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The Rum Marilyns (including a traverse of the Cuillin)

The Rum Marilyns (including a traverse of the Cuillin)


Postby foggieclimber » Thu May 12, 2011 12:27 pm

Route description: Rum Cuillin traverse

Corbetts included on this walk: Ainshval, Askival

Grahams included on this walk: Trallval

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Mullach Mor (Rum), Orval (Rum)

Date walked: 12/05/2011

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From Friday 6th May 2011 to Monday 9th May 2011, I attended a Club trip to the Isle of Rum.

I last visited Rum in 2005 when I ascended Hallival, Askival and Ainshval in rain and mist with zero views.
On that trip I skirted below Trollaval and didn’t ascend either of the two Sub2000ft Marilyns on the island - Mullach Mor and Orval.

On Friday, fourteen Club members set out from Mallaig to join two other members who were already staying in Rum.
The ferry crossing was quite calm. The view towards Inverie was nice but the weather didn’t look so nice on Rum :(.

Small Isles ferry arriving at Mallaig:
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Looking towards Inverie from ferry:
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Approaching an overcast Rum:
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On landing on Rum we were met by a nice welcoming sign and by Kinloch Castle staff who transported our bags to the Castle.

Welcome to Rum:
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Some of Rum’s fine wildlife become visible literally within minutes of leaving the ferry.

Grey Heron near pier:
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The short walk from the pier to the castle was nice.

Kinloch Castle:
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Hill: Mullach Mor
Date: Friday 6th May 2011
Company: Myself, Chirs, Turracoo and Kevin


After sorting out our bags and squeezing our food into the fridges myself, Chirs, Turracoo and Kevin set out for Mullach Mor (Marilyn). Leslie, Iain and Morag also set out for Mullach Mor – we all met up at the summit.

By the time we set off the weather had improved :D.
From the castle, we followed a good track leading to the Isle of Rum General Store.

Isle of Rum General Store and Community Hall:
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Beyond the store we followed a track through a field containing a couple of horses.

View towards Hallival:
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In the field we passed a strange crystal ball – none of us knew what it was. On closer inspection the device was found to be a “sunshine recorder”.

Sunshine recorder:
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Nice horse:
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After leaving the field, we followed a good footpath through a small wood.

Footpath along Kinloch Glen leading towards Mullach Mor:
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After about 2km, on reaching the end of the wood, we took to the slopes of Mullach Mor.

Looking back to Kinloch from lower slopes of Mullach Mor:
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I was quite surprised to find that the rock on Mullach Mor was Torridonian Sandstone – much of the Rum Cuillin is Gabbro.

Chirs:
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Rum Cuillin from Mullach Mor:
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As we ascended, we added interest by scrambling up various sandstone outcrops.

Ascending Mullach Mor:
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Optional scrambling - Chirs and Turracoo
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It didn’t take long to reach the trig point and the summit which is 8m from the trig.

Kevin at summit trig point:
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Chirs approaching summit:
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After having a bite to eat at the summit, we made our way back down the hill towards the Kinloch glen.

During the descent Chirs spotted a Common Lizard :D.

Common Lizard:
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On reaching the path, myself, Chirs and Turracoo opted to cross the Kinloch River and follow the good track back to the castle.

Looking back to Mullach Mor from Kinloch Glen track:
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A pleasant half-day walk in good company :D.

Hills: Barkeval (HuMP), Hallival, Askival (Corbett), Trollaval (Graham), Ainshval (Corbett), 759m top and Sgurr nan Gillean
Date: Saturday 7th May 2011
Company: Myself, Chirs and Turracoo
Distance: 25km, Ascent: 1900m
Time: 12Hrs 30Mins (including 30 minutes spent in Dibidil Bothy)
Weather: Very windy, clag, sunshine then thunder and lightning


On Saturday morning Chirs, Turracoo, Kevin, Dave, Iain, Morag and myself set off together from Kinloch Castle, towards Coire Dubh, to undertake various routes along the Rum Cuillin - the Saturday forecast looked slightly better than the forecast for Sunday.

Visibility was reasonable as far as Coire Dubh however above the coire the hilltops were covered in clag :(.

Track towards Coire Dubh from Kinloch:
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On reaching the end of the path in Coire Dubh, our group split up.
Kevin, Iain, Morag and Dave set off for Askival – skirting round Hallival.
Myself, Chirs and Turracoo headed for Barkeval.

The ascent of Barkeval was nice and easy – no scrambling involved, just an ascent up steep grass.

Looking towards Meall Breac from slopes of Barkeval:
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After reaching the cairn at the East-end of Barkeval we followed the wide ridge West, for approximately 800m, to reach the summit of Barkeval.

On the wide ridge of Barkeval:
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Chirs and Turracoo at the summit of Barkeval:
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From the summit of Barkeval we traversed back to the East top and then descended to the Bealach Bairc-mheall.

