walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

WH Meet: Sun and snow on Buidhe Bheinn & Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

WH Meet: Sun and snow on Buidhe Bheinn & Sgurr a' Mhaoraich


Postby malky_c » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:40 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr a'Mhaoraich

Corbetts included on this walk: Buidhe Bheinn

Date walked: 11/11/2017

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1810m

4 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).

Munros: Sgurr a' Mhaoraich
Corbetts: Buidhe Bheinn.
Date: 11/11/2017.
Distance: 18 km.
Ascent: 1810m.
Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes.
Weather: Cold, breezy, snowy, sunny, calm

Made a last-minute decision to go on this meet - fortunately I wasn't working away from home on Friday, so I could make the Friday night as well. In fact I thought I had come up with a great plan - go to work in the morning, have a pub lunch with a couple of colleagues then set off for the South Laggan hostel on the bike. The weather had other ideas and even the 30 second wander from work to the pub was rather damp! Fortunately a large amount of the cycle was in the dry (although into a howling gale), with the rain not coming on until Errogie. The climb up the Suidhe was a bit drawn out, but the run downhill past Loch Tarff and Glendoe in the last light was welcome.

Image
Loch Duntelchaig from the bike

Image
Loch Duntelchaig

After stocking up on extra booze in Fort Augustus, the weather was suddenly calm on the cycle down the canal, with the moon and Loch Lochy hills reflected perfectly. Then it was into the hostel for a good evening, somehow ending up in bed before midnight.
-----------------------------------

There was a good reason for being in bed at a sensible time - I had been discussing routes with Allan (Alteknacker), and we settled on a traverse from Kinlochourn to Loch Quoich, which needed an early start. Despite being up before 6am, I managed to underestimate the time it would take to get to Kinlochourn, and after dropping a bike off at the viaduct over the finger of Loch Quoich leading to Alltbeithe, we were parked up at 8am, an hour later than planned.

A typical Alteknacker route involves going up lots of hills, then going up a few more. The original plan (and reason that we didn't opt for a simple horseshoe of Buidhe Bheinn and Sgurr a' Mhaoraich) was that we were also going to include Gleouraich and Spidean Mialaich. I wasn't sure if I'd manage all of that in the time available, so was happy to drop off Sgurr a' Mhaoraich to the bike and go back for Allan's car.


Map.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


We set off from the carpark and set off for the house at Kinloch Hourn, from where we were going to zigzag up stalkers paths onto Buidhe Bheinn. In the event, we opted to just go straight upwards.

Image
Sgurr nan Eugallt from Buidhe Bheinn

Image
Loch Hourn and Druim Fada

While it had rained for most of the drive in, the sun was now out and shafts of light onto various hillsides. We could see down Loch Hourn to Ladhar Bheinn too - I was really happy I made the effort to come here rather than have another wander up Ben Tee (which I had been on last month). One of my favourite areas (apart from all the other ones!)

Image
Sgor Mor

Image
Ladhar Bheinn and Loch Hourn

Image
Loch Hourn

Image
Sgurr nan Eugallt

At the small lochan at around 650m,we hit the snow, which wasn't too deep and completely unconsolidated. Having cycled down to the meet, I had left out my axe and crampons to save weight. Didn't think there was much chance of needing them, and fortunately I was right (would've been a retreat to the glen otherwise).

Image
Approaching Buidhe Bheinn

Image
Druim Fada

The highest point on Buidhe Bheinn isn't actually at the end of the ridge, but the spot with the best view is. Some place - looking right down Loch Hourn, flanked by Ladhar Bheinn and Beinn Sgritheall on each side 8) .

Image
Summit of Buidhe Bheinn

Image
Sgurr Thionail

Image
Beinn Sgritheall

Image
Summit of Buidhe Bheinn

Image
Back to the SW summit

Image
Looking back to Buidhe Bheinn

We shuffled along the broad arête towards the main summit, the snow making the easy scrambly sections across slabs and boulders a little more slippy. After the highest point, the wind suddenly increased and the cloud moved in for a bit - a pattern for the day.

Image
Snow flurry moving in

Image
Sgurr na Sgine

After following the ridge a little further towards Sgurr a' Bhac Chaolais, we made a descending traverse to Loch Bealach Coire Sgoireadail, where it was time for lunch. The sun was out and back in again as we made our way towards the slopes of Sgurr Thionail

Image
Sgurr an Lochain

Image
Head of Wester Glen Quoich

We tried to use a fragment of stalkers path to take us up onto Sgurr Thionail, but it was more of a notion than an actual path close up, even though it was easy to spot from a distance. The weather was again quite wild as we approached the final slopes of Sgurr Thionail, but it was great - felt like being on proper big mountains for a change.

Image
Buidhe Bheinn from Sgurr Thionail

Image
Across the S Glen Shiel Ridge to Affric

Image
NW to Applecross hills

A fast, easy descent from Sgurr Thionail led us towards the more intricate terrain of Am Bhathaich. Time had passed rather too fast, so we decided to contour around the end of it rather than visit the summit. Shame, as it looked like a good ridge.

Image
Allan on Sgurr Thionail

Image
Am Bhathaich

Image
Back to Sgurr Thionail

Then we made the steep ascent up to Sgurr a' Mhaoraich, where the weather closed in again. Shame as this is another great viewpoint, but we had had a great day so far, so weren't complaining at all. In fact just before we left the summit, it cleared briefly, although not to give the full view down Loch Hourn. The eastern ridge that we were about to descend looked fine though.

