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Beinn Alligin 25 years later
by Cairngorm creeper » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:21 pm
Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin), Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)
Date walked: 19/07/2016
Distance: 11.4 km
Ascent: 1236m3 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).
Two dogs spent the next day sleeping of their ordeal whilst the two people and a brindle bull mastiff walked up Tom na Gruagaich, an objective more in keeping with their skills and experience.
From that day onwards we have dreamt of having the courage to traverse Sgurr Mhor and the Horns of Alligin. As our hill walking skills have increased, we have been tackling our fear of exposure by walking on increasingly narrow ridges and indulging in easy scrambling whenever the opportunity presents itself. (Learning to rock climb also helped but on its own did not make unroped scrambling feel any safer).
At last we felt ready to take on the Beinn Alligin challenge and on the only sunny July day this year, we set out from the car park at 8:15am. Sadly we no longer have canine companions, and we did take a short length of rope and a little 'gear'just in case!
This walk was in honour of Bonnie, Fash and Josh and all dogs who trustingly follow where their crazy people lead.
It was already very warm as we walked alongside the river, the sun was keeping the midges at bay although the cleggs were out and I was too late to stop one inflicting a nasty bite on my finger . It was to be horns first, in case the small chance of a thunder storm later in the day became a reality. The Torridonian sandstone was shimmering in the sunlight and Beinn Alligin was looking magnificent. We filled our water bottles before the second footbridge in case there was no suitable water further along but the path crossed plenty of streams right up to the start of the ascent, which was a god send on such a hot day and we were able to start the climb well hydrated. The fun started as the path encountered short sections of easy scrambling early In the ascent. We stopped for elevenses on the level ground at 600m. The crux of the route is the descent from the first horn and we looked at several possible chimneys before choosing the route down. Getting started was the hardest bit, once in the chimney good handholds became obvious. There were three short sections of chimney, each leading down to the path so the exposure wasn't great and we took our rucksacks off and did a bum slide out of the second two.
Feeling more confident and hopeful that we had successfully managed the hardest part of the route, unroped, were on our way to horn number two. I think our exposure training may be working as there were alternatives to this traverse. Oh dear! on Sgurr Mhor my so my phone, which also serves as camera and Emergency grid reference/gps battery dies, probably because I have taken so many photos. I am annoyed with myself as it could be serious if conditions were worse, as it is we do have a working phone between us with plenty of battery. It is just as well I don't have a flicker account as readers would be truly bored with the number of images attached as it is truly beautiful day, and the views breathtaking.
There seemed a choice of high and low paths to follow, with a little bit of easy compulsory scrambling but lots of short rocky steps if you preferred the hands on approach. We did a bit of path and ad hoc bits of rock inbetween. I have to confess to not spending long on this view point. .
It seemed a shame to go down too soon so we wandered over to admire the veiws from Tom na Gruagaich's other summit, before taking a slow stroll back with plenty of stops in the still amazingly midge free sunshine and discussing which of distant peaks, if any, was Meall Chean Dearg. .
It must have been a very interesting discussion because we didn't get back to the car until 19:10.
Well our training had paid of and in fact we had not found Beinn Alligin exposed or even very narrow.
The next challenge will be a traverse of Liathac, but I think the rope might make an appearance there.
by inca » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:46 pm
'This walk was in honour of Bonnie, Fash and Josh and all dogs who trustingly follow where their crazy people lead.' Touched a chord with me as I do 99.9% of my walks with just dogs for company. They enjoy themselves of course but I often wonder if their trust in me's misplaced
by Cairngorm creeper » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:30 pm
by Huff_n_Puff » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:11 pm
by Cairngorm creeper » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:26 am
Thank you I am glad you enjoyed the report. Even without the scrambling it must have been quite a walk when recovering from an illness- well done. I know what you mean about photos, sometimes we avoid looking at walk reports for scrambles as they put us off altogether.
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