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4 Little crackers - WH Meet

4 Little crackers - WH Meet


Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:07 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Beinn a'Chaoinich, Beinn a'Chuirn (Glenelg), Beinn Mhialairigh, Glas Bheinn (Glenelg)

Date walked: 12/07/2019

Time taken: 11.9 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1900m

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Prior to any WH meet there is always plenty of electronic chatter about what hills are on the menu, once a decision has sort of been made, the final details are then agreed.
My original plan a month or two ago was to tackle the whole of the Sisters ridge, rather than split it into 2 visits. However after my recent leg problems, my physio recommended that I walk for about an hour max. After that advice I had to come up with plan B, Munro's were off the menu so I told my usual walking buddies that I was planning to scale down literally. George offered to keep me company and I bet he regretted that 20 minutes into our first walk?
Martin and Parminder were planning to tackle the South Glen Sheil Ridge on the Saturday and a Walk Report may appear before Santa arrives.
It was rather fortunate that there are 4 Marilyns on the Ratagan peninsula, so the plan was one on Friday, 2 on Saturday and the last one on the Sunday before we headed home. Next what order to tackle them, after that look at the umpteen Walk Reports on here. The latter turned out to be a bit of a waste of time, as there are no WR's for any of the hills without walking about 50km and I would get a row if I did that. Thanks to Malky C & Weaselmaster for there reports but they were far too adventurous for us.
So it was time to use my great navigational creativity, I plotted routes via the GPS page. They turned out to be kind of useful, mainly for finding a parking spot near the start of the walk and locating the summit.
I volunteered to drive and was uplifting Parminder and George at the usual uplift spots, we arranged to meet Martin at 6.30am at Broxden for our usual 'posh' breakfast so that Parminder could get fuelled up. We avoided all the rush hour traffic by leaving early and arrived at Ratagan just before 10am, I suggested we try and dump our stuff but folk were still leaving and hanging around so we binned that idea.
Parminder was Martin's co-pilot as they were planning to tackle Beinn Sgritheall, we travelled in convoy until we reached our start point for our much more difficult hill. There was a nice layby for me to park, so we said our goodbyes and they sped away. Anyone expecting a Sgritheall Walk Report may be disappointed!

Friday 12th July 2019
Beinn Mhialairigh, 2hrs 10mins

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


Before I start, the route up was up through the forest, from on high we planned a much easier descent - in theory.
As soon as we got out of the car we were greeted by a hungry horde of flying eating machines looking for breakfast, so we kitted up rapidly and set off along a kind of overgrown track, all was going rather well at this point and I was feeling pretty pleased with my route selection. That feeling only lasted about 5 minutes, as the route on my phone had us leaving the path and heading uphill. We paced backwards and forwards to try and find an easy way to head uphill, end result there was no obvious easy way so we picked the best of a bad bunch.

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Parking spot in a layby

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George striding out and loving the track

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Not a well used track

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Just about time to take the jungle option

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This was where we decided to be adventurous

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George surveying the uphill terrain

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It was a matter of looking for daylight and if that wasn't there, find a route without getting scratched to bits

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Hopefully the photos demonstrate how close the trees are to each other

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A glimpse of the views to come

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We are now clear of the worst of the forest

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Looking Westish

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Here we go again, much easier though

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Not much more to battle through

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The first of our deer fences, this one was easy as it was old and almost lying flat

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Looking out over the water across the flattened deer fence

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It was a matter of picking our way uphill

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The next deer fence had a hole cut in the corner, George decided to squeeze through the hole with rucksack on his back I took mine off

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Looking down the fence across the water

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Loch Hourn looking towards Barrisdale Bay

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Looking down on another deer fence

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We were being watched

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Looking north

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One of the many random deer fences

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Looking across to Canna

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Loch Hourn looking towards Barrisdale Bay

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Beinn Sgritheall, Parminder and Martin somewhere in the cloud

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Summit video

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Sgritheall during the descent

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Nice boat speeding up the Sound of Sleat

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George showing how to scale a deer fence

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From the higher slopes our plan was to head north and avoid the forest, unfortunately due to the undulating ground it is difficult to see exactly what lies ahead

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Bracken and the occasional tree

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George sporting new head gear as we reached the lower slopes, we had a welcoming party who were hungry

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More obstacles

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Bracken was the better option than small trees

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Looking back and it doesn't look inviting


Saturday 13th July 2019 morning
Glas Bheinn, 2hrs 45mins

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


The route up was through the forest, which is now tree debris, long grass and undulating underfoot terrain. Once we reached the path that was a rather obvious and much better way of ascending.
As we didn't have far to travel, head towards Glenelg and turn right as if going for the ferry, we were at the parking spot just before 9am. Once again things were looking good, we had a track to walk on and we could see our hill straight ahead looking pretty imposing. Looking at Glas Bheinn it looked pretty obvious that you can't reach the summit from the west, unless you have climbing gear.

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Parking spot

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Looking back towards Glenelg

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Sign where the car was parked

We followed the track until it headed west in the wrong direction, we therefore decided as usual to opt for the direct route uphill. Not our best decision as the forest that used to be there was now like an obstacle course and within 5 minutes we were huffing and puffing and had soaking wet legs, I tightened the strap at the top of my gaiters to try and prevent water running down the inside. It was once we reached the track at the top of the deforested area that I had a great idea for what Santa can bring me in December - a DRONE. If I could work out how to operate one I would send it up a few hundred metres to scan the terrain ahead, it would have helped us on all 4 of these hills.

