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Moidart at its best

Moidart at its best


Postby Davidm06 » Wed Jul 12, 2023 2:16 pm

Route description: Rois-Bheinn round, Inverailort

Corbetts included on this walk: An Stac, Rois-Bheinn, Sgùrr na Ba Glaise

Date walked: 09/07/2023

Time taken: 11 hours

Distance: 22 km

Ascent: 1551m

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I am amazed that there are so few walk reports for this wonderful hike – it has to be one of the best days out! The Small Isles provide such a wonderful backdrop and it should only be done on the clearest of days.

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Rois-Bheinn and An Stac

We parked by the fish farm at Inverailort holding our noses as we got our gear on. Sheep shearing was in full swing in the next field with the air full of the sounds of protesting sheep. We took the good track round Tom Odhar rather than the apparently boggy short cut and were soon crossing the footbridge over the Allt a’Bhuiridh following a very boggy ATV track. We ended up longer than the WH estimated time on this hike taking just over 11 hours and I don’t know why as we were not dawdling. Maybe somehow managing to walk two extra miles than on the WH description was part of it. Maybe our stops later on got quite long soaking in the views or else this long, never ending slog up the steep pathless slopes of Beinn Coire nan Gall took it out of us. There are no views either of the ridge to come, just a vast wall of green. Frogs were everywhere.

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Finally, we got to a rise below the summit of Beinn Coire nan Gall and it all opened up in front of us. The bumpy ridges of Druim Fiaclach and An t-Slat-bheinn and finally the Corbetts of Sgurr na Ba Glaise, Rois-Bheinn and An Stac looking so far away. The ridges were a pleasure, rugged and rocky but with a path winding between the rocks and crags.

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And a few interesting fungi on the way, the ectomycorrhizal fungi joined in a symbiotic partnership with its partner, the Dwarf Willow appearing already early in the season. The white mushroom of Amanita nivalis is very distinctive. Large with a striated cap margin and with a volva, an egg-shell like structure at the base of the stem which it bursts out of. There are not very many records of this species in the UK so if anyone sees such a recognisable fungus, can you please photograph it and send to me, it really helps understand its distribution.

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Another rarity was the rust fungus on the leaves of Marsh Violet. These fungi are parasites that have very strange life cycles with five completely stages sometimes swapping host plants from stage to stage. This fungus, Puccinia fergussonii, is only found on Marsh Violet and it is surprising that given just how much of the host plant that there is in the mountains that it has been found so few times.

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Back to the hike, we finally reached the first Corbett of Sgurr na Ba Glaise well into the afternoon, two food stops already behind us.

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A steep descent and a steep ascent took us up to Rois-Bheinn and then a dilemma.

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The top doesn’t have the best views. The western top is a distance away with another descent and ascent to tackle. But onwards as it could not be missed. The views are spectacular, Ardnamurchan stretching out in the distance with Coll behind, Muck, Eigg and Rum looking amazing. Ben Nevis was behind in the clouds so we felt smug about choosing a coastal walk. It was hard to leave but it was already 5pm and An Stac was looking a challenge. A huge drop down to the bealach and a long steep rocky ascent. Daunting at this stage.

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No choice but onwards and upwards. Grit the teeth and go for it. Finally on top and the views are even better looking straight down Loch Ailort. What a spot for a summit camp. A choice of comfortable flat spots, an incredible view – it is just the small task of getting up there with a tent…

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The steep descent down the north ridge was fine, the path winding an intricate route through the crags. The worst bit was descending from the bealach to the boggy ATV track down by the river, the tussocky Purple Moor Grass hiding deep holes. Finally, the van at the end just in time to enjoy the sunset over the Small Isles. A great end to a wonderful hike.

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Davidm06
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Re: Moidart at its best

Postby litljortindan » Wed Jul 12, 2023 5:34 pm

Feeling quite envious. Looks like near perfect conditions with the afternoon fair weather cloud collecting together in the evening and fantastic light on the views of Eigg and Rum.
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litljortindan
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Re: Moidart at its best

Postby kevsbald » Thu Jul 13, 2023 8:32 am

Wow; a truly beautiful account of the marvellous fauna in that area. High on the must do list but a Winter camp I think.
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kevsbald
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