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Awestruck on Beinn Eighe

Awestruck on Beinn Eighe


Postby roscoT » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:44 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: 05/07/2015

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16.2 km

Ascent: 1212m

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beinn eighe western summits.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Day 3 of our 4 day trip to Torridon. With it being Euan's last, time was of the essence for him to do one of the main ridges before the long drive home and work on Monday. Luckily, the weather gods had chucked us a favour, with warm sunshine and the odd rogue shower forecast for the morning. A slight hangover was but a memory as we drove up Glen Torridon at 7.30am. As Euan probably didn't have the time to walk the couple of miles up the road (especially after a 16K walk), he parked his car in the first layby, while I took mine further up so we could do the western summits anti-clockwise. I would advise anyone considering parking here with a small car not to - how my Aygo made it up the path without severe damage is beyone me!

ImageP1000608 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The path is initially good - no bog at all - and was especially warm on the initial climb to the corrie. You are however rewarded with views back to loch clair, Glen Torridon and Liathach on your left.

ImageP1000609 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000612 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000614 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000616 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagetoo hot by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000623 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The path that winds up the corrie wall suddenly becomes visible, and you realise that the next half hour is going to be pretty painful! This winding path is almost vertical in places and very loose, so would advise to stay close if in groups, as falling rocks could be hazardous. This we found to be the hardest part of the day.

Imageup the corrie wall by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000627 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Once, however, you finally reach the cairn at the top, you are again rewarded with great views of part of the vast bulk of Beinn Eighe. On your right you can see the (not to far away) summit of Spidean Coire nan Clach atop its quartzite approach and, ahead, suddenly, Liathach end-on. Behind you, too, the views back down the glen and across to the peaks near Achnashellach are excellent.

Imagelochan neimhe and meall dearg by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagelaithach by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imageloch clair by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Higher up towards Spidean Coire nan Clach, views across to Ruadh-stac Mor, the days second munro are sublime. This short climb over rocks and a skinny ridge is great fun. A short distance to the left from the tiny summit cairn is an awesome (if not a bit scary) ledge to get some great shots.

Imageruadh-stac mor by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000640 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000643 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000645 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagespidean coire nan clach summit by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000650 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000655 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The weather was still fine at this point, and we took a little while to drink in the surrounds. However, a rain cloud was approaching from the south, so we thought we'd get back down the ridge to somewhere less exposed for it coming in. Quartzite soon gives in to sandstone, and the ridge all the way round to the lofty summit of Ruadh-stac Mor was clearly visible. Said rain cloud actually turned out to be hail, however it didn't last for too long and we were moving again. You walk past the screefall descent on the way up here - something to look forward to later (or not depending on your preference)!

ImageP1000657 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imageeastern summits by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000662 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagestuc coire nan clach by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagelaithach again by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000671 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000675 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imageridge and route to ruad-stac mor by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagehail shower by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The summit appears eventually as a pile of golden stone - beautiful views in every direction. Even decided on a wee rum to celebrate!

Imageruadh-stac mor - golden peak by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagedown to the corrie by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imageloch maree and sea by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000688 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000692 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagesummit rum by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000696 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000697 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imageruadh-stac beag by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagetriple buttress by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

So back we went down to the head of the scree slope. From the top, it looks extremely intimidating. The next 5 minutes were probably the most fun 5 minutes I have ever had on a hill. Leaning back, and a bit timid at first, we were soon practically skiing down the scree slope, digging our heels in and dropping several hundred metres in a matter of minutes. Woohoo :D

Imagetop of scree slope into the corrie by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000708 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagescree skiing by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000715 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Once the bottom of the slope is reached, it's still a good bit to go to get to the lochan. There was probably a path, but we didn't follow it - just skipping through the sandstone blocks and tiny lochans. Looking up at the huge triple buttress is awe inspiring. We also saw what looked like plane wreckage here - can anyone shed any light on this?

ImageP1000722 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000727 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagewreckage... by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The cathdral of Coire mhic Fhearchair is finally reached, and we decided to stop for a while and have lunch. A really special place - huge and yet silent at the same time.

Imagecoire mhic fhearchair by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000735 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagestunning by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

A short walk across to the mouth of the lochan reveals a large waterfall, and from here begins the long walk (on very good path) round past Liathach to the layby. What a day - and it was only 3pm :clap:

For Euan, it was home time, for Scotty and I - a lovely meal at a seafood restaurant in Shieldaig (highly recommended) and the possibility of one more day's walking - "We'll see how the legs feel" we said pessimistically! Tune in for Part 4 to see what happened.....

ImageP1000745 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000749 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagethe way hame by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000762 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imageimage by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Last edited by roscoT on Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
roscoT
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 242
Munros:136   Corbetts:26
Grahams:13   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:5   Islands:15
Joined: Jul 26, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Awestruck on Beinn Eighe

Postby teaandpies » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:57 pm

Another cracker :thumbup:
teaandpies
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 929
Munros:94   Corbetts:16
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:6
Joined: Mar 19, 2014
Location: Glasgow

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