A snowy start from the Bealach na Ba!

Route: Sgùrr a' Chaorachain, Bealach na Ba

Corbetts: Sgùrr a' Chaorachain

Date walked: 14/04/2012

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 7km

Ascent: 375m

Determined that the weather was not going to be an issue for me walking this weekend, I checked the forecast and decided on the easy option of Sgurr a' Chaorachain to add another Corbett!
Edit: Maybe you'd just like to look at the video slide-show I made instead of reading my report? I hope you'll do both, but here's the slide-show anyway :shock: -

The drive down provided me with superb views of the snow-topped landscape, especially from the Layby at Achanalt where I was treated to the following shot of a fantastic looking ridge, which I have obviously taken less notice of on earlier trips. Can anyone enlighten me? I want to climb that!
There were loads of cars parked in the layby here, and I saw two walkers returning - but from where??.....

As I continued down through the beautiful Lochcarron I remembered the road I was about to take being an experience! The Coire na Ba is the corrie in which the road winds up to the Bealach na Ba viewpoint and the track up to the mast.
Looking up the Coire na Ba
A couple of the locals in the corrie!

A change in the weather was to greet me on my arrival at the start of the track up to the mast. A couple of walkers had headed up ahead of me, and we were treated to a very heavy downpour of tiny hailstones, almost frozen drizzle. This continued in showers and lasted until I reached the mast, although more showers seemed imminent.
Not looking too promising.
The next shower closing in!
First view of the summit looks daunting weather-wise! Eek!

As it turned out, the rest of the walk to the summit of Sgurr a' Chaorachain went well. Apart from a bracing, if somewhat bitter wind, the weather remained fine enough for a superb walk along an easy ridge with superb views! Apart from the views west to Skye being mostly obscured by snow, (or hail) clouds! :?
Weather still looking threatening at this point!
The dramatic view down the Coire a' Chaorachain
Looking along the ridge with a dusting of hail!

Although the walk is mainly pathless, there are clear enough pathways on the more awkward parts, and the pathless portions are easy to navigate. The undulating ridge is a real joy, and I found myself grinning in self-satisfied congratulation at having made the right choice for today. :D :D The views from the ridge compound my satisfaction!
Another, clearer view of the Coire a' Chaorachain.
The Coire na Ba from the ridge.
The Coire na Ba and Loch Kishorn beyond.
Loch Kishorn and beyond.

I decided to take the route over the intermediate summit, rather than the bypass route. Not that I consider it cheating to take the bypass in any way whatsoever, I just wanted to get the full view from the top before I reached the summit! I took the bypass on the return.
The summit cairn.
A full panorama from the summit!

A most exhilerating ridge walk and gorgeous views, what more could I have asked for? After a bit of exploring at the summit, (and more photos) I had lunch and headed back. I met another walker as I left. After exchanging our mutual appreciation of the scenery, cursing the biting wind and changeable nature of the weather, I left him to enjoy the summit.
The Torridon hills, (I believe) in the distance and iced with snow!
The bypass on the return route
A last look back at the ridge and summit. A lot clearer than at the start.

In no tome at all, I was back at the mast and I'd loved evey minute of it! Although the weather had threatened to scupper my plans, it held off long enough for me to complete another Corbett. I still never managed to get any decent views of Skye and the Coulins as I returned to the Bealach na Ba, where there were now quite a few folk parked and ready to head into the hills!
The clearest view I could manage

A grand outing to be sure. As I began the scenic coastal drive around the Applecross peninsula it occured that maybe Beinn Bhan would be a future outing for me in this area, who knows...........

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Comments: 6

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Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Liath Mhòr
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Distance: 14km
Ascent: 1070m
Comments: 6
Views: 3441

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Attachment(s) Corbetts: Creag nan Gabhar
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Ascent: 479m
Comments: 4
Views: 2770

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Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Hope
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Attachment(s) Munros: Ben More Assynt, Conival
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Attachment(s) Grahams: Suilven
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Comments: 9
Views: 8267

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Attachment(s) Grahams: Stac Pollaidh
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Attachment(s) Corbetts: Ben Rinnes
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Attachment(s) Date walked: 04/06/2011
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Views: 3562


User avatar
Location: Nairn
Occupation: Night Owl ;-)
Interests: Walking, Climbing, Photography, Computers, Photo Editing
Activity: Hill Bagger
Pub: TT
Mountain: Slioch
Place: North-West Highlands
Gear: My first Berghaus Jacket!
Camera: Nikon D3200
Ideal day out: Early morning start on a not too hot day. Calm and windless making perfect conditions for either an easy days walking or a fairly bracing hill climb.
Ambition: To Retire

Munros: 11
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 4

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Joined: Sep 09, 2010
Last visited: May 09, 2021
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