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Isle of Rum Cuillin traverse and a night in Dibidil Bothy
by mountainstar » Tue May 22, 2012 12:05 pm
Route description: Rum Cuillin traverse
Grahams included on this walk: Trallval
Date walked: 14/05/2012
Time taken: 11 hours
Distance: 22.3 km
Ascent: 1943m13 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).
It had been a few years since we had been to the Isle of Rum, this would be my third trip over to the Island.
The first visit was when I was bagging the Corbett’s in July 1996. The second time was in May 2005 when I took Ele over for her first visit for a couple of nights, we had one night in the Castle hostel and one in Guirdil Bothy. On that occasion there was no time to visit Dibidil Bothy, one of only 2 MBA Bothys in the Highlands and Islands that I have not visited up to now, so it was time to go back again to finally “bag” this elusive Bothy .
Having mentioned to our friends Keith and Carol that we were going, they said that they would like to join us as their last visit turned out to be a disaster, with all attempts to walk anywhere defeated by gales and driving rain, in fact even getting off the Island was a problem when the ferry was delayed by a day to let the storm die down slightly.
A few days before we set off for Scotland Keith found via Facebook that one of his mates and his friend would also be going over to Rum on our ferry, stop the night in Dibidil Bothy and do the Cuillin traverse the next day, weather permitting, so the 4 of us would be having some company.
We stopped over in K & C’s house en route to the Highlands on the Sat night, the next day the weather took a change for the worse, with heavy rain set for 24 hours, so a hostel in Kinlochleven was hastily booked instead of camping in the Red Squirrel campsite, this gave us a chance to see the weather for the week ahead on the TV in the hostel…it was not good with rain set for Wed onwards, again we changed our plans, instead of 4 nights on Rum, we would just stop for the first two nights (we already had a cabin booked for the Tues night), so missing out on a night in Guirdil Bothy and wild-camping at Kilmory Bay on the north coast.
Day 1 Monday 14th May 2012.
Kinloch to Dibidil Bothy
Accent 353m Decent 325m
Day one route.
Weather. Sunny periods, some light showers, cold.
We caught the 10.15am Ferry from Mallaig which travels via Eigg then arrives at Rum at 12.45pm. Two police were on the ferry, and disembarked at Eigg, I quipped to the others “do you think that they have been scrambled to Eigg?”
We met Mark and Andy on the ferry, once on Rum they left ahead of us as we had to off-load some gear, food and booze (lots of! ) at the Information centre for our return the next day.
Once that was sorted we were away by 1.15pm for Dibidil Bothy.
The path for Dibidil leaves the village heading south and climbs to 220m some distance from the coast, it stays high for a few miles before dropping down nearer to the coast again as it nears the Bothy, having taken our time on the walk, we arrived at our home for the night at around 4.30 pm.
The Bothy sits in a lovely rocky bay with great views to Eigg and the Mainland to the east.
Only yards from the Bothy a great deep fissure is encountered…not a place for sleep walking!
Once unpacked we wondered down to the rocky bay where we hoped to find some drift wood, sadly we didn’t, so it was a fireless night that evening, but we had a good time with the usual alcoholic merriment that comes with Bothy nights.
Approaching Eigg on the Ferry.
An Sgurr, Eigg
Rum Cuillin from the ferry
East Coast path
East Coast path
East Coast path
First view of Dibidil Bothy
Fissure by Dibidil Bothy
View north from Dibidil Bothy
View north from Dibidil Bothy
View south from Dibidil Bothy
Passing shower and rainbow, Eigg
First brew, Dibidil Bothy
Day 2. Tuesday 15th May.
Dibidil to Kinloch via Sgurr nan Gillian (764m) Ainshval (812m) Trallval (702m) Askival (781m) and Hallival (722m)
Day two route.
Weather. Mainly sunny, one snow shower, freezing up high.
A lovely morning with blue skies greeted us, so the Rum Cuillin traverse was on.
Ele and Carol would return to Kinlock via the coastal path again, with somewhat heavier packs than they would normally carry, with us lightening ours to make the total accent of 1590m somewhat easier.
Mark and Andy were still having their brew as we left at 8.50am. (They left 15 minutes later)
We took the path south up the hillside behind the Bothy, then at the high point we left the path to climb very steeply up to our first summit of the day Sgurr nan Gillian (10.30am), a great viewpoint with the whole ridge revealing itself ahead. After a break we followed the wide ridge to the 759m summit north-west of Sgurr nan Gillian, by now we just knew this was going to be a classic day.
Ainshval was our next mountain which is one of Rums two Corbett’s.
By the time we had reached Ainshval (11.15am) Mark and Andy had caught us up. We all headed down the rocky and steep north face of Ainshval, missing the main route somehow and found ourselves scrambling down some difficult craggy ground to the west of the correct route down. Once at the Bealach an Fhuarain me and Mark climbed directly to Rum’s only Graham Trallval which looked very steep and rocky from the bealach, but a good scrambling path soon got us to the summit in around 20 minutes.
Climbing Trallval was another reason to visit Rum once again, as I don’t think that I actually went over it the last time I did these mountains (not that I’m bagging Grahams…honest! ) I probably (can’t remember ) bypassed this peak on the south east-side (which Keith and Andy did also did).
