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Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:23 pm
by AnnieMacD

Track_2015-04-18 Bla Bheinn.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I'm so behind with my walk reports due to work pressures but I'm going straight to the last one as it was such a spectacular day. I had intended to do a Graham or two but on Friday night it was clear that a spectacular week-end weather-wise lay ahead so I changed plans and decided on Blà Bheinn again.

I left Applecross early but stopped countless times to take photos before getting to Torrin at about 8:30am.

The Cuillin from the top of the Bealach road at sunrise.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

The Hebridean Princess leaving Kyle.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-2 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Spring has arrived in Broadford.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-3 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Blà Bheinn reflected in Loch Cill Chriosd.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-4 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Today's target.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-5 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

The walk up Coire Uaigneich was hot but made easier by the improvements to the path by the John Muir Trust. Just before turning off left up to the north top, I topped up with water - it was more like August than mid-April.

The clarity of the air was amazing.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-6 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Once out of the corrie, height is gained pretty quickly. At this point it entered my head that maybe, just maybe, if I had enough energy on the way back I would go up An Stac as well.

Looking back down with Loch Fionna-choire and An Stac across the corrie.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-7 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

This hill is described as the easiest of all the Cuillin to ascend, and no doubt it is, but it's not the easiest of mountains if you are not familiar with the west coast hills. Further up, the rock is gabbro which is sharp and can cut your hands easily. However, the good news is that, when dry, it's very grippy and great for walking on.

It took me about 3.5 hours to reach the summit. One thing to know about this hill is that after leaving the corrie, there are multiple paths and sections of path that seem to run out - some involving some scrambling and ascending a rocky chute (which I somehow avoided on the way down). However, not to worry as they all end up on the summit. But today was a day for adventuring and taking photos and no rushing.

One of the chutes on the left.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-8 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Back to Torrin and Beinn na Cro, Beinn Dearg Mhor and Beinn na Caillich.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-9 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Back down to An Stac and Loch Slapin.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-10 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

The route up to the south summit. There are two tiny figures on the bealach. Rum in the distance.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-11 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Two shot pano of Clach Glas.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-14 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

There are lots of little detours to get better views of the surrounding hills.

Here is Ruadh Stac and Marsco beyond.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-16 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

And then it happens - you hit the summit and all of the Black Cuillin ridge opens up in front of you. Wow, just wow!

North part of the ridge. Because of the light you can see the sweep round from Sgurr nan Gillean to Sgurr na h-Uamha which is the final top of the Cuillin ridge. This U shape engulfs Lota Coire and Harta Coire.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-17 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Wider view with Glen Sligichan and Loch an Athain. Ruadh Stac is on the right.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-18 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

The Red Cuillin. Front to back - Garbh-bheinn, Ruadh Stac, Druim Eadar Dà Coire, Marsco, Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach, Beinn Deareg Mhor and Glamaig.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-19 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Fortunately I decided to go up the 'tourist' path and I'm glad I did as the chimney from the bealach between the two tops turned out to be choked up with snow - although some people scrambled over the rocks.

The south summit.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-21 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Panorama of the Black Cuillin. (Best viewed in Flickr)
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-22 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Summit cairn (there's a trig point as well) with the ever-present raven taking in the view.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-23 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

There was hardly a soul around - I think all day I saw about a dozen people. A few of us had lunch together (Hi guys!) and people wandered off as they felt like it but we all agreed that this was the best day possible to be up this iconic mountain.

After about two hours on the top it was time to descend - it's steep and a bit of scree here and there but no problems as long as one is careful.

Photographer stopped on the descent. Beinn na Cro and Beinn Dearg Mhor form the background.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-24 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Clach Glas - looking down on to the Putting Green.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-25 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Clach Glas - there were two tiny figures on top.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-28 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-29 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

When I got back to the bealach I decided it was definitely too early to go home and I was still feeling good, so up An Stac I went. This is a small hill across the corrie and I stopped for a while watching the frogs defending their spawn from newts in Loch Fionna-choire. Then straight up the grassy slope to the top. What amazing views of big brother Blà Bheinn! As I was descending I saw two people who looked like small ants wending their way up BB for an overnight camp. I was quite jealous.

Loch Fionna-choire.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-31 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Beautiful Blà Bheinn from the summit of An Stac.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-32 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

The route up, zoomed in. To get a sense of scale there are two people just left of centre and about one-seventh of the way up.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-33 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

What a day for my first Munro this year even if I don't get a blue balloon.

A heron, fishing on Loch Cill Chriosd on the way home.
ImageBlà Bheinn 2015.04.18-34 by anniesmountains, on Flickr

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:20 am
by BlackPanther
Grand mountain and a superb viewpoint. Cuillin Ridge looks amazing :D Certainly BB deserves more than one visit... It's not only about blue balloons after all.

We were doing a Corbett from Kinlochleven that day and it was an absolute scorchio :shock: Mid-summer rather than mid-April... Today, I'm looking through my window and the slopes of Beauly hills are white. Weather has gone bananas!

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:31 am
by Mal Grey
Fantastic report, with some amazing photos.

Its one of the best mountains.

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:34 am
by johnkaysleftleg
Simply stunning photographs Annie, I've thought about climbing An Stac before, looks like it's well worth it.

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:57 am
by Beaner001
Well done Annie, brilliant pics of a beautiful mountain :clap:

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:58 am
by NevJB
Great report and wonderful pictures Annie - your report could not have been more timely; my brother and I will be up there in a couple of weeks and are hoping for weather like that.

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:11 pm
by MilanBohac
This is absolutely amazing!!! Great report:)

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:52 pm
by simon-b
It looks a superb hill, Annie, and you got a fine day to climb it. I could see Bla Bheinn's outline between the Black and Red Cuillin from Mull last month and from Beinn a' Bheithir recently; it looks awesome even from that distance.

An excellent report.

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:42 pm
by Silverhill
Mmm, mouthwatering pictures! They make me want to go to Skye right now! :D
I love the heron shot, marvelously captured :clap:

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:08 pm
by malky_c
That was well worth a look 8)

A spectacular day :)

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:47 pm
by rockhopper
Beautiful right enough Annie :thumbup: - cheers :)

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:21 am
by Emmanuelle
Incredibly beautiful photos Annie, so lucky to get the weather too. Bla Bheinn is on my list! :clap:

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:13 pm
by kevsbald
Fabulous report. Tenuous plans to leave this to my last...

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:40 pm
by gman
Great report and stunning photos, looks like a perfect day.

Re: Beautiful Blà Bheinn

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:53 pm
by riverlodge
some fabulous shots.
definitely one of my favourite hills, but now some time ago and this makes me want to return!