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A sunny afternoon in Arnisdale

A sunny afternoon in Arnisdale

Postby malky_c » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:23 am

Route description: Beinn na h-Eaglaise and Beinn nan Caorach

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn na h-Eaglaise, Beinn nan Caorach

Date walked: 04/06/2009

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 1050m

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Reading DonnyW's Beinn na Callaich report made me think about those lovely summer evenings again, so I thought I'd knock up a copycat report. I'm also done with the snow for this year, although it looks like it may not be done with me if I want to get out this weekend.

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Last June, I was still working on a project out near Kyle of Lochalsh, so after my monthly site visit, I headed over to Arnisdale. Having just suffered a partially washed out trip to Knoydart a couple of weekends previously, I thought I would make up for it with some long distance views across to Ladharr Bheinn and Barrisdale.
5 Sisters from Bealach Ratagain
Sleat and the Black Cuillin from the shores of Loch Hourn
Luinne Bheinn and Stob a Chercaill from Corran
Beinn Sgritheall from Corran

After a spectacular drive over the Bealach Ratagain and round the coast, I parked up at the community center in Corran and walked up the south side of Glen Arnisdale. I attempted to stay close to the river as path was shown on the map, but ended passing through some rather swampy woodland. Better to stick to the edge of the flood plain. After half a mile or so, I crossed a good bridge and ascended the stalkers path behind Achadh a Ghlinne. This was somewhat widened, and although very steep, looked like it was occasionally used by argocats or quad bikes. I debated doing Beinn Clachach on the way past, but as the afternoon was so lovely, I decided to stick to my more leisurely plan and take things a bit slower.

Shortly before the path levels out in the Ciore Chorsalain, the waterfall of Eas na Cuingid is passed. This could well be quite impressive, but the recent dry weather made it look like a small trickle into a gravel pit. After the corrie is reached, the path becomes less obvious. The SMC giude suggests making a break for the S ridge of Beinn nan Caorach, but I followed the corrie almost to the bealach before climbing a short slope through a couple of crags to meet the E ridge.
Looking down the E ridge of Beinn nan Caorach, Saddle in background

I chose this route purely on a whim, but it turned out to be an excellent decision, as the ridge was dry and grassy - very out of character for the area. It rose rather steeply over a small hump to the summit of Beinn nan Caorach, where I stopped for a break.

This is what summer is supposed to be about! Lounging at the cairn in the late afternoon sun, in no hurry to go anywhere. Views were of course spectacular in all directions, but the dominant ones were to the W, where Beinn na h-Eaglaise and Beinn Sgritheall rise up abruptly ahead, backed by Sleat, Eigg and Rhum surrounded by glistening water. Ladhar Bheinn and Loch Hourn also struggle to compete with this.
From Beinn nan Caorach to Beinn na h-Eaglaise and Beinn Sgritheall, Rhum in background
Beinn na Caillich and Rhum

The descent to the flat grassy plateau of Druim nan Bo (Ridge of the cattle?) was very straightforward, but was followed by a surprisingly steep grind up the NE ridge of Beinn na h-Eaglaise. This ridge has iron fence posts embedded into it the whole way up, including on a couple of mild scrambly bits. Some of them stick out of the hill at 45 degrees due to the gradient. Still, the ridge is pleasingly narrow and the views into the northern corries of Beinn Sgritheall are spectacular, so the pain is barely noticed.
N ridge of Beinn na h-Eaglaise from Druim nan Bo
Looking back down N ridge from summit of Beinn na h-Eaglaise, 5 Sisters prominent on right

I stopped for another break on this summit and admired the views again. They are fairly similar to those from the first hill, with an added birds-eye look straight down onto the village of Arnisdale. One of the main things that I felt about the day was how much like the Lake District it felt. The dry grassy ridges, good paths into the corries, and fertileness of Glen Arnisdale all added to the feeling. It was just an extra impressive Lake District though, dumped right on the coast and with views into Knoydart! (I must add that this description appealed to my dad, and we repeated some of this walk a couple of months later. He didn't find the super-steep south and west ridges Beinn na h-Eaglaise very Lake District like at all!)
Summit of Beinn na h-Eaglaise looking to Rhum
Mouth of Loch Hourn, Sleat, Cuillin and Beinn Sgritheall from Beinn na h-Eaglaise
Looking across Glen Arnisdale and Loch Houirn to Luinne Bheinn, Meall Buidhe and Ladhar Bheinn
Beinn Sgritheall again...

I hadn't really decided how to descend back to Arnisdale, thinking maybe the knobbly ridge of Beinn Bhuide would be the best way. However, to keep the views to the W for the longest (now including the S end of the Cuillin ridge), I went for the aforementioned S ridge. It was extremely steep, but never difficult, although a bit of route finding was required to avoid some crags. The most awkward part was the shoulder high bracken at about 200m. I ended up crossing a field and meeting the road about halfway through Arnisdale. The stroll back round to Corran along the edge of Loch Hourn was a perfect end to the day.
Luinne Bheinn and Stob a Chercaill from the shores of Loch Hourn
Arnisdale and the road back to civilisation
Last view of Beinn Sgritheall

This is definitely an area I want to visit more often. Another good route would be a horseshoe of Beinn na h-Eaglaise , Beinn Sgritheall and Beinn a Chapuill from the N. This would give a chance to explore the sweeping NE ridge of Beinn Sgritheall and see its northern corries at closer quarters. (I'm think Kinley has already written a report for a route involving those summits, but I can't remember the details).
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Re: A sunny afternoon in Arnisdale

Postby maddjock » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:01 am

nice report from a beautiful area...
roll on the summer.... I too am getting fed up of winter....
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Re: A sunny afternoon in Arnisdale

Postby Glenrothes » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:46 am

Yes I think it is one of Kinleys routes but as it's probably my favourite area in Scotland so the more the merrier :thumbup:

Great report and great photos - thanks
Last edited by Glenrothes on Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: A sunny afternoon in Arnisdale

Postby Paul Webster » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:00 am

Great report. Reminds me of last May when we did those hills too for the walk description on here - you can probably see the weather is just the same! Mind you, it looks like summer outside right now... not for long according to the weather people.
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Re: A sunny afternoon in Arnisdale

Postby mountain coward » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:12 am

I'm hoping there's a less steep route up Beinn na h' Eaglaise somewhere :o
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Re: A sunny afternoon in Arnisdale

Postby Alan S » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:57 pm

Another great report Malky 8)
Like the pics of Beinn sgritheall
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