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Beinn Sgulaird

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:49 pm
by Silverhill

Beinn Sgulaird.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Day two of my holiday and for the purpose of getting the legs warmed up for the 12 days to come, it would be another single hill day with Beinn Sgulaird. The map showed a lot of ups and downs, so this would be an excellent step up from the straightforward ascent of Ben Challum the previous day. The weather had stepped it up too: sun and blue skies!
The drive up from Oban was great, with the lochs reflecting the sky and landscape like a mirror. After the turning for Glen Creran I had to get out of the car for a picture. Just fantastic! :D

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Beinn Sgulaird beckoning

I parked at Druimavuic. The gardens were closed, otherwise that would have made a nice little excursion for after the walk. Up the track. A small cairn indicates where to leave it and follow the ridge.

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Views over Loch Creran opening up

On spot height 488 there was a bit of confusion going on: a steep drop on the right cutting off progress in the intended direction. Where to go now? The (faint) path actually carries on in a NE direction before doubling back down hill to the bealach. Once there it is all very obvious. :lol:

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The hairpin path coming down from point 488

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More of Loch Creran

The pull up to point 863 is easy on grassy slopes with great views towards the Glen Etive munros and Mull. Wow!

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Glen Etive munros

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Glen Etive munros

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Beinn Sgulaird coming into view

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View towards Mull

After point 863 the terrain changes abruptly. Goodbye grass, here come the boulders and rocks. This made for an exciting descent down, up Meall Garbh and down to the next bealach. Scanning for the best route and then hopping from rock to rock or sliding down the scree. 8)

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Meall Garbh

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Descent from Meall Garbh

From there the climb up the ridge of Beinn Sgulaird was good fun with plenty of scrambly or non-scrambly route options to choose from. On the summit the upside of Beinn Sgulaird’s isolated position became apparent: those views, WOW! :D

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View towards Ben Nevis

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Down Loch Creran and Mull

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Looking back at the ascent route

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Towards Ben Cruachan

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Glen Etive and the Big Bookil

Sitting at the summit cairn, eating my sandwiches I couldn’t get enough from the views. Just fantastic! Although I had already decided to not go back the same way, but descend WNW, I made the most of the opportunity to admire the vistas down Glen Creran, whilst looking for the best route down.

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The descent route

Initially the way down was very stony and steep and required some careful hand and foot work, which led me off course a bit. But soon the hill became grassy again and I could just head for the sheepfold in the far distance. It was still steep and there was a fence and a tree lined gully to be negotiated. After this the ground became easier and the sheepfold got nearer.
A large herd of cattle was grazing on the flat ground on the other side of the Allt Bliochdaig, exactly where I wanted to go. I told myself this was good: as long as they were eating or looking for edible vegetation, they wouldn’t be interested in chasing me. :lol:
I picked a line with the least potential cow encounters. It still wasn’t ideal. The line went over very muddy trampled ground and in between a cow and her calf. There I was, trying to remain unnoticed whilst madly hopping from tussock to tussock. However, it worked. All I got were a few dismissive bovine stares before both went back to busying themselves with far more important matters. Phew!
There is no path, when coming off Beinn Sgulaird this way, which wasn’t an issue at all. It does tend to become a problem when getting closer to civilisation though: fences that are not meant to be climbed, horse paddocks, people’s gardens etc. I took a pro forma compass bearing for the last leg off the hill, fully expecting to have to abandon it because of the aforementioned or other obstacles. However, the fence had collapsed, there was a gate in the paddock and then a nice bulldozed track led me to a tarmac road, roughly 200m south of Taraphocain. Gosh, that had gone smoothly!
All that was left was a relaxed walk back to the car along the river Creran.
What a great day! :D

Re: Beinn Sgulaird

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:03 pm
by soapy27
Great report there Silverhill :clap: Looks a cracking walk

Re: Beinn Sgulaird

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:37 pm
by litljortindan
Nice to see this. Oddly enough, I was admiring Rocket Ron's winter photo of the same this afternoon. I recall from my own visit that the view over Loch Creran is indeed quite splendid. Drove past admiring it in 1989, a decade before the new bridge was opened, but didn't climb it until after 1999.

Re: Beinn Sgulaird

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:28 pm
by andyroog
Looks like a fine walk you had there well done can't beat a great day eh

Re: Beinn Sgulaird

PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:38 pm
by Silverhill
Thanks soapy27, litljortindan and andyroog! :D
It was a lovely day for it. I couldn’t believe my luck with weather! The views in winter must be even more special. 8)