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Ben Dearg wanderings

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:53 am
by whiteburn
The weather forecast for the north-west was just too good to miss, I’d half planned a trip to Beinn Dearg (Ullapool) to backpack around the 6 Munroe group, I quickly packed up the rucksack for a couple of nights and set off at 7:30am for the long drive to Invereal.
Arrived around mid-day with the sun blisteringly hot, slapped on the factor 30 and then headed for Seana Bhràigh, luckily there’s was plenty of water available on route so I could refuel on the hoof as I seemed to drink gallons. Dropped the sack off about 3.5 km short of the summit and just took the bare essentials, managed get a bit off route in the confusing terrain leading to the bealach but made the return trip in 2.5 hours, a spectacular lonely place but no goats today.
I decided to head off towards Eididh nan Clach Gealan in search of somewhere to pitch up for the night and found a good spot on ridge to north-east of Eididh nan Clach Geala (NH 267 845) with even a small breeze and water nearby at 7pm.

It had been quite a long day but a good meal, the warm evening and the location made life feel good, finally hit the mattress around 10pm after watching the sunset :D

The eye mask helped getting a decent night sleep in spite of ridiculously early dawn and I was finally I was making tracks at around 9am.
Relatively easy going and the summits Eididh nan Clach Geala and Meall nan Ceapraichean were easily passed and I found a place to stash my camping gear at the bealach to the west of Cona Mheall before heading off downhill towards Loch Tuath and Am Faochagach. The going proved easier than expected with a good deer trail (with occasional boot print) leading to the northern end of Loch Prille, from here I cut across country to the summit cairn meeting up with a trio who’d ascended from the south.
After a snack, a drink and another slapping of factor 30 it was downhill once again heading for the south end of Loch Prille, plan was to ascend Cona Mheall by its east ridge which from inspection from afar looked quite steep and rocky.

The crossing of the outlet from Loch Prille was quite novel; the easy river crossing is at the head of a 6m waterfall!

Once across I stripped off the boots and gave the overheated feet a 5 mins soak before heading off upwards. The route proved not as steep or as technical as it had appeared from across the valley, still an ascent of 430m, and there was a lot more rock underfoot than grass/ heather. Around 50m from the top I traversed off left to avoid the vertical headwall, finally ended up on the ‘top’ around 50m south of Cona Mheall’s summit cairn.
I made my way down to where I stashed my camping gear earlier in the day, it took a while to find it as the small snow patch that had been my reference had significantly shrunk during the last 6 hrs. Found a reasonable campsite quite close by, got the tent up and started a brew before being descended upon by hoards of midges! :( Decided to decamp and head for the summit of Beinn Dearg where there might be some breeze, only problem no water. Added 3 litres of water to the 11kg rucksack and set off up the steep rocky path up to the top of Beinn Dearg, took me over an hour. Finally got settled in about 50m west of the summit cairn at around 8pm to enjoy a well earned meal and a dram with a slight breeze and no wee beasties! :D

A lazy start to the day saw me finally heading off downhill at 9:30 following the stone wall down the ridge (Diollaid a’Mhill Bhric)

Where the wall ended I continued directly across the heather and peat bog following a line of old steel posts before descending to the valley floor on a disused forestry track and then a wander down the valley to the car, 1:00pm and 24C, headed for lunch and a very cold drink in Ullapool. 8)

Re: Ben Dearg wanderings

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:43 am
by monty
A wild walk in the back of beyond :D Nice one. No what you mean about the return from Seana Bhràigh. It was thick mist when I done it and it was a tad confusing. Had no views whatsoever. :D

Re: Ben Dearg wanderings

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:55 am
by whiteburn
monty wrote:A wild walk in the back of beyond :D Nice one. No what you mean about the return from Seana Bhràigh. It was thick mist when I done it and it was a tad confusing. Had no views whatsoever. :D

I got confused heading for Seana Bhràigh even in glorious sunshine, return was much easier having made the mistakes.
Definitely feels as remote as Fisherfield. :)

Re: Ben Dearg wanderings

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 10:10 pm
by iainwatson
Sounds like a fabulous trip!