The not so easy, easy Cuillin!

Route: Bruach na Frithe

Munros: Bruach na Frithe

Date walked: 03/08/2011

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 11.6km

Ascent: 940m

This was our first venture onto the main Cuillin Ridge. According to the books it was the one of the easiest to do. After warming up the day before on Beinn Sgritheall and enjoying the nightlife of Portree, we started the day at Mackenzie's Bakery for a spot of breakfast rolls and tea. There I spoke to Neil one of the co owners, who is also a keen walker. When he asked which one we were doing, we told him Bruach Na Frithe. He replied "Ach the easy one!" I turned to my two companions Brian and Darren(who had completed his first Munro the previous day), who were aprehensive about tackling the main ridge. "There I told you so, nothing to worry about" Fast forward a few hours as I'm picking my way tentatively up a narrow scree path with a 2000 ft drop down to the valley floor, I think to myself "If this is the easy one I shudder to think what the rest are like" I could see my chance of doing all the Munros evapourating for fear of the not so easy Cuillin Munros to do.
We set off for our start point and were ready for the off by 10 am. We decided to tackle this one from the Glen Brittle side. We parked in the car park at the end of the first forest plantation,opposite the start of the path. The drive along the single track road from Carbost gives you a great view of the ridge. We quickly got ourselves organised as the Midgies were horrendous.

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The path stays high and close to the trees and takes you to the lower end of the northwest ridge of Bruach Na Frithe.
The path at the start keepig close to the Trees with the destination, the lower part of the North West Ridge.
This was a nice warm up for the days climb ad took us about 3/4 of an hour. The morning was bright with a bit of greyness to it but it would eventually clear up to give us fantastic weather for our walk. Eventually the path reaches a wee Lochan but continues round to the left but we headed to the right on a faint path. At this point there is a route straight up the ridge but we kept going to Allt an Fhionn Coire.
Going round the small lochan, Glamaig in the background.
Soon we found the path heading up into Fionn Choire and the incline got steeper.
The path heading up to Fionn Choire, with B Na F summit in the distance.
Soon the path levels off into Fionn Choire and you get a wonderful view of B Na F. Now, with hindsight and knowing what I know of the North west ridge, going straight up into Fionn Choire is the best option for those who do not like airey scarey bits on their walks. We descended this route and by going up and down this way is a good option for the not so faint hearted and would explain why it is the easiest of the Cuillin Munros, if tackled this way. We though, were following the route set out by most books and WH and that was to head onto the Northwest ridge. This route is great, and has a well defined path and only a small amount of hands on scrambling. Brian certainly enjoyed but Darren and myself had moments when we thought "What are we doing up here!!"
Striking out towards the ridge from Fionn Choire.
The start of the ridge is nice and wide. Thu summit looming ahead.
The path soon makes it ways round and over some of the pinnacles.
The path to the summit
The path went round the side rather than going over the top.
The greyess had gone away and blue skys prevailed giving us some amazing views as we worked our way up.
Stopping to admire the views.
Darren stopping for a rest.
Brian enjoying the ridge route up
Two thirds of the way to the summit Darren and myself were starting to wonder if this was the "easy one" as the path led us along the side of the ridge with some 2000ft of scree slopes to the floor.
Starting to wonder why this is the easy one!
At this point the path zig zagged up the scree slope, with one hand down walking required.
Don't look down.
Darren working hard for Munro no 2
Darren taking a well earned break.
All the squeaky bum moments were soon at an end as the summit approach took us up what seemed like a man made staircase to the summit.
Stairway to Heaven
Munro no 12
The 3 Amigos on the Summit of B na F
Panoramic Summit View
Couldn't have asked for a better day to be at the top. Fantastic views!
Looking down into Fionn Choire with Portree, Raasay and the North End of the island in the background. Meall Odhar to the right.
After chatting with a few groups that had also made the summit, we took in the views over a spot of lunch. We then reluctantly dragged ourselves away from the views to make our descent along Bealach an Lice. the first little bit was steep but soon the walking got easier.
The path heading along the Bealach.
We headed down the path into Fionn Choire and realised that if we had taken it up then it would have been an easier walk to the summit.
The path down into Fionn Choire was steep but it didn't have the 2000ft drops down one side.
The path is less steep near the floor of Fionn Choire.
From Fionn Choire, we retraced the path back to the car. Up and down in just under 6 hours. For those who like a bit of adventure and pulse raising, take the ridge up but if you like a nice gentler walk, then follow the path up Fionn Choire. If you get the weather, then there's no better place to be!

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Comments: 14

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Activity: Mountain Walker

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