Between two Brooms - Beinn Ghobhlach
by Mark1870 » Wed May 25, 2011 1:58 am
Route description: Beinn Ghobhlach
Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Ghobhlach
Date walked: 07/10/20114 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).
Not long to go now... looking forward to getting to Scotland again in a few days, so I've been reflecting on last October’s Highland adventures. And that is why I’m now posting a report of our autumn ascent of Beinn Ghobhlach - well, better late than never!
I had seen Beinn Ghobhlach’s summit ridge beckoning alluringly across Loch Broom from Ullapool, from its lofty seat atop the Scoraig peninsula, knowing that one day it would have to transfer from my must-climb list to under my feet.
The 4-pointed crown of Beinn Ghobhlach seen from Rhue by Ullapool
The day started rather damp and grey, so after a stop in the Dundonnell Hotel for a fortifying coffee it was a rather leisurely start from Badrallach a little after 11 o’clock. Out to the west the clouds were rolling back to reveal blue sky.
The Scoraig path offers many lovely vistas; along the Scoraig shore and out to sea and across Little Loch Broom.
A little way beyond the rugged headland of Creag a’ Chada we turned right to the heathery escarpment. A steep ascent (in places a scramble) of some 200m brought us out on a broad moorland balcony and gave us the first view of Beinn Ghobhlach’s handsome crescent ridge.
...and Beinn Ghobhlach
Little Loch Broom out to the Minch
The hamlet of Durnamuck, on the horizon the faint outline of (I think) Applecross
A boggy bit to negotiate, then an energy-sapping haul up steep Coire Dearg, with the view getting ever grander and wider. Surprised to find copious numbers of hairy black caterpillars up here so late in the year.
When the gradient started to ease, we headed north to the col between the ridge’s northwestern and northeastern tops (Coire Dearg faces west, and along its rim are 4 summits in horseshoe formation: NW, NE, E, round to the principal summit on the SW arm). And at the top of the climb, the thrill of the view. And what a view it is! What appears at first to be a broad, rounded ridge suddenly ends at the top of a vertiginous north face, with a majestic panorama across Loch Broom to Coigach and Assynt.
Looking into Coire nan Cnaimhean and across to Rhue (opening picture)
The north shore of Scoraig far below us
To the left, a simple climb over sandstone slabs brought us to the NW summit, marked by a haphazard heap of a cairn.
A rather better-built cairn a little lower down marked the end of the ridge, with precipitous drops to the north and west. This is the view W over Scoraig, the Summer Isles and the Minch. The Western Isles were a faint smudge on the horizon.
And this is my accomplice, with Coire Dearg and the noble silhouette of An Teallach in the background
Across Loch Broom to Coigach
We turned back to the col to ascend the craggy NE summit across Coire nan Cnaimhean
Fantastic weather-worn sandstone
Did I mention that it was craggy?
Ullapool comes into view
Atop the NE top
The Stornoway ferry approaching Ullapool
The ridge drops down and broadens as it passes over the indistinct bump of the E top and across a wide stony saddle with a fine view of An Teallach and the Fannichs.
A short, steepish climb up to the SE summit, Beinn Ghobhlach's highest elevation at 635m, with a stupendous panorama once more.
Beinn Dearg Mòr, Beinn Dearg Bheig and A' Mhaighdean behind Sail Mhor, at the bottom the western spur of Cnoc a' Bhaid-rallaich
On the west side of Sail Mhor, I tentatively identified these distant peaks as Torridon (feel free to correct me)
The summit cairn and the view out to the west
Here we are on the summit
An Teallach and Sail Mhor above Little Loch Broom, with our next target, Loch na Coireig and Loch na h-Uidhe down below, in front of the W spur of Cnoc a' Bhaid-rallaich. Much of Beinn Ghobhlach's summit ridge consists of these beautiful weathered pink sandstone slabs. In fact all of it is so beautiful that right now I don't ever want to go back down...
Initial descent is steep but made easy by this lovely natural stairway of sandstone
This is where we deviated from the route suggested on this site, as we aimed for the eastern shore of Loch na Coireig - a steep and fairly quick descent over grass and heather with only a short boggy stretch to negotiate, and then we arrived at a little sandy beach. A chance to cool our feet before the short scramble up the rocky spur on the other side of the loch:
A last look back at Beinn Ghobhlach from the top of the spur, illuminated by the setting sun, and a look ahead to Little Loch Broom and An Teallach, before descending diagonally to the car in about 40 minutes.
In fact, the south side of this spur is quite craggy and it's best to stay fairly high until it opens out into a steep grassy slope criss-crossed by deer/sheep tracks, which you can follow down directly to the car park. It was fairly dusky when we got down but not enough to need a head torch, a perfect day on a beautiful mountain.
by malky_c » Wed May 25, 2011 8:00 am
I really like the look of this hill, and have done for years, but so far it has eluded me.
by HighlandSC » Wed May 25, 2011 9:31 am
Looks a nice hill and great views. Memory escapes me today but I'm sure I nearly did this route once and printed maps, etc for it. (unless it was you Malky that suggested it? when we last went out).
by Mark1870 » Wed May 25, 2011 12:51 pm
by kinley » Wed May 25, 2011 5:11 pm
Cracker of a hill
by trekpete » Wed May 25, 2011 6:07 pm
by Avocetboy » Wed May 25, 2011 7:45 pm
by Highart13 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:20 pm
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