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Beinn a' Bheithir

Beinn a' Bheithir


Postby metafor » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:31 pm

Route description: Beinn a'Bheithir

Munros included on this walk: Sgorr Dhearg (Beinn a'Bheithir), Sgorr Dhonuill (Beinn a'Bheithir)

Date walked: 27/08/2010

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1024m

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Well here goes for my first attempt at a walk report so please excuse any misteaks ( spelling,grammar,etc. ). I have had my proverbial eye on these two for a wee while now and a recent trip in the last ten days to climb Bidean Nam Bian & Stob Coire Sgreamhach plus my mate Joe telling me that it is " one of his favourites " just settled it for me. The only thing that was holding me up was that window of opportunity ( weather and more importantly no more jobs needing done around the house! ) , so it looked as if Friday 27th August was the best bet out of the days I had left of my holidays. set my alarm for 6.00am and off by 7.00am leaving Kilmarnock bathed in glorious sunshine, that was short lived by the time I reached the outskirts of Glasgow I had hit patches of dense fog ( Aw Naw! ) according to the chap on the radio the fog would burn off! was that for the Glasgow area or everywhere?. There were more patches of fog until I reached Luss where i was greeted by the sight of Ben Lomond bathing in brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies ( gaun ya dancer! ), the going was good until I reached the other side of Tyndrum only to bee hit by real dense fog ( about 150 metres visability! ) this was patchy until I reached the summit of Rannoch moor where it was like coming through a curtain to see the ever impressive sight of Glen Coe basking in sunshine,blue skies and the occasional cloud well above the summits ( gaun ya beauty! ). By the time I parked up in the tourist information car park in Ballachulish the weather was still looking very good this was confirmed by the time I was booted & suited the sun was burning the back of my neck, oh well! soft shell straight into the rucksack. As I started walking along the road to the Primary school the ridge up to Sgorr Bhan was already prominent, passed the school and onto the right of way and there it was, a whisper of cloud teasing the ridge of Sgorr Bhan
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never mind onwards and upwards as they say! stopping every now and again to soak in the views as the opened up before me
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up onto the top of Sgorr Bhan and I could see my first intented target before me
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I took this opportunity to have a spot of elevenses before heading down to the col and then onwards to Sgorr Dhearg. it is when you get to this point that the panorama really unfolds before you and you realize that you are indeed in the middle of a really special walk
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.From this point you could see patches of rain in various locations but still quite a bit away ( here's hoping ) it was quite amazing standing there on Sgorr Dhearg bathed in sunshine but as you can see from some of the photos there is a mass of dark grey skies,blue skies all around! On to the final summit Sgorr Dhonuill
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.when I reached the summit of Sgorr Dhonuill I was surprised to see how "roomy" the summit was and once again the views were stunning ( no the one wi me innit though! ). I must take this opportunity to thank a local resident of ballachulish ( JOHN ) for taking the photos of yours truly and for the company from Sgorr Bhan all the way back to Ballachulish ( to say he knows the hills like the back of his hand would be an understatement.
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.From here it was by the text book or should I say by the SMC's guide to the munro's, that is down to the col between Sgorr Dhonuill & sgorr Dhearg and follow the line of fenceposts until you hit the tree line from where you follow the path until you hit the forest road, where we got caught in a small shower of rain, and from there you just follow it downhill until you reach the church where it is a straightforward walk long the path to the days starting point at the tourist information in Ballachulish
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metafor
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby Stretch » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:55 pm

Fantastic report Metafor! Lovely photos of a great ridge. Been holding off on these for a while, but the anticipation is certainly growing.
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby mountain coward » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:56 pm

I haven't done Sgorr Ban when I did those and am very regretful of the fact :( Think I'll have to give that and Sgorr Dearg another go (not going near Domnhuill again though!) - what was the route like up onto Sgorr Ban? very loose or okay? I see the top bit is scree... I quite fancy taking the north ridge down from Sgorr Dearg - that looks quite a nice route... anyone done it and got any pics?
Last edited by mountain coward on Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby nathan79 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:49 am

mountain coward wrote:I haven't done Sgorr Ban when I did those and am very regretful of the fact :( Think I'll have to give that and Sgorr Dearg another go (not going near Domnhuill again though!) - what was the route like up onto Sgorr Ban? very loose or okay? I see the top bit is scree... I quite fance taking the north ridge down from Sgorr Dearg - that looks quite a nice route... anyone done it and got any pics?


MC i've come up it, but sadly not got any helpful pics of the way up to Sgorr Bhan. Grass and heather before you get to the rocky upper. There was a point where we came to the choice of a path going left which led to an ascent over loose rock or going straight on, scrambling up and over the rocks before us. Scramble it was. I do recall thinking there was no way i'd come down this way, but i don't know what the other route would be like. I do think once you got back on to the heather it'd be a much more enjoyable descent than coming down the bealach between Dearg and Domnhuill.

