Sun, Skies and Snow on the Hill of the Thunderbolt
by Quadbarrel » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:48 pm
Route description: Beinn a' Bheithir via Schoolhouse Ridge
Munros included on this walk: Sgòrr Dhearg (Beinn a' Bheithir), Sgòrr Dhònuill (Beinn a' Bheithir)
Date walked: 28/12/2014
Time taken: 7 hours
Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 1300m9 people think 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 decided we'd try the Walkhighlands route to give some variety rather than Steven Fallon's, which is straight up and straight down.
It was our earliest start yet, up at 5, to drive to Ballachulish for first light. We were hoping for some snow at the top, but weren't too optimistic given the recent thaw. However, we did decide that it was going to be cold at the top, given the -6 shown on the car over Rannoch Moor.
We were away and walking at 8, which we considered to be pretty good.
Followed the track to the foot of the ridge, then headed straight up to try and gain the ridge. The hard frost turned to snow at about 150m, then as it got thicker it was a lovely quantity, not enough to walk on but just enough to go everywhere and make your life a misery .
We targeted a lonely tree towards the top of the steepest slope, and just beyond this we encountered a HUGE path ?!? Where did that come from?
As we began to follow the path, the views began to open up and the sun started to hit the tops of the hills.
We eventually gained the ridge and got a view of our first munro.
Continued as the ridge steepened and we saw the sun for the first time.
Eventually reached the top of Sgorr Bhan. We were very disappointed when we saw the cloud flowing on from the west.
Fortunately the cloud started to clear.
We discovered a snowman.
The ridge ahead was lined with cornices and hard snow, so we donned the crampons and headed on.
Reached the first and highest munro of the day, Sgorr Dhearg (1024m).
Headed towards the bealach and Sgorr Dhonuill.
The ridge up to Sgorr Dhonuill is a slog in the snow, until the final ascent which is a bit more interesting...
Reached the summit with little difficulty.
The summit plateau is huge compared to what you'd expect from coming up.
Had some lunch on descent to the bealach, before it was time to lose the ridge.
We soon hit the forests, which were quite interesting actually. It's always nice being in and out of the trees. The path through the forest is a constructed path which would be great in summer, but in winter it freezes, making the steps a death trap and absolute nightmare.
Before long, we hit the forest track, which would take us to Ballachulish.
The forest track was a nice walk, other than the fact my legs were dead from the descent We reached the A82 before long, which was very noisy and tedious so we got bored. There was an interesting church, however.
Loch Leven was beautiful as we arrived back in Ballachulish.
Toad in the hole was beckoning back home , so we left hastily.
by Border Reiver » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:23 pm
by chrisprovan » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:52 pm
I was on the Buchaille heading up at the same time as you and took a shot about 11am down glencoe to the bridge. I wondered at that point if anyone was on thunderbolt in such great weather.
by jepsonscotland » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:38 pm
Great when we get weather like that.
I hope the route down wasn't as boggy as when we did it!
by dogplodder » Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:27 pm
by jules999 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:10 pm
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your pictures and reading your report,,, it looks absolutely fantastic and I am climbing this next week in the snow so its great to read your report to give me an idea of what is expected,, pics are fantastic by the way
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