At this point I considered going back to the hostel. My previous traverse of the Rum Cuillin was in clag and I didn’t fancy another traverse with no views :(. In the end I opted to continue in the hope that the weather would improve.

Looking back to Barkeval from Bealach Bairc-mheall:
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Just beyond the bealach we met a group from the Capricorn Mountaineering Club, who were also spending the weekend at Kinloch Castle. We ascended Hallival together which involved a few small sections of easy scrambling.

Turracoo and Chirs approaching a clag-covered Hallival:
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At the summit of Hallival, the Capricorn group carried on along the ridge while we stopped to allow Turracoo to eat what was probably his third breakfast :wink:.

The descent from Hallival involved a bit more scrambling – perhaps Grade 2.

Looking back at descent from Halllival:
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The Rum Cuillin have hundreds of small Manx Shearwater burrows on them – many of these are on Hallival.

Manx Shearwater burrows:
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After reaching the bealach we started our ascent of Askival.

Looking back to Hallival from lower slopes of Askival:
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We stopped for some time at the Askival Pinnacle while Chirs and Turracoo checked it out. However, the better part of valour is discretion and on this occasion the rock was deemed to be too wet and slippery.

Approaching Askival Pinnacle:
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After by-passing the pinnacle on its East side we continued to follow the path towards the summit of Askival.

As we approached the summit the path became less distinct and we followed slightly different routes to get from the path up onto the actual ridge.

Chirs and Turracoo at summit of Askival:
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The views from the summit were very disappointing. We stopped for lunch at the summit and while we passed some time there the clag began to lift :).

We started to get fleeting glimpses of Eigg and neighbouring hills.

Eigg from summit of Askival:
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Ainshval and Trollaval starting to appear through the mist:
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During our descent from Askival the clag lifted completely :D. The descent from Askival is fairly steep but with no difficulties – just follow the path.

Eigg from descent of Askival:
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Ainshval and Trollaval from descent of Askival:
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Trollaval from Askival:
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Ainshval from slopes of Askival:
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It was nice to at last get views of what we had covered and what we had yet to do.

Looking back to Hallival and Askival:
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Beinn nan Stac looks a really nice top. If I come back to Rum for a third time, Beinn nan Stac will be on my list of things to do.

Beinn nan Stac and Eigg:
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Was also nice to get a view of the Skye Cuillin from the Rum Cuillin.

Skye Cuillin from Rum Cuillin:
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It wasn’t until reaching the bealach and looking back that I realised how much height we had lost descending to the Bealach an Oir.

Looking back at steep descent of Askival:
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Next came my real target of the day as I had not previously ascended Trollaval. During the ascent we met Kevin who was making his descent – looking as pleased as punch at having ascended this really good Graham and having got some fine views.

Ascent of Trollaval:
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The final section leading to the first top and the traverse to the second top involved some quite exposed, harder scrambling.

Scrambling on Trollaval:
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Scrambling along the twin tops of Trollaval:
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Chirs and Turracoo at summit of Trollaval:
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Ainshval from summit of Trollaval:
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Askival from summit of Trollaval:
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I didn’t like the sound of some of the route descriptions for the descent from Trollaval to Bealach an Fhurain – “essential to choose correct line of descent”, etc. I therefore opted to return towards the Bealach an Oir and then skirt round the base of Trollaval to reach the Bealach an Fhurain. I managed to stay quite high traversing just below the Trollaval crags to minimise height loss.

On reaching the Bealach an Fhurain, I was a bit disappointed at having not descended directly – it looked quite straight-forward from below. Chirs did however tell of Turracoo opting to slide-down the Moderate slabs on his bum :lol:.

Looking back to Trollaval:
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Next came the ascent of Ainshval.

Turracoo and Chirs opted to ascend via every piece of rock they could see – including some Grade 3 and Moderate scrambling. I opted to ascend via the path. During the ascent, I met Iain, Morag and Dave who had just ascended Ainshval.

The ascent of Ainshval is fairly easy – just follow the path through the screes – no need for scrambling.

Ascent of Ainshval:
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Eigg from summit of Ainshval:
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On reaching the summit, I stopped to have a chat with Tom from Estonia while waiting for Chirs and Turracoo to catch-up.

Sgurr nan Gillean and 759m top from summit of Ainshval:
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Turracoo and Chirs ascending Ainshval via the Moderate ridge:
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At the summit of Ainshval, Turracoo wondered if he heard thunder - I didn’t think so.

Looking back to Hallival and Askival from summit of Ainshval:
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Sgurr nan Gillean and 759m top:
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However, as we continued along the ridge to the 759m top and then to Sgurr nan Gillean we heard more and more rumbles, which were getting louder and louder and the sky was getting darker and darker.

