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Sunart Sunshine

Sunart Sunshine


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:37 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn na h-Uamha, Beinn Resipol, Sgurr Dhomhnuill

Grahams included on this walk: Sgurr a'Chaorainn

Date walked: 24/08/2014

Time taken: 15.4 hours

Distance: 42 km

Ascent: 2778m

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For the third weekend out of 4 we made our way back to Strontian for Corbett business. Last week had been a bit of a washout, with hills undone because of headaches and our one top completed in pouring rain. With an improved forecast on the cards, surely things would be better this week? Back to Sunart Campsite we went, to find a fair number of last week's campers still in residence. We wandered down to the water's edge and meandered along the shore. A glorious sunset cast pinks and golds over the hills. Tomorrow was going to be fine.

We woke to sunshine and blue skies, although the midges were still in evidence to stop it all being too perfect. We drove to the parking area at Ariundle and set off up through the oakwoods to the leadmines. This week, instead of clag-obscured vacant space through the trees we could see the mountains - peaky blighters all awaiting our visitation. Up to the mines - no cows on guard duty today - then over the river which had been a torrent last week: now reduced to a trickle which even Sick Kid could skip over. As we headed up Druim Leac an Sgiathain on the faintest of paths we encountered group after group of bovine sentries on each of the small hillocks as we ascended. Slow steady progress was made and as we neared the bealach with Sgurr na h-Ighinn the might of Garbh Beinn rose on our right. Turning to look behind, the solitary peak of Beinn Resipol dominated the horizon, brooding under a ceiling of darker clouds that were slowly coming in from the south west.

First view of the hills
ImageP1030199 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgurr na h-Ighinn & Chaorainn
ImageP1030201 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Last week's mighty river
ImageP1030203 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bovine Knoll Guardians
ImageP1030204 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Dhomhnuill
ImageP1030207 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The enigmatic Garbh Bheinn
ImageP1030208 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Resipol
ImageP1030209 by 23weasels, on Flickr

As we climbed the rugged slopes of Sgurr na h-Ighinn I had a good look over at Sgurr a'Chaorainn and Beinn na h-Uamha, trying to decide what the best route would be to incorporate these into our walk. The rou te I'd initially considered involved a lot of re-ascending and I was keen to simplify this if possible. It looked like it might be possible to head directly from Dhomhnuill towards the bealach between Chaorainn & Uamha... We'd find out later how this might work. After a descent from Ighinn we came to the final steep rocky part of Dhomhnuill. We left our packs and sticks by a rock and scrambled up, our arrival at the top coinciding with that of a rainshower - well, it wouldn't be an Ardnamurchan peak without rain :lol: Enjoyed some moody views from the top, then dropped back to where the packs were to have some food.

ImageP1030212 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Chaorainn & Uamha
ImageP1030213 by 23weasels, on Flickr

...and again
ImageP1030216 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Dhomhnuill peak
ImageP1030218 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1030221 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1030222 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit
ImageP1030224 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View south - cliffs of Creag Dubh visible
ImageP1030225 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Steepish descent
ImageP1030227 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1030230 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The way off Dhomhnuill
ImageP1030231 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Next it was a steep descent into Gleann Mhic Phail, avoiding the worst of the crags and finding a spot to cross the Abhain that wasn't walled by steep rocky sides. I could make out a faint path going along the other side of the river and we headed for that, making a loose line for the bealach. The rocky outcrops could be avoided easily enough. We stopped to watch two large groups of young stags making their way up hill - I was reminded that it was stalking season, although we saw no stalking activity over the weekend. As we neared the body of Uamha we met another couple of corbetteers with exactly the same plan as us, only in reverse - linking Dhomhnuill & Uamha. After weeks of meeting no-one on established Corbett routes, what were the chances of meeting anyone on an improvised (if entirely sensible) route? We stood and chatted for some time then went our separate ways. As we got to the broad ridge between the hills, Garbh Beinn came back into view. What a fine hill. Up ahead was the pointy cairn of Uamha, over to our left a low-level rainbow snuck between the valleys. We made the summit in sunshine, for a change - big grins all round :wink:

