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Bla Bheinn on a sunny day

Bla Bheinn on a sunny day


Postby xslawekx » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:31 am

Route description: Bla Bheinn (Blaven)

Munros included on this walk: Bla Bheinn

Date walked: 23/07/2010

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 990m

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My love affair with scottish mountains began about a year ago, so Bla Bheinn was going to be

just my fourth munro. The date was set to be Friday 23rd July. I have to confess I was so

excited about the whole trip I couldn't sleep the night before and kept waking up every two

hours or so.. I set off for Skye at 5.30am going from Inverness down the Invermoriston way.

My excitement grew even stronger as I drove past the Glen Shiel with its excellent

mountainous scenery.. When I got the car park from which the walk begins, it was still very

early, but the sun already shining bright. I set off for the summit at 7.30am. The walk along

Allt na Dunaiche was very pleasant and I was enchanted by marvellous sight of surrounding

me hills. I followed the well trodden path all the way up to Fionna-choire from which I moved

further on and up a steep scree and finally eastern slope of Bla Bheinn. The last section of the

climb begun. I picked my route over somewhat larger boulders and firm rock istead of sticking

to the zig-zaging path of loose stones. I reached the top at 9.50am and 5 minutes later the

summit at 928m after about two hours climbing. The weather conditions on the day were

excellent with only occasional clouds passing quickly by below the summit, so I could enjoy

unspoilt view in every possible direction. Of course north-westerly lying is the Cuillin range

which arguably offers the most dramatic and spectacular view.. But that day my interest laid

to north-east and Garbh-bheinn and Belig. I very much wanted to include the Corbett as well

as the Graham into my itinerary. As I hadn't managed to find out if it is doable to get to

Garbh-bheinn directly from Bla Bheinn through Clach Glass I decided to check that out

myself... This is where the most exciting part of my trip begun. Some of you, my dear fellow

hill walkers might also call it crazy and my-humble-self silly or reckless and irresponsible. So I

as stand at the northern end of Bla Bheinn summit I was trying to find the best way down to

Corie Dubh, towards the gully below. I (mis)judged my plan realizable and went for it. (In this

place I'd like to add that I had never done such serious and difficult scrambling before). So I

navigated my way down, very often using my hands as well as feet. I managed to sramble

down about 200-250 yards. I finally reached a point where a very small stream is dripping

down and where my choices were reduced to that of lifting myself down a nearly vertical

drop of about 6-8 yards. For the first time on thi trip I'd had seconds thoughts, but decided

to go for it. All I managed was to lift my self down to a narrow ledge of about 4 inches, that

was about 2 yards below from where I started. Having got down there I realized I wouldn't be

able to go further down and after a short while of discontent, I also realized I may not be albe

to go back up either.. I got really scared and I spent few minutes clinging to a cold rock (my

legs outstreched, feet on 4 inches wide ledge, hands grabbing some bumps of the rock) and

despairing. At that point I realized it wasn't a very good idea to climb down after all. Finally,

after few shameful minutes of panic I managed to compose myself and lift back up. From there

I scrambled right up back to the top of Bla Bheinn. My little expedition off the well recognized

route took 1h 20min and cost me loads of energy. The way back to the car park over the

route of ascent took 1h 10min.
I decided to take on Achnasheen road to get back home. So since I was there and the day was

still young I made up my mind to take my revenge on them hills and bagged Fionn Bheinn...

I apologize for my not-too-sparkling Enghlish as it is my second language, as Scottish is my third :-)
Thanks for reading
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Last edited by xslawekx on Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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xslawekx
 
Posts: 535
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Location: Inverness

Re: Bla Bheinn on a sunny day

Postby mountain coward » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:48 am

You crazy man attempting that! :o :lol:

One thing which puzzled me reading your report - I realised English wasn't your first language (although it was fine) but you use yards and inches - I do too but only because I'm old enough to have been brought up with them... Where are you from originally? I thought the whole of Europe just used metres for measurement and I'm assuming you're from somewhere in Europe? Hope I'm not sounding rude and offensive here!
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a sunny day

Postby EACHANN AN DOIRE » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:55 pm

I’m very interested in how you felt as you attempted this climb. You use words like “irresponsible” and “panic” etc. I feel that way too sometimes; as though I was an observer standing outside of myself looking in, reproachfully. But underneath all that there must be some kind of fail-safe mechanism which stops you doing anything which is actually dangerous or beyond your capability. The challenge isn’t to your physical abilities or even good sense – it’s to your courage.
(I’m also jealous that you got such good weather for it. When I went up earlier in the month the weather was crap.)
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a sunny day

Postby Paul Webster » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:52 pm

The route up Bla Bheinn from the col with Clach Glas is a rock-climb, graded Difficult :shock: (and that is in ascent!) Glad you made it back up!
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a sunny day

Postby xslawekx » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:54 pm

@ mountain coward
1. I ain't crazy - I'm adventurous :D
2. I'm originally from Poland and used imperial units out of courtesy, I think :)
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xslawekx
 
Posts: 535
Munros:282   Corbetts:176
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Sub 2000:225   Hewitts:5
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Joined: Jul 17, 2010
Location: Inverness

Re: Bla Bheinn on a sunny day

Postby xslawekx » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:58 pm

@ Paul
Well, had I known before I tried... :lol: :lol: :lol:
I've learnt my lesson, I hope :D
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xslawekx
 
Posts: 535
Munros:282   Corbetts:176
Grahams:134   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:225   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:6   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 17, 2010
Location: Inverness

Re: Bla Bheinn on a sunny day

Postby xslawekx » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:42 pm

@ EACHANN AN DOIRE
I think atmosphere around the whole trip was that of excitement and eagerness as I do not get a chance to go wild too often :-) Beautiful weather certainly contributed to it as well. Once I made up my mind to attempt the climb (down, towards Clach Glas) I didn't actually think that much and focused only on picking the best way down. Up until the moment I got stuck I'd been relying on my instincts. When I go walking (and I almost always go alone) I am like an animal driven on and up by excitement. This is the effect scottish wilderness has on me :-) When I found my self in that unfortunate position I kind of recovered my human nature and started to think I was being stupid taking on a task too difficult for me. After the shameful moment of weakness I got myself back up. When I made it back to the top of Bla Bheinn I was breathing heavily and my pulse was racing. I don't think it was due to tiredness, though - it must have been adrenaline. I have to confess I enjoyed the whole lot, even the fearsome part. I've learnt something about myself that day - I am crazy after all :lol:
Last edited by xslawekx on Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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xslawekx
 
Posts: 535
Munros:282   Corbetts:176
Grahams:134   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:225   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:6   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 17, 2010
Location: Inverness

Re: Bla Bheinn on a sunny day

Postby mountain coward » Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:23 pm

Nah - not crazy - absolutely crackers! :lol:
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