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Beinn Eighe and Beinn Liath Mhor Camping Trip

Beinn Eighe and Beinn Liath Mhor Camping Trip


Postby MountainHare22 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:59 pm

Route description: Beinn Eighe (western summits)

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Liath Mhor, Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)

Date walked: 08/08/2014

Time taken: 48 hours

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1st walk report so will see how this goes!


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I’d been chatting to one of my student friends, A, in Aberdeen for some time about going walking in Torridon, neither of us have cars which presented a challenge as I needed to be at work on the Friday and Monday. As the 700 westerbus to Gairloch goes through Kinlochewe on the Friday journey and there is an early train from Kyle on weekday mornings I worked out a route taking in Ben Eighe’s western summits and Beinn Liath Mhor which would at least get us into the area, if not on to the 2 hills A was really interested in (Liathach and Ben Alligin). I had a new tent to try out so was pretty excited just to be out wherever we went.


I met A in the bus station at Inverness after work on the Friday. Despite being at the same university we’d been studying in different cities for the last year so it was probably about 6 months since we’d caught up with each other. By the time we arrived in Kinlochewe we were both ready to start our adventure and what with the midges made a hasty start up the road. We hadn’t got far when someone was very kind and gave us a lift to the bottom of Beinn Eighe - we were more than a bit embarrassed by the number of midges we took into the car with us! We camped at the bottom of Coire an Laoigh path for Beinn Eighe, which was exceedingly midgey, we accidently brought a couple of thousand into the inner with us in our clothing which resulted in an hour of wearing midge nets in our sleeping bags until they quietened down. First time for everything I guess.

By 8am we were on the move, we stopped a short way up for breakfast and then moved off just as the midges started to find us. It was a dry morning and visibility seemed pretty good, although the tops were in clag and some nasty clouds loomed over Liathach, the hill A had really wanted to do but we’d decided not this trip. Going up to the trig point we passed some deer, they didn’t seem terribly bothered by our presence which doesn’t bode well for them in the stalking season! Up on the ridge there was still some cloud about, so as we started from the trig point towards Spidean Coire nan Clach we thought we were getting to the top a few times before we actually made it! I hadn’t scrambled with a overnight bag before so it was good to get experience of very easy scrambling on the ridge itself with a weight and tent on my back. As we sat on top the cloud drifted meaning we could see brief snatch shots of a view in all directions (Liathach still looking gloomy!).


On the ridge it was easy walking, we stopped once for a snack and then went on to the 2nd summit. We started to meet people coming in the opposite direction, having walked round the other way. At the top we met the same man who had picked us up the day before, he still hadn’t got the midges out his car… That aside we had a nice wee chat before he headed off towards where we had come from. Lunch on top with a view was followed by a steep descent, but it wasn’t as bad as it initially looked going down the corrie. At the lip of the Coire Mhic Fhearchair the wind was really quite strong, earlier in the year I had been blown off my feet here - but I managed to make it down without an incident this time! The trudge back to the road felt long, however the views were great and we stopped plenty of times for water.
Back at the car park I encouraged A that walking across to footbridge over the river on the other side of the road would be a better place for a snack than the car park itself, which I feared would be midgey. Strengthened by dried mango, salted nuts and the essential suckables (rhubarb and custard boiled sweets) we headed up the path past Ling hut. I still had plenty in the tank so was keen to push on - I had a vague hope of camping on the bealach doing both Sgorr Ruadh and Beinn Liath Mhor the next day as it was not long gone 4pm. In the end we stopped at about 300m where we found a flat(ish) area of non-boggy ground, close to a stream for water. I was given tent pitching duties while A got on with the cooking - a light wind meant we were midge safe. We had 2 pasta-n-sauce each for dinner - this wasn’t exactly what I had meant when I said pasta and sauce but I was hungry so would happily eat anything. We ate 2nd, 3rd and 4th helpings under a bothy bag during a short shower and then I attempted to make custard using a bag I’d made up with custard powder, sugar and dried milk. Despite a few burnt bits it went down very well.


On Sunday morning we woke about 7, and similar to the day before packed up and moved off before eating breakfast due to the midges. It was a beautiful morning, Beinn Eighe and Liathach looking amazing. We continued up the path we had been on the night before, our maps showed it didn’t go exactly where we wanted but it was going the right direction for now. It actually lead up to the bealach which was just where we wanted to be to join the munro-baggers path up Beinn Liath Mhor. As we reached the bottom of the steep climb up to the bealach I realised I no longer had my phone - if anyone finds a Nokia Lumia floating about in bog let me know! I ran back to check if I could find it, but no luck, the weather was still good and I had been having such a good weekend I tried to brush it off and continue to enjoy the day. Scampering up from the bealach to Beinn Liath Mhor we passed our first, and then 2nd people we had seen that day. Tired from the day before our progress was not quite so fast up the slope, however after a quick refuel of chocolate biscuits we sped on to the top to be rewarded with an amazing view in all directions. From then on it was downhill for us (with a few bumps), just before the last top on the ridge we started to meet people coming the other way again. It was starting to rain so I remarked that it had been a beautiful morning, to strange looks as it was not long gone 11… An early lunch at the end cairn and then we headed down. Going down wasn’t actually too bad - A had phoned his Dad so we knew we could get a train back to Inverness that night and were in plenty of time for it. The thought of a real bed and no midges spurred us on through the rain showers as Bertha started to move in.
Down at the train station we had a 2 hour wait, sitting in the shelter with the company of midges, but at least not in the steady rain. A put his thumb out to make sure the train saw us and we ran to get on - with not too many midges. As we walked through the train we felt the eyes of the tourists on us, we may have only been away 2 nights but no showers, midges and full rain coats meant we probably weren’t the best company!


So despite a poor weather forecast we managed 2 cloud free munros and views from all 3, with sun and I survived the midges despite wearing shorts. A great weekend in a great place, at least it’s a good resting place for my phone (which is also the reason for the lack of photos).
MountainHare22
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Re: Beinn Eighe and Beinn Liath Mhor Camping Trip

Postby Johnny Corbett » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:08 am

Bad news losing your phone but least you had a good trip and hopefully someone will come across it. I've lost car keys on the hills but so far not a phone :crazy:
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Johnny Corbett
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Re: Beinn Eighe and Beinn Liath Mhor Camping Trip

Postby AnnieMacD » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:38 pm

Do you think you lost the phone on Beinn Eighe or the BLM side of the road? I may go up around Beinn Eighe tomorrow and could look out for it if you think it might be around the Coire Mhic Fhearachair end.

That looks like a great walk though. Pity you didn't think of doing the eastern end of the Beinn Eighe ridge from Kinlochewe as you were right there!
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Re: Beinn Eighe and Beinn Liath Mhor Camping Trip

Postby MountainHare22 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:17 pm

AnnieMacD wrote:Do you think you lost the phone on Beinn Eighe or the BLM side of the road? I may go up around Beinn Eighe tomorrow and could look out for it if you think it might be around the Coire Mhic Fhearachair end.

That looks like a great walk though. Pity you didn't think of doing the eastern end of the Beinn Eighe ridge from Kinlochewe as you were right there!

Thanks for the offer, but I think its somewhere along the stalkers path behind the Ling hut as I'm sure I had it when we camped the 2nd night :( Yes, we considered it - but didn't want to be too tired to walk through to Achnashellach to meet the train on Sunday (damn work getting in the way!) next time though, looked like a good walk and we could have done it easily in retrospect :)
MountainHare22
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