Baosbheinn, again again (and Beinn an Eoin)
by malky_c » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:41 pm
Route description: Baosbheinn, near Gairloch
Corbetts included on this walk: Baosbheinn, Beinn an Eoin
Date walked: 09/10/2010
Time taken: 7 hours
Distance: 26 km
Ascent: 1710m5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Date : 09/10/2010
Time taken: 5 hours 20 min (walking), 1 hour 10 min (bike)
Distance: 15.5km (walking), 10km (bike)
Ascent: 1450m (walking), 260m (bike)
Weather: Warm and sunny
There have been a spate of good reports recently on either or both of these hills, with Donald Beaton, Honey_Munster and Foggieclimber's springing to mind immediately. Regardless, I am still going to shamelessly add mine to the collection!
These hills caught my imagination some time back when I came up to Gairloch to meet my parents for their summer holiday. We did a load of hills that holiday, but not these ones. Fast forward a mere 9(!) years and I was finally on my way up them. I hadn't even planned on doing them this weekend, but the good weather coupled with my wife saying she didn't need the car the next day made me decide to go for it.
I opted to do a variation of the most common approach, doing a circuit of Loch na h-Oidhche from the shed next to Am Feur-loch. I used the bike on my approach to save a bit of time, which allowed me to be a bit more leisurely on the hills themselves.
I was on the bike just before 10am with the sun glaring in my face. It was evident that this was going to be another belter of a day similar to my round of Attadale a couple of weeks previously. Adding to that, it was also really quite warm for this time of year.
The track up to Loch na h-Oidhche is really just an upgraded stalker's path rather than a fully blown vehicle track. Cycling was OK, but there were a few short steep sections where I had to push, and the surface was very rough in places. Add in a coulple of high gates (with smaller kissing gates unsuitable for bikes) and it wasn't the fastest cycle.
Beinn an Eoin from the cycle in:
I passed a couple who were walking up to the end of the track, but other than that I saw no-one else all day. Shortly before the crossing of the Abhainn Loch na h-Oidhche I decided that I was pushing more than cycling, so I abandoned the bike by a rock and started walking. Up to this point I had been planning on a clockwise circuit, but I made a snap decision to get the pathless bogtrotting out of the way early on, so went for Baosbheinn first.
Leaving the path, I encountered some strange blobby stuff which I took to be Star Jelly, but having seen some other photos of it, I'm not too sure now. Didn't look snotty enough!
I had deciced that I wanted to traverse the whole of the Baosbheinn ridge, as the best westward views would surely be from the NW end. Having crossed the shallower boggier ground, I made a rising traverse to the N of Coire Beag to get to Creag an Fhithich. I had heard stags bellowing as soon as I left the road, but now I found where they were hiding - in the shade on the NE facing slopes. The traverse was a bit steep and loose in places, but easy enough, and I was soon on Creag an Fhithich.
Beinn an Eoin from the ascent towards Creag an Fhithich:
A great choice - this end of the ridge is similar to Suilven in that it is a massive lump of rock looking out over the coast with no other hills to obscure the view. Despite the haze, Beinn Mhor on South Uist looked closer than ever before, with the Trotternish Ridge on Skye to the left of it. The coast was also stunninng, looking across Loch Gairloch and Loch Ewe to the distant Coigach peaks.
Gairloch from Creag an Fhithich:
Zoom to South Uist, Bheinn Mhor prominent:
Loch Maree, Beinn Araigh Charr, An Teallach:
Beinn Alligin, Loch a Ghobhain and Loch a Bhealaich:
The walking was easy from here, crossing short grass and flat stones. Away from the NW end, this part of Baosbheinn was less impressive. However, the main summit reared up sharply ahead.
Looking towards the summit of Baosbheinn:
There seemed to be a very steep section which I couldn't recall any mention of, but I couldn't really get a clear idea of the difficulty as I was looking directly into the sun.
Summit again, steep section prominent:
Fisherfield and Slioch:
The steep section looked really imposing from directly underneath, but in reality it was nothing more than a stiff walk, with a couple of optional bits of scrambling. There were some giddying drops you could look over if you wished!
Nobody warned me about this bit!
Back to Creag an Fhithich:
Above the steep section, I still wasn''t at the summit. There were a couple of small pinnacles to cross, again with optional easy scrambling, but before long I was there.
Last section of ridge to the summit:
The summit is surprisingly flat and grassy. There is also a surprisingly easy angled route up from the outflow of Loch na h-Oidhche - for such an imposing hill, this route probably offers the gentlest ascent in Torridon. There was a clear path following this route, suggesting it was the most popular route of ascent.
Easy alternative route up:
I spent a bit of time on the summit, eating lunch and wandering about taking photos. While I had picked the wrong time of day to view Torridon in detail, the outlines of the peaks were really impressive.
Looking back across summit ridge:
Looking south across Loch a Bhealaich, it was clear that there was a lot of interesting terrain to explore here. It certainly explained Kinley's rather strange approach from this direction!