Did you not enjoy Sgorr Domnhuill?I did it on quite a clear day. The view from the summit was fantastic.
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby mountain coward » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:46 am

I didn't like Domnhuill - it scared the hell out of me at the end of the ascent where, after you climbed up some steep boulders, the path we were on (and I didn't see another one), went around the front of the hill, i.e. over the huge drop (which disappeared slimily and vertically into the clag when we were there - always think that makes it look worse) and then there was an awkward and loose step up a rocky bit. Hated that. It was quite funny on the day as I walked it with Richard and he loved that one and hated the easier one (thinking it was boring) while I was the opposite way round... The only thing I had against the descent from the col though was that it was horribly boggy! :(

When you went up the ridge to Sgorr Ban, do you think you were going up the ridge more towards the side/back? I know that has a tricky rocky section on it... From the road, the one up the front of Sgorr Ban looks straight forward (but I know you can't see everything from the road...)

Ta muchly for the info though... :D
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby kinley » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:16 pm

:D Brill - for views my favourite hills in the area.

And you got a cracking day for them too.

Definitely a pair I'll come back to again and again 8)

Cheers :thumbup:
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby houdi » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:48 pm

Congrats on your first Walk Report, Metafor. I wish had the courage to do one. I'll get round to it one day. I did this route on August 12th (start of the shooting season) and you appear to have taken the same ridge as me to Sgorr Bhan which is a good scrambly option compared with the standard Bein Bahn ridge. I went a slightly different way down, heading straight over Sgor Dhonuill to a small lochan and down into the coire, taking the furthest away track below Creag Ghorm (visible across Coire Sgreamach) to South Ballachulish. It's longer but very scenic as the track passes several waterfalls on the way down. I loved this walk which, for some reason (probably because of its proximity to Glen Coe), tends to get less publicity.
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby metafor » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:24 pm

mountain coward wrote:I haven't done Sgorr Ban when I did those and am very regretful of the fact :( Think I'll have to give that and Sgorr Dearg another go (not going near Domnhuill again though!) - what was the route like up onto Sgorr Ban? very loose or okay? I see the top bit is scree... I quite fance taking the north ridge down from Sgorr Dearg - that looks quite a nice route... anyone done it and got any pics?

The route up to Sgorr Bhan is quite straightforward, there are some loose bits but you can easily walk to the side of these.When you eventually come to the scrambling part near the summit of Sgorr Bhan there is a bit of exposure, or you can veer of to the left on a path, this takes you round the side but you eventually end up scrambling up a scree slope to get back onto the path on the ridge wmho is longer ( definately ) and worse! Metafor
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby mountain coward » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:31 pm

Ah, think I've misled you all - I've just noticed that the ridge in question onto Sgorr Ban is the NE ridge - I'm just wanting to go up the northern ridge, do Sgorr Ban, do Sgorr Dearg again and then descend Sgorr Dearg's north ridge... I'm pretty sure the NE ridge wouldn't be to my liking...
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby houdi » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:04 pm

I think there is possibly some confusion about these two ridges. MC is right. The easier ridge is the north ridge (the right hand sweep of Coire Raibhaich) which is marked on my Harvey's map as Beinn Bhan. The other ridge is the north-east ridge on the other side of the Alt a Choire Raibhaich and, therefore, the left hand ridge of Coire Raibhaich when viewed from the village. Access to this ridge is further down the road past the school. You have to go way past the school, past the farm and keep on until you come to an old broken gate. The path to the north-east ridge starts here. It goes up through grass and heather to begin with, but once on the ridge proper it's pretty scrambly with some quite steep sections in places. I met a party of elderly ramblers (all of them in their late 60's to early 70's, and mostly ladies) who were having a real problem tackling some of the those steeper rocky sections. There is no bypass path (or no one on the ridge that day noticed one, including myself). I originally intended to do the north ridge but after passing through the gate immediately after the school, I looked across at the north-east ridge and liked the look of it better, so I backtracked down the lane. I am not saying the scrambly sections were in any way difficult for me, but they might be for some. I was pleasantly surprised by this ridge. I was expecting a straightforward walk up to Sgorr Bhan as I had never seen or heard any mention of this scramble before, although Steve Kew hints at it as a descent route in 'Walking The Munros - vol 1'.
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby mountain coward » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:41 pm

Well I'm quite an adept scrambler but have no head whatsoever for exposure - and exposure to me includes extremely steep - doesn't have to be vertical... No matter, I wanted to do the North Ridge anyway and will just stick to the 2 north ridges. But thanks everyone for the info... I might have a look down the NE ridge when I get up above it...
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Re: Beinn a' Bheithir

Postby houdi » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:54 pm

Just found this in my photo collection. Don't know if it helps or not?

north-east ridge, Beinn a Bheithir.JPG
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