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In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4


Postby Mountainlove » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:54 pm

Route description: Beinn Dearg - the Four Munros circuit

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Dearg (Ullapool), Cona' Mheall, Eididh nan Clach Geala, Meall nan Ceapraichean

Date walked: 23/03/2012

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 25 km

Ascent: 1827m

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Sitting in my car we just passed Inverness about half an hour ago and were on the way to a place called Badrallach. We passed the last car about 15 min ago and the night was clear as a night could be in the northern Highlands of Scotland. Millions of stars were above us and we frequently had to stop for deer which was either standing next to the road or on it. Nature at its best! Taking the turn to Badrallach old trees framed the sides of the road and annoyed sheep stared at us, when they realized they have to give up their sleeping place in the middle of the road to let us past. Driving along a tiny single track road were signs warned that CTTV cameras were in action due to sheep rustling :shock: , it became clear that we were in the middle of no mans land. :D :D :D

Finally after a 6h drive we arrived at the campsite and I fell in love with the bothy. Apart from us there was only one more couple and we had the choice to sleep in a bothy (6 Pounds per night) or use the campsite.
We opted for the campsite and the onsite shower, toilet and kitchen block were spotless and one of the best I have seen...remoteness with some added luxuries of a bothy with electricity and lovely warm showers...brilliant!!!

We woke up the next morning before sunrise after a 6h sleep...not the best start for a long walk, but I was looking forward to be in the mountains.
Nice an early we arrived at the designated car park and set off. The first part of the walk is through some lovely forest...wide forestry tracks were easy to follow and about 45 min later we reached the open moorland. The path was still easy to follow although it was much narrower. We followed the path up the hill and soon in the distance An Teallach showed its craggy peaks...lovely! After another 45min we reached the point indicated by a small cairn where the path split.

Walking to the left would mean an easy start up the mountains, but a hard finish as the highest Munro would be the last one. Walking to the left would mean to climb the highest Munro first and have an easy finish.
We opted for the left path and walked towards the first Munro (Eididh nan Clach Geala). With excellent weather and a clear path we left the maps and GPS in the bag and just enjoyed the experience to be alone in this great wilderness. Reaching a loch we looked up to a bump of a hill to our left and decided that cant be the first Munro as it looked too small - big mistake!
We continued around the lovely loch and followed the path which we guessed would lead up to the first Munro. While the path followed a really gentle way up the hill, I kept on thinking that something felt wrong...this was too easy! :?
But there was no other path...by the time we were between 2 hills and the path lead down hill again I switched on the GPS and looked at the maps...Ah :idea:
The little bump of a hill was indeed a Munro`and we walked around it. :( As we ended up at the other side, we decided that we could not miss it and walked up its grassy slope...straight up but it only took 30 min. Taking some pictures we returned the same route and decided to ignore the path at the bottom - god knows where we would end up if we would follow it. Looking at the mountain we decided on a route and started to follow it up. We had to cross some big patches of snow and scramble up some bits but all in all it was an easy walk up the second Munro ( Meall nan Ceapraichean)

We reached the top feeling fresh and relaxed and decided that it was really easy. 8) 8) Leaving the top we made our way down to Munto Nr 3 (Cona Mheall) Originally we planned to have lunch on the second Munro, but ice cold winds stopped that plan and so we walked down to the bottom and had lunch close to the great stone wall which divided the mountain. After lunch we packed our bags and made our way up Munro Nr 3....also an easy one to climb but the big boulder field at the top made walking a bit more difficult than the grassy slopes. Admiring the views towards Stac Polly, Cul More, Cul Beag and Suilven and co we left the third Munro and walked down the path we walked up...a bit boring and senseless, but you cant really avoid it. Back at the bottom we looked up the steep side of Ben Dearg. The path up followed the old stone wall which was easy, but by that time I started to feel a wee bit tired. The weather also changed and being blasted by cold winds and only a hazy view across the winds, dimmed our excitement a bit. But neverless Ben Dearg would be my 50 Munro, so I was pleased when I reached the top. :clap:

Having a quick drink we left the summit and made our way down the stone wall in order to return to the car. The walk back to the crossroads point was easy, as you only needed to follow the burn, but by that time the long walk back was a bit de motivating. We had another break to eat the remaining sandwiches when we reached the bottom and including the break time it took us 3h from the top of Ben Dearg back to the car...
We reached the car 10h after leaving it and after taking walking boots and socks off ...one of the best feelings in the world after walking for 10h :lol: :lol: :lol: , we cracked open a small bottle of beer to celebrate (first beer is also amazing) before we drove back to the campsite.


All in all I enjoyed the walk, but the Munros are nothing special in comparison to An Teallach and some of the smaller hills in the area...would I do the 4 of them again...no, but sometimes I guess the long not so exciting walks make the shorter ones more enjoyable.

Just in case you wonder about the wall up the mountain (Ben Dearg)...I googled it and found out that it is a 'famine wall' and was built by destitute people for food in the 1840's


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

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The nightime drive to Badrallach...dont mess with the sheep :-D
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I can see how this is done...one only needs to collect them by the roadsite....
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The bothy....so lovely
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The map...ok not the only one...but the straight forward on e:-)
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Looking back towards the forest
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The place where the path splits
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An Teallach showing its peaks
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The loch we walked around apart from climbing the Munro to its left
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Stac Polly, Suilven, Cul Beag, Cul More and co
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The last snow fields
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Small 'Iceberg' in a loch ;-)
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Ben Deargs summit
Last edited by Mountainlove on Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:25 pm

Lovely photos of a beautiful area. Ones i've still to do as well. Thanks for the info on the campsite and that bothy is nicer than my hoose :D
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby basscadet » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:52 pm

What a great report.. I really enjoyed it thanks for posting :)

I wild camped up Gleann na Squaib on the windiest night I've ever been out in when I did these last August, so ended up with a crap nights sleep under my belt for these too :D Doesn't spoil the day much though, lovely places up that way...
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby simon-b » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:18 pm

Hi, Mountainlove.

