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Beinn Bhan - Tough one with a treat at the end

Beinn Bhan - Tough one with a treat at the end

Postby Milo12 » Tue Aug 30, 2022 10:07 pm

Route description: Beinn Bhan, near Kishorn

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Bhan

Date walked: 29/08/2022

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 930m

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It is difficult to be on Skye, in the Torridon or Lochalsh areas without seeing the prominent Beinn Bhan. I had it on my list for a while already, but knowing that the lower parts don't come with a reputation for being boggy for nothing, I was waiting for a dryspell to tackle this one. With a week of hardly any rain (hard to come by this summer!) and a decent bit of sunshine forecasted, I thought I give it a go.

The parking just before the bridge to the Applecross peninsula came with sufficient space. With only one other car parked there, this hill clearly wasn't a popular choice this bank holiday! I followed the road for a while and around the bend before leaving it to make my way uphill. Looking at the ground which was boggy in places only, I definitely made the right choice to wait for a dryer period. The first 400m up would have been doubly hard otherwise and even with the slightly dryer ground they are hard work! It may also be that the South facing slope is a bit dryer than the East facing one. On the way down when I tried to avoid the road stretch by going almost straight down towards the parking it was ridiculously boggy and I seriously started to wonder how so much water could be on a slope that steep! :roll:

Anyway, back to the uphill which felt unusually arduous. The views are fantastic though and the many breaks I took certainly gave me enough time to really take them in. I followed deer tracks here and there which helpfully found their way through the rocky outcrops and came with the one or other zigzag to help with the continuous steep uphill. It is not for nothing that they say trust the locals! Talking about locals - from around 250m up I was constantly covered in keds and this did not change for the rest of the hike until I was almost off the hill again. I regularly walk in the Torridon area and this certainly is the first hill on which I encountered keds this summer.

At around 600m the climb turns a bit more gentle for a while opening up amazing views towards the top as well as over the surrounding areas, be it into Torridon, towards Kintail, over Loch Carron or towards the other Applecross giants. The ground up here is grassy with rocky patches which makes for easy walking. After a small top the final stretch up to the top is steeper in the beginning and then levels out quite a bit. Just before the end of the steep section the trail splits. I took the left one which goes up a bit more gentle on the way up. Once on the fairly flat top it turns into a trail that crosses the plateau. While the trail is quite well trodden, it does not actually go to the top and I turned off it about half way across the plateau. The rest is a short up towards the big cairn.

I was quite lucky with the views (including over to Skye) and the sun still out over Applecross. I had seen the rains coming into Torridon on the way up already and they kept moving through the Torridon hills towards Kishorn and Lochcarron. I was lucky though that they decided to spare the Applecross peninsula and the top of Beinn Bhan. Only when I reached the parking should I see that it had reached just about to the foot of Beinn Bhan.

The views over the corries are really worth it and with all the effort on the way up I think this is really one to save for a day with good views. While the official Walkhighlands route goes on further and down a very steep grassy slope, I have to admit that I wasn't in for having to pay too much attention to every step and decided to retrace my steps instead. I don't regret it as the views on the way back over the Beinn Bhan ridge are phenomenal. I followed the faint trail along the steep drop this time and later picked up a trail across the ridge which I had missed on the way up. The trail ends at a cairn that you can actually see from the parking (if you know what you are looking for).

From the cairn (at around 500m) I tried to head towards the road and the parking. I am not sure would recommend this option however given how boggy it ends up being. It does save the road walking but requires quite a bit of zigzagging to around rocky outcrops, little plateaus on which the water keeps standing and sheer drops that appear out of the blue.With the road literally in front of me, I was surprised how long the way down took me from the cairn. Once on the road it was only a few steps towards the parking though. Helpfully, the parking is only a few metres from a cute little cafe and I can't deny that a cup of coffee and a piece of cake were just what I needed.

In spite of the bogginess in the lower sections, this is a stunning walk and the views are truly something special.

2022-08-29_907818428_Beinn Bhan, near Kishorn, Torridon.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

IMG_20220829_121021_edit_673293237998303 - Copy.jpg
View from the parking towards Beinn Damh
View towards Sgurr a'Gharaid and Glas Bheinn on the way up
Views at the other Applecross giant
Views back towards Kishorn
Finally, the relentless up levels out a bit and opens up towards the ridge
First views of the corries
Just a bit more climbing to the top of Beinn Bhan which is to the right of the plateau
View back over the ridge towards Kishorn
View into Torridon with the rains taking over
View from the top towards Loch Carron
View over to Sgurr a'Gharaid
I think it was only on the way back that I started to appreciate how narrow the ridge is
View into the corries
Watching the rains moving into Kishorn on the way down
Posts: 79
Munros:25   Corbetts:14
Fionas:10   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:21   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:8   Islands:3
Joined: Mar 20, 2022

Re: Beinn Bhan - Tough one with a treat at the end

Postby MusicalHiker » Sun Sep 04, 2022 9:56 pm

Super photos - looks great - it's going on my wish list!
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Mountain Walker
Posts: 130
Munros:17   Corbetts:21
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:16
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Joined: Dec 26, 2011
Location: Beauly

Re: Beinn Bhan - Tough one with a treat at the end

Postby Milo12 » Thu Sep 08, 2022 10:02 pm

MusicalHiker wrote:Super photos - looks great - it's going on my wish list!

Go for it - stunning one to climb!
Posts: 79
Munros:25   Corbetts:14
Fionas:10   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:21   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:8   Islands:3
Joined: Mar 20, 2022

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