Glen Coe Scorcher Part 2 - Beinn a' Bheithir
by LeithySuburbs » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:14 am
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: 19/06/2010
Time taken: 6 hours
Distance: 12 km
Ascent: 1250mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I was a little unsure as to my plans for the day. My legs felt a little weary so I wanted to keep my options open for an easy day if necessary. However, the view across the Ballachulish bridge to Beinn a' Bheithir settled matters. It was looking fantastic.
I started this walk from the carpark in Gleann a' Chaolais (rather than the Ballachulish route detailed on this site) with as light a pack as possible, choosing to ditch my waterproofs, GPS and even my map cover . Despite the light pack, it took a good hour of walking to shake the previous day's tiredness out my legs. Again, it was a scorching day and I was conscious of keeping my fluid levels up. There was an excellent signposted path leading through the forest to Sgorr Dhearg. This path looks fairly new and must be preferable to the forestry tracks indicated in the guidebooks. These sorts of plantations get a bad name (often with good reason) amongst walkers but I enjoyed the mixture of light and shade and the path (I would guess intentionally) still offered great views across Loch Linnhe and of the imposing peak of Sgorr Dhonuill.
Probably due to the sense of seclusion offered by the forest, I found that by not concentrating on the summit I gained distance and height surprisingly easily. The path left the forest around the 500m mark directly beneath the unseen summit of Sgorr Dhearg. Rather than follow it to the bealach between the 2 Munro peaks, I headed straight up the very steep western side of Sgorr Dhearg. I made the ascent slowly, taking small careful steps to ease the strain on my thighs and enjoy the weather and views. The views upon reaching the ridge took my breath away.
A little bit of scrambling brought me to the summit of Sgorr Dhearg. I ate a long lunch sunbathing in a small shelter about 20m to the SW of the summit looking to Glens Creran and Etive - pure bliss . I have read a few other reports from this day on hills further north and east suggesting there was a cold northerly wind... well it sure wasn't a problem here. Cool perhaps but I didn't need anything more than a t-shirt all day .
I set off again down to the 757m bealach and had another short rest before heading quite steeply to the summit of Sgorr Dhonuill. The last 50m requires some scrambling and the main path is VERY exposed for about 10m. I opted to avoid this section by scrambling over boulders to the left. This slight detour may have involved the use of hands and knees but it did negate the risk of a very long fall . I had the grassy summit to myself and, again, I just gawked at the views, particularly along Loch Linnhe to the ocean with Ben More (Mull) in the hazy distance.
After another break I decided it was time to move on and I headed back down to the col. This time I opted for the vertigo inducing 10m of the main path right above the cliffs - I must be bonkers .
From here it was just a case of following the fenceposts to regain the outward path.
This was another wonderful day on a fabulous mountain. These 2 Munros really have it all - steep, dramatic, amazing views, impressive ridge walk, airy scramble, quiet forest. One of my top 5 Munro walks so far .
by Stretch » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:07 am
by jonny616 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:49 am
I've been eyeing up these two for a while, probably on nexts years plan , as an anal organiser i know were i am going up untill 2nd jan 2011, but i might have to add in a date, not sure i can wait having seen your pic's. How do you think it would be in snow?
by kevsbald » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:45 am
I think these two hills are fantastic.
by LeithySuburbs » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:46 pm
jonny616 wrote:How do you think it would be in snow?
Great IMO. You would need to be very careful on the final 50m to the summit of Sgorr Dhonuill but can't see any obvious problems other than that. You would also have to do the regular "T" shaped route up to the bealach then out and back to each top, rather than my variation.
kevsbald wrote:Wow - amazing visibility - those days live long in the memoire.
Aye, I'm a lucky barsteward .
Nice looking ridge too. I will be up there one of these days
by walk aboot » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:24 pm
by audreywaugh » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:38 pm
Great photos too
Audrey - the path to the end of the forest was good and dry - the bit up to the col from the end of that track is horrendously boggy though!
- mountain coward
by LeithySuburbs » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:29 am
Audrey - it is a great time to all the traditionally "boggy" Munros with the exceptionally dry weather we have been having. The section MC was referring to was all but bone dry.
Bheithir is the neglected Glen Coe hill - personally I think it's my favourite
by katiebryso » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:14 pm
Just completed the horseshoe yesterday Sat 26th, dumped a car at the school at Ballachulish and started our walk from the car park at the bottom of the Gleann Cholais. There was 19 of us on the trip, we decided to ascend via the ridge on the western side of Sgorr Dhonnuil. After reaching the top of the Bealach, with much puffing and panting we then started our ascent towards the first summit of the day. Our trip was to commemorate one of our Walking groups father who had died in Feb of this year. He had been the farmer at Lagnaha and Sgorr Dhonnuil was part of his land. We've laid a stone and plaque on the summit cairn for all to see.
We made our way down to the Col and then up on to Sgorr Dearg. We decided to descend by the ridge coming off the eastern flank of Sgorr Bhan. it was a bit airy in places but we all got down safely and had a liquid refreshment waiting for us in the coolbox in the boot of the car. it was a good days walking with the weather staying dry. There was some more refreshment taken at the Clachaig by the end of Saturday night.
by jwramsay » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:03 pm
by L-Hiking » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:17 pm
by alanmurray » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:08 pm
Completed this walk last winter.
Great in the snow - first time I have used crampons (apart from the winter skills course ).
Slightly different route - ascent was up north east ridge of Sgorr Dhearg.
As ascending towards Sgorr Dhonuill, saw the final exposed section - very scary for me, although felt safer wearing the crampons.
Didn't enjoy the summit, as I knew I had to re-cross the exposed ridge (only 10m long tho )
Must do my Report
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