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Beinn Alligin overnight perfection, and some other stuff

Beinn Alligin overnight perfection, and some other stuff


Postby malky_c » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:39 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin), Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall a' Ghiubhais

Date walked: 08/07/2019

Time taken: 11.2 hours

Distance: 20.5 km

Ascent: 2300m

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Munros: Sgurr Mor, Tom na Gruagaich.
Corbetts: Meall a' Ghiubhais.
Date: 06-08/07/2019.
Distance: 8.5 +12 km.
Ascent: 950 + 1350m.
Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes + 6 hours, 40 minutes.
Weather: Grey and breezy on Saturday, Cold, clear and sunny on Sun/Mon.

Summer holidays had begun for Jackie, meaning basically 6 weeks of bumming around in the hills wherever the weather was best. I have to accept trying to sniff out the best weather to get some time off, then hoping I don't have too many work deadlines. Jealousy is bound to kick in soon, but at least we were able to do this trip....

We left Inverness after lunch on Saturday as the weather was due to improve, but not enough to warrant a Saturday night summit camp. The best quickie for an afternoon was Meall a' Ghiubhais - a hill now climbed quite a few times, usually by the Kinlochewe Mountain Trail. I haven't included too many photos this time as I have previously taken better ones.

Motivation was low at the car, and we sat around for a good 20 minutes before getting going. As ever, the Mountain Trail was steep but got us up high nice and quickly. The cloud was lingering on our summit and others, so we went the way round that visited the trail summit first, giving Meall a' Ghiubhais time to clear.


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Beinn a’ Mhunidh

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Special needs

Fortunately after a stop at the trail summit, Meall a' Ghiubhais did clear intermittently, and we got some greyish views down Loch Maree. Sadly Beinn Eighe never really cleared fully. The summit was a bit breezy; we ambled over to the more northerly summit for the superior views down the loch.

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Ruadh-stac Beag

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Meall a’ Ghiubhais summit

Then it was back down by a fairly similar route, completing the Mountain Trail. It was late when we got back to the car and we didn't feel inspired to spend too much time driving around looking for a camp spot, so we just set up right there by the loch. Midges were lurking, but we were suitably attired, and had an early night after a quick dinner.

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Beinn a’ Mhunidh

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Loch Maree

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Beinn Eighe

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Meall a’ Ghiubhais from the top of the trail

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Beinn a’ Mhuinidh

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Slioch

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Across Loch Maree

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Mmm....summer in Scotland

The following morning, rain pattering on the tent intermittently (interspersed with midges pattering on the tent) didn't inspire us to leap out of our sleeping bags early. When we finally did get up, the weather was much better than Saturday. Although I was supposed to be in work on Monday morning, we had a plan...

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Slioch again the following morning...much better!
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After having a leisurely lunch at the filling station café in Kinlochewe and confirming our suspicions about the weather, we drove round to Torridon. We wanted a Tom na Gruagaich summit camp and Jackie wanted to do the Horns of Alligin (previously missed despite picking off the main summits twice in the past - what a bagger :roll: ). Given her slow injury recovery and subsequent loss of fitness, we initially didn't think both would be possible, but then I suggested she put stuff in her daysack and I carried whatever was left (tent and water mostly, in addition to my own stuff). Suddenly I was pack mule minion :lol: .

It was warm and sunny as we set off, starting with a pleasant easy walk towards the eastern end of the Alligin horseshoe. After 30 minutes or so, we bumped into Colin who was just returning from a morning wander up Beinn Dearg. It had been quite wet apparently :roll:


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’Look at my tiny pack!’

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Beinn Dearg

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Beinn Alligin

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Liathach

I vaguely remembered the path up to the horns being paved in bits, despite looking really steep and improbable in parts. It was even more paved than I remembered, and although steep, we made short work of it. Then more up to reach the horns.

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Steep bit

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Sgurr Mor and the 1st horn

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Liathach

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Beinn Dearg

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Baosbheinn

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Beinn an Eoin

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Tom na Gruagaich

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Sgurr Mor from the 1st horn

It is a walk up to the summit of the first horn, after which I had no real recollection of what lay ahead - only that it wasn't particularly difficult. Unfortunately Jackie had lost her scrambling mojo, not helped by me looking for a more pure route along the skyline and having to reverse a couple of bits...

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1st horn of Alligin

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Liathach and the 1st horn

While she didn't feel particularly confident, there weren't really any difficulties, and we slowly made our way over the other two horns. Probably the most awkward part was the final ascent onto the middle horn - not particularly difficult, but not the easiest to reverse if there were more problems ahead.

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Looking back to the 2nd horn

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Feeling horny...?

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NW towards Loch Gairloch

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Jackie on the 3rd horn

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Baosbheinn

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Slioch and Fisherfield

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3rd horn

Finally we were there, and just had a rather large, steep ascent to reach Sgurr Mor. The forecast scorcher of an afternoon seemed to be in place to the south, but quite a lot of lower cloud blew above us, making us wonder what sort of night was ahead.

