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Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter


Postby Mountainlove » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:26 pm

Route description: Beinn Eighe (western summits)

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

Date walked: 14/03/2015

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 18.5 km

Ascent: 1184m

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Torridon from my favorite viewpoint across Loch Torridon

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Beinn Eighe covered in snow from Glen Torridon

There are some mountains which impress by there sheer size and location and Beinn Eighe is one of them. Standing proudly next to a single track road in Torridon, it is easy accessible, with the added bonus of a campsite and youth hostel just 5 min drive away. The car park was busy when I arrived and getting geared up I saw Rocket Ron (another Walkhighlander) and his friend Michael - what a coincident. Having a brief chat, I told Ron my plans to do the mountain anti clockwise and was promptly told to do it clockwise as it is much nicer. Always happy to follow good advise, I changed my plans and it also meant that I would be able to join them for the first hour, before they would turn towards Liathach to climb of the snow covered gullies. We set off having a good banter until it was time for me to continue on the path and say my good byes. Walking along the views towards Beinn Dearg and Beinn a Chearcaill were gorgeous and with a slow rising path it was the perfect warm up.

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The path nice and easy

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Turn right at the cairn

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Liathach from its north site

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The Corbett Beinn Dearg looking amazing


I walked and walked and after a good 2 hours of walking I felt that I must have already walked around the whole mountain. :problem: So confused that I had to check my map, only to realize it is indeep a looong walk around the mountain. :angel:
By the time the path finally started to climb upwards, the views towards the back were amazing. Certainly no place to rush. By the time I got to the lovely lochan I was full of Ohhhs and Ahhhs, what a place! The triple buttress looked majestic and the reflection of Sail Mor in the lochan was amazing. It was a place which had to be admired.

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The path( far right) starts to climb gently

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The climb towards the loch

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The lochan and the buttress

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The lochan with the reflection of Sail Mor

Looking ahead I decided that the most logical way up was towards my left, but I wanted to follow the burn a bit more and on my climb I cam across many lochans, some still covered with a layer of ice and the pretty burn which trickled down the hill.

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I walked straight up from here


Making my way up the scree slope was a lot less painful than I had expected and the whole mountain seemed to be covered in pipe rock, something I had not seen to such extent. Stooping frequently to get a closer look, I stood soon on the bealach leading towards the first Munro of the day Ruadh-stac Mor.


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Looking back - lovely

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From a bit higher up

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Looking forwards Coinneach Mhor

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Pipe rock

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The first Munro Ruadh-stac Mor

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View from the Munro towards Coinneach Mhor and the ridge

Once I had reached the summit of Ruadh-stac Mor I did not linger as the top of Coinneach Mhor looked rather inviting. The climb did not took long and by the time I reached the wee cairn the ridge spread out ahead of me.

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Leaving the summit with rewarding views

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The summit of Coinneach Mhor, looking back towards the first Munro

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Coinneach Mhor to the left and Ruadh-stac Mor on the right

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Panoramic photo of the 2 Munros and the ridge

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From the ridge

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Hazy Liathach

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Looking back

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and ahead again

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Towards the valley below

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The last climb

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Not the summit yet

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Summit views of Spidean Coire nan Clach

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Myself at the cairn

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and with the ridge behind me


It was hard to drag myself from the summit, but knew that some how I had to get back. From the map I knew the way back would lead down this way

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Following a track and some footprints I soon stood on the summit of Stuc Coire an Laoigh and looked down into a steep abyss :shock: :? Was that the path? Digging my map out I realized that I had walked too far 8)
Looking back I tried to make a path out , but was unsuccessful. Fields of snow led far down below were the path was supposed to be.

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On the summit of Stuc Coire an Laoigh looking back,the path was supposed to be down the right hand site?

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Where is the path down?

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That looked rather steep

Walking along the edge I could not see any other foot prints and made the decision to just climb down. Looking for a suitable slope I held my ice axe in one hand, walking pole in the other and made my way down...it was pretty steep

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Looking back up the way I climbed down

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Looking back down, still a bit further to go

By the time I stepped on grass again I was relieved. Even though the steep hill covered in snow had looked scary from above, it had been a godsend, as I did not had to deal with scree.
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Looking up

From the edge of the snow I was able to find the path again and enjoy a pleasant walk back to the road.

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Looking back up

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Lovely colors

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The road

In the low afternoon sun I stepped on the road and after I had walked two hundred yards was lucky, as another hill walker stopped to offer me a lift in his car. ( If you should read this, thanks again for the lift :wave:) Driving along I looked up at Ben Eighe with a smile on my face-what a fantastic day it had been.

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The road back.
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby kev_russ » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:48 pm

Braw :clap:
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:41 pm

A magnificent mountain, nicely blogged.

