walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Sandstone dreams - Applecross


Postby basscadet » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:23 pm

Route description: Beinn Bhan, near Kishorn

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Bhan, Sgurr a' Chaorachain

Date walked: 25/07/2015

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1691m

12 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

So this weekend, the weather looked best in the far north west in the end, a good opportunity to go back somewhere that had been on the bucket list for a loooooonnnng time - Applecross. :D Picked up Dougie from work as usual and got straight on our way.. Wasn't the best journey until after Inverness, and we sailed the last bit up to Bealach Na Ba, to get there well before dark. There was a dance on at the campsite in the village, so we decided that the routes looked too good to miss, so we would camp in the Corrie to avoid distractions :lol: Unfortunately, there wasn't much good camping ground to be had, but we found a semi-dry, semi-flat, semi-tussocky bit of stream bank to pitch up on after getting distracted playing on the slabs and in the waterfalls of the burn for a good while. If this was the camp spot, what were the scrambling going to be like! :thumbup:
A chilly night, led to a showery morning.. We waited for it to stop before heading off at around 10.30. We parked in the wrong place to begin with, but found the right spot after only minimal faff, and were on our way, after marvelling at the amount of fish were in the pond right next to the road - the water looked alive :shock:

Image


Beinn Bhan 25-JUL-15.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



So it was up the well constructed path for half an hour. The path climbed slowly, and the clouds dispersed nicely. It was looking like a really bonny day :)

Image

We made it up to the bridge, and turned off, onto the wee path upstream. This was less of a path, and more of a boggy trench for the most part. Lots of side paths crossed the burn, and further up we did too, but this led to some tough going, so we crossed back over, but we never did find the path again :? We could clearly see our target though :)

Image

There was a waterfall at the entrance to the corrie, where we crossed over the burn and made a beeline for the A' chioch ridge on the right.

Image

Image

Image

We got to the first crag - quite vegitated, but more of a challenge than it looked, if you stuck to the rocky parts :shock:

Image

Then a heather bank took us up to a nice looking crag on the right - we had abandoned the route description already in favour of whatever looked good..

Image

Unfortunately this crag wasn't as easy as it looked and we had to abort half way up. We could of gone up further I think, but the exposure and consequences of failure were too much :think:

Image

Image

So we headed back down that crag, and took the narrow rib next to it. Substantially easier, and loads of fun :D

Image

Image

Image

We went leftward onto a ledge, and up another short wall, then up more broken rock, to a flat shoulder. It was our first real glimpse into Coire Na Feola, and it looked fairly impressive :shock:

Image

We were a bit confused by the instructions for the next bit, but we eventually saw that the photo in the book was of one of the spurs in front, so we headed up that one, quite easy angled that bit, with a tricky overhang to avoid near the top that took a while to figure out.. :roll:

Image

The scrambling just kept on coming, as difficult or as easy as you liked, it really was a joy :D

Image

We were soon up at another flattening,which curved round to the final ascent up to the A Chioch summit 8)

Image

Quite a lot of the cliffy bit there looked a bit difficult, but we made progress up the left hand edge, getting more central a bit later on, as the angle eased a little and a choice of routes opened up.

Image

Image

Then it was an easy walk to the summit, which was remarkably flat.. Reminded me of the Tennis Court on Beinn Tarsuinn in Fisherfields :eh:

Image

Image

Image

We got our first glimpses of the headwall in the distance.. I wasn't really sure about that bit :lol: We carried on, another peak to go before we had to worry about it..
We headed down fun boulders, enjoying the stunning view down into Coire Na Poite - just amazing...

Image

And there was a tricky wee gully to down climb to the coll.

Image

There was a rib that went right the way up to almost the top. Nothing difficult really, just a bit tall, so best not to look down too much when doing that bit :lol:

Image

Image

We stopped for a break at the top, So much good scrambling, and so much still to go - this has to be one of my favourite routes thus far :D We noticed a couple of other scramblers reach the top of A Chioch. They stopped for a break too, waving over at us in a friendly manner 8)
The headwall was now looming ...

Image

but first we had to get down. The book suggested that the direct route was difficult and loose - something we were getting used to by now, as many holds had proved to be loose thus far, but we headed down to our right as instructed. It was very very steep, and quite soggy, with quite a big drop off, so I found this to be the most terrifying part of the whole route :lol: very slowly I got down to the coll, to face the headwall beyond.

Image

Now I was here, it didn't look too bad at all - more foliage than rock, with a fairly well worn path sticking to the grassy bits. We started up.

