Bla Bheinn - with the dogs
by Redrock » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:56 pm
Route description: Bla Bheinn (Blaven)
Munros included on this walk: Bla Bheinn
Date walked: 18/09/2011
Time taken: 5.8 hours
Distance: 8.3 km
Ascent: 976m2 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).
We were on a family weekend on Skye and of course the Munros were beckoning. There were going to be four dogs in the party - Patch, Josh, Ted and Toby - so their needs had to be taken into account as we selected our mountain. We decided on Bla Bheinn as possibly being less rocky. My son, Matt, reckoned he could find a route up the mountain that would be a bit gentler on the dogs' feet. Not being a dog owner, I accepted his judgement and we all set off via Broadford on the Torrin road, heading for Bla Bheinn.
Our first view of the mountain was shrouded in cloud - but it still looked impressive with it's great buttresses rising high above Loch Slapin.
We parked in the excellent car park at the foot of Allt na Dunaichce and were soon walking up the path towards Bla Bheinn.
Soon we could feel the mountain's towering presence closing in above us.
We then turned south-west up into Coire Uaigneich. It had been a steady climb all the way, so far.
Our original plan was to continue south-west or even south to try to find grassy slopes up onto the south-east ridge to make it a bit easier on the dogs. But our momentum (and the path) took us forward and we found ourselves scrabbling up rocky slopes onto the ridge, just north of a small lochan. The views towards Rhum were astounding!
We took a breather - and so did the dogs!
From there it was a steady climb up on steep loose rocks - some 340 metres to the summit! Matt's friend James is leading the way!
There was a path of sorts but great care was needed in places where the rocks were very loose. The dogs coped amazingly - with a little encouragement and help from their owners. We arrived at the South Top of Bla Bheinn just as the cloud was beginning to clear and we settled in a sheltered spot to have a bite of lunch.
The astute amongst you will have realised by now that I had come all this way and was still not at the summit of a Munro, the South Top being 4 metres lower than the summit. James and Roger, Matt's father-in-law, weren't too bothered about bagging the Munro - but I couldn't come all this way and not do it! The only trouble was that there was an awkward scramble down maybe 30 metres before the climb up to the true summit. I wasn't too sure of finding the way in the mist! Fortunately the cloud cleared as we were having our lunch and the summit appeared. It looked so near - but there was a bit of work to do to get there!
There was either a scramble down, along a rocky ledge and then down again to the col or there was a scramble down a stony chute.
I chose the ledge - I prefer solid rock! Matt had decided to join me, along with Patch, and the stony chute proved the better route for them - especially for Patch!
We were soon down and the way up to the summit was now straightforward.
There were some great views looking down from our lofty path.
And soon were were at the true summit of Bla Bheinn.
Now, we had to get back and join the rest of the team at the South Top again! So Matt and Patch tackled the stony shoot again and I took once more to the ledge. When I took the photo it seemed that Patch had changed his mind and was heading back down - but soon they were back up at the top!
At the top it was time to catch a breath before heading down the mountain. The scramble had been fun!
We met up with James and Roger who had been waiting patiently!
Despite being in sunshine the cloud was just too near for us to see the Cuillin the west of us. That was the only disappointment of the day - but I will just have to go back another day to see the views of the Cuillin from Bla Bhienn!
So we headed back down the South-East Ridge.
Admiring the countryside below us.
And taking care on the very steep stony descent.
We were soon back at the lochan on the level part of the ridge.
We headed a bit east to try to find grassy slopes for the dogs to descend. It was a bit easier underfoot - but very steep in places. The dogs were fine on it though!
The dogs did great - and coped well even on the rocky ground. I think they enjoyed their day out on the hills!
Now I rate Bla Bheinn as one of my favourite Munros. Its a great mountain and it was a near perfect day to climb it!
by dogplodder » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:36 pm
by LeithySuburbs » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:37 pm
by ndhudson » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:55 pm
by Redrock » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:28 am
dogplodder wrote:Great report and helpful to me as Bla Bheinn is on my to do list and I always wonder what the terrain would be like for dogs. Collies are very nimble but hopefully my two could manage this. If food is involved they'd manage!
Hi dogplodder, I'm not sure if I would recommend the stony chute from the South Top for all dogs. It's quite awkward. My son had to keep Patch right a few times - and he's a dog that likes scrambling! I think it would be worth checking out the Walkhighlands route which climbs up the south side of the east ridge, I think. Maybe there's a dog owner out there who has some experience of it - with their dog, of course!
by Redrock » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:33 am
ndhudson wrote:Really enjoyed this one, Redrock! Gorgeous photo of the East Rigde!!! Unfortunately that's the only side I've seen. We were going to do this hill during our last visit to Skye, but the weather didn't cooperate, go figure Thanks for showing us what we missed!
Aye, "nd", what's new about the weather not cooperating in Scotland! But look at it this way, that makes it even more precious when it does! And I still didn't see the Cuillin from Bla Bheinn - so I'll have to go back someday too!
by dogplodder » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:46 am
Redrock wrote:Hi dogplodder, I'm not sure if I would recommend the stony chute from the South Top for all dogs. It's quite awkward. My son had to keep Patch right a few times - and he's a dog that likes scrambling! I think it would be worth checking out the Walkhighlands route which climbs up the south side of the east ridge, I think. Maybe there's a dog owner out there who has some experience of it - with their dog, of course!
Thanks Redrock. I hadn't immediately twigged this wasn't the WH route. I'll have to leave this one for next year now so will do my homework in the meantime. Those collies were great - especially Patch managing that stony chute. The rock is hard on their paws putting me in mind of the protective boots I saw police dogs wearing in Northern Ireland - very cute they looked too.
by dogplodder » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:24 am
monty wrote:Nice report Dogplodder. This was my first taste of sky munros and we had excellent weather for it. Blazing sunshine. Looks like the dogs are enjoying themselves.
Nice of you to give me the credit Monty but this was Redrock's report!
by Bod » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:44 pm