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Hebridean panorama

Hebridean panorama


Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue May 16, 2017 12:28 pm

Route description: Sgurr na Banachdich

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Banachdich

Date walked: 26/03/2017

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This walk is also covered in a TR by Beery Hiker at https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=71238 . I've included it here as my TRs are also my own record of my walks, and also some readers may enjoy a different perspective on the route.


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We were staying at the excellent Old Inn at Carbost.

ImageIMG_6094 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

This was a great base for exploring the island, and it's also the nearest pub to Glen Brittle. It also has a great situation on Loch Harport - this is dawn on the first day.

ImageIMG_4973 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

We had enticing early-morning views ahead of the Black Cuillin while driving to Glenbrittle from the Old Inn.

ImageIMG_4974 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

With an excellent weather forecast for the day, we decided to have a go at one of our main targets for the week - Sgurr na Banachdich. The path from the Youth Hostel was very clear, and a branch path leading up to the right into Coire Eich was pretty obvious too. Air clarity was superb, and as we climbed we got wider views and more Hebridean islands kept popping into view.

ImageIMG_4982 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A low sea-mist can be seen below the hills on the islands.

ImageIMG_4984 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

I was reminded of the Canadian Boat Song - and the sad history of the Clearances that seem written into all the hills around us.

"We are exiles from our father's land
From the lone shieling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas;
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides."

This was a theme which would pick up again later in the week, when we walked to the former settlements at Rubh' an Dùnain. But for the moment, after a stony ascent at the back of the corrie, we came out on the ridge of An Diallaid, with great views all around.

First sight of Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh

ImageIMG_4988 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Taking a stroll out along the edge of An Diallaid, with a view towards Sgurr Thuilm.

ImageIMG_5006 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking up to Sgurr Thormaid and two of its Three Teeth.

ImageIMG_5015 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The view north-west from An Diallaid. Macleod's Tables and the sea-cliffs of western Skye are in the distance.

ImageIMG_5022 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Coire a' Ghreadaidh.

ImageIMG_5026 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

From An Diallaid, a broad stony flank rises towards the top of Banachdich. The volcanic moonscape reminded me of my visits to the Andes, and the lower slopes of the big volcanoes in Argentina and Bolivia.

ImageIMG_5030 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Loch Brittle, Rum and Canna.

ImageIMG_5034 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

First glimpse of the spiky Coire Lagan skyline to the south.

ImageIMG_5046 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A little higher on the ridge, and we had a good view of the twin tops of Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh, with Sgurr Thormaid below it. The faraway snowy peaks to the right of Ghreadaidh are, I think, Liathach on the left and the Loch Monar hills on the right.

ImageIMG_5051 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

While way to the south, Ben More on Mull came into view above Eigg and Ardnamurchan.

ImageIMG_5066 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The summit - my first Cuillin summit!

ImageIMG_5060 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Sgurr na Banachdich has two translations: Milkmaid's Peak and Peak of Smallpox. It was Dr Jenner who took note of the "common observation that milkmaids were generally immune to smallpox" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Jenner). ;

Milkmaids were prone to the milder disease cowpox - Jenner developed a cowpox vaccine to immunise against smallpox. I wonder if there is a language connection between the two meanings in Gaelic?

(Jenner, by the way, is said to have "saved more lives than any other human" through his pioneering of vaccines and immunisation. More randomly, he was also the first person to realise that cuckoo chicks push other baby birds out of the nest.)

Views from the top - cue Canadian Boat Song again - this was indeed a dream like view, beholding the Hebrides. This is Loch Harport, the Duirinish and Trotternish peninsulas, and the Outer Hebrides all along the skyline, with the highest hills of Harris on the centre horizon.

ImageIMG_5055 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Sgurr Dubh Mor. The snowy dome of Ben Nevis can be seen bit to the left of the centre skyline. Fainter, on the right-hand side, is Bidean nam Bian.

ImageIMG_5080 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Loch Coruisk, Bla Bheinn and its satellites and the mainland.

ImageIMG_5096 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A zoomed view of Bla Bheinn. On the left, the Mullardoch/Affric hills appear above Garbh-bheinn, and Ben Fhada is above Clach Glas. Sgurr nan Conbhairean, I think, is above Bla Bheinn's north summit and Mullach Fraoch-Choire and A' Chralaig above the south summit.

ImageIMG_5071 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking south along the Banachdich ridge to the highest Cuillin peaks.

