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Beinn Sgritheall-the cost of public transport

Beinn Sgritheall-the cost of public transport

Postby Dannyboy » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:37 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Sgritheall

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn na h-Eaglaise

Date walked: 13/06/2010

Time taken: 62 hours

Distance: 72 km

Ascent: 4744m

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Way back in the heady, summer days of 2010...

As always it starts with a grand plan- me and a friend to bag ourselves 16 of Glen Shiel's munros in two days...well the forecasts were pretty grim- mainly just involving lots of cloud, people that know us look down on us for being "fair weather walkers"- a point i would never contest(in fact im rather proud to be so) but were also stingy beggars so having paid for our city link tickets from Glasgow to Shiel Bridge we had to go! :problem:
Now there are a few problems with using public transport for hillwalking- as im sure you are all aware, i would say the bus was pretty expensive(about £40 for a standard fare) which leads to a dilemma- book early=save money but risk poor weather or book late= more expensive but wait for better weather, so i guess you could say were more stingy than fair weather minded but sorry im digressing...

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This map says this route is apparently possible in 22hours 16 mins-maybe next time!

So tickets in hand we drew an alternative route around the Glen Elg peninsula(for want of knowledge of its real name) and summit Beinn Sgritheall, plus we could stop at the lovely Glenelg inn for tea(something the Glen Shiel ridge couldnt offer even in good weather). :idea:

So we were green-thinking for a few hours that morning up to Shiel Bridge and met a friend from our mountaineering club who was going to do a couple in Glen Shiel despite the weather- otherwise regarded by us as a stubborn fool! :silent:

Arriving near lunch time we walked out of the town and ate our lunch on a well placed picnic table- lessen the load of our heavy bags a little!

Regardless it was a nice walk along the small, quiet road past Ratagan to Totaig which offers nice views down the loch and across to Eilean Donan,

from there we walked along a nice track up to the Broch(the one pictured on the cover of the 33 Landranger map) which is largely a ruin but cloaked in bluebells and ferns so lovely nonetheless(a nice short stroll if you drove to Totaig!)



Onwards we plodded through forest and sometimes very sodden boggy forest- despite which we passed many signs for the Lochalsh "Dirty 30" event being held a day or two afterwards- hats off to anyone thats done that! We dropped down to Ardintoul and had a bit of bother finding a bridge over the second river so just hopped over the fences and walked through to rejoin the path later on, :shifty:
Ardintoul and Skye bridge

from here we walked along the beach for quite a way- nice lightly coloured beach but strewn with flotsam, the track then took us higher, past the ugly industrial deforestation and back into forest to rejoin the road as the Kylerhea ferry was setting off, :wave:
Stumpy lighthouse

then into a residential with perhaps too many caravans by the beach to spend some time admiring Bernera barracks and the Grebe family swimming the river then the drizzle started so we forged on to the Glenelg inn where at last we could sit down on comfy chairs enjoy a pint and a lovely meal...eh, no! Comfy seat- tick, pint- tick, meal-fully booked! Nightmare! :evil: We could only watch as the lovely looking grub passed us by so we had a second self pity pint! Then heads hung low between our ankles as we walked down the ever darkening road past Eilanreach and scanned the roadsides with our headtorches to find a grassy spot with a touch of wind(its June after all!) set up our trusty Govan tent and cook our own a la carte supernoodles! :mrgreen:

Come the morning any trace of wind has blown away so we hurriedly packed up and legged it trying to conserve as many red blood cells as we could! Finding a stream to collect some water we set up the stove by the road and enjoyed a lovely vista with our porridge!

Great view of the Cuillin from here

It was then only a short walk to the start of the path down to the picturesque Sandaig Islands which id seen before but had wanted to revisit- we decided it was a bit too much of a detour though and our soles/souls were feeling the strain of the miles of tarmac so we walked on in zombie like fashion.

Was a few miles further down the road when a car passed us and stopped just ahead- after confirming he was travelling past our destination he ordered his child into the back and we got in- well we talked to Arnisdale where he dropped us off by the sign to the hill as we had indicated our intentions- full of appreciation we waved him off and sat by the beach a short while where we surveyed the map some more and decided walking on to Corran would be an idea(maybe it was the great advertisement tactics of Sheila's Tea hut whose signs lured us in!)
Arnisdale PO!

