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Beinn Dearg and Co

Beinn Dearg and Co


Postby bootsandpaddles » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:16 am

Route description: Beinn Dearg - the Four Munros circuit

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Dearg (Ullapool), Cona' Mheall, Eididh nan Clach Geala, Meall nan Ceapraichean

Date walked: 21/04/2012

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 25.6 km

Ascent: 1719m

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BEINN DEARG AND CO

After my 11 hour day in the Mullardoch hills I decided to award myself a bit of a lie in and a day off. So I pottered up to the campsite in Ullapool for a shower and a spot of shopping. Due to the magnetic effect of outdoor shops, I found myself chatting to the guy behind the counter about the weather forecast. They use a Norwegian website (Yr.No) rather than MWIS and I was assured that although the forecast for the next day was for Ullapool it was also good for the hills. :?
DSCN1100.JPG
Doesn't look that promising to me. From Ullapool
It looked reasonable (you know, that symbol of a cloud with the sun peeking out from behind) so after my rest day, lots of food and with dry-ish boots I set off for Inverlael bright and early. Well, early anyway. It was somewhat overcast with a bit of drizzle in the air. There was a diversion through the forest which didn’t really make any difference to the walk in. I was soon out of the forest and on the narrow track up Gleann na Sguaib. The black cliffs of Beinn Dearg loomed threateningly out of the clouds: where was that sun?
DSCN1101.JPG
On I went past waterfalls, crossing the burn several times along the way before reaching a large lochan. Then the track went steeply up on to the bealach in the centre of the Beinn Dearg group. Sitting by the larger of the two lochans in the clouds (still no sun) I took a bearing, found the ridge of Beinn Dearg and followed the line of the wall upwards.
DSCN1103.JPG
Higher up the soft snow became quite deep and it was very hard work. Eventually the wall turned west and I crossed it and carried on south up snow slopes that now had a bit of a crust on them. I was now in a white out and just slogged on til I saw the cairn. “Perhaps I’ll just do Beinn Dearg and bail out” I thought. But after I had retraced my steps back to the bealach and had a cup of tea I thought I might as well do Cona Mheall while I was there.

So I headed for the spot height of 886m and then down into a bit of a bog on the way to Cona Mheall. The slope to the cairn was not very steep but it was yet another snow covered boulder field. I find I can't make very rapid progress over that kind of ground. My bearing led me quite quickly to the summit cairn. Then back down to the bealach again and over the spot height towards the large lochan. Except that I wandered a bit off course. I knew the way, didn’t I? I didn’t need to take a bearing, did I? Sloppy!!! :oops: Fortunately the cloud lifted a bit and I could see the error of my ways. Might as well carry on now and do the other two Munros. So picking my way through more boulders I gained the ridge of Meall nan Ceapraichean. Every now and then the cloud blew away and I got a glimpse of my surroundings. Loch Tuath to the east looked particularly magnificent. No photos I’m afraid: by the time I got the camera out the cloud was back again. From Meall nan Ceapraichean a bit of dip leads to Ceann Garbh and then I decided to walk east along the ridge before dropping down to the lochan at NH267837. After my navigation blip earlier on I was very rigorous and paced it all out. At the point where I had decided to leave the ridge there was a cairn! The descent was steep and wet and lower down there were rocks to be negotiated before reaching the lochan. A vague path goes from the lochan up to the summit of Eididh nan Clach Geala. I was in grave danger of getting a cloud free Munro but it was not to be: as I approached the cairn the cloud reappeared. Taking yet another bearing I dropped down through more rocks to the grassy west ridge. On reaching the lochan on the ridge I headed south down heathery slopes to reach the path which joined with the track in Gleann na Sguaib for a quick return to Inverlael. It was raining hard by this time. What do Norwegians know about Scottish weather I asked myself as my boots became squelchy again and my mittens filled with water running down my jacket sleeves. :eh: When I reached Ullapool the sun was shining: I could just hear the guy in the outdoor shop saying” That forecast was pretty accurate then!”. :lol:
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bootsandpaddles
 
Posts: 663
Munros:282   Corbetts:101
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Re: Beinn Dearg and Co

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:38 pm

Not done this group yet but love the area. Cheers :D .
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LeithySuburbs
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Posts: 1922
Munros:253   Corbetts:50
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Sub 2000:40   Hewitts:14
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Location: The Capital

Re: Beinn Dearg and Co

Postby monty » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:12 pm

Nice one Boots........ Your bagging them like a maniac this past week. Was up there a few weeks ago completely in the clag. See you had similar conditions :lol:
monty
 

Re: Beinn Dearg and Co

Postby bootsandpaddles » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:25 am

monty wrote:Nice one Boots........ Your bagging them like a maniac this past week. Was up there a few weeks ago completely in the clag. See you had similar conditions :lol:


Trying to get them finished, Monty. :crazy:
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bootsandpaddles
 
Posts: 663
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Re: Beinn Dearg and Co

Postby dannyboy2003 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:38 pm

looks like everyone has been getting grim weather on this group of hills this year...shame as i sense the views are stunning! I did the round in the opposite direction and had similar navigational challenges coming off your second Munro; did the same thing...thought i knew where i was going and ended up decending into the NE corrie!!!! fool.
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dannyboy2003
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Re: Beinn Dearg and Co

Postby dooterbang » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:40 pm

Loads of reports recently on these...

Shame about the weather but great effort considering your outings beforehand.

Stick to MWIS...its always spot on, aye right!!
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dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
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Location: Glasgow

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