walkhighlands

Beinn Eighe with attempt on Sail Mhor

Route: Beinn Eighe (western summits)

Munros: Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)

Date walked: 20/10/2020

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 20km

Ascent: 1300m

Well, living way down south in Brighton I don't get to the Highlands very often, but was rewarded on this occasion by two glorious days on Beinn Eighe and Liathach (report to follow). Two fabulous mountains, on two beautiful days - what more could you ask for?

My route was the 'western summits', but with an extension towards the western extremity of the ridge at Sail Mhor, hoping to get a birds-eye view of the obvious chasm on it's northern flank.

I started the ascent on a stunning morning, already warm at 9.00, with mist lingering in the valley opposite.

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Further on the route up to the ridge line became clear, with the daunting slopes of Sgurr Ban and Sgurr nan Fhur Dubh prominent to the right.

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The local wildlife seemed completely undaunted:

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Having reached the ridge proper, a short detour east takes you to Spidean Coire nan Clach, the first munro of the day, left of picture here, with a view towards the second, Ruadh-stac Mor.

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I made my way along the ridge towards Coinneach Mhor. I'd been wondering for some time whether to have a look further along the ridge towards Sail Mhor, and as I at this point seemed to have plenty of time I decided to give it a go. Coinneach Mhor is a reassuringly pleasant, grassy plateau after all the earlier bare rock, and on the way out I hugged the tops of the huge cliffs of the Triple Buttress, giving an interesting view back towards the gully which would some time later be my route down.

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A little further on a huge cleft opened up, with a dramatic view down to Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair, with Sail Mhor rising menacingly above it.

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But at this point I found my path towards Sail Mhor obstructed, with an unappetising choice of steepening ledges and slabs or a sketchy looking gully. I don't mind a bit of a scramble but fear of the unknown set in, and I decided to beat a retreat. Anyway, I'd get a good look at it from below, from the path back to the road, I thought. Now of course I'm cursing myself for being such a wimp, because I'm pretty sure that was easily doable. But if anyone out there has done this it would be great to hear how you got on. Maybe that would be an excuse to go back and have another look - not that I really need an excuse to go back for another look at this wonderful mountain.

So now, after an out-and-back to Ruadh-stac Mor to tick off the second munro (not that I'm really a 'bagger'), it was time to take on the gully, pausing for the traditional snap of the Triple Buttress.

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As the route description says, the scree in the bed of the gully looks horrible and loose, but hugging the right-hand wall (in descent) you stay mainly on rock, so getting down isn't that hard. It's still a relief to finally get off the lower scree slopes though, and here I suddenly found myself in a much more welcoming, watery world after the barren ridge, refilling my water bottle with sweet, cold water from a stream. I needed that!

And there was plenty for the camera to look at too.

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And, well, who can resist this view over Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair to the Triple Buttress?

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Now it suddenly dawned on me that if I didn't look out it would be getting dark before I got back to the road - and, more importantly, the hotel kitchen would be closed by the time I got back! So I set off down the seemingly never-ending path at as fast a pace as I could muster this late in the day. And guess what - I was so intent on getting back to the road that I completely forgot to so much as glance up at Sail Mhor, I still have no idea what that chasm looks like!

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Comments: 9



Liathach butterflies

Attachment(s) Munros: Mullach an Rathain (Liathach), Spidean a'Choire Leith (Liathach)
Date walked: 20/09/2020
Distance: 11.5km
Ascent: 1380m
Comments: 6
Views: 403

brightonrob


Location: Brighton
Activity: Mountain Walker

Munros: 16
Grahams: 1
Wainwrights: 2
Hewitts: 26



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Statistics

2020

Trips: 2
Distance: 31.5 km
Ascent: 2680m
Munros: 4


Joined: Oct 20, 2020
Last visited: Nov 25, 2020
Total posts: 9 | Search posts