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A scorcher on Rois-bheinn and co
by malky_c » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:55 pm
Corbetts included on this walk: An Stac, Rois-Bheinn, Sgurr na Ba Glaise
Date walked: 09/06/2018
Time taken: 8 hours
Distance: 18.5 km
Ascent: 1630m4 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).
Distance: 18.5 km.
Ascent: 1630 m.
Time: 8 hours.
Weather: Warm, sunny, hazy.
I had a couple of days of something-or-other planned with Hugh planned this weekend. I hadn't really been paying much attention to the weather forecast, and he had been suggesting some pretty good possibilities (including some bothies), so I didn't think about where to go properly until Friday evening. We settled on Moidart and Ardgour. Would we manage to clear the heavy rain forecast further east?
I arranged to meet Hugh at 10:30am at the foot of Rois Bheinn. After leaving late, getting caught up briefly in windfarm traffic, stopping in Fort William for logs and driving past the parking spot a couple of times, it was more like 11:30 before we got moving. So far, aside from a heavy downpour around Torlundy, the weather had been sunnier than forecast. It looked like the last-minute decisions had paid off .
This could take some time...
I have always felt that the longer circuit on these hills is the way to go (taking in Druim Fiaclach), but feeling quite tired, I would have easily been persuaded to do a shorter loop from Alisary. In fact that's probably subconsciously why I drove past the start point! Anyway, I knew I'd feel fine once I was on the hill.
I had attempted this loop a couple of times before with my dad - once in 1997, when the clag covered the summit of Rois-bheinn and we skipped out on An Stac - then again in 2002 when the weather had deteriorated so badly that we had dropped back to the car after Druim Fiaclach. An Stac had been a quickie on its own in 2012.
Roche Moutonnee near Lochailort
As expected, the walking woke me up a bit as we followed a vague path up into Coire a' Bhuiridh, soon meeting a newish hydro scheme track. After leaving this and crossing a bridge, we were into the first main ascent of the day. Quite sweaty, this, but before too long we were on the summit of Druim Fiaclach (having skirted around the bump of Beinn Coire nan Gall). Despite two previous visits, I've never been able to fully appreciate this ridge from above. It previously looked good from the adjacent Beinn Mhic Cedidh, and it looked just as enticing from the summit, including the eastern section that we wouldn't be traversing.
Arisaig coast from Druim Fiaclach
Looking down to Loch Eilt
Eastern end of Druim Fiaclach
On Druim Fiaclach
Oddly, someone has gone to the effort of removing the large cairn which used to be here, but a smaller one has grown in its place. I knew cairn kickers existed, but hadn't considered that they would bother going to so much effort.
Large cairn on Druim Fiaclach demolished
Lovely easy walking in the heat from here to Sgurr na Ba Glaise as Hugh remembered bits of a DofE expedition through these hills. I had vague memories from my initial visit 22 years ago, but as usual, it's maybe not surprising how much you forget over time!
An Stac from Druim Fiaclach
The weather stayed fine as the day wore on, but there was a haze and possibly some haar moving in from the west, and by the time we reached Sgurr na Ba Glaise, Rum has disappeared and Eigg was barely still visible. A steepish descent and re-ascent took us to one of the highlights of the day - Rois-bheinn (particularly the marginally lower western summit).
Eigg just about visible in the haze
Hugh on Sgurr na Ba Glaise
Back to Druim Fiaclach
Rois-bheinn from Sgurr na Ba Glaise
An Stac from Sgurr na Ba Glaise
Sgurr Dhomhuill Mhor and Sunart
This is what we had come for . Even without the Small Isles visible in the background, the coastal views are up there with the best in the Highlands. We could see right down onto the bothy at Peanmeanach, where we were considering staying - but how best to get there? We both had inflatable kayaks with us, so that was one possibility.
Mouth of Loch Ailort
Back to Sgurr na Ba Glaise
Eventually we retraced our steps towards the col beneath Sgurr na Ba Glaise, and followed the wall down towards An Stac. There were some steep bits here, but before long we were lined up for the final ascent. The day had just got even hotter at this point, which made the last bit of up a little slower. We passed a speedy guy coming in the opposite direction here - the only other person we saw out on the hills (other than a couple of figures in the distance on the hydro track).
On the col between Rois-bheinn and Sgurr na Ba Glaise
Back to Rois-bheinn
Looking up An Stac
Sgurr na Ba Glaise
Not entirely sure what the flag on the summit was about, but An Stac is pretty much as good as Rois-bheinn for summit scenery.
Loch Ailort from An Stac
Rois-bheinn from An Stac
Cloud and haze moving in from the west
We dropped down to the north, then turned east to pick up a quad bike track, and then the hydro track, which we followed in its entirety this time, taking us back to the cars shortly after 7:30pm.
Back up An Stac
Across Loch Eilt to Essan
A pint in the Lochailort Hotel was a good end to a perfect walk, although unfortunately the midges were lurking as we headed back outside. Now what - walk or paddle to Peanmeanach?
In the end, feelings of laziness crept in, helped along by the cloud moving in - it wasn't going to be the impressive evening we had previously thought. So we went for plan B (or was it C?) and drove around to Ranochan on the shores of Loch Eilt. Using our inflatable kayaks, this would give us extremely easy access to the bothy at Essan - indeed, blowing the kayaks up probably took longer than getting across the loch!
Preparing to head to Essan
No photos on the way out as I had overestimated the amount of space in my kayak (haven't used it for over 4 years now), and had enough on my plate just paddling over without my rucksack or the bag of firewood falling out. We passed under a low railway bridge on the far side of the loch and pulled the boats out of the water soon after. Although the flood level here appears to be quite high, there was little water in the burn just now and not too much chance of it rising overnight.
A pleasant night of beer and BBQ followed, with Essan turning out to be a comfortable, well looked after bothy.
Link to next day
by BlackPanther » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:12 pm
On a serious note, I'm looking forward to this round, having done the Callop Corbetts round on the other side of Loch Shiel. Looks like tough going but well worth the pain. Fingers crossed we get more tropical weather this year so I can drag Kevin into the wilderness once again
by lochfyne » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:42 pm
While puffing and panting up towards Druim Fiaclach the tops were clear but by Sgurr na Ba Glaise, it had clouded over and by Rois Bheinn we were totally in the clag. However the weather gods rewarded our toil up An Stac by clearing so we could see out west in all its glory!
Like you were puzzled by the demolished cairn on Sgurr an Ba Glaise and wondered if it had been struck by lightning. Intrigued by the stone wall up Rois Bheinn which is mostly still in good condition.
A smashing day!
by PeteR » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:31 am
by Alteknacker » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:03 pm
The to-do list is growing and growing...