My reports are all over the place...
A' Ghlas-bheinn was the last of our holiday climbs and as weather on Sunday looked great, we simply couldn't resist finishing our days off on a high, even with Kevin's injured knee still giving him tough times.
Most folks combine this Munro either with Beinn Fhada or with a visit to the Falls of Glomach, but it was too dry to bother with the waterfalls (there wouldn't be much water in them anyway) and as for Fhada, we had already climbed it three times (four in case of Kevin), so it would be AGB on its own today. A good climb but not unduly long.
My previous visit to this Munro was in winter conditions (report HERE) so this time I'd get a chance to see it in its full summer glory! Our route followed the WH suggestion minus the falls:
From the car park in Morvich we followed the road for a short time, later turning to the well-worn path into Gleann Choinneachain. I lost count how many times we walked up this path. It's an area we love returning to just to wander around We even climbed Sgurr Gaorsaic from this side, just because the walk in is such a great experience (despite a lot of reascent on the way back!).
Today, we were aiming for Bealach na Sgairne and then up the southern slopes of A' Ghlas-bheinn, past its famous (or should I say infamous) multitude of false tops.
Not much water in Allt a Choire Chaoil...
Last year in July we came here to tackle the full traverse of Beinn Fhada (the bad step, yep, that was fun ), today's target was less demanding and on the way up, we would use a good path most of the way:
Looking down the glen, I spotted another group of walkers. They were also climbing AGB but never caught up with us, despite Kevin stopping every five minutes for pictures and moaning (ouch, my knee )...
The view down the glen is spectacular:
Looking up to Bealach na Sgairne:
Marching at steady pace, we reached the bealach. It was surprisingly cold there, and windy, too!
The path up A' Ghlas-bheinn looks benign at the beginning but it could be tricky in wet weather/winter conditions...
...not that I cared
The North Face of Meall a'Bhealaich, I once called it "the mini version of the Eiger". Maybe the description is a bit over the top, but I'm always gobsmacked by these impressive rocks:
Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan and Sgurr Gaorsaic across the glen:
Showing off on the steepest part of the path:
The One Who Always Know It Best does indeed know, how to change batteries in his camera!
The first "top" (758m) hosts a tiny lochan and only now we could see how many more false summits we had yet to tackle. The true summits not even visible from here!
The lochan and the western ridge of Beinn Fhada:
The path has one more steep section, this one very eroded but nothing technical:
Looking west to Loch Duich and Sgurr an Airgid,the outline of Isle of Skye visible just behind the Corbett:
Loch a'Bhealaich and the back side of the northern hills of Glen Shiel:
Nearly there! I counted 4 false tops before we eventually reached the final climb!
I can't believe it! There is one more top! I think my expression shows the whole disapproval of the situation
Once on the summit, it was time to take a long break and enjoy the views. Weather was good, not too windy. Actually, the worst gusts we experienced on Bealach na Sgairne, higher up it was only better. I guess the high pass acts as an air tunnel.
On the summit with Lucy - it was a new Munro for her (no. 126):
Now a good sample of the summit views. A' Ghlas-bheinn is one of the lowest Munros (only 918m) but what it lacks in height, it gains in location. One could simply gaze in the distance for hours, not feeling the pass of time...
The Cuillin Ridge:
Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan. Oh how lucky we are to have this one done and dusted. I'm tempted to repeat the wildcamping experience in Alltbeithe though, there is a good plane crash site nearby which we missed last time. Maybe next summer.
Torridon looks so close...
Beinn Sgritheall (on the horizon to the right) was probably named by somebody with Polish origins. Sounds like Ben Zgrzytal - translated as "The mountain of gritting teeth". Very appropriate, considering ho steep it is in ascent
Beinn Fhada and the Sisters, looking very alpine:
Eventually, it was time to start the descent. Kevin was weary of his knee and took it slowly. To his excuse, the initial descent path is very steep and eroded. Care needed, especially in wet conditions. When we descended here in winter, we had crampons on all the way. Today, good body-balancing skills did the job:
He's proud of himself
The path becomes scarce lower down, but with good visibility we had no problems picking our route below Creag na Saobhie and aiming for the Falls of Glomach path.
The hill behind me is an obscure Graham, Carnan Cruithneachd. I can recommend it to all scramblers as a fantastic, rocky hill full of easy pockets of scrambling. Plus it is a phenomenal viewpoint.
Down from Bealach na Sroine it was easy on a good path. We only met one walker going in the opposite direction (up to the falls, probably).
We had a fantastic day and even traversing the endless false tops didn't bother us that much. Actually, isn't it better that all hills have their own "character". A' Ghlas-bheinn is a cracker and I'm so glad we re-visited it on such a nice day. Good weather in Scotland is a rare occurrence, so we were lucky to have some decent weather during our hols. Also lucky that the lockdown was lifted on time for us to be able to wander about
I'm not writing my TR's in chronological order, so there is still more to come. Several reports pending, and we are hoping to climb Ben MacDhui this weekend to investigate another crash site. Fingers crossed weather cooperates!
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.