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by jmarkb » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:52 am
Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Aden, Sgurr a' Choire-bheithe
Date walked: 08/06/2013
Time taken: 16 hours
Distance: 38 km
Ascent: 1600m10 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).
I'm not really a great backpacking fan, but these two are a bit much for one day, and I didn't fancy doing the walk-in twice, so time to get the tent out of the back of the cupboard! We had been waiting for weeks for a good forecast, and at last it came!
We arrived at the parking spot just as the early morning cloud was breaking into glorious sunshine. The first mile did not bode well: rough ground and heavy packs are a miserable combination.
There's a short section of old road as you round the point and start heading westwards, and then a narrow but OK path as far as the potentially tricky crossing of the Abhainn Cosaidh, which was a mere trickle. Soon after this thew old road appears again. (The start is easy to miss. We missed it.) Eventually after quite a few wee ups and downs the dam at the head of the loch is reached, where you can cut the corner past a lochan to pick up the path over a wee rise and down to Lochan nam Bhreac.
What an amazing spot! Hemmed in by steep slopes with a lovely sandy beach and good tent pitches at the near end.
We pitched up, and then set off (with light sacks, hooray!) for Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe. The path is quite good but there are several ups and downs at first before the main climb to Mam Unndalain begins. Above the col the hill is well defenced by bands of crags with no obvious way through. This could be really tricky in poor visibility, I think! We weaved a devious route through the crags to emerge at a little col on the ridge, from where it was an easy 10 minutes to the top, and fantastic views, especially out to the west.
We sat and enjoyed the sun for a bit, and then headed back down the same way: I had though about going east along the ridge, but the direct descent to Lochan nam Bhreac looks pretty brutal!
Back at the tent, it was boots off and in for a paddle: bliss! Sitting around eating dinner here was just perfect. Finally at about 8.30pm the first midges came out, so we went into the tent and straight off to sleep.
We were awake quite early, so we decided to take our breakfast up the hill. The low cloud had formed again overnight, but it proved not to be very thick. As we reached about 550m on the NE ridge of Ben Aden, we popped out of the top and into glorious sunshine. The ridge is a grand one, with lots of rocky outcrops and a bit of easy scrambling. By 8am we were eating breakfast on the summit, enjoying the stunning views over the layer of cloud in the inversion. Last time I was here I was aged 15, on a school trip and, unknown to us as we had no radio, the Falklands were being invaded....
Reluctantly we headed back down, taking a line down Coire na Chruaiche and back into the mist.
After a cup of tea back at the tent, we packed up and headed out. Not much to say about the walk out except that it was hot, sweaty, tiring and seeming endless! We were both very very glad to see the end of it.....
Maybe the tent won't stay in the cupboard so long this time!
by The Rodmiester » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:46 am
by Fudgie » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:50 am
by BlackPanther » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:58 am
Superb photos of cloud inversion
by Phil the Hill » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:23 pm
Hamish Brown lists a wild camp by Lochan nan Breac as one of the 6 (if I remember correctly) greatest experiences in the Highlands, along with such delights as doing the Aonach Eagach by moonlight. I had a go for it when in Knoydart, but the weather turned decisively for the worst and we bailed out. It's still on my wishlist.
by jmarkb » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:51 pm
BlackPanther wrote:Tricky hills to get to, we climbed the easy Knoydard Corbett, Sgurr nan Eugallt, earlier this year and sitting on the summit we wondered which route would be the best to tackle these two.
This was the best route I could come up with, to do both in the same trip. You could do them from Sourlies, but there are also river crossing problems, and that's an even tougher walk-in via Glen Dessary. Hiring a boat from Inverie to Camusrory would be fun if you could find enough folk to share the costs!
Phil the Hill wrote:Wish my school had done trips to Ben Aden.
Yes, we were very lucky in having some keen teachers. It was all done under the banner of Combined Cadet Force Adventurous Training, but in reality there was no military content to the trip other than eating army rations. Somehow we got to stay a few nights at the estate cottage at Camusrory.
Phil the Hill wrote:Hamish Brown lists a wild camp by Lochan nan Breac as one of the 6 (if I remember correctly) greatest experiences in the Highlands, along with such delights as doing the Aonach Eagach by moonlight.
I didn't know that: I can see why, but only if you go out of midge season, otherwise it might be one of the 6 worst!
by wilkiemurray » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:23 pm
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by ketzster » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:25 pm
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