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A quick trawl over the Kylerhea hills
by malky_c » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:53 pm
Grahams included on this walk: Beinn na Caillich (Kylerhea), Sgurr na Coinnich
Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ben Aslak
Date walked: 30/07/2013
Time taken: 3.7 hours
Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 1050m4 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).
Distance: 11 km.
Time taken: 3 hours 40 minutes.
Weather: In/out of cloud, sunny spells.
I got a last-minute request to nip out to Skye last Tuesday and do a couple of surveys. Seemed like the perfect excuse to do the rest of the hills that overlook the Kyle of Lochalsh at last. I'd already done Sgurr na Coinnich on a similar visit in 2008 so I knew they would be worth the effort.
An early start had me passing through Broadford at 9am, en route to my first site at Teangue. As I was a few minutes early, I pulled into the hotel at Eilean Iarman for the views across the Sound of Sleat. Must stay here sometime, as it is a lovely spot. It occurred to me that if I'd set my appointments up the other way around, I could have gone for a walk on Sleat somewhere. That could have been interesting as it is much lusher than the rest of Skye.
Knoydart from Eilean Iarman:
Eilean Iarman peir:
By the time I'd driven back round to Broadford and done my second site visit, it was lunchtime. After my previous smash 'n grab of Sgurr na Coinnich, I'd vowed that I'd do these hills in a proper horseshoe around Kylerhea Glen. However I was tight for time and the weather was variable (the clag was sitting over my chosen hills all morning), so I went for the shorter option from Bealach Udal.
I parked up in strong sunshine and a threat of rain, and headed to the phone mast on the flank of Ben Alask. After the mast, it was rough going the rest of the way over heather and rocks. There were good views across to Glenelg and Kintail.
Sgurr na Coinnich from Ben Alask:
Glenelg Bay, Kintail in background:
With 5 Sisters prominent:
I diverted over a short scree slope to get to the east-most summit. The clag was down, so I hung about for a short while, getting fleeting glances of the Sound of Sleat.
South from the top of Ben Alask:
I moved on to the main westerly summit before long, and got much better clearings of cloud here.
Sound of Sleat:
North to the Storr:
I dropped back down to Bealach Udal by a slightly different line. A rough but quick little hill from this direction - well worth revisiting with The adjacent Beinn na Seamraig, as it has the best views south and southeast of the Graham trio.
I was going to go back to the car and get some more food, but I decided to cross the road by the radio mast and get straight on with the second part of the walk. I had briefly considered walking over Sgurr na Choinnich in both directions, but as it was in the clag I decided to contour it on the outward journey instead. I climbed up to the 415m point overlooking Kylerhea Glen then descended slightly to the corrie floor. The going wasn't too bad, over heather and long grass, until I approached the burn at the east side if the corrie. The heather was much deeper here. A steep climb upward on the other side of the burn took me to a shoulder above Beinn Buidhe.
Beginning the contour of Sgurr na Coinnich:
Looking back to Ben Alask:
The view from here over the ascent from Kylerhea confirmed that I should have accepted the extra hour of walking and started from there instead. Still, Beinn na Caillich was now in front of me looking steep and rocky. The most interesting of the trio, I'd say. A short traverse of soft ground led me to the final slopes, which were steep. A fairly quick ascent though. I was lucky - the clag had moved for the time being, giving great views down over Kyle and up Loch Alsh.
Beinn na Caillich:
Kintail and Glenelg:
Sgurr na Coinnich from the ascent of Beinn na Caillich:
Loch Alsh and a shower moving in:
Across Glas Bheinn and Beinn a Chuirn:
Kyle of Lochalsh from Beinn na Caillich:
…with the bridge:
Loch Alsh again:
Kyleakin, Skye bridge and Eilean a Mhal:
It was great to finally be on this summit. I'd looked over to it on my previous visit and decided it was too far for that particular day. A large chunk of my first 4 years in Inverness were spent working on the Kyle water supply, and the main site office was set up just around the corner from the Balmacara war memorial. Beinn na Caillich was always in prominent view, and stopped me from dozing off completely during the more boring meetings I was in! I had a good 10 minutes just down the Kyleakin side of the summit taking in the view.
Descent to Bealach nam Mulachag:
It's a steep and loose descent to the col, but not a particularly long one, and the route back up onto Sgurr na Coinnich is easier going. Clouds were skimming the top, so I didn't hang around. Better views from this one last time.
Looking back to Beinn na Caillich:
Glenelg from Sgurr na Coinnich:
Summit of Sgurr na Caillich:
The first part of the descent to the car is very pleasant, with easy walking over short grass. There a lovely lochan close to the summit as well. Then things deteriorate, with the slopes getting steeper and the heather getting thicker. Maybe I picked the wrong line, as I don't remember this much difficulty last time, but the last 100m to the car were areal fight over hummocky, heathery, man trapping ground.
Beinn a Chapuill and Beinn Sgritheall:
It didn't ruin the day though - I'm pretty sure I'll be back to visit these hills again in some form. They really appeal as the first part of a long walk east, starting at Kyleakin then crossing the hills and the Glenelg Ferry, before continuing up Gleann Beag. This time I was glad to get home at a reasonable hour, although I paid severely for my time out on the hill by spending the rest of the week working late!
by rockhopper » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:16 pm
I'm just starting to have a look at some grahams/corbetts walks - looks like they could be tougher going than the munros...fewer paths and rougher ground as you noted - cheers
by dooterbang » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:32 pm
by Collaciotach » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:21 pm
I see Autumn in those colours, they show so well ,there is a smell to the wind already over here in the West, she is no far away at all
by ChrisW » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:56 am
by malky_c » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:57 pm
by The Rodmiester » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:28 pm