Image

Before we had got far at all, the lure of the rock took us off the path and up a couple of short walls that provided plenty interest. A couple of bits had us traversing back to the path but a lot was do-able and the rock kept luring us back. Didn't want to look down though - jings it was steep!
It was at the top of one of these walls, I Found a loose block, but with a sturdy hold below. As I pulled at it, the upper rock fell and smashed my thumb. I managed to get it out, but it was really sore, so I was glad when just a few metres up we reached a heathery ledge to rest and lick my wounds :(

Image

The intense pain didnie fade for a good long while - long enough for the guys behind to pass us after the usual chats :D They had helmets, harnesses, and big backpacks that jingled :o
Eventually we headed off, up the steep heather bank to the fabled gully with the chokstone.

Image

It looks very benign with its grassy entrance, but it gets more difficult and I thought it would be troublesome for a moment until I put my hand on that chokstone and felt what a good jug it was :D I hauled myself up, to an airy platform, with good views back down the ridge

Image

Image

Then we were all of a sudden at the top, just a small grassy arete up to the plateau, which was such harsh contrast that it took me a couple of minutes to adjust :lol:

Image

Just a short walk took us up to the summit :D Looked like a grim day over in Skye, but nice up toward Torridon, and hazy toward Kintail.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

After another long stop in the summit shelter, we headed back down the ridge, I stuck close to the corrie edge to get shots of our route.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


The ridge was fine walking for the most part, but further down, it got a bit tougher going, flat boggy ledge, led to short cliffs, or really steep bits. I fell over a lot, and got quite a wet behind :?

Image

Seemed to take ages to get down to the road, where a lady waited so we could chat. I mentioned Dougie's name and she immediately asked if I was Basscadet - Turned out to be none other than AnnieMcD :D We had a bit of a laugh walking the remaining distance down the road to our cars. It was a bit odd, because I had thought of Annie in the journey over, as I suspected that she was from round these parts. I didn't think our paths would actually cross, but it was a pleasure :thumbup:
We headed back to the tent, my thumbs constant throbbing keeping me artificially subdued, but we knew that we had had quite a special day :wink:
The breeze dropped for a while back at the tent, so we had to zip ourselves away from the midges, for a hour, which made for a late dinner. :?
We were up early on Sunday, the forecast had been for rain later on, so best to be up early, despite our unambitious route for the day :) No journey to the start of the walk - we were scrambling up the side of Corrie Na Ba, where we had been camped :D


Sgurr a Chaorachain 26-JUL-15.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We packed up the camping gear in the car, and I took a quick snap of the route

Image

before heading across the corrie past where we had camped,

Image

And up the other side to the start of the route. The wee crag at the bottom was surprisingly large and difficult, and by the time we were up that, we had our scrambling heads back on.

Image

I hadn't slept that well due to throbby thumb, and it was a hindrance to have to keep it sticking out of the way all the time :? After another short wall, the book detailed a fairly vegetated route to the right, but we went up the main face, as it didn't look too tricky..

Image

Unfortunately a little higher up, it steepened considerably, and we were forced left to a gully which we used to go up to the wide ledge above, which gave us a route back over right to resume the route described in the book.

Image

Image

Image

From there, there were so many routes, that we both ended up going off in different directions to climb in parallel. :)

Image

I was forced over left as my rib ran out and our two routes came back together below a high steepening.

Image

Image

There was still quite a few options, and nothing tricky at all, but the fun was over all too quickly as we reached the plateau above..

Image

Image

Image

Image

Much to my delight, the fun wasn't over at all, and the ridge walk was interesting, with rocky little steps and slabs most of the way. One crag up to the 703 point on the ridge was especially good :D

Image

Image

Image

It was still surprisingly far to the actual trig point, but maybe we were just mucking about too much :lol:

Image

Image

Image

The views over to Skye were amazing, despite it being hazy. All the way from the bridge to the Quirang - mesmorising :shock:

Image

Image

We could see our final target away in the distance..

Image

so we headed along the ridge toward Bealach Na Ba, the going getting far steeper than the map would suggest. really rocky there too, but Dougie found the path eventually which made for quicker progress.

Image

Further down toward the road, fun slabs re-emerged. We crossed the bealach, and headed up beyond. It was a confusing jumble of boulders and rocky crests leading up to a large cairn marking the ridge out to Sgurr na Choreachain.

Image

It was quite fun, lots of ups and downs with some rocky bits.

