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Rois-Bheinn trio in a race for the pub

Rois-Bheinn trio in a race for the pub

Postby denfinella » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:02 pm

Route description: Rois-Bheinn round, Inverailort

Corbetts included on this walk: An Stac, Rois-Bheinn, Sgùrr na Ba Glaise

Date walked: 04/06/2016

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 1600m

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Saturday morning dawned bright although hazy in the West Highlands. For the first day of our weekend away we planned to do the horseshoe of three Corbetts south of Inverailort, which promised great views out to sea and the Small Isles. Rois-Bheinn was the highest of the three, and fittingly our B&B in Arisaig was on a road called Roshven View which, indeed, had a view of distant Rois-Bheinn above some trees.

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These hills had looked enticing from the roadside the previous evening but we were expecting a scorcher today, with little wind forecast and no shade on the open hill. Not much hope of taking our time either: after quite a late breakfast, getting to the pub in time for dinner was starting to look a bit tight. But there was an unexpectedly gusty wind at Inverailort as we booted up, with cloud helping keep morning temperatures down. An old track led past a set of modern warehouses, quickly deteriorating to bog - luckily this was brief and turned out to be pretty much the only wet section of the day. Beyond some abandoned brick buildings we opted to take the path over the bealach to the south of Tom Odhar. Initially this was faint as it weaved through rhododendron bushes and over a small stream, but soon became clearer, though rough, as it gently climbed.

On the other side of the bealach we soon met the hydro track coming up from the north, which was an ugly scar. We followed it briefly before peeling off and crossing the Allt a' Bhuiridh on a faint and very soft (but dry) ATV track.


Meall Damh loomed large beyond - 600 vertical metres of pathless ascent to follow :( Despite short, dry vegetation underfoot, this was brutal in temperatures approaching 20C. The temperature didn't seem to bother frogs though, which seemed to be hopping away from every other footstep.




Views were getting better behind us as well (just ignore the hydro track...).


Quite a bit higher up, we happened on the ATV track again - whoops, maybe should have followed it for longer. This time it was definitely heading in the wrong direction though, so we crossed it and continued uphill. A lone red deer watched from on high as we weaved around minor crags and undulations in the terrain.



Most of the horseshoe was well seen over to the right now. The re-ascent to An Stac later in the day already looked non-trivial...


Far away to the east there was an inversion in the glens which didn't go away until much later in the day.


The slopes here were a bit featureless but we were lucky to pop out on the shoulder of Beinn Coire nan Gall at just the right point, leaving a straightforward traverse (and welcome respite) to a bealach at 740 metres with a lochan. The ascent onto the ridge proper from here was steep but more rocky underfoot, giving a bit of contrast. Suddenly we were at Druim Fiaclach - not a Corbett (just a subsidiary summit of Sgurr na Ba Glaise which is five metres higher) but the start of an attractive ridge. Yay for some level walking for once!



A steep descent to another minor bealach before the ridge continued ahead with as An t-Slat-bheinn:


Around here we accidentally scared a small bird off a nest (made out of a tiny hollow in the grass) full of eggs. We took a quick photo but scarpered quickly after.


There had just been enough breeze on the previous sections to stop it being unbearably hot, but not enough to keep away thousands of annoying daddy-long-legs. These seemed to be resting on the shady side of every rock outcrop, flying up and crawling on our legs every time we stepped on the rocks (unavoidable around here). Only one or two midges though, which only appeared after a few minutes on top of a windless Sgurr na Ba Glaise - the first Corbett summit of the day. Rois-Bheinn was beckoning beyond the summit cairn here:


View down the glen that formed the centre of today's horseshoe:


The views so far had been good, but haze and thin cloud had limited the views out to sea in particular. But the haze seemed to be clearing a bit as we descended to Bealach an Fhiona, accompanied by the breeze picking up noticeably and the sun breaking through a bit more. A good combination! View over the Ardnish peninsula:


Looking across to An Stac (Corbett no. 3):


Rois-Bheinn's eastern, and highest, summit was reached quickly - two other groups of walkers on this stretch which probably counts as a busy day in Moidart :lol: - but the western summit overlooked the sea more directly and promised even better views. Indeed they were, helped by a sturdy summit cairn (curiously, no trig points anywhere on the route today though).


View back to the eastern summit:


Following the wall back over the eastern top and back to the bealach, thoughts turned to An Stac, the final Corbett of the day. The ground in between drops to an irritatingly low 559 metres, leaving 250 metres of ascent towards the end of a tiring day. Never mind... down to the bealach, past some angel-shaped lichen:



An Stac from the bealach: eek!


In the end the ascent wasn't too bad - after this morning's gruelling climb, we were ready for anything - and some interesting rock architecture helped break it up a bit.


In my opinion the views from An Stac exceed even those of Rois-Bheinn - the best saved til last!


...but I've run out of photo space so you'll have to wait for the post below :wink:

To be continued...
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Posts: 1394
Munros:88   Corbetts:42
Fionas:38   Donalds:24
Sub 2000:72   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:6   Islands:46
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Rois-Bheinn trio in a race for the pub

Postby denfinella » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:16 pm

...immediately. :shock:

Descending from An Stac was tiring (steep, and requiring lots of diversions around small crags) but entertaining, mainly due to the rock formations below - presumably smoothed by a glacier? As had been the case for much of the ridge, there was a very faint path in places.


Down at the smooth rocks we had a longer break and mucked around a bit - timing looked more comfortable r.e. the pub by now.




View back to An Stac showing the descent route:


The next section of descent to the Allt a' Bhuiridh was easy, on lovely soft grass and not too steep. This left us with ample time to have a dip in a lovely clear pool - lovely, apart from discovering hundreds of tiny worms / leeches on a submerged boulder I'd just been standing on :crazy:


The next section was on another faint ATV track which soon met the hydro track from earlier where it terminated at a surely pointlessly-small reservoir. On the return we used the track around the north side of Tom Odhar instead of the bealach path from the outward route. Not much to choose between them really, although the drier track would be better after rain. The last section, once we escaped from the hydro track, was quite pretty:


This felt like our toughest walk in a long time - perhaps ever, even - despite being shorter in both distance and time than a number of others. But a good day out and, more importantly, we made it to dinner in the pub in good time. Phew!


Next day: Castle Tioram & The Silver Walk
Last edited by denfinella on Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Posts: 1394
Munros:88   Corbetts:42
Fionas:38   Donalds:24
Sub 2000:72   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:6   Islands:46
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Rois-Bheinn trio in a race for the pub

Postby litljortindan » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:50 pm

Great set of hills in a great area.
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Posts: 2425
Munros:165   Corbetts:67
Fionas:29   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

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