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George pointing the way, Glas Bheinn summit waiting for us

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George enjoying the walk so far

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Summit zoomed, from a distance I thought there were a few trees, but as you can see - a bit of modern technology

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It was now time to leave the track

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The direct route, summit looks quite close

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Looks easy, but the grass was soaking

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Looking back

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A closer look at the lovely terrain

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George on a natural posing lump

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Looking back over our route

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George still smiling, probably because we were about to rejoin the track

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The reason why George was smiling

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One last look at what we have enjoyed

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The end of the track, time to head west and uphill

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A faint track heading up for a wee while

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There were plenty of these heading up to the summit

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We headed up between the debris and the trees

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We followed a wall uphill too

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A nice view whilst showing the angle of ascent

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Not the biggest lochan

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Southern end of Skye, as well as one of the many relay contraptions

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Looking down to Glenelg

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Local industry

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Kyle of Lochalsh

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Sound of Sleat

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Looking NE towards Dornie

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Kyle zoomed

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Video from the summit of Glas Bheinn

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More technical stuff

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George demonstrating how prolific Mares Tail grows in the west, that's what we thought it was?

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Our lunch spot, view not too shabby


Saturday 13th July 2019 afternoon
Beinn a'Chuirn, 3hrs 10mins

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


After a short drive where we even kept our boots on, I parked the car off the road at the top of the access to Beolary and as we got out of the car it was rather obvious where we were going to be heading - 300m straight up. Once kitted up we opened the gate and headed steeply uphill. We scanned the hillside and as usual picked a point to head to, on the lower slopes the last thing we wanted to do was wade through bracken so we tried our best to avoid. The hillside is used by livestock and as we gained height we noticed that we were being watched, there were 4 cows that we could see and they were between 200-300m up, not sure if they are milking cows, if they are we didn't envy the farmer.

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Parking spot and George looking very impressed with what lies ahead

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The photo doesn't do it justice, we likened the ascent to going up the middle of the 5 Sisters, albeit a tad short height wise

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Car getting smaller

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Looking uphill and picking a spot to head for

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Not our favourite

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Car getting smaller

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Kind of shows the steepness

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George loving it

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Head down and plodding on

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We kept to the left of the gorge and the fence

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We are now on the large undulating plateau

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Biggest lochan of the weekend

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Another fence to negotiate

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Here it is the summit trig

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Another cracking summit view

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Summit video

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Skye Bridge and the Kyle

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Milking the moment


Sunday 14th July 2019
Beinn a'Chaoinich, 3hrs 5mins

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


The route up took us across fields with a gate to open and 2 fences to climb, after we descended the steep long grassy slopes we headed north ish, which kept us to the west of the fenced area.
I parked the car off the road down the Old Military Road on the right hand side just before the bridge. Today was the warmest day of the weekend and it wasn't long before we were overheating. The livestock fields we crossed had no animals within so we were able to head directly to the corner of the fenced area.

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Parking spot

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Glenmore river looking east

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Looking west

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Our plan was to head the right of the rocky bit, looked OK but it was anything but fun

The direction we opted for turned out to be the best of a bad bunch, from a distance we had no idea how long the grass was, or that there was bracken. We descended the same way so I suppose it can't have been that bad, having said that descending is rather quicker than ascending!

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Not ideal and George was standing up

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Doesn't this look fun, especially when you add in no wind and lots of flying biting things

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Looking back, not very often recently when I have been in front of George

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It can only get better

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Shows angle of ascent

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Looking back down after our struggle

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The end result after a tumble in the heather

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Summit video, more cracking views

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This is a before and after shot, there was nothing to mark the summit when we arrived

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We had to hunt for stones as the majority are attached to the hill

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Heading down

To explain the lack of Parminder, he opted to give this walk a miss so we dropped him off just up the road from Glenelg, heading towards the ferry. He was going to walk back and meet up with us, what could possibly go wrong? Once we were back in the car we drove back SLOWLY looking everywhere for our missing person. We drove down to the ferry - no sign, into Glenelg and round to the monument - no sign. Houston we have a problem, no phone signal, so we drove slowly back to where the car had been parked and who should appear out of nowhere just as we almost reached our spot. Parminder had seen the car parked and nipped up the road for a couple of minutes, whilst we set off in the other direction!!!!

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Just to prove we went searching here is a shot looking towards Glenelg

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Looking across to Skye

Walking wise, this turned out to be very satisfying, every one of the four wee hills offered fantastic views with Glas Bheinn being the smallest and defintely the star. I said to George at the time the views were the best I have had from the summit of a hill.
A huge thanks to George for keeping me company, especially as he could have 'bagged' umpteen munro's to add to his second round which starts in September.
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Fife Flyer
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Re: 4 Little crackers - WH Meet

Postby dibs » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:57 pm

Great report Martin of an entertaining weekend and nice to get 4 new hills done with good company :wink:
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dibs
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Re: 4 Little crackers - WH Meet

Postby rockhopper » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:52 am

Good result. Yup, you do get around quite a bit chasing these sub2ks. Looking at your reports I often find out about hills of which I had no idea before. Thanks :)
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Re: 4 Little crackers - WH Meet

Postby parminder » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:09 pm

Well done guys :clap: tramping thru all that growth...wee cracker of a report.. :clap:
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