by litljortindan » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:09 pm
Route description: Beinn Ghobhlach
Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Ghobhlach
Date walked: 28/11/2016
Time taken: 5.5 hours
Distance: 12 km
Ascent: 600m2 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).
The intertwined lassoes of time, effort, health, fitness and wateriness conspired again to constrain my choice of destination. You may not buy into determinism but surely hillwalking planning yields many counter examples. Only joking!
I'd been to Beinn Ghobhlach once before, on a bitter winter's day with warm friends and a lot of ice on the road but wanted to return for another wander along the northern part of its horseshoe.
This time round the temperature dipped low enough on the way (minus four at Garve) but there was little evidence of ice on the road.
I collected a hitchhiker from the Braemore junction who was bound for either Badcaul or Badrallach, ostensibly a quantum hitchhiker if ever there was one. However, after observation of the Badrallach road end our quantum states collapsed into the mono-verse that includes the hitchhiler ending up at Badrallach. They were, of course, actually bound for Scoraig so not any kind of quantum hitchhiker at all. Full of an interesting story of life at Scoraig though but also life away from Scoraig -they were returning from a trip to Siberia of all places.
My temporary companion bade farewell and I set about faffing with my rucksack. I then set off too along the coastal path to Scoraig but doubled back five minutes later, realising that my hat wasn't on; possibly lulled into this error by the now balmy plus four Celsius. Couldn't find the bloody thing though. And no, it wasn't a case of a Schrodinger's hat that was only still in the car as long as I didn't look inside. It did feel like that though because I spent a good fifteen minutes looking for it but to no avail. Damn, I had to get going and my only option was to rely on the closeable hood on my new jacket. Felt up to it so set off again in slight trepidation and ear fear.
First 2km nice and smooth but a wee bit of indecision over a suitable ascent point (there is actually a very feint path up the first gully past the crags above the coastal path but I missed the start of this on the way up).
Going was ok -grass and heather on a steepish first 250m. But what is steep really -just put in enough turns and any slope is lessened I say.
Anyway a wee bit out if puff after that first bit but then a nice leg stretcher crossing the flatter ground between the lochs ahead after that.
Was interesting to see from this area the "backside" of Cnoc a' Bhaid-rallaich that I'd been to in February.
The map said head right and east of the top but the legs said go up the grassy, heathery slope in the middle. More huffing and puffing but not too bad considering. Pretty benign conditions until just below the summit ridge. Then hit by a bit of a cold breeze but still ok when on the move.
Very fine views from the top then onto frozen ground on the way down to the northern bit of the horseshoe.
Pretty cold now but I found my jacket was performing well so quite happy with that. My hydration plan was also working well and my hernia was behaving. All good!
Next came the real goal of the walk, the re-visit to the slopes overlooking Loch Broom; my hillwalking ideal -ridge backed by loch and/or sea and/or ocean. So a really enjoyable stroll along there for me but time was ticking and it was getting colder so down was the new direction of choice.
Cut a south west slant to skirt the base of the southern prow and this time was aiming for the western facing outflow of the westernmost loch. Which turned out to have handy stepping stones.
I thought I'd crossed those stepping stones without a soaking but jumped the last gap with too much of a self-satisfied spring and, like the Balrog's tail tip catching Gandalf, a splash of freezing water caught me right down the right calf. Didn't suck me into a fiery pit or anything, just gave me that horrible cold, wet shivery feeling. A quick wring out and I was off again and back at the car in decent time.
DSCN9324 by John Little, on Flickr
Feels like Spring in the +4 Celsius.
DSCN9328 by John Little, on Flickr
An easy first 2km along the coastal path to Scoraig.
DSCN9333 by John Little, on Flickr
Near my turn off north up the first gully past the crags above the coastal path.
DSCN9344 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9347 by John Little, on Flickr
In the direction of Cnoc a' Bhaid-rallaich if not of the latter.
DSCN9348 by John Little, on Flickr
Approached up the left hand / east shore of the right hand loch.
DSCN9359 by John Little, on Flickr
View into Fisherfield.
DSCN9374 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9376 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9379 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9388 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9389 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9393 by John Little, on Flickr
Self timer after the surprisingly pleasant saunter over the last rocks before the top.
DSCN9408 by John Little, on Flickr
At the main point of interest -the rugged northern slopes. Ears getting cold but fine with hood tied up.
DSCN9422 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9425 by John Little, on Flickr
Ben Mor Coigach.
DSCN9427 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9434 by John Little, on Flickr
Looking along the fine north arm of the horseshoe, if horseshoes have arms that is.
DSCN9442 by John Little, on Flickr
My ideal -the sea or loch or ocean backed ridge.
DSCN9447 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9450 by John Little, on Flickr
The down is ok; just needed to pick a way avoiding the few boggy runnels but also took advantage of one for a water refill.
DSCN9453 by John Little, on Flickr
This time going off to the right to cross the outflow via stepping stones.
DSCN9454 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9456 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9460 by John Little, on Flickr
DSCN9463 by John Little, on Flickr
I was transfixed by the gloaming.
by BobMcBob » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:13 pm
by dav2930 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:40 pm
Looks a nice hill btw, even though it doesn't really exist...
by litljortindan » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:55 pm
BobMcBob wrote:I enjoyed that. Always good to find a mention of quantum physics on a hillwalking forum. I've been rather drawn to this little hill for some time now so thanks for this, I shall squirrel it away for future inspiration.
Cheers. Probably just written a load of nonsense but seemed to fit with the day.
by litljortindan » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:04 pm
dav2930 wrote:Hilarious! Quantum is always good for a laugh isn't it? Apparently there is no such thing as space-time in the quantum realm, and since that's supposed to be reality (whatever 'reality' means), all our hillwalking efforts, which take place in time and space, are just an illusion. Sobering thought!
Looks a nice hill btw, even though it doesn't really exist...
That is a sobering thought which would be one good reason for investing in that whisky I keep promising myself. But even if quantum physics is rubbish there's still the whole problem of the inverted image etc so it's still all an illusion. However, the idea of effort being illusory has a lot of appeal. I can see everything clearly now or is it just the Fourier Transform in the back focal plane of my eyeballs?
Yes, a nice hill.
by rockhopper » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:28 pm
by litljortindan » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:02 pm
rockhopper wrote:Enjoyed that - nice day for it and certainly is a good viewpoint - cheers
A retiring spot on our wonderful west coast but well worth the return visit. No longer a "wee" hill for me though!