Image
Loch Hourn and Druim Fada

Image
Sgurr Thionail and Am Bhathaich

Image
Loch Hourn from Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

Image
E ridge of Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

I don't remember much about this ridge from my previous visit, but it looks like the skyline would give a fun traverse in good conditions. Given the slithery snow, we stayed mostly below the crest. Allan was starting to realise at this point that we had probably started too late to include the next group of hills. Even with the extra hour that we would have got by starting earlier would have made it a squeeze to do before dark. Mind you, it would've helped - sorry about that Allan!

Image
Back to Sgurr a' Mhaoraich from the E ridge

As it was, we just dropped down to the bridge on Loch Quoich. Allan fetched his bike to cycle to the car, while I strolled down the road to Kinlochourn at an ambling pace, including a stop to look out west to the Garbh Chiochs and Sgurr na Ciche. It was a lovely wander in the twighlight, with only one other car passing me before Allan picked me up

Image
Loch Quoich

Image
Sunset behind Sgurr na Ciche

Image
Allan goes off to get the car

A fantastic day out - one of the best in a good few weeks, or maybe even months. We then got soundly whipped in the evening quiz (glad there wasn't a maths round, because by my count we were doing really well :roll: ), and I forgot to go to bed at a sensible time, making Sunday morning the usual pain :sick: .
-----------------------------------

Fortunately the perfect thing for a hangover was a crisp, clear sunny day and a quick trundle down to the head of Loch Lochy on the bike before turning north to head for home. I spent most of the morning and early afternoon dawdling along, taking detours onto the Great Glen Way above Invergarry, and again further north (in search of a bothy, getting very muddy in the process), before hitting the canal towpath to Fort Augustus.

Image
Loch Lochy hills from the locks

Image
Loch Oich

Image
Caledonian Canal near Fort Augustus

Unfortunately the wind had edged around to the north, and was in my face for most of the day. I briefly considered going back up the A82 but it was far too nice for that, so I took a deep breath and ground my way up the Glendoe/Loch Tarff road again (which is actually less painful from this direction than the other, as it is a lot shorter). At the first summit, I spotted a shiny yellow thing coming in the other direction - it had to be the Jaxtermobile! I was so slow getting to Fort Augustus that Jackie and Andy were on their way home after climbing Carn a' Chuillin by the time I passed them :? :lol: .

Image
Across Loch Ness from the Glendoe road

Some great views from the top of the Suidhe were followed by a speedy descent to Whitebridge, after which my energy gradually seemed to fade.

Image
At the top of the Suidhe

Image
Suidhe viewpoint - downhill now

Image
NE from Suidhe

Image
Meall Fuar Mhonaidh and Loch Knockie

Image
The road home near Whitebridge

By the time I was freewheeling down the last hill into Inverness, it was dark and I was close to falling asleep on my bike - didn't know that was possible :shock: . Then I nearly dozed off again while standing in the shower, and again onto my dinner. These meets really need some extra hours built in somewhere :lol: . A big thanks to Michelle and Jim for organising, quizmaster Alan, slave-driver Allan and everyone else for a good meet :D .
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 6008
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:276   Hewitts:269
Wainwrights:122   Islands:36
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow/Inverness

Re: WH Meet: Sun and snow on Buidhe Bheinn & Sgurr a' Mhaora

Postby Stefan1 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:06 am

Great mountains! Looks a wonderful walk!
Stefan1
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Oct 12, 2017

Re: WH Meet: Sun and snow on Buidhe Bheinn & Sgurr a' Mhaora

Postby Jaxter » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:12 am

Wonderful stuff Malky 8) :D It's amazing how quick the light fades at this time of year isn't it :shock: Looks like you had a great day out and I'm not surprised you were a bit tired on the way back :lol: Feel I may be partially to blame for the late Saturday night :shock: :lol:
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1392
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:67   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:95   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:31
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: WH Meet: Sun and snow on Buidhe Bheinn & Sgurr a' Mhaora

Postby PeteR » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:33 pm

I nearly headed out to do Buidhe Bheinn last weekend.........clearly didn't miss much did I :roll: :lol: It really does look like a superb hill and hopefully I'll get to enjoy it soon enough.
User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2065
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:177   Hewitts:3
Islands:9
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: WH Meet: Sun and snow on Buidhe Bheinn & Sgurr a' Mhaora

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:37 pm

Wasn't it just such a brilliant day??? What a place :shock: - those views down Loch Hourn. Definitely one of those continuous grin days...

The pics are great - much better than the ones I took at mostly the same times and locations. I need to look a bit more into this photography lark: think a bit before pressing the button, and maybe replace my lost camera...

I was initially a bit surprised that you didn't mention how cold it was, but then I recalled that you did about half the walk wearing only a T-shirt!!! Talk about running hot!

Did we get soundly whipped in the quiz? I thought it was a graceful and tactful semi-withdrawal to allow others the pleasure of winning... :D

Thanks so much for the company on a truly memorable day :thumbup: .
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 3076
Munros:173   Corbetts:31
Hewitts:237
Wainwrights:100   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: WH Meet: Sun and snow on Buidhe Bheinn & Sgurr a' Mhaora

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm

Wow, BB route looks good from this end - we did it from Glen Shiel over the long ridge, to include the demoted twin Sgurr a'Bhac Chaolais, but I always fancied exploring the south side :D

1800m of ascent :shock: I think I'd need a new pair of knees to do that :lol:

It was nice to see you again BTW.
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3533
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
Grahams:114   
Sub 2000:49   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: WH Meet: Sun and snow on Buidhe Bheinn & Sgurr a' Mhaora

Postby Mal Grey » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:37 pm

That looks like an excellent alternative way to do S a'M and make it a longer day. However, most of us wouldn't even entertain the merest notion of adding in the other two as well!
User avatar
Mal Grey
Wanderer
 
Posts: 3561
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

4 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Deebs, John Sinclair, smuggerson and 47 guests