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A snowy start from the Bealach na Ba!

A snowy start from the Bealach na Ba!


Postby jakeyboy » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:05 pm

Route description: Sgurr a' Chaorachain, Bealach na Ba

Corbetts included on this walk: Sgurr a' Chaorachain

Date walked: 14/04/2012

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 7 km

Ascent: 375m

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Determined that the weather was not going to be an issue for me walking this weekend, I checked the forecast and decided on the easy option of Sgurr a' Chaorachain to add another Corbett!
Edit: Maybe you'd just like to look at the video slide-show I made instead of reading my report? I hope you'll do both, but here's the slide-show anyway :shock: -


The drive down provided me with superb views of the snow-topped landscape, especially from the Layby at Achanalt where I was treated to the following shot of a fantastic looking ridge, which I have obviously taken less notice of on earlier trips. Can anyone enlighten me? I want to climb that!
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There were loads of cars parked in the layby here, and I saw two walkers returning - but from where??.....

As I continued down through the beautiful Lochcarron I remembered the road I was about to take being an experience! The Coire na Ba is the corrie in which the road winds up to the Bealach na Ba viewpoint and the track up to the mast.
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Looking up the Coire na Ba
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A couple of the locals in the corrie!

A change in the weather was to greet me on my arrival at the start of the track up to the mast. A couple of walkers had headed up ahead of me, and we were treated to a very heavy downpour of tiny hailstones, almost frozen drizzle. This continued in showers and lasted until I reached the mast, although more showers seemed imminent.
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Not looking too promising.
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The next shower closing in!
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First view of the summit looks daunting weather-wise! Eek!

As it turned out, the rest of the walk to the summit of Sgurr a' Chaorachain went well. Apart from a bracing, if somewhat bitter wind, the weather remained fine enough for a superb walk along an easy ridge with superb views! Apart from the views west to Skye being mostly obscured by snow, (or hail) clouds! :?
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Weather still looking threatening at this point!
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The dramatic view down the Coire a' Chaorachain
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Looking along the ridge with a dusting of hail!

Although the walk is mainly pathless, there are clear enough pathways on the more awkward parts, and the pathless portions are easy to navigate. The undulating ridge is a real joy, and I found myself grinning in self-satisfied congratulation at having made the right choice for today. :D :D The views from the ridge compound my satisfaction!
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Another, clearer view of the Coire a' Chaorachain.
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The Coire na Ba from the ridge.
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The Coire na Ba and Loch Kishorn beyond.
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Loch Kishorn and beyond.
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I decided to take the route over the intermediate summit, rather than the bypass route. Not that I consider it cheating to take the bypass in any way whatsoever, I just wanted to get the full view from the top before I reached the summit! I took the bypass on the return.
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The summit cairn.
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A full panorama from the summit!

A most exhilerating ridge walk and gorgeous views, what more could I have asked for? After a bit of exploring at the summit, (and more photos) I had lunch and headed back. I met another walker as I left. After exchanging our mutual appreciation of the scenery, cursing the biting wind and changeable nature of the weather, I left him to enjoy the summit.
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The Torridon hills, (I believe) in the distance and iced with snow!
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The bypass on the return route
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A last look back at the ridge and summit. A lot clearer than at the start.

In no tome at all, I was back at the mast and I'd loved evey minute of it! Although the weather had threatened to scupper my plans, it held off long enough for me to complete another Corbett. I still never managed to get any decent views of Skye and the Coulins as I returned to the Bealach na Ba, where there were now quite a few folk parked and ready to head into the hills!
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The clearest view I could manage

A grand outing to be sure. As I began the scenic coastal drive around the Applecross peninsula it occured that maybe Beinn Bhan would be a future outing for me in this area, who knows...........
Last edited by jakeyboy on Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jakeyboy
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Re: A snowy start from the Bealach na Ba!

Postby LeithySuburbs » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:54 pm

Some cracking atmospheric shots here :D .
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Re: A snowy start from the Bealach na Ba!

Postby jakeyboy » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:26 am

LeithySuburbs wrote:Some cracking atmospheric shots here :D .


Cheers Leithy! It was very atmospheric, and I've just added a video slide-show from the day. Have a look, you may find it atmospheric too! :D
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Re: A snowy start from the Bealach na Ba!

Postby quoman » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:50 am

Fantastic report and video...canny beleive you start at 2000ft, not much effort for the excellent views.
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Re: A snowy start from the Bealach na Ba!

Postby jakeyboy » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:53 am

quoman wrote:Fantastic report and video...canny beleive you start at 2000ft, not much effort for the excellent views.

Aye, an easy day oot for lazy buggers! :lol:
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Re: A snowy start from the Bealach na Ba!

Postby dogplodder » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:55 am

Wow. You've got some great shots there! :D
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Re: A snowy start from the Bealach na Ba!

Postby jakeyboy » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:01 pm

dogplodder wrote:Wow. You've got some great shots there! :D

Thanks dogplodder! It was a great day despite the stormy start :D
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