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Beinn na Caillich & the Broadford Red Hills

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:19 am
by martyn
After several years of commuting to Skye from Kent 3 or 4 times a year, retirement recently gave me the chance to move to Skye permanently to carry on my enjoyment of its hills, mountains, coastal cliffs and secret bays. Somehow, although I always stayed in Torrin and now live in Broadford, I'd not been up Beinn na Caillich. Frankly, the descriptions of a sloping bog-trot from Old Corry, followed by that bouldery trudge up the NE shoulder were not that encouraging.
But since I enjoy (and do I mean 'enjoy'!) a grandstand of this hill from my lounge, dining room and bedroom windows, it would be churlish not to climb it - and Kinley's report helpfully suggests an alternative route up its NNE ridge.
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Beinn na Caillich, near sunset on 22 April, from home

After 4 pretty dry weeks, the bog-trot was not a bog trot......just a gentle haul from Old Corry across rising moorland that gets a bit bouldery in the last few metres to get established at the foot of the ridge.
And what a ridge - it starts steep and gets steeper but it's firm and solid underfoot, with the occasional gentle rock step, airy but with no sense of exposure and with great views to north, east and west that just get better as you climb.
We (Mark, my self-appointed local fitness trainer tagged along) were really lucky with the weather - showers and squalls seemed to develop all around us but we never felt more than a drop of rain all day.
The route we followed was pretty much as per the Walkhighlands/Kinley descriptions - except we decided to finish the day with tea and cake at The Blue Shed Cafe at Torrin (highly recommended). So, to descend from the summit of Beinn Dearg Bheag without retracing our steps, we headed due south for about 400 metres to about the 350m contour then followed a descending traverse around to our right, across and down steep heathery and occasionally bouldery ground to the Allt Slapin which we followed on its true right bank down to the road, just by a cattle grid, Fearnoch B & B and The Blue Shed Cafe, in Torrin.
The highlight of the day was a very close encounter with a pair of golden eagles, "stooping" and checking us out as we began the climb from the 557m bealach from Beinn na Caillich towards Beinn Dearg Mhor.
But no mistake - and it can't be avoided - the descent from Beinn Dearg Mhor to Bealach Coire Sgreamhach is just downright unpleasant - bare soil, loose stone and rock, tussocky grass. It just needs to be taken carefully and 15-20 minutes gets it out of the way.
Hope you enjoy the assortment of photos......

Re: Beinn na Caillich & the Broadford Red Hills

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:23 am
by SouthernUplandKing
A great report there and these hills did look very fine when I was there in February.

I'm moving to Broadford in September for college so its good to know I have a fellow WH'der also living there :lol: !

Re: Beinn na Caillich & the Broadford Red Hills

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:13 pm
by kevsbald
Love that first shot.

Re: Beinn na Caillich & the Broadford Red Hills

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:13 pm
by BlackPanther
These are superb hills, thanks for reminding :D We did them in June and the weather wasn't great, still I was impressed.
I also found the descent path from Beinn Dearg Mhor to Bealach Coire Sgreamhach a nightmare - I slipped and sat on my bum a couple of times :lol: :lol: Once down and past it, I took a photo from the bealach - and this path looks exactly as bad as it feels:
Image

Re: Beinn na Caillich & the Broadford Red Hills

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:53 pm
by Huff_n_Puff
Congratulations on moving to Skye - brilliant choice. And thanks for the lovely photos; we did this trip on a brilliant March day about 7 years ago. As we sat on the top of one of the hills (memory fade here as to which one) eating lunch and gazing at the Cuillins an eagle took of a gave us a stunning aerial display - that is unforgettable :) :)