From Trallval airy summit we dropped to Bealach an Oir, passing many burrowed Manx shearwater nests on the grassier east ridge as we descended, they are birds of the open ocean, which breed at heights of around 400m on the Rum Cuillin. Burrowing nesters, they arrive at night to feed the chicks. In the darkness they make distinctive calls, and local people used to believe these were the souls of dead sailors crying out.
Another big climb leads to Rum’s highest Corbett Askival, half way up we caught up with Keith and Andy again, who told us of a near miss Andy had with a boulder half his size, which rolled away under him as he hopped on it, he very quickly he had to jump clear saving it rolling over him! I reassured him that we would have been able to free him as I had a sharp penknife with me! (as in ….Between a rock and hard place/27 hours)
On our way up we had our only snow shower of the day, but by the time we reached the summit blue skies were above us again (1.45pm).
More scrambling leads down from Askival to a lovely short lived rocky ridge which leads to the bealach, one final scramble leads through the crags to the final summit of the day Hallival (2.45pm). Here again we saw dozens of nests of the Manx Shearwaters,
We hung around here for some time taking in the great views.
We all dropped north-west to Bealach Bairc-mheall where we left Mark and Andy who were heading for Guirdil Bothy that night. From the bealach we picked up the path that leads down the corrie back to Kinloch (4.30pm).
That night we had booked one of the wishbone camping cabins, which are very basic but fully insulated and double glazed, each cabin has four single mattresses and solar lighting.
So that was our Rum trip over with, an Island I would thoroughly recommend anyone going to, the Rum traverse is up there with any other in Scotland.
It was sunny on the Wed morning, but as we caught the ferry at 11.50am the skies had clouded over and rain then set in during the afternoon, which continued for around 48 hours, so at least we had made the right decision to leave when we did, not that the next few days were wasted, as we walked to Tarbet bunkhouse on Loch Nevis (15 mile return) for a night, and then had a night in Leacraithnaith Bothy near to Lochaline, Morvern.
Here are the pictures from our traverse of the Rhum Cuillin. Thanks to Keith Harper for letting me use some of his (indicated by KH)
Morning, Dibidil Bothy
Morning, Dibidil Bothy
Leaving Dibidil Bothy
The climb to Sgurr nan Gillean
Eigg from Sgurr nan Gillean
Eigg from Sgurr nan Gillean
The slopes to Sgurr nan Gillean
Panorama from Sgurr nan Gillean
View north from Sgurr nan Gillean
View west from Sgurr nan Gillean
Not a bad viewpoint, Sgurr nan Gillean (KH)
Sgurr nan Gillean north ridge
759m summit north of Sgurr nan Gillean
Dropping off Sgurr nan Gillean
Scramble down Sgurr nan Gillean
Hallival & Askival
On Trallvall, with Sgurr nan Gillean to rhs
Askival from above Bealach an Oir
On ridge to Askival
Snow shower, Glen Dibidil below
Skye & Hallival from Askival
Skye Cuillin & Hallival from Askival
Ridge to Hallival
Trallval and Askival from Hallival
Looking back from Hallival
Manx Shearwater nest on Hallival
Inside a Manx Shearwaters’ nest (KH)
Panorama south from Hallival
Skye & Kinloch from Hallival
Keith & Andy approach Hallival
Keith, Andy, Mark and me on Hallival summit
Mark & Andy leave us at Bealach Bairc-mheall (KH)
Refreshing back at Kinloch!
Our Wishbone “shed”, Kinloch
And here is my video of our trip…..
by LeithySuburbs » Tue May 22, 2012 12:20 pm
by SusieThePensioner » Tue May 22, 2012 12:45 pm
That bothy looks to be in a wonderful spot.....how I envy you
by Johnny Corbett » Tue May 22, 2012 1:32 pm
by Lenore » Tue May 22, 2012 2:37 pm
by malky_c » Tue May 22, 2012 2:58 pm
I'm going to come back and look at this properly when I'm at home
by mgmt! » Tue May 22, 2012 4:55 pm
- Posts: 540
- Joined: Oct 18, 2010
by jonny616 » Tue May 22, 2012 7:14 pm
by Essan » Tue May 22, 2012 7:44 pm
I really must get over to Rum one of these days! Dibidil is looking good
by mountainstar » Tue May 22, 2012 7:53 pm
Lenore wrote: Have read the path over is a bit tricky (especially river crossings); how did you find it?
The path is fine, there are 2 river crossings, both of which could be problematic or impossible in spate, but we found them ok to cross, and it had rained heavily for about 18hrs the day before we got there.
Thanks to everyone else for the good comments.
by Lenore » Tue May 22, 2012 9:16 pm
mountainstar wrote:The path is fine, there are 2 river crossings, both of which could be problematic or impossible in spate, but we found them ok to cross, and it had rained heavily for about 18hrs the day before we got there.
Thanks a lot for the info. Too bad you had to shorten your trip a bit, but I'm glad that you still got those awesome two days out of it!
by Bod » Tue May 22, 2012 9:53 pm
I have always wanted to go to Rum and know I know even more why......
by gammy leg walker » Tue May 22, 2012 10:14 pm
by rockhopper » Tue May 22, 2012 11:06 pm