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Beinn Eighe - glimpses of heaven

Beinn Eighe - glimpses of heaven

Postby edjh » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:21 pm

Route description: Beinn Eighe (western summits)

Munros included on this walk: Ruadh-stac Mòr (Beinn Eighe), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)

Date walked: 08/09/2015

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 18 km

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We did this walk on 8th September 2015, sorry it’s taken so long, but life got in the way and haven’t got round to it. It does live as my favourite day in the mountains to date, and I have shown the photos so many times to those poor people who have never been to the Highlands !
We stayed in the very nice Kirriemuir B&B in lovely Shieldaig, a perfect base for three days of climbing…

Beinn Alligin, fun and exciting in the clag albeit without the advertised views !

Liathach (incomplete, another story !)

... and successfully Bheinn Eighe !

We followed the excellent anti clockwise route described here, and not much to add on the very clear route other than to share some photos from Heaven ! It was a good 9 hours on the mountain due to lots of photos, and the otherwise wondrous finish in the gloaming meant we got bitten to hell on our elbows by some nasties on the stalkers’ track that definitely had a bigger bite than a midge !
Anyway, to the photos…

Loch Shieldaig on the morning of the walk.

Picture postcard view across to Torridon en route from Shieldaig (midges not pictured !)

And so to the walk, a little bit of a trot along the road then straight up, quite easy going as described.

Free drinks on a hot day, weather looking great !

Coming up to the headwall from Coire an Laoigh, steeper here !

Nice chance to explore the different spurs here, giving nice views all around before taking on the first Munro on an up and back excursion...
Looking east to Spidean Coire nan Clach (Munro #1) and the Eastern ridge. The Black Carls looked very scary !

On the top you get great views all around, and back where you came and showing what's to come
Looking to Ruadh-stac Mhor (peak #2 in English !) from Spidean Coire nan Clach (peak #1)

It's a sensational succession of views.
Coming back down to the saddle, the views of the coming walk just keep getting better, I'll be back to do Liathach !

Don't forget to keep looking back, the views are great all round !
Quite steep coming down back to the saddle (only other group on the mountain, 3 very lovely Scottish ladies, in the background !)

Views ahead...
You can tell why this took a little time !

Views to the side...
View South down to the car park at Coire Mhic Fhearchair (there’s our car !) Where is everyone ?

Now round the ridge, and there is a little sheep path that stops some up and down between the ridges - we found this by watching a fell runner apparently disappearing and then retracing his steps.
Fell runner coming back off Ruadh-stac Mhor (verified he wasn't the runner in the news soon after, happily).

Looking East from the approach to Ruadh-stac Mhor
Deer awestruck by the majesty to the East. Or oblivious...

Very friendly English walker house sitting in Scotland (is it you ?) taking a photo of us, I took a quick photo to decide if we had the best view !

View West now comes clear
...or not ?

Having made the top we head back down then off down the right into the Coire, looks quite scary from the top but fine with hands !
Picking our way down the right hand side of Coire Mhic Fhearchair, definitely the easiest route down

Having made your way down at the bottom it takes a little while to get moving again.
Humungous boulder field

Once you do, there are a succession of pools and then you reach Lochan Coire Mhic Fhearchair.
I have always wanted to skinny dip on a Munro, and finally did so. Look how beautiful it is !
This was actually a little foolish because a) it was (unsurprisingly in retrospect) heart stoppingly Baltic more than 6 inches below the surface and b) midges apparently love naked walkers trying to dry off in the Sun. Climbing partner laughing doesn’t help.
An enjoyable place to swim in retrospect !

The lochan then becomes a beautiful waterfall with a lovely view of the amazing empty spaces here.
View east down into the glen where we will follow the stalkers' path

It's beautiful walking down from the waterfall to the glen.
Off Easterly into the gloaming to the Stalkers' path to track back round to the Coire Dubh Mor

Again, it's hard to keep moving since the 360 scenery is jaw dropping. My triple buttress photos weren't up to much, so at least I saved you those !
Looking back up to Ruadh-stac Mhor from below the waterfall

The walk back round the side is really easy going, but quite a way, so plan some time for this part if someone is meeting you.
Fortunately we only had a final meal and lash up at The Shieldaig Inn to consume.

Finally, the view back Northwards to the ridge. Some tempting routes become visible, but put on your insect repellant if you are here towards dusk. And why wouldn't you be, Heaven's Gates like !

What a day, and thanks to all you WH massive for all the information that helps relative newbies like me to enjoy them !
View of Spidean Coire nan Clach and the Eastern peaks from the top of the headwall
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Re: Beinn Eighe - glimpses of heaven

Postby BobMcBob » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:25 pm

That's a lovely report of possibly my favourite mountain. The Black Carls are great fun, definitely easier than they look from a distance, worth going back for on a good (long :) ) day.

I have never admitted this in public, but I skinny dipped in Loch Coire Mhich Fhearcahir....... and got some bites in nasty places :D It's a lesson you only need to learn once :D
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Re: Beinn Eighe - glimpses of heaven

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:05 pm

Beautiful - thank you for reminding me why I'm saving Beinn Eighe for a good day :D :D
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