Stags
ImageP1030233 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Back to Dhomhnuill
ImageP1030236 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Chaorainn backdrop
ImageP1030237 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1030239 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Garbh Bheinn again
ImageP1030240 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Top of Uamha, looking towards Glencoe
ImageP1030241 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Low level rainbow
ImageP1030242 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Uamha
ImageP1030243 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Next it was an easy walk back over the rounded ridge towards Sgurr a'Chaorainn "an exceedingly rocky hill" according to the book, but it was gentle enough from this approach and we made the top an hour after standing on Uamha - having had to don then shed waterproofs several times in the interim as showers came and went. I had originally intended to head back to Sgurr na h-Ighinn then descend into Glen Gour, but I didn't see any reason why we couldn't come down straight off Chaorainn - so we did, heading down the shoulder before Sgurr na Laire, keeping to the left of a steep gully. Bad for Allison's knees, but a quick way to lose height, and we walked along the side of the Strontian river, picking up a path after a while that led us around boulders and bogs. Wildlife on the way included a lizard that had lost its tail, basking on a rock and a spiky caterpillar - not sure which variety. The walk went on for a while, crossing tributaries every so often and eventually coming to a ruined farm building with walls around. Turning up here, we joined a forest path, which joined up with our outward route after a short while and we trotted back to the car.

Summit Chaorainn
ImageP1030246 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Glencoe hills (zoomed)
ImageP1030248 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Descent off Chaorainn
ImageP1030249 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Glen Gour, Resipol in distance
ImageP1030253 by 23weasels, on Flickr

descent
ImageP1030254 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Lizard
ImageP1030255 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Caterpillar - a fritilliary?
ImageP1030256 by 23weasels, on Flickr

River route
ImageP1030257 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Last look back at Dhomhnuill
ImageP1030259 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stats
ImageP1030260 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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



A longish day, but we felt pleased with having got these three hills at the second attempt. Saturday evening was spent with a bit of music - Phil & Aly were at the Sunart Centre and as this was all of a micron away from the campsite we decided to go, getting the last 2 tickets for a pleasant evening - although the hall was very hot and stuffy. Back at the tent in the dark, settling down to sleep accompanied by assorted snores and occasional interjections from a pair of owls.

Sunday morning - after a night of rain I woke to find the tent gloomy. Knowing the forecast was meant to have been for fine weather I was a bit despondent and delayed getting up - when I did I realised the reason for the lack of light was the tent being pitched in a shady spot :oops: It was a cracking day after all - cloudless blue skies. We packed up and drove up to Scotstown where we parked up at a layby just south of the route start, not along the private road as some others had done :roll: Set off along the tarred road towards the farm then onto the track. A reception party of cows and calves with the obligatory scary big bull was waiting for us, sprawled all over the track so we edged round on the heather :lol: Looking back, the bulk of Garbh Bheinn again dominated the view, curving round its corrie like a sleeping beast. We left the boggy, muddy track at a stream and headed up the hillside - unfortunately we were ascending Beinn a'Chaorainn so a bit of course correction was required and we soon had Resipol in our sights.

Tent deep in shade :roll:
ImageP1030261 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Up the road
ImageP1030263 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Yesterday's hills
ImageP1030264 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Our reception committee
ImageP1030265 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Garbh Bheinn
ImageP1030269 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Resipol comes into view
ImageP1030270 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The next section- meall an t-slugain - took us over flat boggy terrain requiring the avoidance of the boggiest parts. Then we began the ascent of the lower slopes of Resipol towards Donald McDougall's slab, whatever that might be. Reaching flatter, drier ground there are a few widely spaced fence posts to provide guidance towards the top section. Obviously there has been some serious fence-post scavenging up here! Allison's tired today and progress is halting, but this gives plenty of time to enjoy the views back over the surrounding hills. Reaching the first of the knobbles along Resipol's crest, I'm overwhelmed by the views, mountains stretching off as far as the eye can see. However, as we walk along the top towards the summit, an even more breathtaking vista captures the eye - Rum is sitting like a faerie isle looking for all the world like it's floating in the blue sea, a mystical isle that might well just up-anchor and drift away one day. The views up Loch Shiel and over to Moidart and beyond impress - in all it's a fabulous experience, one that I'm so glad we got good weather for - Hamish Brown implores you to leave resipol for a good day and I'll second that. We spent a fair time at the summit gazing around in wonder in the sunshine until the attentions of the numerous flies that had sought us out became too irksome.

