walkhighlands

A Coastal Wander from Badrallach

Route: Scoraig from Badrallach

Date walked: 26/03/2022

Distance: 11km

A Coastal Wander from Badrallach

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After our efforts walking into Fisherfield and back (see other report), my knee was in need of an easier day. Steve, Nige and I had moved to Forest Way hostel, south of Ullapool, for a bit of luxury after our bothy nights.
For a long time, I’d fancied Beinn Ghobhlach, the hill that dominates the opposite side of Loch Broom from Ullapool. That therefore was the target for the day, but in my heart, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be doing it as walking off easy paths was now hurting too much. Still, at the very least there was the pleasant idea of a coastal wander.

We drove along the little road to Badrallach, parking at the end. Here the old path contours all the way to Scoraig, rounding a couple of headlands in easy but dramatic fashion. At first, its simply a level path across the hillside. Nige and Steve were pushing on, intending to do a clockwise “round” of Ghobhlach from the coast, and it was already clear I would struggle to keep up with them.


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After about a mile, the landscape pushes harder against the coast, rising up in sandstone buttresses and terraces. At Creag a’ Chada, the path has to find its way over Cadha nam Muc which means something like Pass of the Swine/Pig. Presumably because this was the only route to bring pigs to market. Somehow, the easy enough track makes its way without any difficulty through some quite impressive scenery, with long drops to the sea on the left. The photos are better on the return leg, when I wasn’t trying to keep up!


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The steepest and narrowest section has a nice sturdy fence between you and the drop, before you pass through a pig-proof gate and the slopes fall back. Looking back, the route is impressive and looks rather unlikely.


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The lads were now looking for the best line of ascent to reach Coire Dearg. After a chat about times and routes, I found a comfy rock and sat down for first lunch, to watch them work their way up to the horizon. Looking back, the tops of An Teallach were starting to appear through their cap of clouds.


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Now it was time for me to look ahead, rather than backwards. Above, ravens circled the crags, as I made my way towards Ruigh’ riabhach. In the distance, the “off-grid” community of Scoraig sat along the shores,


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I didn’t intend to go as far as Scoraig, as I’d have to go back the same way and that would have been too far for the knee today. What I intended to do was reach the first crofts of Ruigh’ riabhach, potter about for a bit there, and then return. What I also intended to do, was find several spots for second and third lunch, and to sit about and absorb the landscape whilst I had time. The only issue with our wonderful hills days earlier in the week, was the brutal wind and changing weather meaning we couldn’t spend time high up and just sit and gaze.


A small plantation appeared ahead, with the first crofts in sight, each nestled in a sheltered little spot. The other striking thing is just how many small wind turbines scatter the landscape. The map clearly shows the layout of the old crofts, each having a strip of land running down to the see. Most of the original buildings are at the top end of the strip, though some of their more modern replacements are further down towards the shore. Each is quite well hidden and private.
Now on a larger track between simple fields, I just wandered along looking around me.


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Back through the gate, I found a perfect spot to sit on a rock and partake of that second lunch. The combination of sea-scape and mountains is always magical.


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After a good half hour doing nothing, it was time to head onwards. I pottered along at a modest pace towards the headland once more. Above me the ravens were circling, showing off to each other with their weird barrel-rolls. Further on, a small herd of goats were scrambling around down by the shore.


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Approaching Cadha nam Muc again, it struck me once more that I was glad I knew it was easy, the route doesn’t look it! I took my time, enjoying the position above the sea in the sun. The rock scenery was impressive and, of course, it was mostly one of my favourite rocks, Torridonian sandstone.


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Tucked into the nook that forms Glac Garbh, I enjoyed third lunch in another lovely spot. By now, I reckoned I’d killed about enough time to be looking out for Steve and Nige descending as I continued along the final flatter mile, with great views across Little Loch Broom. And so it proved, as I spotted them coming down a diagonal line from near the cairn marked on the map. As we neared the car, the first spots of sleet reached us, once again we’d timed it well.


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I honestly didn’t mind missing out on Beinn Ghobhlach, though it remains very much on my list, as the wander along the coast at my own pace had been a wonderful “rest” day, if 7 miles can be called a rest for a dodgy knee.

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Comments: 4



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test

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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Mal Grey


User avatar
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk
Occupation: Account Exec in the outdoor and publishing trade, amateur writer, photographer and blogger https://www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk/
Interests: Grew up going to the hills but only get to the hills occasionally, particularly for a week each winter. Big love is open canoeing, and particularly canoe camping. So I paddle the Highlands more than I walk them.
Activity: Wanderer
Pub: ODG or Clachaig
Mountain: Clach Glas
Place: Inverpolly
Gear: Bell Prospector Canoe!
Member: John Muir Trust
Mountain Bothies Association
Wildlife Trusts
British Canoe Union
Camera: Canon EOS 700D
Ideal day out: Perfect crisp winter conditions in the NW Highlands where the snow is firm, the sky is blue and the views across hills, loch, isles and sea are endless.
An early morning canoe paddle on a glassy calm loch with the hills reflected in it like a mirror isn't bad either!

Munros: 113
Tops: 61
Corbetts: 20
Grahams: 11
Wainwrights: 71
Hewitts: 116
Sub 2000: 5
Islands: 5



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Statistics

2022

Trips: 3
Distance: 43.6 km
Ascent: 1715m
Munros: 1
Grahams: 1

2021

Trips: 1
Munros: 2

2020

Trips: 2
Distance: 64 km
Ascent: 300m
Munros: 3
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 1

2019

Trips: 2
Grahams: 1

2018

Trips: 4
Distance: 33 km
Ascent: 3020m
Corbetts: 2
Hewitts: 1

2017

Trips: 7
Distance: 92.2 km
Ascent: 4075m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 1

2016

Trips: 2
Distance: 26.1 km
Ascent: 1706m
Munros: 1

2015

Trips: 4
Distance: 30.4 km
Ascent: 1580m

2014

Trips: 3
Distance: 39.7 km
Ascent: 2804m
Munros: 4

2012

Trips: 1
Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 750m
Hewitts: 1

2011

Trips: 2
Munros: 10


Joined: Dec 01, 2011
Last visited: May 20, 2022
Total posts: 4150 | Search posts