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Coulin hills and Beinn Damh

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North side of Beinn Alligin

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North side of Beinn Alligin

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Horns and Beinn Dearg

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Jackie on Sgurr Mor

The rest of the walk around to Tom na Gruagaich was easy, the mountain being steeper and narrower than I remembered from previous visits. As we approached the summit, the cloud swirled over Sgurr Mor but the sun was coming out in other directions. Maybe this would be OK?

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Above Eag Dubh

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Jaxter’s crack

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Eag Dubh

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Tom na Gruagaich from Sgurr Mor

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Interesting skies

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Tom na Gruagaich

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Applecross and Skye

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Sgurr Mor

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Back to the horns

We wandered around the grassy plains below the summit looking for a good camping spot, but none was quite flat enough or really protecting us from the cold north/northeasterly breeze. Eventually we ended up on a gravelly flat area immediately below the trig point. It was pretty good, and much flatter than it looked from a distance, but only just big enough. Nicely sheltered, so that was it!

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Summit camp

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Can’t get much closer to the summit than this

After dinner (we were starving, and I hadn't done my usual over-prepared shop, so we didn't have as many snacks to hand as usual), we went for a stroll out west in search of more views. Things were really starting to look great now.

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An Ruadh-Mheallan and Red Point

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Beinn Bhan

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Maol Chean-dearg and Beinn Damh

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Loch Torridon

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Diabaig to Red Point

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Evening light on Beinn Dearg

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Last of the cloud clearing

I was a bit conscious of having to go to work the next day - the trouble with summit camps at this time of year is that between all of the sunsets and sunrises, there's barely any time to do any sleeping! So we went for a nap for an hour before getting up for sunset proper just after 10pm. It was cold but very much worth it 8) .

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Time for sunset

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Baosbheinn and Sgurr Mor

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Loch Damh and Ben Shieldaig

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Loch Gairloch and Baosbheinn

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Horns and Beinn Dearg

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West into the sunset

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This is going to be good

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Ben Eighe and Liathach

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Liathach glowing

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Tom na Gruagaich glow

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Northern Skye across Applecross and Rona

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Last sun

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Rua Reidh

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Just plain odd

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Sun gone

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Trotternish

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After the sun went

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North Harris over Red Point

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Loch Gairloch

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Baosbheinn

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Last light out west

Time for bed then, with Jackie setting her alarm for 4am :shock: . I decided to be more pragmatic - with my phone camera, I never get any decent pre-dawn shots, so I decided to snooze until the sun appeared over the horizon....which it did about 25 minutes later :roll: .

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Sunrise

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Red Point

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Baosbheinn

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Looking NW

Sunrise was great, and on the whole, the air was much clearer - Clisham stood out much more prominently than yesterday. As with most dawns, things go a bit dull after the initial light show, and the sun needs to get up a bit more before things look interesting again. So we went back to bed, getting up at 6:15am again.

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Summit in the morning

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East

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Ben Eighe and Liathach

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Sgurr Mor and sunrise

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Rua Reidh

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Trotternish

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Loch Damh and Beinn Bhan

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Hills and hills and hills and hills

As descents from Munros go, Tom na Gruagaich via Coirw an Laogh is fairly short and fast. It's also a bit hard on the knees, which Jackie was finding more than me :lol: .

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Coire nan Laogh

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Sgurr Mor and the Horns

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Descending to Loch Torridon

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Back to Tom na Gruagaich

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Beinn na h-Eaglaise and Beinn Damh

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Beinn Damh

We were down in just under 90 minutes, and I had the keys ready for a quick getaway - Cool higher up but perfect midge conditions lower down. Since the forecast was also good for today, Jackie decided she was going to do some more walking, so we stopped at the less midge-ridden shop in Torridon to sort stuff out before I drove her round to Achnashellach for a day out in the Coulin hills with a return by train later (in retrospect I should've dropped her at Ling Hut for a traverse, but neither of us were thinking particularly straight so early). I was back home, showered and in work shortly after 11am - how to get the best out of the weekend 8) .
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malky_c
 
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Re: Beinn Alligin overnight perfection, and some other stuff

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:12 pm

Looks absolutely wonderful.

Some great pics :thumbup: . I especially like those of Baosbheinn, and Beinn Dearg.
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Alteknacker
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Re: Beinn Alligin overnight perfection, and some other stuff

Postby dav2930 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:28 pm

Wow, what a fabulous summit camp. Some superb photos of the ridge and the light at sunset and dawn. Beautiful. :clap:
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dav2930
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Re: Beinn Alligin overnight perfection, and some other stuff

Postby Anne C » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:23 pm

What a place to wild camp! That light! Love the shot of Jackie in her sleeping bag taking photos - great idea :D :D
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Anne C
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