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.

Stunning day on Sgorr Ruadh

Stunning day on Sgorr Ruadh

Postby NevJB » Sun May 04, 2014 9:43 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgòrr Ruadh

Date walked: 27/04/2014

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 930m

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

We awoke to a glorious morning and sumptuous breakfast at our B&B in Lochcarron. Having got ourselves and stuff together we made the short journey to Achnashellach; this time the car park was almost empty. By 9:30 we were walking; not quite as spritely as the previous day, but walking nonetheless. It was warm even now and there was little or no breeze. Fuar Tholl quickly hove into view so time for one more pic from this spot in the woods – just for the record.
01_Walk-in from Achnashellach_Again.jpg
Walking in to Coire Lair - not for the first time!

By the time we made it to the ford through River Lair breakfast had reached out legs and we seemed to have more energy than when we started. No self-doubt this time as I forded the river easily; couldn’t quite see what the problem was last time other than the river was a foot higher, the rocks were wet and I wasn’t in the mood for becoming part of the river bed.

Neill was now finding it hot so stops became more frequent, nevertheless he had the energy to point out the fine erratics – that’s rocks left behind higgledy-piggledy after the last ice age to those of us who didn’t do [Physical] Geography at A Level – or simply can’t remember.
02_Nev_On the way to Bealach Mor_Posing.jpg
Nev trying to look intrepid

03_Sgorr Ruadh.jpg
Sgorr Ruadh

04_Sgorr Ruadh and BLM.jpg
The view up Coire Lair

At one point a guy came up running past us; actually sprinting might have been a closer description. Shorts, no top, bum bag and running shoes. Neill commented, “I feel like bloody well giving up!” The guy saw the funny side and laughed, sprinting on over our horizon he was out of sight in seconds. The path to Bealach Mor is excellent, at an easy gradient, so we reached the top in good time.
05_An Ruadh Stac and MC-dearg.jpg
Looking across to Maol Chean-dearg and An Ruadh-Stac

Finding a ‘path’ from there is more problematic so we do what we always do I times of difficulty; sit down, have a drink and something to eat hoping for divine inspiration. And it came to pass – us again – the same guy coming down this time, but unwittingly he had shown us the way.

We now picked our way between the rock bands and began a rather slow and tortuous ascent of the last 350m. It wasn’t that bad, just very warm and the exertions of yesterday were making themselves felt. Met a pair of ptarmigan on the way who croaked their displeasure; either that or they were commenting on our slow progress.

The views were opening up all the time.
06_Over Fuar Tholl to West Monar and Beyond_2.jpg
Fuar Tholl

06a_Over Raeburns Butress to Beinn Laith Mhor_2.jpg
Over Raeburn's butress to Beinn Laith Mhor

Eventually made it to the cairn and the views were just stunning in all directions – this is what makes the effort of getting there worthwhile. We could even see the top of the Ben poking above the S Shiel (I think) mountains. What a contrast to last year. I’m not sure how long we spent on the summit, but it was a while; eating, drinking, taking pictures and admiring the amazing scenery.
08_Neill_Sgorr Ruadh Summit_2.jpg
Neill on the summit

08a_Maol Chean-dearg.jpg
Maol Chean-dearg

08b_Over An Ruadh Stac to the Cuillin.jpg
Over An Ruadh-Stac to the Cuillin

09_Ben Alligin.jpg
Ben Alligin


11_Beinn Eighe.jpg
Beinn Eighe

12_East from Sgorr Ruadh.jpg

13_Looking across Strathcarron_ESE.jpg
ESE Across Glen Carrron

14_Views to Ben Nevis.jpg
Views all the way to the Ben

Neill was not keen on retracing (joke) our footsteps and neither was I so we opted for the longer, but more obvious route via the head of Coire Lair. Descending the NW ridge we met a young guy who had already done Beinn Laith Mhor and was going well.
16_Sgorr Ruadh_on the way down to Coire Lair.jpg
Neill waiting whilst I clicked away

17_Looking dow into Coire Lair.jpg
Looking down into Coire Lair

15_Beinn Laith Mhor_Strata_2.jpg
Strata on Beinn Laith Mhor - couldn't resist

We made it down to the lochan at the top of Coire Lair and began a steady walk out.
18_Down Coire Lair.jpg
The way back!

Parts of this path had been well-and-truly churned up by bikes of some kind. I say of 'some kind' because the tracks looked more motor-X than mountain bike. I couldn’t help but think this would lead to bad erosion on parts of the path come the next period of heavy rain.

Before too long we reached the cairn where the Coire Lair path joins the one to Loch Coulin. The guy we met earlier on Sgorr Ruadh was making his way down the zig-zags on the other side of the river. Needless to say he caught up with us a little further along. He’d found it slow going coming off Sgorr Ruadh picking his way between the small bands of rock. By now my feet were burning and longing to get out of my boots and somewhere cool. Back at the car I was glad to sit down after walking on hard ground for the past 2½ hours, but it had been memorable day.
Last edited by NevJB on Thu May 08, 2014 5:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Posts: 117
Munros:55   Corbetts:3
Joined: Dec 11, 2008
Location: N Essex

Re: Stunning day on Sgorr Ruadh

Postby AnnieMacD » Sun May 04, 2014 9:51 pm

Great report and photos. What an amazing day you got! I think it's wise to do the two separately as you get to really appreciate the hill rather than rushing on to the next one (as I did).
User avatar
Posts: 789
Munros:25   Corbetts:15
Sub 2000:8   
Joined: Jun 25, 2013
Location: Applecross

Re: Stunning day on Sgorr Ruadh

Postby Alteknacker » Mon May 05, 2014 11:05 am

And stunning photos. Some - like the view of the Cuillin over An Ruadh-Stac are real coffee table book standard. You truly had amazing weather!
User avatar
Posts: 3316
Munros:176   Corbetts:32
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: Stunning day on Sgorr Ruadh

Postby dogplodder » Mon May 05, 2014 12:21 pm

As you say, a stunning day! :D
User avatar
Posts: 3821
Munros:237   Corbetts:65
Sub 2000:28   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Stunning day on Sgorr Ruadh

Postby Steve B » Mon May 05, 2014 12:28 pm

I was on this on Friday in similar conditions, and this has brought back great memories. The views are just amazing, one of my favourite days to date.
Steve B
Mountain Walker
Posts: 297
Munros:266   Corbetts:13
Wainwrights:34   Islands:9
Joined: Oct 25, 2010
Location: Glasgow

Re: Stunning day on Sgorr Ruadh

Postby Silverhill » Mon May 05, 2014 1:38 pm

Another great read. Well done, two points you've got now! :D How many more to come?
User avatar
Posts: 1335
Munros:282   Corbetts:12
Grahams:6   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:23   
Joined: Jan 13, 2013

1 person thinks 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

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 1Magnus, alanandcarolann, Pastychomper and 112 guests