Steep Beinn Sgritheall

Have to say Corran has a lovely new community hall and much to our appreciation the facilities were open with just a local donation requested.
The village hall

Dutifully we walked through the village to Sheilas and rang the bell in the shed-shortly afterwards an elderly woman exited the neighbouring house and approached the till! Now i felt bad- from what had we disturbed this lady? Dragging her into the shed so she could serve us tea and scones! We sat down and enjoyed the snack while trying to justify our actions!
Sheila's Tea Hut!

Nice surrioundings to the cafe- cats strolled closely by and deer and chickens shared the adjacent field- that i thought a bit strange- a somewhat odd combination! :wtf:


One of the cats must have taken a shine to us as it followed us up the riverside track-even squirming through fences when we jumped over stiles and rested when we did, it was fairly vocal but never signalled want for anything but company so we never gave it anything (stingy beggars perhaps but im sure it wouldnt have liked our noodles or instant porridge-even the golden syrup flavour!) We crossed the River Arnisdale and our feline companion left us as we reached steeper ground towards Coire Chorsalain. Just above the waterfall we placed our touch of Glasgow and left whatever we could before starting on the Beinn,

Beinn na h-Eaglaise and beyond

id like to echo previous reports regarding the steepness of these hills- they are very steep! We (not corbett minded) contoured around Beinn nan Caorach's western slopes- with rock and heather interchanging patches before reaching flatter ground and doing a near 180 to approach Beinn na h-Eaglaise which is even steeper so we zig-zagged our way up its eastern flank and down the incredibly steep slope to Bealach Arnasdail and on to the summit of Beinn Sgritheall itself- even on a day like ours we got great views looking down on the pretty, sedate vilage of Arnisdale and beyond- well worth a return in cloudless conditions one day soon i hope, :thumbup:
Looking down on Arnisdale

Just the energy to remove the look of fatigue for a second!

we retraced our steps (contouring round Beinn na h-Eaglaise) and return to our campsite with the joint of every bone in our feet making themelves heard-in hindsight going over the hills would probably have been easier on the feet than all that cotouring- think my feet were a good couple of inches(6 barley grains!) wider! They had certainly taken a beating from the tarmac and the hills so a short sharp wash in the stream was called for- i have to admit to trying to wash myself in it too- the combo of icy water and irritating midges wasnt even enough to stem the desire for the return to some form of human standard hygiene! :roll:

With most of the walk behind us we slept a while and lay a while as the drizzle and cloud surrounded us, with no sign of change we eventually set off and aimed for Bealach Aoidhdaiean to join the pylons in their descent stopping once at a nice ford in the path there are a few different flowers to be found hereabouts, then on to a landrover track until it peters out just short of Suardalan and a wet grass path through bracken continues in its place. Glen More heralds denser bracken and sheep! Crossing over the road bridge we took a shortcut through a field to join the road to the Ratagan Pass- Tarmac from here on wasnt exactly a great thought but it was the shortest way so we followed it stopping off at a couple of viewpoints before going left at the road junction- toward Ratagan again for 100m or so and camping on the beach(my stingyness shows through again since we chose a free field with horses over paying the campsite further on!)
We cooked our dinner in the midge infested air- midge hoods on we could laugh evil-genius like at the midges land on the pan and being cooked! (is that a bit sick i wonder in hindsight?!) :twisted:


Another late rise to catch the bus back bringing the end to a little adventure-


5 sisters

so there are many issues with public transport(like having to walk 72km to do one munro!) but if youve no other option then its the intelligent choice! And what of the "all weather walker"?- he accomplished his goal but got soaked and didnt see anything! I rest my case your honour!
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Re: Beinn Sgritheall-the cost of public transport

Postby mrssanta » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:41 pm

that was smashing! hats off to you both. :clap:
ant the pictures ain't half bad either
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Re: Beinn Sgritheall-the cost of public transport

Postby Alan S » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:31 pm

mrssanta wrote:that was smashing! hats off to you both. :clap:
ant the pictures ain't half bad either

Yeh cant argue with that, Well done :D
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Re: Beinn Sgritheall-the cost of public transport

Postby malky_c » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:03 pm

Enjoyed that - had some great days out in this area over the last couple of years :D . Good effort on the public transport too - not the easiest place to reach!

I'm planning on using the bus for an overnighter here at some point in the future - couple of Grahams left to do plus Beinn Sgritheall beckons again. Think I'll be using Suadalan bothy though rather than camping.
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