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Blaven - race against the weather

Blaven - race against the weather


Postby denfinella » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:37 pm

Route description: Bla Bheinn (Blaven)

Munros included on this walk: Bla Bheinn

Date walked: 19/08/2015

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 990m

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Breakfast came with another serving of unbroken sunshine and light winds, but the weather forecast promised rain and high winds by mid-afternoon - a front was encroaching from the southwest. The settled spell on Skye would soon be over, but it seemed like there was just time to sneak in another big walk before it went downhill: Blaven, that famous Cuillin outlier.


blabheinn.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



The longish drive from Portree was worth it even just for the views of Blaven from Torrin and across Loch Slapin - amazing!

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Starting off on the path by Allt na Dunaiche, there was for now no hint of bad weather approaching. It already felt warm in the light wind and direct sunlight. The odd midge was lurking in the shady section under trees above the gorge. Further up, we passed a couple of attractive waterfalls.

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Eventually the path turned abruptly up Coire Uaigneich, which I'd hoped would be in shade - unfortunately only the steep south-east side was, opposite to the path. After stopping briefly under a shady boulder the climb began in earnest - the path has recently been improved here, eventually becoming rougher near the crest into Fionna-choire. The path splits a few times here - with the clearest one actually heading straight ahead towards the lower, south top. Instead, we turned sharply right with the map to hand - the path disappeared and reappearsed few times near some very short boggy sections before becoming clearer higher up. Loch Fionna-choire was now visible behind.

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The wind had picked up slightly as we continued up the slope - a section through a loose gully could be mostly bypassed on the left-hand side (when looking up). Soon we were enjoying views towards the Red Hills:

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Slightly further up was today's first "wow" moment - Clach Glas suddenly revealing itself, and looking magnificent!

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Red Hills and Raasay through a gap in the crags:

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The most difficult section came immediately after this - a slightly awkward vertical step up by a wedged boulder in between two rock walls. Probably easier if you're taller, but a bit of a stretch for us. After this the summit was soon reached - still sunny but quite windy by now.

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The view towards the Cuillins was amazing - cloud just beginning to reach the very highest tops over there though.

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Red Hills:

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Company on the summit:

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Loch Slapin behind:

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Heading across to the south ridge might have been tempting, but not in this wind. So we headed back down the same way. It had been fairly quiet on ascent, but we passed lots of people on the way down, who seemed to be timing their ascent to coincide with the rain... :wink:

Looking back up at Blaven's dramatic southeast wall (the ascent route off the photo to the right):

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Crocodile rock:

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Blue skies over the loch still on the way back to the car:

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The wind by the burn was stronger than it had been while we were on the summit - it must have been extremely windy at the top by now! Getting back to the car, the cloud finally blotted out the sun. By the end of the fifteen minute drove to Elgol, the view of the Cuillin had changed dramatically... but you'll have to see a different walk report for that...

Skye 2015
Previous day: Sgurr na Banachdich: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=56119
Afternoon: Prince Charlie's Cave, Elgol: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=56329
Last edited by denfinella on Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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denfinella
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Re: Blaven - race against the weather

Postby Petr Dakota » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:26 pm

Nice views and photos ! :clap: 8)
Hope we will add the mountain on our way to North 8) :D
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Petr Dakota
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Re: Blaven - race against the weather

Postby basscadet » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:37 pm

I'm so glad you got a good day for it :) I'd forgotten how good this hill was till I was in the vicinity recently.. 8)
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basscadet
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Re: Blaven - race against the weather

Postby ancancha » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:57 am

Fabulous views, and great company on the summit. I guess you had something to eat there and the Ravens spotted a begging opportunity :roll:
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ancancha
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Re: Blaven - race against the weather

Postby denfinella » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:17 pm

Petr Dakota wrote:Nice views and photos ! :clap: 8)
Hope we will add the mountain on our way to North 8) :D


Thanks Petr - always worth making time for Skye :)

basscadet wrote:I'm so glad you got a good day for it :) I'd forgotten how good this hill was till I was in the vicinity recently.. 8)


Yes, it's a stunning hill! Good looking and the views as well...

ancancha wrote:Fabulous views, and great company on the summit. I guess you had something to eat there and the Ravens spotted a begging opportunity :roll:


Actually acancha, it was too windy so we didn't have anything to eat there (probably disappointing for the raven!). But they probably sit there waiting for walkers in hope :lol: I remember the same with a seagull, in thick fog, waiting at the top of Goatfell on Arran!
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denfinella
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Blaven - race against the weather

Postby grumpy old bagger » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:41 pm

Tremendous pictures :D
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