Image

Image

Image

We were soon on the final climb up, which is fairly gentle :)

Image

The views were great, An Teallach away in the distance..

Image

We found a wee shelter a wee bit further out from the summit, but it had got quite cold, and it was a bit small for two :D On the way back along the ridge, we took the byass, which was far more fun than going over - reminded me of collies ledge a bit, without the scary bits :D
We had scoped out a gully which looked to be safe descent, when we were on the other side of the corrie, so we located it and started on down.

Image

Image

It was very steep, but the ground was very firm and grippy, so it was quite enjoyable.

Image

Soon we were out of the gully and approaching the road, still not a squelch from underfoot.

Image

Image

We got onto the road, but there was so much traffic that we felt like a bit of a nuisance for the few hundred yards back. Still another amazing day in Applecross, and back early to face the long drive home. Top weekend, canny believe it took me so long to get there :lol:
User avatar
basscadet
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:52
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:34   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:17   Islands:21
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby AnnieMacD » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:10 am

Ha, you beat me to it as I knew you would!

It was great to meet you and Dougie - I was a bit in awe of you with all your scrambling adventures. I didn't realize your thumb was so badly damaged - I could have taken you to the doctor if I'd known. Hope it's getting better now.

You really are two brave people - I thought I never saw a gully that I didn't like but you two are at a whole different level. I must say that your descent of Sgurr a'Chaorachain looks like a good ascent route for me next time. Also, I always thought that taking the bypass of the 'bump' was a bit of a cop-out but if it's like Colley's Ledge, hmm.

Here's a photo of you near the top of A'Choich - https://www.flickr.com/photos/anniemacd/19416120563/in/photostream/ but I'll put all the photos up in my report.

Really like your photos and descriptions - you really did have the perfect weekend!
User avatar
AnnieMacD
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 789
Munros:25   Corbetts:15
Grahams:13   
Sub 2000:8   
Joined: Jun 25, 2013
Location: Applecross

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby dav2930 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:13 am

A' Chioch looks a really intriguing and spectacular scramble BC. May I ask what grade it gets? I've had this area on my wish list for many years but always seem to by-pass it on the way to Skye or Torridon. :roll: Looks well worth stopping for. Glad you managed to extract your thumb - otherwise you might have faced a rather nasty dilemma (cf 127 hours! :shock: ). Great stuff. :clap:
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1461
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:14   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:163
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby basscadet » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:27 am

AnnieMacD wrote:Ha, you beat me to it as I knew you would!

It was great to meet you and Dougie - I was a bit in awe of you with all your scrambling adventures. I didn't realize your thumb was so badly damaged - I could have taken you to the doctor if I'd known. Hope it's getting better now.

You really are two brave people - I thought I never saw a gully that I didn't like but you two are at a whole different level. I must say that your descent of Sgurr a'Chaorachain looks like a good ascent route for me next time. Also, I always thought that taking the bypass of the 'bump' was a bit of a cop-out but if it's like Colley's Ledge, hmm.

Here's a photo of you near the top of A'Choich - https://www.flickr.com/photos/anniemacd/19416120563/in/photostream/ but I'll put all the photos up in my report.

Really like your photos and descriptions - you really did have the perfect weekend!


Oh yes, that gully would be a tiring but satisfying way up.. and just like the bypass on Sgurr na Coireachain, Collie's ledge is a cop out really.. A fantastically fun cop out, but its all a matter of perspective I guess.. :D
The thumb is getting better quicker than I would of dared hope, and I don't think there is going to be any lasting damage :wink:

dav2930 wrote:A' Chioch looks a really intriguing and spectacular scramble BC. May I ask what grade it gets? I've had this area on my wish list for many years but always seem to by-pass it on the way to Skye or Torridon. :roll: Looks well worth stopping for. Glad you managed to extract your thumb - otherwise you might have faced a rather nasty dilemma (cf 127 hours! :shock: ). Great stuff. :clap:


I was the same - always passing it by, or admiring from the Coulins/Cuillin, and so glad I finally went :D the A Chioch ridge is graded as moderate, but there are a great many route choices throughout, and 90% of the scrambling can be avoided or simplified. The exposure is bad in places though, which I think is why it was graded so. Its a beautiful place, well worth a slice of anybody's time.. :thumbup:
User avatar
basscadet
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:52
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:34   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:17   Islands:21
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby malky_c » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:54 am

Impressive stuff 8) . I doubt I have the guts for that just now, but I quite fancy doing the first bit of the Cioch (before the really nasty descent) for the scenery.

