walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda


Postby Clach Liath » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:21 am

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr nan Eag

Date walked: 10/07/2013

3 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 was last up in Coire a’Ghrunnda in May of this year. I didn’t intend anything other than to attempt to scale Sgurr nan Eag. But I never made it… :shock:

IMG_5562 - Copy.JPG


I could just about make out The Castle.

IMG_5563 - Copy.JPG


I had scrambled up into the upper corrie over a couple of inches of wet snow, cold water on occasion running down the inside of my sleeves as I sought out hand holds hidden under the white blanket. That was fun! :wtf:

The loch was choppy and the snow horizontal. Discretion was called for and I turned around. :(

It was now two months later. My May attempt was by no means my first visit into this spectacular corrie. In fact I had previously been there at least three times before – each time on pretty decent days. I had noticed the various rudimentary shelters constructed in various places around the loch. I had wondered what it might be like to use the corrie as a base. I now had the chance to find out.

I did not arrive at the car park just short of the Glen Brittle camp site until around 8.30pm after a long drive from God’s own county. But the signs were promising.

IMG_5641 - Copy.JPG


I had packed my rucksack before I had left home. I was travelling light – a tent and sleeping mat, but no sleeping bag and a minimum of food. I was off and away before 9.00pm. The camp site was busy. It was warm and a modicum of sun bathing was still going on. There was no midge to cause the lily white skin on display to go blotchy. I passed a few groups descending the steps behind the toilet block and received strange looks. Surely I was going in the wrong direction at this time of day?

I was hot after 5 minutes and dipped my sun hat in the stream just after the path splits with that headed for Coire Lagan before plonking it back on my head. The walk across the moorland to the mouth of Coire a’Ghrunnda was a beautiful sweatfest. There was barely a breath of wind. Rum floated offshore

IMG_5642 - Copy.JPG


The sun blazed as it plunged to the north west

IMG_5644 - Copy.JPG


and the ridges above were tinged

IMG_5648 - Copy.JPG


The scramble up the headwall was taken coolly and steadily. I arrived by the loch before 10.30pm. It was dead still in the corrie. The only sound was of the stream exiting the loch and the occasional passing insect. Still no midges!

I found a spot to pitch the tent, quite near to the foot of the “path” that leads up on to the ridge above

IMG_5651 - Copy.JPG


and then had a little wander around. Rum was still there, wrapped in haze.

IMG_5650 - Copy.JPG


The loch was flat as the proverbial pancake. I had one last look at The Castle before turning in. Somewhat different from the May view!

IMG_5653 - Copy.JPG


zzzzzzzzzz

I was woken by the increasing light at around 4.30am. OK so I only had about 5 hours sleep. But things had not changed outside. I had not in fact had the corrie to myself. Two guys who I was to meet later were camped on the other side of the loch.

IMG_5661 - Copy.JPG


The Castle reflected in the loch.

IMG_5659 - Copy.JPG


Rum remained serene offshore.

IMG_5662 - Copy.JPG


I had a bite to eat and was off by 5am.

Here is the corrie below

IMG_5664 - Copy.JPG


I had started off wearing trousers. Before I hit the main ridge I had changed into shorts. It felt hot even at this early hour. 35 minutes after leaving the tent spot I was on the crest of the ridge. Blaven hove into view.

IMG_5666 - Copy.JPG


Wave after wave of ranges stretched out above the haze.

IMG_5668 - Copy.JPG


Sgurr nan Eag’s ridge glowed in the early sun. That sun was also picking out the detail in the ridge to the north.

IMG_5669 - Copy.JPG


IMG_5670 - Copy.JPG


My neighbours from the corrie caught me up just as I reached the summit cairn. They hoped to tackle the whole ridge. They set off for Gars-bheinn. I wished them luck – they would need it in the cauldron that the day was threatening to become.

So there I was sunbathing on the top of Sgurr nan Eag – the last of my Skye Munro repeats – before 6am. Still the air remained completely calm. I leant against the slab of rock supporting the cairn and closed my eyes. I felt the warmth of the sun on my body. Deeply I breathed in the fresh air. I could have gone to sleep.

IMG_5673 - Copy.JPG


Blaven remained dark against the rising sun.

IMG_5677 - Copy.JPG


Ben More on Mull looked close by.

IMG_5678 - Copy.JPG


Ben Nevis soared in the distance.

IMG_5679 - Copy.JPG


Oh my! I could not believe how fortunate I was to be here in such conditions. Here is a zoomed shot of Sgurrs Alasdair and Dearg.

IMG_5682 - Copy.JPG


I almost felt I was intruding into the inhabitants of Soay.

IMG_5685 - Copy.JPG


It was a shame to have to tear myself away from my eyrie. I had been there for 40 minutes and I had another mountain to climb that day. But that is for another TR. I was back at my car before 9.30am.
Last edited by Clach Liath on Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Clach Liath
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 509
Munros:44   Corbetts:71
Grahams:23   Donalds:34
Sub 2000:88   Hewitts:158
Wainwrights:117   
Joined: Sep 2, 2011
Location: Yorkshire
Walk wish-list

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:08 am

That's pure magic! The first shot of Blaven is amazing.
User avatar
johnkaysleftleg
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3188
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby The Rodmiester » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:05 am

A wonderful setting with some beautiful photographs! :D
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Walker
 
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby mrssanta » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:21 am

Oh my that's fantastic
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3048
Munros:252   Corbetts:11
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby Meatball » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:09 am

Superb!
One of my favourite places.
Meatball
 
Posts: 940
Munros:43   Corbetts:39
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Sep 10, 2011

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby Meatball » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:09 am

Superb!
One of my favourite places.
Meatball
 
Posts: 940
Munros:43   Corbetts:39
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Sep 10, 2011

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby Silverhill » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:33 am

Stunning Clach Liath 8)
User avatar
Silverhill
 
Posts: 1310
Munros:282   Corbetts:9
Grahams:5   Donalds:19
Sub 2000:9   
Joined: Jan 13, 2013

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:04 pm

beautiful :D
User avatar
SAVAGEALICE
 
Posts: 614
Munros:282   Corbetts:182
Grahams:59   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:46   Hewitts:23
Wainwrights:33   Islands:21
Joined: Aug 26, 2008
Location: Alness, Ross-shire

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby ChrisW » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:08 pm

What a way to spend a morning....beautiful photos of what must have been a fantastic experience :clap:
I leant against the slab of rock supporting the cairn and closed my eyes. I felt the warmth of the sun on my body. Deeply I breathed in the fresh air. I could have gone to sleep

.................I often do :lol: :lol:
User avatar
ChrisW
Rambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby Clach Liath » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:11 am

Thanks all. I feel that if I could have captured the experience in a bottle I would make a fortune from selling it! I wonder how often those conditions occur?
User avatar
Clach Liath
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 509
Munros:44   Corbetts:71
Grahams:23   Donalds:34
Sub 2000:88   Hewitts:158
Wainwrights:117   
Joined: Sep 2, 2011
Location: Yorkshire
Walk wish-list

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby litljortindan » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:29 am

I think the hazy photos are particularly good. I really like the zoom over Gars Bheinn / Sgurr nan Eag and to Mull.
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1923
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:27   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby rockhopper » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:50 pm

Great place to camp - the two misty sunrise shots are stunning - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6680
Munros:282   Corbetts:218
Grahams:64   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: A night in Coire a'Ghrunnda

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:57 pm

Gasta .... Excellent :clap:
User avatar
Collaciotach
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1792
Munros:282   Corbetts:145
Grahams:31   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:23   
Islands:28
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

3 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Coutts94, dougiemull and 55 guests