ImageIMG_5087 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A wider view

ImageIMG_5091 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Setting off back down the hill, Sgurr nan Gobhar in the background.

ImageIMG_5111 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Descending the stony slopes back down in Coire Eich.

ImageIMG_5129 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

More stones. There are a lot of them in the Cuillin.

ImageIMG_5136 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking back: afternoon sun on the hills.

ImageIMG_5149 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A waterfall and pool near the road.

ImageIMG_5160 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Early evening sun on Coire Lagan, from the Glenbrittle seaside car park.

ImageIMG_5171 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A trip to the beach - Loch Brittle.

ImageIMG_5180 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Evening light on the Red Cuillin across Loch Harport, the perfect accompaniment to a pint or two of Skye Red. The dog, by the way, is not a real one.

ImageIMG_4970 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr
Last edited by HalfManHalfTitanium on Tue May 16, 2017 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: Hebridean panorama

Postby Beery Hiker » Tue May 16, 2017 12:50 pm

Thanks Tim - some great pictures as always and a reminder of an amazing day...
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Beery Hiker
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Re: Hebridean panorama

Postby Mal Grey » Tue May 16, 2017 1:37 pm

Utterly fantastic views, even better with that sprinkling of snow.

The weather has been amazing up there of late, so many great reports.

Coming down from the Cuillin at the end of a great day, with the Minch and the Hebrides laid out in front of you, has to be one of the best things you can experience on our hills.
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Mal Grey
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Re: Hebridean panorama

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue May 16, 2017 2:42 pm

Great report, and amazing weather for March. I appreciate the way you have named all the distant hills. I am often try to do this but can never manage ones in the far distance.
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Re: Hebridean panorama

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue May 16, 2017 2:51 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Utterly fantastic views, even better with that sprinkling of snow.

The weather has been amazing up there of late, so many great reports.

Coming down from the Cuillin at the end of a great day, with the Minch and the Hebrides laid out in front of you, has to be one of the best things you can experience on our hills.
Mal Grey wrote:Utterly fantastic views, even better with that sprinkling of snow.

The weather has been amazing up there of late, so many great reports.

Coming down from the Cuillin at the end of a great day, with the Minch and the Hebrides laid out in front of you, has to be one of the best things you can experience on our hills.


Yes there have been a lot of superb reports recently! Eye candy especially for us southern exiles from the hills... I probably won't get back up to the Highlands until next spring...

It was my first time in the Cuillin but definitely won't be the last!
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: Hebridean panorama

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue May 16, 2017 2:59 pm

Cairngorm creeper wrote:Great report, and amazing weather for March. I appreciate the way you have named all the distant hills. I am often try to do this but can never manage ones in the far distance.


thanks - yes it was tricky identifying all the hills although Ben Nevis stood out by being so obviously plastered in snow. The one I couldn't make out in that direction was Sgurr na Ciche, which I would have thought would be really obvious!

I very much enjoyed your Bruach na Frithe report. Blessed by more good weather, we went to Bruach the day after Banachdich (report to follow).

We too were considering the scrambly ridge, but opted for the Fionn Coire route instead when we saw that the steeper bits of the ridge crest still had snow on them. Looking at your photos, it looks like an impressive route!
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Re: Hebridean panorama

Postby jacob » Tue May 16, 2017 4:36 pm

there's not a lot of munros I can share my experiences of, but this one is one of them.
Great circumstances, very well captured. Nice one.
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Re: Hebridean panorama

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue May 16, 2017 5:44 pm

jacob wrote:there's not a lot of munros I can share my experiences of, but this one is one of them.
Great circumstances, very well captured. Nice one.


Just had a look at your report, Jacob - thanks for sharing! Some superb photos, I especially like the one with the orange jacket contrasting with the stormy skies. Wonderful snow conditions and some great photography!

The muppet rucksack one is quite creepy, I think it will give me nightmares.
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: Hebridean panorama

Postby satkins » Tue May 16, 2017 5:52 pm

I loved the descriptions of the hills far off in the distance, something I always have trouble with, thanks.
Also, the shots of Hebrides were first class. Can't wait go back to Skye later this year. :clap:
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Re: Hebridean panorama

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Wed May 17, 2017 7:37 am

satkins wrote:I loved the descriptions of the hills far off in the distance, something I always have trouble with, thanks.
Also, the shots of Hebrides were first class. Can't wait go back to Skye later this year. :clap:


Thanks! - and enjoy your trip to Skye later this year!

It was my first proper walking trip there - but definitely won't be my last...
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