. The last ferry was about 5.45 and it was now coming up for 11. I knew it had only taken five and a half hours to do the hills, plus Ben Aslak last time, so there really should be no problem, but still that little nagging worry was in my head - miss the last boat and you spend an uncomfortable night in the wildlife hide with no food We walked up to the car park and started steeply up the hill - heather and tussocks the order of the day. We paused on Beinn Bhuidhe for lunch, hoping that the clag sitting on our hills would lift by the time we got there. Up to Bealach nam Mulachag from where there's a climb of 154m to Beinn na Caillich and only 6 metres more to Sgurr na Coinnich. I relaxed at this point, as we were clearly going to be fine for time, despite Allison going slowly as the steep pathless stuff isn't great for her back.
5CFE4D78-D48E-484C-94E7-15B75FFDA93A_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
Caillich to R, Coinnich L
FA8EDB8D-6C58-4ACF-BB97-C6707037082F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
The summit of Caillich was still a bit obscured by swirly clag when we reached it, but Coinnich was clear. We came off to the SW, following deer tracks and making for the road, which we could see ahead of us. A quick trot down the tarmac, rescuing a few black slugs as we went and we were back at the ferry for about 4pm. I'd decided that we'd spend the night on Bernera beach, hoping that it wasn't already populated with tents. It wasn't, just some sheep and the inevitable ticks. We pitched up and hoped to have our tea outside on a bench, but the rain started as soon as we began eating, resulting in a hasty retreat back under cover. It rained heavily on and off during the night, with squally winds at times. I found myself with central chest pain, which I'm presuming must have been indigestion, something I don't usually suffer from, but it took a long time to go away, helped in the end by a libation of Talisker.
You'll notice the bright orange OMM chest packs we are trying out for the CWT - quite handy.
09128C64-1DED-40B7-BD17-A03E1C628B5D_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
CEDC3824-2FCF-4CB4-9354-6BBC71631700_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
A41FF778-2654-4697-B497-DE038AF864A0_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
B764E15B-1C1A-4385-A662-1FB4272B531E by Al, on Flickr
It was still raining heavily in the morning, so we felt under no great obligation to get up early. There had been two possible hills for the day - Buidhe Beinn, which requires a lot of ascent if you do it from the Glen Shiel side and Sgùrr Mhic Bharraich which is shorter. We opted for the latter and headed round to Shiel Bridge, having a wee look at the changes to the campsite there. It's much the same as before in layout, with some new drainage trenches dug and the toilet block done up (at least on the outside). We parked just before the Old Schoolhouse cottage, as the parking area by the campsite you used to be able to use for the hills is now private parking for the campsite and chocolate shop. Up Gleann Undalain, thinking that it'll be less than 3 weeks til we're walking up here on the CWT, all going well. Steeply up to Loch Coire nan Crogachan then we made a rough line for the summit, keeping west of the WH route. Brief bursts of rain/snow reminded us that it's still April, although it was warm when in the sun and out of the wind. Back down the same way, preferring the track to the very steep grassy descent WH recommends.
7DC91737-CE92-4D2A-A7B8-9BB41F0CBB83_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
7BFEF2AF-558C-4B0C-8BAB-4028B0AE051F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
3BEC0639-2776-4672-8C2D-D52E214B6AF6_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
B88700AD-4310-4DA6-8CA4-4B4A5BB605FA_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
6B6DE47B-32C8-491C-A529-F7CAA76A69E1 by Al, on Flickr
by Phil the Hill » Tue Apr 19, 2022 1:02 pm
by gld73 » Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:20 pm
I was actually in the area all weekend, though working from Sunday morning to Tuesday morning rather than hillwalking. I'd hoped to do the Kylerhea grahams on Tuesday when I finished my shifts but they were stuck in cloud so I did Carnan Cruithneachd in Kintail instead. I must have been pretty close to you on the Sunday though when you were up them, had a job in Glenelg and got the ferry over to Kylerhea as the quickest way to Broadford Hospital ... so if you saw an ambulance on the ferry or trundling up the steep, narrow, 'not ideal-for travelling in the back of an ambulance' single track road that was me
- 17th April. Sometimes it's nice to have a change from queueing outside a hospital :)
by Alteknacker » Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:33 pm
by weaselmaster » Wed Apr 20, 2022 5:51 pm
gld73 wrote:I camped at the Glenshiel Campsite on the Saturday night - you're right, the toilet block has been refurbished, very nice showers now for a basic campsite.
I was actually in the area all weekend, though working from20220417_155229.jpg
Ah that’s a coincidence- we got the ferry back over that you had just come off, the ferry man was apologising for the crossing being late as he was waiting for the ambulance.
Carnan Cruithneachd is a steep wee creature isn’t it 😀
by rockhopper » Wed Apr 20, 2022 11:12 pm
by gld73 » Thu Apr 21, 2022 10:00 am
weaselmaster wrote:Ah that’s a coincidence- we got the ferry back over that you had just come off, the ferry man was apologising for the crossing being late as he was waiting for the ambulance.
Carnan Cruithneachd is a steep wee creature isn’t it 😀
Sorry if we delayed you!
Yes, really enjoyed Carnan Cruithneachd, some steep bits but worth it for the views!
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