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In the clouds of Beinn a'Ghlo

In the clouds of Beinn a'Ghlo

Postby tomcar » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:16 am

Route description: Beinn a'Ghlo

Munros included on this walk: Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, Carn Liath (Beinn a'Ghlo), Carn nan Gabhar

Date walked: 11/08/2012

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 22 km

Ascent: 1239m

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A nice early morning start, driving away from house at 5:30am to head down to Loch Moraig (a 2 hour drive). Weather looked okay, if a little cloudy.
Parked up at the Loch and immediately you see the first peak of the day (or would have except the top was shrouded in cloud). A nice short walk to the wooden hut, then across the boggy heather to the start of the first climb, a steep one with a loose stone path slightly zig-zagging up towards the top. This got the heart going and the lungs working, headed into the clouds around 900m as we climbed. Reached the top, Carn Liath, in good time and once out of the cool breeze we had a quick break (light snack and a drink).
From here we headed along the ridge – in cloud so no view at all, which was a shame as reckon the view would have great as it was a fairly narrow ridge with views either side. As we descended to the bealach we dropped below the cloud and saw some of what we missed view-wise in the clouds – and it looked like it would have been stunning from the ridge.
It was a fairly steep climb from here (not as steep as the first climb of the day thankfully) up the clear path with loose stones. Back up into the clouds and on to the summit of the 2nd Munro, Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain. Again no view to appreciate, so we plodded on. Followed the ridge, but lower than we should have and ‘missed’ the path down to the right by about 50m so ended up carefully heading down to the Bealach an Fhoidha and a cracking view of the glen. As we descended we spotted the path and got back on it. The path towards the final summit of the day could be seen – again heading into the clouds.
We decided to complete the final summit and descend again before stopping for food, and ‘joy’ another steep ascent. The climb up the initial ascent was tough but straightforward, once it levelled out a bit we were back in the clouds. Probably due to tired legs the walk from here to the Summit of Carn nan Gabhar seemed to go on longer than expected over stony ground. I can say at this point the GPS made finding the summits a lot easier in the clouds. Final summit done and with no views to see, we headed back down to the Bealach. As we met the stream to head south we stopped for eats. Having not seen a soul all day, as we sat and ate we spotted 2 walkers in the distance on the ridge heading to the Bealach an Fhoidha – and another 2 on the main ridge between the first 2 peaks. The clouds had lifted a bit now so you could see where we had been walking and as we looked down south you could a sense of how good the views must have been for those walkers.
From here we walked back along the river on a boggy and ‘broken’ path that made you think about every footstep - carefully :crazy: . We made good time along here despite the rough terrain. Once across the stream we followed the path around Beinn Bheag and after a long slog we met the track heading back to the Wooden hut near the start of the walk. Then a steady walk back to the car for a chilled bottle of water and change of footwear to let our poor feet rest.
One we will do again, hopefully with the cloud base above the peaks as this would be one of the better walks for anyone to do if only for the views. :D
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Re: In the clouds of Beinn a'Ghlo

Postby electricfly » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:42 am

Did this same route the next day (sun 12th) in very similar conditions. Probably followed a lot of your boot prints.
Same for us, we only got brief views at the two bealachs and we also overshot the 2nd one, very easy to miss in cloud cover.
Agree that the walk out over intermittent deer tracks heather and marsh is quite a trudge.
Great to read anothers account of a walk done around the same time, thanks.
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Re: In the clouds of Beinn a'Ghlo

Postby captainslow » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:06 pm

Having done this route the weekend before you in warm sunshine I can say you made very good time.

One of the most striking things about the view was how insignificant the summit of Carn a'Chlamain looked!
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Re: In the clouds of Beinn a'Ghlo

Postby basscadet » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:20 pm

Och I think it is just a claggy hill.. I dont know many folk that did it on a fine day.. :roll:
Quite a long walk to walk I reckon though, well done for keeping going :clap:
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Re: In the clouds of Beinn a'Ghlo

Postby Driftwood » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:23 pm

captainslow wrote:Having done this route the weekend before you in warm sunshine I can say you made very good time.

One of the most striking things about the view was how insignificant the summit of Carn a'Chlamain looked!

Not to belittle tomcar & company's time, but perhaps walking in the clag makes keeping a good pace easier than baking in the sun and stopping to admire the views!
Or so I try to tell myself after so many WRs on these hills. I'm another who walked them in the cloud (though it was even lower at 600-700 metres through the time that I was there). I'm not sure whether getting some views from the bealachs and dips along the ridge is better, or just tantalising you with hints of what some lucky sorts get to see from the tops.

I, too, managed to miss the path from the ridge after BCCB which leads down to the bealach across to Carn nan Gabhar. When I do get round to walking these again - and on a clear day - following the ridge in both directions seems a tempting alternative to the usual boggy slog back round the southern side.
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