View back to Dhomhnuill, Garbh Bheinn etc
ImageP1030273 by 23weasels, on Flickr

heading up resipol
ImageP1030274 by 23weasels, on Flickr

One of the occasional fence posts
ImageP1030275 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Panorama looking North-ish
ImageP1030276 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Rum
ImageP1030277 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Views up Loch Shiel
ImageP1030279 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Rocky top of Resipol
ImageP1030280 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1030282 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Rum again
ImageP1030284 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Views to Arachle
ImageP1030286 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit, Resipol
ImageP1030287 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Shiel
ImageP1030291 by 23weasels, on Flickr


ImageP1030292 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Dhomhnuill with The Ben behind
ImageP1030293 by 23weasels, on Flickr

As we began the descent a pair of ravens played tig over the tops, swooping from summit away down to loch Sunart and back up in no time at all. Our own descent was a bit slower, although we did find a faint path to follow on the way back that had eluded us on ascent. Just keeping your sights on Garbh Bheinn will see you right, however. When we got back to the track we'd found the cows had moved from blocking the path. Yes, moved right down to the bridge by the exit gate where they were...blocking the path. A few stern words and they grudgingly moved enough to allow us space to climb the gate, which the farmer had padlocked shut from earlier in the day - it's almost as if someone didn't want us to leave... My GPS had also decided to play up, switching itself off so that only the altitude was remaining...Back at the car it was a pleasant journey back to the Corran Ferry, with Stob Coire Chearcaill now the only remaining corbett in this area to climb. Mind you there are a number of Grahams that will bring me back - no fear of not visiting this part of the world again :thumbup:

Just head for Garbh Bheinn!
ImageP1030295 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1030296 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stat
ImageP1030297 by 23weasels, on Flickr
Last edited by weaselmaster on Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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weaselmaster
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Re: Sunart Sunshine

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:03 pm

Looks familiar. No problems with the river crossings this time. Saw you waiting on the 6 pm ferry on Friday, we'd just come over on it after doing Sgurr Dhomhnuill and Sgurr a' Chaorainn. :D
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Re: Sunart Sunshine

Postby dooterbang » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:14 pm

If at first you don't succeed... :wink:

Those views to Rum look sublime, must get myself over that way at some point.

Cheers.
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Re: Sunart Sunshine

Postby AnnieMacD » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:06 pm

Well done for going straight back and trying again. You were rewarded with the great weather and fabulous photos. Looks like a fantastic area.
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Re: Sunart Sunshine

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:09 pm

AnnieMacD wrote: Looks like a fantastic area.


It is, Annie - almost as good as Torridon :wink:
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Re: Sunart Sunshine

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:34 pm

Another top notch TR great read and pictures as always Al.
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Re: Sunart Sunshine

Postby Silverhill » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:16 am

When I was on Beinn a’ Bheithir last year, the Ardgour area looked fantastic. Having now seen your stunning pictures, I definitely must go there. :D
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Re: Sunart Sunshine

Postby BoyVertiginous » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:06 am

Fine work, folks and cracking views/pics. These hills are great, still have Dhomnuill to "do" having twice failed to reach the top due to time and weather. I think part of me doesn't want to reach the top so I'll keep returning. Shall be over again the week after next for a third circuit of the Ardgour Horseshoe but, like the look of this route and shall look to include Uamha and Chaorainn in the next assault on Dhomnuill.

Pedant Alert: Think your Sunart photo is still Loch Shiel (though can see Sunart over your right shoulders' in the Resipol summit pic) :wink:
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Re: Sunart Sunshine

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:59 pm

BoyVertiginous wrote:Fine work, folks and cracking views/pics. These hills are great, still have Dhomnuill to "do" having twice failed to reach the top due to time and weather. I think part of me doesn't want to reach the top so I'll keep returning. Shall be over again the week after next for a third circuit of the Ardgour Horseshoe but, like the look of this route and shall look to include Uamha and Chaorainn in the next assault on Dhomnuill.

Pedant Alert: Think your Sunart photo is still Loch Shiel (though can see Sunart over your right shoulders' in the Resipol summit pic) :wink:


Happy to be corrected - my geography is never the best :wink:
It's a really great area - kinda missed being up there this weekend past as had got used to being there.
I heard there was an earthquake that affected Ardnamurchan over the weekend, so maybe just as well :lol:
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Re: Sunart Sunshine

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:23 pm

Sgurr a Chaorainn is a wee gem and much under rated ... one of my favourites :D

Great weather and a grand trip , glad you enjoyed :clap:
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