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Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse


Postby Cameron94 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:13 pm

Route description: Bla Bheinn (Blaven)

Munros included on this walk: Bla Bheinn

Date walked: 29/09/2012

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 10.4 km

Ascent: 1300m

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After moving to Skye four weeks ago I had been itching to get out and have a long day scrambling.
This is a route I had been eyeing up for a wee while. Reading the guide book, consulting the map and checking the weather each friday night becoming slightly obsessive in the process :shock:

Friday comes around and I do the whole thing again hoping that the forecast would be in my favour which it definetly wasn't!! :lol: I packed my bag anyway and set the alarm for the morning.
With wind expected to be 40mph from the northwest and gusts to reach 65mph bringing rain with it meant it wasn't ideal but the difficult sections wouldn't be directly in the wind for too long I hoped :problem: I had my waterproofs on for a total of 6h 40m due to the windchill it was bloody freezing up there!!! :lol:

It's not all bad though the ticket machine on the bus was broken meaning I got a free ride down to the start point :D

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From the road follow the path for the normal route upto the waterfall before leaving the main track 100m beyond heading NW to gain the rocky ridge of Sgurr nan Each

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The east west traverse of the Sgurr nan Each ridge is straight forward with easy scrambling and simple route finding, provided you stick to the crest you won't go wrong. There is one short section involving the down climb of a cracked slab (around grade 2) which can be avoided if you drop down to the south 3-4 meters.
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At Bealach Clach Glas you start to get an idea of what the main meat of the route will be like, if you don't fancy the whole thing you can drop down into Choire a'Caise using a stone chute. This is the last escape point before "the putting green". I should point out that the Corbet Garbh-bheinn isn't too far away to add on, I did it last time I was out so missed it out on this walk.

You can appreciate the comparison to the Matterhorn when you see it from the north!
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The usual route to ascend Clach Glas is by the north ridge graded moderate*** I wouldn't recomend it to a walker and I think most scramblers would be advised to take a rope and some protection. It's well worth the effort though the veiw from the top were excellent :D atleast when the clag parted to give me some views :lol:
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Eventually I got a view of Blah Bheinn so grabbed a quick picture before pressing on
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The next section of the route involves the descent of "the imposter" a steep slab with a sheer face on the south west side forming a sharp arete. The down climbing was straightforward with nothing presenting a real challange, it's definitely not the place to slip though! :shock: I had read that the lightning strike at the bottom had made the rock quite loose in places but I didn't think this was an issue.
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Once at the putting green the best route is to climb the 18M chimney graded difficult which leads onto the east flank joining the normal route for the summit. The short climb is the hardest part of the entire traverse with the heavily polished start being the crux.
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:)

After poping across to the south top it was straight down the normal route back to the road which took no time at all. Hopefully I'll be able to convince someone to come along next time come back and do this again as it's a fantastic day out!
Last edited by Cameron94 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby jonny616 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Probably not for me this route but what a cracker. Shame the weather was so so. I was lucky enough to be atop Bla Bheinn in glorious sunshine back in March.
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby pollyh33 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:26 pm

Very very well done Cameron :clap: :clap:


Wet slimy slippy rocks are stuff of nightmares :shock: :shock:
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby martyn » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:25 pm

Excellent report, Cameron - very well done.......and welcome to Skye
Did a shortened version (omitted Sgurr nan Each, started at the bealach at the head of Choire a' Caise and finished with the 18m chimney on to Bla Bheinn) back in August - and I was occasionally on the sensible end of a short rope as I'm still re-discovering my scrambling legs after years of easy living. Living here means I can pick and choose the days so we were blessed with a warm and dry if occasionally overcast day.
The summit is the airiest picnic spot I've yet encountered (see photo - btw, I'm the short fat guy with the green rucksack) but the spectacular views are fair reward for such a setting.
P1010215.JPG
wot? - no picnic table?

Personally, I thought the lightning-struck rock at the foot of the Impostor looked too fragile for comfort - but by then, I had already climbed past it.
Coincidentally, whilst you were having fun up there yesterday, we were about a mile away having an afternoon scramble up the south flank of Belig from the waterfalls on the Allt Aigeinn. We dodged almost all of the showers but the winds were still 'bracing' when we reached the SW ridge.
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby Cameron94 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:29 pm

jonny616 wrote:Probably not for me this route but what a cracker. Shame the weather was so so. I was lucky enough to be atop Bla Bheinn in glorious sunshine back in March.


