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Moidart Corbetts

Moidart Corbetts


Postby Daveyf » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:36 pm

Route description: Rois-Bheinn round, Inverailort

Corbetts included on this walk: An Stac, Rois-Bheinn, Sgurr na Ba Glaise

Date walked: 08/05/2019

Time taken: 13.5 hours

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 1630m

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Another early start to avoid any crowds sees me in the car at 4 in the morning and walking before 4.30. As its May there is just enough light at this hour to stop me falling into a burn or being garrotted by a barbed wire fence. With few Munro’s in the area I thought it would be a good idea to try wandering up a couple (or three) Corbetts.
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Morning skies at first light

Having parked just of the A861 at Inverailort, I walked south along the track and turned left just before the cottages onto a grassy track, through a couple of gates. Soon a choice is to be made, do I take the longer dryer path around the northern side of Tom Odhar, a 300ft mini hill, or do I take a short cut and go through another gate and straight through the woodland, which is likely to be a bit wetter. Short cut it is and into the woodland I go, crossing a stream almost immediately. I had read that this route could be very wet indeed, however it wasn’t too bad and only took 30 minutes before appearing at an asphalt track.
By now the sun was fully up, and ignoring the track I turned right and headed up between hills either side of me, trudging through the pathless grass and as height was gained less and less trees surrounded me and finally leaving the tree line behind at about 600ft. At about a 1000ft it was time to drift right, away from lower valley floors and start climbing the shoulder of the first hill Seann Chruach. Still pathless but fairly easy going, the northern end of Loch Ailort makes an appearance, the early morning blue sky reflecting off the surface giving it a deep cobolt blue sheen on the surface.
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Gaining height over the northern tip of Loch Ailort

Nearing the top a small cairn can be seen sitting on the edge of rounded rock with the bigger mass of An Stac sitting behind as a backdrop. The summit of Seann Chruach sits at just 1709ft but it’s taken just over 2 hours to get here, not exactly record blistering pace, anyhow, I’m here now and figure I deserve a rest while admiring the views.
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Approaching Seann Chruach with An Stuc looming behind

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An Stac from Seann Chruach

An Stac looms ahead, waiting for me, and after I’ve taken a few pics I head off Seann Chruach south, down to the col and start the climb up An Stac. No path to follow so it’s simply a matter of picking out the best route between grass and rock. An hour and a half after leaving An Stac I finally make the top, a slight smattering of snow still sits around waiting to be burnt off. At 2671ft the views are to die for, the beautiful shades of blue of Loch Ailort merging with Loch Nan Uamh and the Sound of Arisaig beyond all leading out to Eigg, Rum and Skye all sitting on the horizon. The tops of the Glenfinnan munro’s to the east just touching the cloud base, to the south the first full views of things to come, Rois-Bheinn bathed in morning sunshine and the ridge linking up the rest of the tops, partly silhouetted by the sun trying to blast its way through the cloud. This is a great place to sit and admire these mountains, but I’ve still got a long way to go and plenty of more views to witness so it’s time to move on.
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Looking out towards Rum from Seann Chruach summit cairn

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Loch Ailort from An Stac

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On top of An Stac with Rois-Bheinn behind

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An Stac summit cairn

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Looking west towards Glenfinnan from An Stac

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Coire a'Bhúiridh from An Stac

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Sgúrr na Bá Glaise from An Stac

While on the top of An Stuc, I took a little time to study the route down the other side and then the best route from the col up to the top of the next target Rois-Bheinn. The recommended path is apparently up the left flank immerging at the col between Rois-Bheinn and Sgúrr na Bá Glais then turning right for the final pull up to the summit, however always one for taking a short cut, I spy a clear scar in the mountain, a gully heading right up its North face, obviously steeper but also shorter. Final decision on the ascent route to be deferred until I was at the foot of Rois-Bheinn.
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Rois-Bheinn & West Top from An Stac

The route south down An Stac certainly is steep, dropping roughly 900ft in ½ a mile, there are a couple of occasions where I was sliding down on my backside, throwing my kit ahead of me and a couple of occasions where it was too steep without ropes so had to double back and find a safer route down. Eventually at the bottom of the col, a wee burn was crossed followed by a stone wall which looked like it continued arrow straight into the distance before ending somewhere north of Iceland.
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Stone wall heading down Coire na Cnamha

