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White out on Beinn Bhethir

White out on Beinn Bhethir

Postby young-scotty » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:52 am

Munros included on this walk: Sgòrr Dhearg (Beinn a' Bheithir), Sgòrr Dhònuill (Beinn a' Bheithir)

Date walked: 12/04/2015

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 1200m

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The weather was quite apparent while we we were trying to kip in our Oban hostel, it was actually trying to get into our window! An early MWIS check was not promising: more chance of a lightening strike than a cloud free munro. We clung to the hope it would clear up later, it's a long way from Woking to the West Highlands and I didn't fancy another rest (drinking) day. We decided to drive up towards Fort Bill and see how the day panned out. The sun came out as we approached Ballachuish so given the strong winds were emerging from the SW, the northerly approach to Beinn A' Bheithir was given approval by the committee having been almost blown off Beinn Eunaich on Friday.
The rain we'd endured on Mull yesterday had obviously fallen as snow here as we emerged from the forest to find a beautiful panarama of thick fresh snow ahead of us.
The route ahead from forest

It was tricky going with no path to follow and just one pole between us. Anything is better than rain though and we trudged through the snow towards the coll which separates Mr. Dhonuill and his ginger haired brother, Mr. Dhearg. There is a steep bit before the coll where we were on all fours just trying to get a grip, it was quite often, one foot up, two down!
Struggle up to the coll

Made the coll in around 2 hours and the sun even came out, so far so good. The views from the south side of the coll were amazing: Bidean nam Bian in all its scary finery, Beinn Fhionnlaidh shining white and away over to Starav and Lismore and Mull glistening across a clear blue sea. So much for the weather forecast of heavy rain and high winds!
View south from coll
Sgorr Dunhuill
Uphill snae!

Turn right for Sgorr Dunhuill and a thick black cloud tracked us as we climbed up this beauty with a tasty little scramble at the end. Got one photo in before the predictable white out which lasted around 20 minutes during which time we huddled like penguins on the small summit.
Top of Sgurr Dunuill
Ominous cloud
Scramble near top

When the cloud passed we hot footed it down to the coll and the sun came out again making for a pleasant stroll up the much more sedate Sgorr Dhearg.
Ridge to Sgurr Dhearg
Lunch in glorious and wind free sunshine overlooking Glencoe. There are two routes down from here, we chose the one via Beinn Bhan (to bag another top).
Beinn Bhan
This was a scenic route with excellent views of Bidean nam Bian all the way and the final destination Ballachuish village.
View to Bidean nam Bian
The final 45 minutes is a bit of a drag though, crossing a bog towards the school in the village.
Great views down Glen Coe
The only moment of joy during this stick boot moment was a lamb who thought I was his mother!
Adopted lamb
Great walk - defying the weatherman is always a winner.
Top of Sgurr Dunuill
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Re: White out on Beinn Bhethir

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:25 pm

Beautiful. Lovely images of what I think is an underrated couple of hills.

Had one of only two true whiteouts on Beinn Bhethir, between Sgorr Bhan and Sgorr Dhearg, after climbing the NE ridge of the former. Proper step-counting and bearing job. The hardest part was leaving the summit on a bearing when the only thing we could see that wasn't white was the trig point, hoping we hit the ridge. Real trust in your navigation that! Seem to remember it was windy enough to blow our ice axes out horizontally on their leashes too...
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Re: White out on Beinn Bhethir

Postby rockhopper » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:58 pm

cracking day - certainly turned out well - cheers :)
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Re: White out on Beinn Bhethir

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:35 pm

Well done, that was a great walk in those weather conditions. I remember the scramble to the top in fine weather - it was where I learnt my canine companions do that stuff better than me :shock: :lol:
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Re: White out on Beinn Bhethir

Postby PerthAlly » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:19 pm


I was up Beinn a Bheithir last Friday. Sunny and warm ( almost ) the whole way. With wee patches of snow below the bealach. Light fleece sufficed me.

Fickle weather, fickle country :lol:
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