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Beinn Udlamain and Sgàirneach Mhòr

Beinn Udlamain and Sgàirneach Mhòr


Postby litljortindan » Wed Aug 24, 2022 5:50 pm

Route description: Beinn Udlamain and Sgàirneach Mhòr

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Udlamain, Sgàirneach Mhòr

Date walked: 22/08/2022

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 800m

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I try to avoid walking in the wet when possible so I do pay attention to any suggestions in the forecasts that conditions may change. For the day's walk there was a hint of some rain later in the day as well as early morning cloud and it seemed that staying north or north east would yield the best results. I finally decided on Beinn Udlamain and Sgàirneach Mhòr as a route that would be easily retreated from if the need arose.
On the way there I was tempted to climb Ben Rinnes for the sunrise but I had set off a wee bit too late for that so the die was cast. Nevertheless, I had misgivings as I stopped neared Cromdale and looked at the glowing horizon. Still, I thought, I'd had a good sunrise walk on Ben Rinnes last year and it is ultimately better to go and explore some new hills. Well I had to tell myself that as I turned back and looked ahead into the more gloomy southern and western directions. Maybe I was headed too far in the wrong direction?
I carried on though and could see that a few hills were completely cloud free so that eased one concern about the walk. I got to layby 80 then realised that it would be slightly better to be at layby 79 and I set off with the route and hills clear ahead.
On the map this looks like a slightly rougher version of the A' Mharconaich and Geal Chàrn route I did a couple of years ago. The map might also suggest that these hills are not the most exciting but there are great views to be had along the way so definitely worth the visit.

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Missed out on a fine sunrise walk somewhere.

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But my targets are clear.

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After an easy 3km walking along the slightly undulating track I am at the point where I want to ascend to the 861m bealach. I am pleased to find that there is quite a decent path up and I am on the broad ridge leading to Beinn Udlamain fairly quickly.

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On the summit ridge and there's even some blue sky.

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The Fara across Loch Ericht.
The clear weather doesn't last though with cloud lowering and the onset of drizzle. It also feels a bit cold.

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Still some decent views from time to time.

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Approaching the summit the cloud dips again so I decide to wait at the cairn to see if I'll get some views or if I'll have to consider a retreat.

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Doesn't look too promising for a while.

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I sit at the cairn having a snack and a drink and eventually there are hints of a clearing sky.

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View over the shoulder of Beinn Bheoil. This gets me up and wandering about the summit area.

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Can't see Ben Alder's summit but there is an interesting cap of cloud above.

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View SSW.

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View west.

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View SSW over Loch Ericht.

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View NW.

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View SE to Sgairneach Mhor with blue sky opening up above.

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Ben Alder from the summit cairn. Still cloudy but improving. At least my mind is made up now to continue to Sgairneach Mhor.

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Schiehallion I think. I wonder of there's anybody there willing the cloud upwards.

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I find the Ben Alder cloud cap quite photogenic in itself, the way it is catching the sun.

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Time to descend towards the Sgairneach Mhor bealach. Note, it is best not to get to distracted by that view over Loch Erichet as there is a decent looking path to the bealach along the eastern edge of the descent ridge which I largely missed.

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View south.

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Loch Ericht again, with Ben Alder almost clear.

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The descent path that I largely missed.

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And up the other side -a bit more work than it looks in this photo but still easy.

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Ben Lawers beyond the long, sprawling southern ridge.

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Schiehallion.

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This photo captures the nature of the summit plateau I think -pleasant walking on moss/track with a huge array of hills visible all around. Maybe a bit hazy in this shot though!

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View west from trig point.

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Descending east then NE on an initially good path that deteriorates a wee bit over the last 1.5km before meeting the track back to the layby.

Despite some anxiety over the weather I thoroughly enjoyed this walk and I have to say it is a great one for the views of the surrounding hills. I might miss this hillwalking business when I can no longer do it. However, I find that I don't tend to miss things that I can't do; I'll probably just think of something else to do instead but will look back fondly on my days stumbling about on and around the hills. Hopefully that is a while away yet though!

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litljortindan
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Posts: 2425
Munros:165   Corbetts:67
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Joined: Dec 11, 2011

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