Looking back now and searching for my reasons to head straight up the gully, I can only assume it was a temporary loss of common sense and I’ll be glad when it returns, in the meantime, the gully it was. Up I go, how hard can it possibly be anyway? Well how about very!! Varying from steep steps between rocks to what felt like vertical walls of grass with a few scrambly bits in between. I realise this would be bread and butter to a lot of walkers, but as I only get to Scotland to once a year it’s not something these old bones are used to. Anyway doing the gully in my own time was the way to do it, several 10 second stops all the way up and numerous GPS checks to see how near to the top I was until finally I was at the top and once there I was glad I took the route after all.
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The long long haul up the steep gully to the top of Rois-Bheinn

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An Stac, Coire a'Bhúiridh and Druim Fiaclach from part way up the gully to Rois-Bheinn

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At the top of the gully at Rois-Bheinn

Rois-Bheinn, the second Corbett of the day is at 2894ft also the highest point of the day. Just a few stones forming a cairn sit on the top, with views back to An Stac and everywhere else in Moidart. From here a stone wall heads west to the aptly named Rois-Bheinn West Top and although it’s only a subsidiary top it’s well worth the effort of checking it out. A mere 15 minute walk along a path which follows the stone wall leads to a giant cairn. From here Eigg and Rum feel so close you could touch them. At 2881ft and at the end of a ridge, it’s very exposed and of course very windy, a little shelter can be found on the lee side of the cairn but I don’t stay for long and getting to my feet, I’m almost blown back off them again. Once steadied I head back down to the col and out of the hurricane on the hill. Retracing my steps I head back to Rois-Bheinn ready for the next Corbett.
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Summit cairn at Rois-Bheinn West top

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Stone wall heading to the northern Moidart coastline

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Summit cairn at Rois-Bheinn looking out to An Stac

From Rois-Bheinn, there is a trace of a path heading east down the col and then a trace of a trace of a path heading up to the third Corbett of Sgúrr na Bá Glaise, not too difficult an ascent and before long I was at the top greeted by a small cairn at 2867ft. It seems whichever peak you’re on top of in Moidart the views are really breath-taking and this one was no different, the River Moidart snaking away down the glen towards a host of other hills to the south.
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Looking up at Sgúrr na Bá Glaise from the bealach

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On top of Sgúrr na Ba Glaise with Rois-Bheinn behind

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Cairn at Sgúrr na Bá Glaise with Eigg and Rum on the horizon

From the summit the subsidiary tops along the route can clearly be seen, An t-Slat-bheinn is the first at 2723ft which also gives its name to the ridge that joins up with the next peak, the East Top at 2700ft, the ridge then swings left and gains height again to the top of Druim Fiaclach at 2854ft. It’s a wide ridge with plenty of ups and downs and about 2 miles long and with a few stops en route takes 2 hours to reach the top of Druim Fiaclach.
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The wide An t-Slát-Bheinn ridge from Sgúrr na Bá Glaise

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The three Corbetts of Sgúrr na Bá Glaise, Rois-Bheinn and An Stac from Druim Fiaclach

By now fatigue is beginning to hit me, I’d climbed 3 Corbetts and a couple of other tops as well, and so far it had taken me over 10 hours, I was down to my last few swigs of water and with a good 3 miles of downhill trudging through pathless grass found myself wishing I was back at the car. I had planned to climb another peak of Beinn Coire nan Gall a short distance to the north, but couldn’t face another climb up. So I decided to simply head down into the coire in the general direction of down. It seemed to take forever and it was 2 hours before I finally came to Allt a’ Bhúiridh. Grateful of a chance to re-fill my water bottles I glug the ice-cold water, nectar! Across the burn I follow an All-Terrain Vehicle track all the way back to the asphalt road I last saw in the early morning light. Back into the woodland and down through the gates and rejoice when I finally see the car.
13 ½ hours after leaving the car I’m finally back there after over 5,300ft of ascent. To say it’s been a long day is somewhat an understatement. I feel battered and bruised but pleased to have experienced the fantastic mountains of Moidart. It’s a beautiful place, remote, rugged eye candy for those of us who appreciate the great outdoors. One regret is that perhaps I should have forced myself to take on Beinn Coiere nan Gall, a little extra effort would have probably made it an easier trip back to the car, oh well , live and learn!
Daveyf
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 26
Munros:14   Corbetts:5
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:50
Wainwrights:22   Islands:2
Joined: May 4, 2017
Location: Hampshire, miles from the nearest mountain!

Re: Moidart Corbetts

Postby PeteR » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:03 pm

Some great photos there :clap:

I remember these 3. A tough day for sure. My visit was a hazy one though, so not the clarity of views you enjoyed.
User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2048
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:176   Hewitts:3
Islands:9
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Moidart Corbetts

Postby kevsbald » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:39 am

Some lovely shots there.
User avatar
kevsbald
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2175
Munros:262   Corbetts:119
Grahams:76   Donalds:51
Sub 2000:13   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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