It's definitely one of the best mountaineering routes in the country! If scrambling is your thing it's really worth doing.

The views from the top were great I'm guessing yours were superb?
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby Cameron94 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:48 pm

pollyh33 wrote:Very very well done Cameron :clap: :clap:


Wet slimy slippy rocks are stuff of nightmares :shock: :shock:


Cheeps Polly
The rock was grippy enough for the most parts anything that wasn't gabro was a pain though :lol:
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby Bod » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:55 pm

Got this in my sights too Cameron, on the right day with the right company I'm going for it. Got it pencilled in with a good friend of mine when we can get our calendars to match. Great report, nice to see it posted, cheers :D :D :clap:
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby Cameron94 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:24 pm

martyn wrote:Excellent report, Cameron - very well done.......and welcome to Skye
Did a shortened version (omitted Sgurr nan Each, started at the bealach at the head of Choire a' Caise and finished with the 18m chimney on to Bla Bheinn) back in August - and I was occasionally on the sensible end of a short rope as I'm still re-discovering my scrambling legs after years of easy living. Living here means I can pick and choose the days so we were blessed with a warm and dry if occasionally overcast day.
The summit is the airiest picnic spot I've yet encountered (see photo - btw, I'm the short fat guy with the green rucksack) but the spectacular views are fair reward for such a setting.
P1010215.JPG

Personally, I thought the lightning-struck rock at the foot of the Impostor looked too fragile for comfort - but by then, I had already climbed past it.
Coincidentally, whilst you were having fun up there yesterday, we were about a mile away having an afternoon scramble up the south flank of Belig from the waterfalls on the Allt Aigeinn. We dodged almost all of the showers but the winds were still 'bracing' when we reached the SW ridge.



Thanks for the welcome Martyn. A shorter version of the route would be on the cards as a half day type of walk. I love it when the weather presents a wee challenge it adds something to it that I can't put my finger on. I reckon most scramblers would be best having a rope with them. I thought the foot of it was quite solid for the time being but heavy trafic and winter could break it up quite badly.

What time did you head out at? From 7.30 till 8.40/50 I was being rained on then it was just showers. From 12 onwards it was dry though :)
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby Cameron94 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:34 pm

Bod wrote:Got this in my sights too Cameron, on the right day with the right company I'm going for it. Got it pencilled in with a good friend of mine when we can get our calendars to match. Great report, nice to see it posted, cheers :D :D :clap:


Thanks bod!
You should go for it when you get the chance. It's on my winter ticklist but at grade 4 it's going to have to wait a while.
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby rocket-ron » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:38 pm

Well done Cameron. I have had my eye on this for some time to do. Done bla bheinn twice now. will head up next year now to do it the way you did it
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby Cameron94 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:02 pm

rocket-ron wrote:Well done Cameron. I have had my eye on this for some time to do. Done bla bheinn twice now. will head up next year now to do it the way you did it


Cheers Ron. You won't be disappointed
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby martyn » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:18 am

Hi Cameron,
Yep, we're softies - we dodged the worst of the showers, courtesy of a leisurely start-time.......we parked at the head of Loch Slapin at about 1pm and were back in The Blue Shed Cafe at Torrin for coffee and cake (highly recommended) by 4.30pm.
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby Cameron94 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:53 am

I was up and away sharp, mainly because the bus runs at 7.25 :lol:
I'll no doubt be down that way again quite soon I'll be sure to pop in next time.
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby foggieclimber » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:01 am

Well done. I hope to do this route sometime too but hopefully on a blue-sky day :).
Think you deserved something nicer than a Pot Noodle after that 8)
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Re: Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse

Postby malky_c » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:33 am

Amazing effort in the weather conditions :D . I'd love to do this, but doubt I'd be up there solo even on a nice day. It is one of two of the classic Skye routes that I really want to do but haven't got around to (the Dubhs ridge being the other).
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