Some other interesting stuff on the other side of the road as well :D
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 6019
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:276   Hewitts:268
Wainwrights:122   Islands:36
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow/Inverness

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby dav2930 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:17 am

basscadet wrote:
I was the same - always passing it by, or admiring from the Coulins/Cuillin, and so glad I finally went :D the A Chioch ridge is graded as moderate, but there are a great many route choices throughout, and 90% of the scrambling can be avoided or simplified. The exposure is bad in places though, which I think is why it was graded so. Its a beautiful place, well worth a slice of anybody's time.. :thumbup:

Thanks for that BC. Will definitely take a closer look next time I'm up that way. :D
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1461
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:14   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:163
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:45 am

Superb report, and the best I've seen of the A'Chioch scramble in summer nick. Not done this one, only ascended by the back of Coire am Fhamair, but hope to one day, though I have a feeling I'll no longer cope with the exposure, the climbing head has gone a bit these days...

Really liked the other route too, we did one of the gullies on Meall Gorm in winter conditions, coming out just below the summit, and really enjoyed the rocky terrain of the plateau above. Sgurr a Chaorachain is also the site of my best ever golden eagle sighting, as it came across to check us out as we climbed up from Coire a Chaorachain.

Wonderful bit of the world, not at all spoilt by having that amazing road going over it, though I resent the communication mast on the second top of S a C!
User avatar
Mal Grey
Wanderer
 
Posts: 3636
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby ancancha » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:48 am

A fabulous read with cracking photos, you and Dougie really like a challenge :clap:
You really get a great sense of scale and steepness from AnnieMacD's photo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/anniemacd/19416120563/in/photostream/
Quality photo AnnieMacD :clap:
User avatar
ancancha
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 989
Munros:84   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Jun 30, 2014
Location: Killadysert

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby dogplodder » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:00 pm

That looked like fun but hope your mashed thumb is okay. You'll need to start a tally of WH folk you randomly bump into when out and about. :wink:
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3759
Munros:232   Corbetts:57
Grahams:17   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby Bonzo » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:55 pm

Enjoyed that. Good stuff.

Is there any chance you could draw your line of ascent up the headwall? It'd be interesting to know what route you took.
User avatar
Bonzo
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 219
Munros:40   Corbetts:1
Hewitts:96
Wainwrights:147   
Joined: Oct 12, 2010

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby prog99 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:57 pm

The book suggested that the direct route was difficult and loose

Yup, its pretty difficult downclimb. In winter we went round to the left.
Its possibly a scramble thats better in winter as the turf freezes up (its a graded winter route by then)
User avatar
prog99
Walker
 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Aug 14, 2013

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby mrssanta » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:28 pm

Oh that was just magnificent, and scary!
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3049
Munros:252   Corbetts:11
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:43
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:57 pm

Superb mountains and weird as well. So steep on the way up, but the summit area is like a plateau.

I remember we scrambled up An Carn when we did Beinn Bhan, looks easier than A'Chioch, judging by your photos. Another mountain on my to-redo list :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3547
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
Grahams:114   
Sub 2000:49   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby basscadet » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:12 pm

Wow, glad everyone enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed doing it :D

Finally got to see the photo Annie (now I'm home) Some brilliant shots you got there :clap:

MG - You should go and scare your pants off.. It would definitely be worth it, and like I said earlier, there is a vegetated route that would be a lot less scary. No need for false modesty Malky either, you would romp it in 8)

Not sure about the tower either, but there are so many lumpy bits on the ridge, it is obscured fr a lot of the time..

Smashed thumb is getting better - managed to dress myself withot help this morning :lol: Going bluer, but a lot less sore, so it will be healed up in time for the meet I would hope..

Bonzo, I drew my route, You'll have to zoom in, as I tried to be precise! The bottom bit (out of the photo), is only about 8 foot of grassiness, with big ledge steps worn flat by the passing of feet. Hope you get just as bonny a day for it :)

Image

Oh thanks BP - for the tip for our return trip :D
User avatar
basscadet
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:52
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:34   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:17   Islands:21
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Sandstone dreams - Applecross

Postby PeteR » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:31 pm

Looks stunning. I've had these two on my radar for ages now........bus suspect I'll be doing them via the safer WH route :lol:
User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2065
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:177   Hewitts:3
Islands:9
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

12 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andypandy1961, Dave McG and 63 guests