I then made my way quite quickly along to the summit of Sgurr nan Gillean.

At the 759m top with approaching thunder:
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Looking along Leic a’Chaisteal ridge towards Ruinsival:
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Crags near summit of Sgurr nan Gillean:
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On reaching the summit, I was now very uncomfortable with being so high up, carrying walking poles, so far away from the hostel with a thunderstorm rapidly approaching.

Summit of Sgurr nan Gillean:
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I didn’t bother looking at the map and just opted to descend as quickly as possible directly to Dibidil. On reflection this was nuts – the descent was dangerously steep down broken crags with bits of hard down-scrambling and down-climbing. Once past the crags the descent was down very steep grass.

Looking back to Sgurr nan Gillean summit from East ridge:
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Seriously steep direct descent to Dibidil:
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Seriously steep direct descent to Dibidil:
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Looking back at direct descent from Sgurr nan Gillean:
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My almost lemming-like descent route did get me to Dibidil bothy at least 20 minutes before Chirs and Turracoo who opted to descend via the more sensible, but still steep, SSE ridge.

Was great to get into the bothy out of the thunder and seriously-heavy rain.

Dibidil bothy must be one of the nicest, cleanest bothies I have been inside. If I had a sleeping bag with me, I would have really liked to stay their overnight instead of walking back to Kinloch Castle.

Outside Dibidil bothy:
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After a good feed and signing the bothy book, I waited for Chirs and Turracoo to arrive.

Inside Dibidil bothy:
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After sitting out the worst of the downpour, we began the very long trek back round the coast to Kinloch Castle. The path round the coast isn’t great – very wet and muddy especially during a thunderstorm. Thankfully we were able to cross the various rivers – which were all in spate with the rain.

About 2.5 hours after leaving the bothy we made it back to Kinloch Castle. Hungry, tired, a bit sore and seriously wet but well-chuffed with the day out :D.

Hills: Orval (Marilyn)
Date: Sunday 8th May 2011
Company: Myself, Turracoo and Kevin


On Sunday morning a good number of Club members set off from Kinloch Castle along the Kinloch Glen path towards Harris and the Mausoleum. Turracoo, Kevin and myself walked with the main group as far as Malcolm’s bridge before leaving the track to ascend Orval.

Kinloch Castle:
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I found the walk a bit of an effort having had a big day out on the Saturday and due to the fact that it was again raining heavily.

National Nature Reserve map:
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As I had most of the day to undertake quite an easy route, I spent time photographing flowers and looking at wildlife.

Bird’s foot trefoil:
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Kinloch Glen track:
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Butterwort:
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It was raining so heavily during the walk-in that my camera stayed in the bag for much of the way. Some of the photos were taken on the walk back.

Looking towards Ard Nev and Orval:
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Remains of an old dam:
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Marsh Lousewort:
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At Malcolm’s bridge we followed the footpath towards the bealach between Orval and Fionchra.

Abhainn Monadh Mhiltich:
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Heath Milkwort:
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Kevin following footpath towards Orval:
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Orval:
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Bloodstone hill and Isle of Canna:
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The small waterfall on the crags of Orval was blowing uphill today.

Orval crags:
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As we gained height the views across to the mainland and Skye were quite nice and atmospheric.

View across to mainland:
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Atmospheric Skye Cuillin:
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It didn’t take long to reach the summit of Orval. From the summit we could see Chirs on Ard Nev and Leslie on Bloodstone hill. Ard Nev and Bloodstone hill both look nice hills for a future visit.

Approaching trig point and summit cairn:
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Good views across to Canna from the summit and we could also see the Western Isles in the distance.

Canna from summit cairn:
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Canna (Western Isles in background):
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I returned via the same route taking more flora and wildlife photos on the way back.

Heath-spotted orchid:
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Cuckooflower:
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On reaching the castle, I had a wee wander along the path to the pier.

Hooded Crow:
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Eider:
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Bluebells:
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Common Laburnum:
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A great trip despite the weather :D :D :D.
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Re: The Rum Marilyns (including a traverse of the Cuillin)

Postby Paul Webster » Thu May 12, 2011 7:28 pm

Two Rum reports in quick succession. Maybe time I went back there too soon.
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Re: The Rum Marilyns (including a traverse of the Cuillin)

Postby ChrisW » Thu May 12, 2011 8:12 pm

Brilliant foggie -the report, the pics, the walks - brilliant. Triple breakfasts sound like my kind of walking but your 'lemming like descent' .......not so much my kind of thing (though the description was great) Really enjoyed this :D
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Re: The Rum Marilyns (including a traverse of the Cuillin)

Postby Craiging619 » Sun May 15, 2011 10:17 pm

Great report and amazing pics. You must have been tempted to sack it and stay the night in Dibidil after that descent!
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