Loch a Bhealaich and Sgurr Dearg:
I continued steeply down towards the east summit, surprised at just how much up and down there was on the ridge. The view back from here was the classic Baosbheinn shot - definitely a hill that deserves to be up there with the other Torridon big boys. The final rise, Ceann Beag was also surprisingly far away.
Main summit from east summit:
Ceann Bheag with Beinn Eighe and Liathach behind:
I dropped down to the end of Loch na h-Oidhche and crossed through the tangle of little lochans down here, aiming for the private bothy of Poca Buidhe. The re-ascent to Beinn an Eoin looked very steep and rocky behind this.
Poca Buidhe and Baosbheinn:
I decided to bite the bullet straight away, and got onto the re-ascent right behind the bothy, trending rightwards to meet the south ridge. Lower down the terrain was heather and boulders (with some fun holes to get your ankles trapped in!), while higher up there were some broken bands of crags to scramble through. I was quite glad at this point that I'd decided to go anti-clockwise, as this would be awkward to descend.
Looking to Beinn Dearg from the ascent of Beinn an Eoin:
Once on the south ridge, the going was easier, through sandstone boulders and shorter grass. There were some interesting holes in the ridge, and the summit looked quite sharp.
Slioch through a hole:
South ridge of Beinn an Eoin:
The summit was much smaller than Baosbheinn, and the views just as good. I stopped for some more food, sheltering from a breeze that had suddenly got up. Despite this, it was probably one of the warmest days out on the hills this year. No midges, clegs or deer keds either!
Meall a Ghuithais, Beinn a Chearcaill, Beinn Eighe:
While following a similar NW - SE alignment to Baosbheinn, Beonn an Eoin is a much simpler hill, and there is barely any re-ascent on the ridge. I crossed a short narrowish section then down steeply to a broader flatter part of the hill. A cairn at the NW end indicated a path down. I was glad I found this, as a) the NW tip of the hill was very steep and craggy, and b) I passed by lots of lovely sandstone pavements that I would have otherwise missed.
N ridge of Beinn an Eoin:
Slioch and a pavement:
Not far from the track, my wife phoned and told me we were going out to dinner. What had been (for me at least) quite a relaxed amble suddenly turned into a sprint to get home in time. I wasn't far from the bike, and once on that, short section of rubble aside, I was able to stay in the saddle the whole way back.
Looking back to Beinn an Eoin on the cycle out:
I reached the car in a face-melting 25 minutes (although this equated to an average speed of no more than 7 mph!), a slightly frantic end to an excellent day. I had harboured vague ideas of climbing the adjacent Marilyn of Meall a Ghlas-Leothaid, but thankfully these plans were now firmly out of the window. Another time maybe!
by metafor » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:51 pm
by kinley » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:54 pm
Perfect day by the looks
Some great photos there, and a tough day
Must go back to Beinn an Eoin - it's the only hill in the area we've not managed on a clear day
- mountain coward
by blueyed » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:47 pm
by magicdin » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:59 pm
The climb down the south ridge was interesting as it coincided with a sleety shower.
Did'nt carry on to do the full ridge of Baosbheinn and dropped down that easy ridge you mention.
Hills I would like to go back to.
Great photos malky_c
by malky_c » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:09 pm
mountain coward wrote:Which is the easiest end/approach/descent for these two for fearties who aren't bothered whether or not they do the whole ridge (although it would be nice if I find I'm able to)?
The route I briefly mentioned is the easiest way onto Baosbheinn (looks like the path up Ben Chonzie!), but the trouble is it joins the ridge in the middle. All the other routes off the NW end appear steep (I get the feeling you wouldn't like my rising traverse, as the slope was pretty steep and loose, even if my line wasn't that steep). Going off to the SE, it is steep again, but not any more than anywhere else in Torridon. If you prefer going up steep stuff, I'd get on the ridge in the SE at Ceann Bheag and do something like this:
Baosbheinn.gpx Open full screen NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts
Beinn an Eoin is more uniformly steep, but not too bad. There is a faint path onto the NW end which skirts the difficulties by taking you round the back to the eastern side of the nose. Another steep pull up to the summit, but again straightforward - there must be loads of ascents like this in the Lakes. Dale Head, maybe? I'd avoid the S ridge. Don't see any way of avoiding steep, loose scrambly bits on that, despite the SMC guidebook making out that it is easy.
Eoin.gpx Open full screen NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts
To be honest I find it quite hard to judge what you would find OK and what you wouldn't. I think I have it worked out, then I read your Ciste Dubh report and find out otherwise! Nothing narrow like Ciste Dubh though if you stick to my routes.
by audreywaugh » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:55 pm
by gaffr » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:52 pm
- mountain coward
by clivegrif » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:38 pm
..and I think you have taken pics of Slime Molds!
by Collaciotach » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:52 pm
by Alan S » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:19 pm
by Bryan59 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:16 pm
- Posts: 5
- Joined: Aug 11, 2012