We ascended via Stuc Coire an Laoigh, and there was quite an awkward little exposed move (in full winter conditions), so your route definitely looked better, even if it probably didn't before you committed to it! Had a similar decision in Affric last year...don't like the look of that, what's the alternative, err, worse, OK let's try it...carefully...oh, its easier than it looks!
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:02 pm

Wonderful, wonderful stuff, a day to die for : :D Beinn Eighe is very high up my list for this year and I fancy doing it the way you did, on the ground I prefer going up scree to coming down it :lol: So many thanks for the photos, after reading your report I really can't wait :lol:
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:58 pm

You had the best of days for those beauties and some grand photos , a great pair (of hills :wink: )
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby mgmt! » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:04 am

fantastic pictures mountainlove, you got lucky with the weather, we had the ling hut booked a few weeks ago but 90 mph winds and persistent rain meant a weekend in the hostelry,s of Glasgow
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:42 pm

It simply HAS TO BE the best Scottish hill! I'm dying to do it one more time.

Having talked to quite a few people about BE, I think it's a 50-50 split between clockwise and anticlockwise route. I always did it clockwise, up the stone chute, it's less steep that way :lol:
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby Mantog » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:12 pm

Another good report, and on one of my favourite mountains!
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby Mountainlove » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:40 pm

Mal Grey wrote:A magnificent mountain, nicely blogged.

We ascended via Stuc Coire an Laoigh, and there was quite an awkward little exposed move (in full winter conditions), so your route definitely looked better, even if it probably didn't before you committed to it! Had a similar decision in Affric last year...don't like the look of that, what's the alternative, err, worse, OK let's try it...carefully...oh, its easier than it looks!

I agree and it is always great when some routes turn out easier than you think...lol in summer it just always seems the other way around!

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Wonderful, wonderful stuff, a day to die for : :D Beinn Eighe is very high up my list for this year and I fancy doing it the way you did, on the ground I prefer going up scree to coming down it :lol: So many thanks for the photos, after reading your report I really can't wait :lol:

I am sure you will love Beinn Eighe when you get around to climb it! Make sure it will be a clear day...this is is worth waiting for!

mgmt! wrote:fantastic pictures mountainlove, you got lucky with the weather, we had the ling hut booked a few weeks ago but 90 mph winds and persistent rain meant a weekend in the hostelry,s of Glasgow

Aw thats a shame that you had rubbish weather when you had planned to travel up..but I am sure you will get another chance!

BlackPanther wrote:It simply HAS TO BE the best Scottish hill! I'm dying to do it one more time.
Having talked to quite a few people about BE, I think it's a 50-50 split between clockwise and anticlockwise route. I always did it clockwise, up the stone chute, it's less steep that way :lol:

I think I would do it anti clockwise again...a long walk out is not my favorite things and the gentle warm up was great at the start.

Everyone else many thanks for your comments!! :D :D :D
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby jimandandrea » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:51 am

Absolutely inspiring post as I ate my Shredded Wheat: Many thanks for that. Its our fav hill. Having walked its length in mist the clouds cleared to reveal the ridge and surrounds in all their glory..... so we never took that long walk out ... we did the ridge again retracing our steps. Well worth it.
Grand post. :) :)
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby wilkiemurray » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:29 pm

amazing photos and looked like an amazing day :clap:
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:30 am

Wow, what wonderful weather you had! And what fantastic pics. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Clockwise or anticlockwise can be debated, but I'd go for anticlockwise for the simple reason that you get the best views of Liathach, arguably the most beautiful single mountain in the country. I'd read somewhere that someone's favourite mountain was Beinn Eighe because of the fabulous views it afforded of Liathach, and that's why I did it this way round last year.

It has it's disadvantages though: the views were so breathtaking that I just couldn't keep my eyes on the path, with the result that I stubbed my toes on rocks repeatedly and ended up losing both big toe nails. A price well worth paying though, as your pics amply illustrate.
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby ancancha » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:41 am

Spectacular and beautiful photos :clap:
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby malky_c » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:19 pm

That was some weekend 8) . A Good reminder to get back on the high Torridon peaks - I haven't been up any of the Munros in a few years now...
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Re: Beinn Eighe a gentle giant in winter

Postby Mountainlove » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:39 am

Alteknacker wrote:Wow, what wonderful weather you had! And what fantastic pics. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Clockwise or anticlockwise can be debated, but I'd go for anticlockwise for the simple reason that you get the best views of Liathach, arguably the most beautiful single mountain in the country. I'd read somewhere that someone's favourite mountain was Beinn Eighe because of the fabulous views it afforded of Liathach, and that's why I did it this way round last year.
It has it's disadvantages though: the views were so breathtaking that I just couldn't keep my eyes on the path, with the result that I stubbed my toes on rocks repeatedly and ended up losing both big toe nails. A price well worth paying though, as your pics amply illustrate.

Urgh know the pain too well...managed to loose of of my toe nails as well in the past, although thank god they are growing back :thumbup: and as you said well worth it when you had a fantastic day. Aren't we all just mad :lol: :lol:

Everyone else many thanks for your comments!! :D :D :D
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