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Beinn Damh and a welcome skinny dip

Beinn Damh and a welcome skinny dip


Postby ridgerunner » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:47 pm

Route description: Beinn Dàmh (or Ben Damph)

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Damh

Date walked: 28/05/2012

Time taken: 5 hours

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Another scorching day in Wester Ross and planned a clockwise circuit of Beinn Damh and Sgurr na Bana Mhaorie. This looked quite tame after yesterday's 7hours on Beinn Eighe and when driving up from Shieldaig i mistook Sgurr a Bana Mhaorie for Beinn Damh from the roadside and thought i would be up and down in no time.
Parked at the Torridon Inn and followed the route from the back of the inn. The rhododendrons were not as dense as expected and got good views of the waterfall from the path.
Once i cleared the trees good views of Liathach.
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Liathach

Looking straight ahead could now see the ridge approach on the distant skyline bottom left, heading right with the summit just visible in the centre.
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Soon the path forked with the main path heading off right but i kept left dropping slightly to the Allt coire roill. Surprisingly the path ends abruptly at a 12 ft drop and a small detour upstream is required to cross over. This let me see a picturesque deep pool which i thought would be ideal for cooling off at the end of the walk.
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Ben Alligin in the distance


It was a long straight hot walk directly into the sun [ i had started at 1100 as there was early morning sea mist] to reach the drochaid coire roill. To get to the very end of the of the north east ridge of Meall dubh na Drochaid would have meant a slight loss of height so i aimed for an obvious gap in the rocky face and alighted onto a 40ft broad step from which the next rock face looked rather vertical and impassable. However there was one small chink in its defences and a short scramble scaled the 20ft face.

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looking down steep scramble

Then walked across large flat plates of rock leading to the foot of the Stuc Toll nan Biast.
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looking at the south east ridge of Spidean Coire an Laoigh

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looking up Stuc Toll nan Biast with the highest point of Beinn Damh top left

This slope was convex and although looks like a scramble from the bottom , was actually more a matter of picking the way through the rocky outcrops and boulders up the steep slope. This was very hot work but eventually the slope levelled a bit giving views of the final scramble to the summit.
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The summit

Spent a good hour here with nobody in sight and glorious views.
Eventually headed north west along the curving ridge to the next top.
At this point it was very rocky underfoot that made awkward going and i can see why the path bypassed the next top as it was the same terrain all the way. I made for the path which was quite faint and disappeared often and would be hard to follow in the cloud.
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Looking along the ridge to Loch Torridon

This path also gave great views of Loch Damh to the left.
From the point where i met the main path ascending , it was about 30 min to walk to the summit of Sgurr na Bana Mhaorie . Great views from there that called for another long rest.
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looking down to Torridon Hotel

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looking to the wooded Eagle Island off Shieldaig

Returned to the main beallach and followed the eroded path down to the junction of the paths.
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looking back at the north east ridge of Stuc Toll nan Biast middle distance

Retraced my steps to the deep pool and slithered into the water and swam for about 10 minutes praying that nobody would appear. Fantastic.
Got dressed and headed back down through the trees to the Torridon Inn to a very welcome pint of "Beinn Damh" brewed by the An Teallach brewery.
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ridgerunner
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