Ben Mor Coigach - the stuff of dreams
by petelynn » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:18 pm
Route description: Ben More Coigach
Grahams included on this walk: Ben Mor Coigach, Sgurr an Fhidhleir
Date walked: 14/09/2015
Time taken: 6.5 hours
Distance: 13 km
Ascent: 1132m6 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).
A couple of photos from the ride to the start.
P9140291 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
P9140292 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
The first objective was to wander over the moorland to the bottom of the ravine of the Allt nan Coisiche then up the steep slope towards Garbh Coireachan. There were traces of paths from time to time but nothing very specific to follow - which suits me fine.
Garbh Coireachan and the ravine from near the start
P9140295 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Closer to the ravine
P9140297 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Crossing the Allt nan Coisiche
P9140298 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
The going up here was steep but the views across Loch Broom to Scoraig and An Teallach were wonderful
P9140300 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
As was the prospect of the Summer Isles behind
P9140301 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
The steepness eased giving me a chance to try to pick out the route up to Garbh Coireachan.
P9140302 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
On this section the first views of Ben Mor Coigach and Sgurr an Fhidhleir appeared
P9140303 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
When I got to the bottom of the sandstone slabs there were obviously many routes people had taken up so I just wended my way through ad lib.
P9140304 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
I've seen many reports of this walk but it was still a thrill to reach the ridge and see the ground drop away 600 metres to the sea below, A toy ship was making it's way along.
P9140305 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
The view behind to the Summer Isles now included the Outer Hebrides on the horizon.
P9140306 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
There was still 100 metres to climb up to the top of Garbh Coireachan but the going was excellent and there wasn't a breath of wind so it was a real joy to be there.
P9140307 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
I was now high enough to see up Loch Broom past Isle Martin and Ullapool and from An Teallach to the Fannichs
P9140308 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
And Stac Pollaidh made it's first appearance
P9140309 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
The view behind to sea reminded me that someone suggested doing this the other way round because you felt you were walking off the end of the world.
P9140310 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
It must have taken me a half hour to walk the next half mile along the ridge. I don't have a great head for heights but with no wind and no real difficulties I couldn't stop smiling at being in such a great place on such a lovely day.
P9140313 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
I climbed over some of the piles of sandstone blocks on the ridge and regretted it as it was a bit tricky and exposed to get down. Others I bypassed and wondered why as they seem innocuous from the other end.
P9140314 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
P9140315 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Gradually more of the Assynt/Coigach peaks came into sight
P9140316 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
P9140317 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
P9140318 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Eventually I reach the top of Speicein nan Garbh Coireachan and there was just the connecting ridge and short climb up to BMC.
P9140319 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
One last look back to the ridge
P9140320 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
And across Loch Broom
P9140321 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Just before I got to the top of BMC a chap from Northumberland appeared having walked the straightforward way up from Culnacraig and we had a bit of a race to the top which I won by a short head by virtue of having had a head start. We took photos for each other and he lit up a cigarette! The view was fabulous.
P9140322 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
And you can see the smile on my face even though I'm looking the other way.
P9140323 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
The view back to the ridge was impressive
P9140325 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
As was the view out to the Summer Isles and the Outer Hebrides beyond
P9140326 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
The next objective was the col at the base of Sgurr an Fhidhleir. It was further down than I had expected (200 metres) and it took a while as I was protecting my knees with my walking poles. But I was rewarded with the classic view of Stac Pollaidh beyond the clif of the Sgurr.
P9140327 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
I briefly had a distant view of someone descending from Sgurr an Fhidhleir but we never met up and the climb to the top was over more quickly than the descent from BMC. The view from the top was, of course, breathtaking with an aerial perspective of Bein an Eoin and the Assynt monoliths beyond.
P9140328 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
P9140329 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
I thought the best panorama ought to include Sgurr an Fhidhleir itself so thought I'd descend via Beinn na Corach after following the edge of the cliffs north to get the best view.
Beinn na Corach ahead
P9140330 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
I took a few photos en route
P9140331 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Including the best face of Sgurr an Fhidhleir
P9140332 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
And this pile of sandstone pillows
P9140333 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Here are the 4 photos forming the panorama
P9140334 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
P9140335 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
P9140336 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
P9140337 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
And the panorama itself
bmcpano by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
In places eroded sandstone has turned into desert like conditions which for some reason reminded me of Utah as I walked over to Beinn na Corach
P9140339 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
By this time a wind had got up and was whistling through the rocks on this pleasant but anticlimactic ridge so just a last few pictures as I descended.
Across to BMC and Garbh Coireachan
P9140340 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Conmheall and the Summer Isles
P9140341 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
And back to my bike - only 9 miles to home.
P9140342 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
I don't think I've ever smiled so much on a walk and I distinctly remember thinking at one point 'Well, now I can die happy' . Living 600 miles away means I can't realistically dash out to take advantage of perfect conditions, I have to rely on luck. And, boy, on this day my luck was in.
by dooterbang » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:28 pm
Thanks for posting.
ps you should try a summit camp one evening
by petelynn » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:05 pm
dooterbang wrote:Stunning stuff. How wonderful to be on that ridge without a drop of wind. The views to the Assynt mountains are incredible. Like you, when I did this walk, I couldn't stop smiling. Nice touch with the cycling. I have also cycled all round these parts, its beautiful. I love Assynt, its my favourite area in Scotland.
Thanks for posting.
ps you should try a summit camp one evening
I was gobsmacked by your report of your summit camp on BMC and it was one of the reasons for me choosing this route. Your photos of that sunset/sunrise must be some of the most beautiful on this site. I don't suppose I'll ever camp up there but at least I've seen your report.
I did cycle from Reiff to Lochinver and back, in the rain, a couple of days later. Lovely road, had to walk a couple of bits and too much traffic for a road that can't take a bike and a car at the same time. Fantastic area.
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