Was it you I said hello to at Lochan Uaine on my way between Cona' Mheall and Meall nan Ceapraichen?

Seems like we all had a great day on Friday.
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:44 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Lovely photos of a beautiful area. Ones i've still to do as well. Thanks for the info on the campsite and that bothy is nicer than my hoose :D


Thank you :D I can only recommend the bothy as it is simply amazing...it even has an upstairs and downstairs sleeping area...lol was jealous that it had a peat fire...would love that in my living room at home :-)

basscadet wrote:What a great report.. I really enjoyed it thanks for posting :)
I wild camped up Gleann na Squaib on the windiest night I've ever been out in when I did these last August, so ended up with a crap nights sleep under my belt for these too :D Doesn't spoil the day much though, lovely places up that way...

Thanks and you are right about the area...will need to return soon! Yeah wild camping can be great- if the weather is good...but I also had some of my worst night sleeps wild camping :shock:

simon-b wrote:Hi, Mountainlove.
Was it you I said hello to at Lochan Uaine on my way between Cona' Mheall and Meall nan Ceapraichen?
Seems like we all had a great day on Friday.

Hi Simon,
yes it was :D Hello again! Seen another trip report from another member on the same day...but apart from yourself I havent seen any other walkers that day. You were lucky as you must have gottten the good views up Ben Dearg before the clouds came in!
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby BoyVertiginous » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:45 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:that bothy is nicer than my hoose :D

My first thought exactly.

Well done on reaching the half-century, mountainlove.

That "iceberg" pic is .... 8)
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby simon-b » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:00 pm

Hello again Mountinlove :D

Yes, I did climb Beinn Dearg first and got the views. It's thanks to my b and b hosts at Stathcanaird that I had a good early start. They did me breakfast at 6.30am :)

Well done on reaching 50 Munros. And you've saved me from writing a report for exactly the same hike on the same day (even if I did go round the other way). Your photos of the walk obviously look extremely familiar to me!
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby quoman » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:14 pm

Nice Report moutainlove qnd cracking photo's.

I like the hand drawing map and the ice- berg.
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby jstalker66621 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:10 pm

Oh quality...return of the hand drawn map...complete with walkers and refreshments :lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm going to insist that you do one for me if we ever meet on a walk...

Great pics...when I did this last year it poured with rain the entire day and cloud never lifted once to give me a view :( :(
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby Owen b » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:23 pm

I did exactly the same route in reverse in virtually identical conditions in late March 2007 (just a little bit more snow, but not much, and wall to wall sunshine). Fantastic views towards Suilven and all the rest. It also took us about ten hours. I didn't realise it until I got back to the hostel but I ended up very dehydrated and couldn't eat that evening. Good to be reminded of the route, great pics.
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:17 pm

simon-b wrote:Hello again Mountinlove :D
Yes, I did climb Beinn Dearg first and got the views. It's thanks to my b and b hosts at Stathcanaird that I had a good early start. They did me breakfast at 6.30am :)
Well done on reaching 50 Munros. And you've saved me from writing a report for exactly the same hike on the same day (even if I did go round the other way). Your photos of the walk obviously look extremely familiar to me!

Well done to the B&B to make you breakfast at that time!! For us it was cold porridge (lazyness) :lol: :lol: and thanks regarding the 50 :D

@ quoman and BoyVertiginous ...thanks :D didnt realize that in order to see 'Icebergs' you have to climb hills :lol: :lol:

jstalker66621 wrote:Oh quality...return of the hand drawn map...complete with walkers and refreshments :lol: :lol: :lol:
I'm going to insist that you do one for me if we ever meet on a walk...
Great pics...when I did this last year it poured with rain the entire day and cloud never lifted once to give me a view :( :(


Lol if we ever meet on a walk I might even give you one of my maps :D :D
Urgh to do that in rain would be hard going...well done even though it was last year!!

Owen b wrote:I did exactly the same route in reverse in virtually identical conditions in late March 2007 (just a little bit more snow, but not much, and wall to wall sunshine). Fantastic views towards Suilven and all the rest. It also took us about ten hours. I didn't realise it until I got back to the hostel but I ended up very dehydrated and couldn't eat that evening. Good to be reminded of the route, great pics.

Ah nice to know that it took someone else 10h :-) Read some reports where some people did it in 7.5h :shock: Know what you mean regarding food...we ended up drinking tons of juice that evening too...I never drink enough on these long walks.
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:37 pm

:lol: :lol: great story and thanks for the info regarding Badrallach :) .
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby tamw51 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:48 pm

Cracking, my favourite part of scotland, love the views towards suilven and co. Awesome bothy like a dream!Good report! :D
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby KeithS » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:56 pm

Great report and great pictures.

I thought I knew the area really well, and have been to Badrallach a few times, when I walked in to Scoraig, but I didn't know about the bothy. It looks really comfortable.

I did those four Munros as a round but did them the other way round to you. It was a really good walk but very windy on the top of Cona Mheall. It had a real remote feel about it.

It was nice to read about them. I've got to wait nearly three weeks till I'm back in the area. :(
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Re: In Ullapool -Ben Dearg circuit of 4

Postby kenny3760 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:32 pm

Nice report, I was up there the day before, but only did the last 3 of your round. What a difference a day makes in the weather, I spent most of the day in only a short sleeve base layer.
Well done on the 50
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