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The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby wilkiemurray » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:50 pm

Route description: Beinn Sgritheall

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Sgritheall

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn na h-Eaglaise, Beinn nan Caorach

Date walked: 24/09/2018

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Vlog of adventure :

After three long demanding days in the mountains, we decided to pick something less demanding for our last day. Our legs were tired and energy levels low so we got the map and books out and started looking for a nice easy hike in the northwest highlands (or so we thought). Beinn Sgritheall was chosen – wasn’t a long walk in and looked like a relatively short outing. Fast forward to the next day and our notion of what “less demanding” meant was changed for ever !! A super steep pull up the screes of the mountain saw us inside a cloud with a knee jarring descent to look forward too!! Absolutely knackered we eventually headed home…. And we nicknamed this hill “The Steepest Hill in Scotland!!” (I have heard other names for this which I cannot print!!)

Ten Years later – two days off work and we had endless adventures options to pick from . This time my companion changed from my brother to Gerry and the plan was to paddle into Barrisdale Bay and head up Ladhar Bheinn. However strong winds made our decision to go with a plan B instead- something around Glen Sheil. As I still had a few Corbetts to do so I suggested Beinn Sgritheall and its neighbouring Corbetts. A long drive saw me meeting Gerry at Arnisdale and we then drove to the road end at Corran to leave my car to save us a couple of Kilometres walk back at the end of the day (more to come on this one!!).

Back at Arnisdale we were soon on our way towards the Bealach Arnisdale. The weather was lovely with the sun shine breaking through and the water of Loch Hourn Shimmering behind us, things were looking good. I was really looking forward to seeing the “magnificent view” from the summit, one which Hugh Munro once said “was the finest viewpoint from any hill in Scotland”.

ImageLadhar Bheinn and Loch Hourn by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

The pull up to the Bealach wasn’t as bad as last time (legs were fresher!!) however the eastern shoulder was steep and scree filled – much as I remembered !!

Imageloch hourn by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageBeinn Sgritheall by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

Soon we reached the eastern top and the hill looked superb. The top was free of cloud and the sea views were fantastic. However – sods law soon kicked in and about 10 minutes from the summit, the clouds rolled in and on reaching the summit I was treated to the same view as last time – the inside of a cloud!! The wind was picking up a little now too so with a lots of climbing still to do we set off heading back to the bealach for some lunch!
We met a few shepherds here who were rounding up their sheep and we watched the other member high on the mountain side doing their stuff – effortlessly hiking across the rough terrain.

Next up (an I meanN UP!!) was the Cobett Beinn na h-Eaglaise. If we thought the Munro was steep then we were about to find out what steep really was. Virtually a vertical wall of moss and grass for over 200 meters!! I wouldn’t want to descend this! But it was short lived and we were now on summit two of the day with just one more Corbett to go.

It was on the descent of this hill that I realised I had left my car keys in Gerrys car – oops…. So used to doing this, I had just done this on autopilot – so much for having two cars and saving some time at the end of the day!!!
Beinn nan Caorach was the third and final peak and was also the hardest! Not technically but more mentally. I was feeling a little weary and needed some jelly babies. The weather was also deteriorating and we were soon being soaked and blown about as we reached the summit. A short sweetie break and on with the waterproofs and we set about carefully picking our way through the crags on the descent!

The day wasn’t over yet as we still had a fair old romp to get back to Corran – or really Arnisdale as my car was pretty useless in Corran now!!

The rain picked up and the only thing that raised our spirits was that the hundreds of deer that were low down were equally as wet but also intrigued at our soaked appearance!!

Eventually we got back to Arnisdale and the best thing now was that we didn’t have to drive all the way home – we were headed to The Cluanie Inn…..

a few snaps:

ImageArnisdale mist by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageBarrisdale Bay below by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:36 pm

Some stunning pics there :clap: :clap: :clap: .

I still have this one to visit....
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby J888ohn » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:46 pm

Great pics. Actually said to myself "Wow I have to go there!" and immediately checked where it was. :clap:
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby Coop » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:54 pm

Getting up that slope and reaching that 1st cairn on the ridgeline was a major achuement itself. Great hill great area great views.
Well done with all 3. :clap:
I'll go back one day for the 2 Corbetts
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby PeteR » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:25 pm

Superb. Did these 3 as two separate trips, and simply magical on both visits. Sgritheall is one of the best hills I've ever climbed (not that you should have favourites). One I will return to once I eventually compleat.
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby Colin1951 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:13 pm

Great report. I don’t know if Sgritheall is really the steepest mountain in Scotland but it certainly feels like it!
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby gaffr » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:16 pm

Have only once been to Beinn Sgritheall in an earlier life. I just aimed for the top when setting off from the road down to Arnisdale…..fairly steep from this approach too and was closely looked over by an eagle doing his rounds. When later getting to the two Corbetts I could see during descent that the terrain was also steep from the bealach direction.
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby Sick Kid » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:48 pm

Ha! I’ll second that! They’re all steep round that way...we did Sgritheal with a Munro top and a Sub2000 on Friday, the two Corbetts yesterday, going straight up Beinn na h-Eaglaise, then Druim Fada today, straight up from Corran....will be walking funny tomorrow :shock:
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby Emmanuelle » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:16 pm

I almost said - Beinn Sgritheall isn't steep, but now I vaguely remember the scree just up from the col! I was in cloud by then and perhaps my left leg was giving me gip. But it was one of my best days out. I lingered on the summit for ages hoping to get a view and eventually gave up. Then 5 minutes down and it all began to clear up so I sat down and watch it all emerge! Fab.
Back at Arnisdale, I saw an eagle glide on the thermals.
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby Sgurr » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:00 pm

Beinn na h-Eaglaise isn't quite so steep if you don't go via Bein Sgritheal, but it is certainly as steep as Streap, where they should just have left out the "r"
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby onsen » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:00 pm

Snappy snaps, wilkie...the human form immersed in nature. :thumbup:
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Re: The Steepest Mountain in Scotland! ;)

Postby prog99 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:36 pm

Its much nicer from the west via the forest track, much more relaxing than the hellish slog up from Arnisdale (which I've done a few times). It also allows an ascent of the graham to the north(which is very good)
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