I visited the Beinn Dearg group last autumn but ran out of time to include Eididh nan Clach Geala (which I'll call just Eididh from here on in). I'm now very grateful that I missed out previously because this circuit of Eididh with Seana Bhraigh from Inverlael was highly enjoyable. I saw the route in reverse order in Cameron McNeish's Munro book and decided to begin with Seana Bhraigh, in case the distance beat me. My references to heights come from the OS 1:50000 map.
I took the bike from Inverlael up as far as the path to Seana Bhraigh branched off. I guess that must have been only a couple of miles but what a boost on the return downhill! From that point, the path all the way to its end point south of the 806 top was of an excellent standard. The first half hour is a serious grunt, after which the gradient relents and height is gained slowly with distance.
The two burn crossings which apparently can be difficult in spate were absolutely no problem on the day. Finding the higher crossing - of Allt na Creige Duibhe - was a very minor challenge, solved by turning sharply along the right side of the burn for maybe 100m.
The eventual end of the stalker's path is marked by a wee cairn.
After that, the navigation becomes more challenging. I headed generally in the direction of the rim of the Cadha Dearg, which is not immediately visible from the path. When I came over the low rise and saw the terrain, I was seriously impressed at the wildness of the scenery.
In the distance, I could see the start of a path upwards around the rim towards Seana Bhraigh. However, there was no clue as to the best route to take to get to that point from the steeply-sloping ground that lay before me. I had read previous reports which suggested that the route down a gully to the east of the 806 point was boggy and worth avoiding. I started off by trying to avoid it but somehow found myself in the gully. I couldn't actually see any major problem and I took a few pictures to let people decide for themselves:
I suppose it would be different in very wet conditions but still probably not worth making a major detour to avoid.
From the lower part of the gully, I made my way through the terrain to the start of the path about half way around the rim of Cadha Dearg. As my track log shows, I took a different route on my return and I can't really say that one was better than the other. However, on the return trip, I could see quite a choice of routes for climbing up the steep slopes, so there should be no great difficulties there for any competent walker. My only qualification - a big one - is that route-finding in this area could be seriously difficult in poor visibility.
I haven't said much about Cadha Dearg itself, as that is well covered in other reports and trip notes. Suffice it to say that the scenery is indeed breathtaking.
Having located the path, I followed it up easy terrain to the 906 point and then the top of Seana Bhraigh itself. To that point seen only two walkers in the distance, I was surprised to find that there were 6 of us in total fighting off the midges while we tried to enjoy lunch. I stayed on longer than the others to take phots and enjoy the fantastic views and benefitted from a breeze which kept the dreaded wee beasties away. Result! There was plenty to look at in virtually all directions, as the cloud had conveniently stayed just high enough to let us enjoy the sights. Bens Hope and Klibreck were particularly prominent to the north. The only very minor disappointment was that the top of An Teallach never completely cleared.
Time to head back to the end of the stalkers path. I had decided to make a decision there about going on to Eididh or just to return by the ascent route. Perhaps inspired by the weather and the surroundings, I surprised myself by feeling full of energy and duly headed off across the easy but pathless terrain to the second Munro of the day. When I got there, I found two cairns which of course both looked higher than the other depending on which one was closest!
The views were still good, including looking down Loch Broom over Ullapool to the Summer Isles.
I went down the SW spur to the little loch then turned south to drop down to the path at a point west of Lochan a'Chnapaich.
From there on, it was a lengthy yomp back to the bike and a hurtle back to the car.
The weather was exceptionally calm and warm all day. When I did catch a breeze, it was very welcome - not least in chasing off the midgies that appeared in great numbers on each of the summits. When you add up the weather, the terrain, the solitude, some great paths and tremendous views in all directions, this was quite a day!
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