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Beinn a'Chlachain - the Short and Steep Route

Beinn a'Chlachain - the Short and Steep Route


Postby AnnieMacD » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:32 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn a'Chlachain

Date walked: 08/02/2014

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 14.5 km

Ascent: 740m

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Track_Beinn a'Chlachain 2014-02-08 steep.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


This is my third trip up Beinn a'Chlachain and both previous times I followed instructions from the excellent book by Peter Barton "Walking in Torridon" and the Graham book. However, I've always had my eye on the Coire Glas route - it's steep, very steep and I wasn't even sure if it was doable by someone like me. I couldn't find anyone locally who had been up that Coire either so decided there was no alternative but to try it. The forecast for Saturday was good so off I went.

I started off by parking at Hartfield and took the gentle, good path to the base of the Coire.

Looking back down the glen:
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I intended to go up the right-hand spur of the coire (snow-covered here):
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The initial climb is fairly easy going. When I was up here in the summer to have a reccie, the bracken was up to my waist and it was hard to see where to put one's feet. Also the clag was down so I turned back. Not today, though!

A herd of hinds just before they ran off. My target ascent is at the top right - the snow had more-or-less melted in the sunshine:
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Further up - the left-hand gully looked impossible and on closer inspection consisted of a small burn with deep mini gorges:
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View looking east to Beinn Bhan's Coire Attadale side:
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So, I took the right side of the Y and followed a deer path up by a little allt. It was fairly steep but easy - just needed one hand for balance a couple of times.

Looking back down:
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I then came to another Y branch and took the left branch. I knew this took me directly to the summit. This is when things got interesting. I packed away the walking poles and it was four points of contact pretty much from now on to the rim. I followed the deer tracks - I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have had the confidence to try this if I hadn't known that they had been before me!

A wee rock on which I had a rest stop. Looking back down:
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This photo is called "The Three Caillichs" - two Beinn na Caillich on Skye and the one that took the photo :lol:
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Made it! The wind was too strong for me to go over to the edge to take a picture looking down into the abyss!!!!
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Looking east to Meall an Doireachain with Beinn Bhan, Beinn Damh and Liathach over to the left:
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There are lots of little locans on top of Beinn a'Chlachain and they were all partially frozen. I didn't go up to the summit immediately as it's so exposed but found some shelter from the bitter wind by a lochan and enjoyed strolling around taking photos without the heavy backpack.

Here is Baosbheinn and the back of Beinn Alligin:
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The views are pretty good but the weather was starting to change and here's the first snow storm I encountered coming in from the south. You can see many of the Applecross hamlets and the Crowlin Islands:
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Looking north - next stop the Arctic:
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I then went up to the summit shelter which provided no shelter whatsoever so just took a few photos and scarpered.

You can see how windy it was from the waves on the lochan. It was snowing lightly as well, so mighty cold:
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Here's the cracked trig point in the stone circle:
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I next headed for Meall na Fhuaid (604m) and stopped at a little lochan on the way.

The snow storm that had passed:
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And more to come - looking towards Skye:
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Beinn a'Chlachain-19 by AnnieMacD, on Flickr

The cairn on Meall na Fhuaid:
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Then it was a longish but easy downhill to Loch nan Eun. I had approached it from the west a few weeks ago and wanted to complete the circle. It's a lovely and very private loch as it's protected on all sides by the hill. There's a long spidean of land sticking out into it which makes for lots of nooks and crannies. There is even a small beach - looks great for a dip in the summer but not today!
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By the time I got back to civilization it was starting to get dark and these guys watched me passing by:
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Stags in the Gloaming by AnnieMacD, on Flickr

A fantastic day and I achieved one of (my many) 2014 goals.
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Re: Beinn a'Chlachain - the Short and Steep Route

Postby Scotjamie » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:21 pm

A fine report Annie..on a hill I've admired from Applecross but haven't had the opportunity to do. Nicely done
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Re: Beinn a'Chlachain - the Short and Steep Route

Postby malky_c » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:56 pm

Looks great - the good(ish) weather is out there if you go and look for it. I like the look of your route up - may try that sometime. Possibly the coming weekend if I can get out.

If the Peter Barton book is the one I'm thinking of, he is quite a feartie. In fact it's quite an achievement that he's managed to find routes to most of the Torridon summits since he doesn't seem keen on steep slopes or rock :roll: .
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Re: Beinn a'Chlachain - the Short and Steep Route

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:22 pm

Thanks, Scotjamie and Malky.

Peter Barton only ever published one book as far as I know and it was intended for his personal visitors who wanted to go out for longish walks based from Shieldaig. He had written them all up and someone persuaded him to publish the collection. As he was quite old when he moved up here I'm assuming that most of his visitors were older too so that's why the routes seem 'feartie-ish'. I don't believe he was a feartie himself and he climbed all the hills in Torridon many, many times on different routes. I find him really useful on hills I don't know as I'm pretty sure I'll get to the top and back if it's in his book!

You, Malky, won't have any trouble on my route up Beinn a'Chlachain and I'd like to know how steep you think it is relative to other hills. I don't have a huge amount of experience but I did find it quite a bit steeper than Coire na Feamhair on Beinn Bhan which people describe a steep. There are loads of ways off this hill and, if it's a good day, I really would recommend the long ridge walk back as you get the superb views of the south part of the Applecross peninsula and out to Skye all the way down the hill.

This photo I took in July last year.
Image
View from Beinn a' Clachan by AnnieMacD, on Flickr
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Re: Beinn a'Chlachain - the Short and Steep Route

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:22 pm

Glé mhath a'chailleach :wink:

Grand wee report always fancied a landing on the Na h Eileanan Cróllainneach :)
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Re: Beinn a'Chlachain - the Short and Steep Route

Postby scottishkennyg » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:53 pm

Nice one Annie, liked the image back down the glen and the one across to the storms over Skye..
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Re: Beinn a'Chlachain - the Short and Steep Route

Postby rockhopper » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:55 pm

must be great having al this on your doorstep :mrgreen: - some very nice views and photos there - cheers :)
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