Slipping and sliding down Ruadh-stac Beag

Route: Ruadh-stac Beag

Corbetts: Ruadh-stac Beag

Date walked: 05/11/2023

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 15.5km

Ascent: 950m

Corbetts: Ruadh-stac Beag.
Date: 05/11/2023.
Distance: 15.5km.
Ascent: 950m.
Time taken: 6 hours, 30 minutes.
Weather: Overcast with the odd sunny spell turning to light showers.

This was supposed to be a weekend off doing anything particularly strenuous but a couple of photos on Facebook alerted me to the fact that away from the haar-covered Moray Firth, there could be some good weather. Sunday looked good although with a recommendation not to get right onto the west coast due to drifting clag. Certainly as we drove along Strath Bran through Achnasheen we were treated to strong sunshine and the most vivid autumn colours of the year. It was almost a shame to drop down Glen Docherty into slightly greyer surroundings, although this was still great weather by most standards.

Despite our best efforts, we were a bit late starting but the first hour of walking up next to the Allt na Doire-darach is fast and easy (apart from the bit getting out of the nature reserve carpark where it is easy to get lost among the maze of low-level trails).

Ruadh_stac_Beag_from_Kinlochewe.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

ImageCreag Dubh at the east end of Beinn Eighe


We probably should have started climbing into Toll Ban from the high point of the path but we ended up descending to the Allt Toll a' Ghiuthais on the far side of the col. The sun was now picking out various hillsides in strong autumn colours but the mist swirled ominously around the highest parts of Beinn Eighe.

ImageCreag Dubh and Ruadh-stac Beag

ImageApproaching Ruadh-stac Beag

ImageMeall a Ghiubhais

ImageFannaichs and Fionn Bheinn

ImageCoire an Tuill Bhain, Ruadh-stac Beag and Ruadh-stac Mor

ImageMeall a Ghiubhais

ImageUnder the nose of Ruadh-stac Beag

Of course this diversion resulted in finding a nice pool for a dip, which we did (although it was pretty cold so we were only in for a minute or two). Then we picked up a path into the corrie which served us well until we were beneath the final col. We stopped for lunch here as it was getting on a bit.

ImageSwimming spot on Allt Toll a Ghiubhais

ImageHeading for Sgurr Ban

ImageThe Black Carls

Then we were onto the boulderfield/scree slope that makes up the last 200m of ascent to the summit plateau. Although the clouds had moved in and out all day, they were definitely moving in at this point! Would we even see anything from the top?

ImageThe final scree ascent of Ruadh-stac Beag

ImageSpidean Coire nan Clach from Ruadh-stac Beag

There were definitely some views even if they were through gaps in the cloud. It's entirely possible that if we had known the conditions would end up like this we would have gone somewhere closer to home. Still, sometimes it takes a good forecast to get you out of bed!

ImageBeinn a Mhuinidh

ImageLoch Maree and Meall a Ghiubhais

ImageSlioch and Beinn a Mhuinidh

ImageJaxter summit pose

We had been talking on the way up about how much more awkward the last section would be in the wet, and what could we feel now? Oh, a bit of drizzle. The descent back to the col was much more slippery than the way up and Jackie cursed it most of the way down - just the sort of conditions we had thought we would avoid.

ImageUnexpected rain on the descent

For the walk out I suggested we follow the shelf that runs along the eastern side of Toll Ban as it would cut off some distance and re-ascent. It is also quite bouldery and eventually becomes tedious underfoot but compared to the summit slopes it was OK and definitely saved some time.

ImageCloud down in the corrie now

At that point we were back onto the good path for the walk back to the car - something that we just about managed without headtorches, although the last 20 minutes were definitely a bit on the shadowy side. Not quite the day we thought it would be but mostly pleasant enough.

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Ascent: 46615m
Munros: 20
Corbetts: 12
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Sub2000s: 26
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Corbetts: 11
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Sub2000s: 36
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Distance: 1132.8 km
Ascent: 59985m
Munros: 18
Corbetts: 20
Fionas: 20
Donalds: 4
Sub2000s: 33


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Ascent: 58815m
Munros: 10
Corbetts: 18
Fionas: 35
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Ascent: 56245m
Munros: 11
Corbetts: 23
Fionas: 43
Donalds: 33
Sub2000s: 23


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Distance: 1121.2 km
Ascent: 52310m
Munros: 9
Corbetts: 23
Fionas: 36
Sub2000s: 26


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Distance: 1911.9 km
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Corbetts: 8
Fionas: 16
Sub2000s: 19
Hewitts: 96
Wainwrights 16


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Distance: 867.2 km
Ascent: 45165m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 21
Fionas: 31
Sub2000s: 11
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Trips: 45
Distance: 987.3 km
Ascent: 49290m
Munros: 7
Corbetts: 33
Fionas: 32
Sub2000s: 10
Hewitts: 4


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Distance: 741 km
Ascent: 35725m
Munros: 8
Corbetts: 35
Fionas: 14
Sub2000s: 5
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Trips: 47
Distance: 540.5 km
Ascent: 37865m
Munros: 15
Corbetts: 22
Fionas: 18
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 6


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Distance: 471.5 km
Ascent: 30550m
Munros: 22
Corbetts: 19
Fionas: 7
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 4


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Distance: 472 km
Ascent: 32785m
Munros: 39
Corbetts: 7
Fionas: 4
Hewitts: 1


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Distance: 464 km
Ascent: 27635m
Munros: 29
Corbetts: 7
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Sub2000s: 2
Hewitts: 5
Wainwrights 8


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Distance: 839.4 km
Ascent: 47975m
Munros: 60
Corbetts: 6
Fionas: 2
Donalds: 2
Sub2000s: 1
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Ascent: 51905m
Munros: 68
Corbetts: 5
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Distance: 634 km
Ascent: 42245m
Munros: 46
Corbetts: 3
Fionas: 3
Hewitts: 24


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Distance: 738.5 km
Ascent: 59035m
Munros: 45
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 53
Wainwrights 23


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Distance: 512.5 km
Ascent: 42190m
Munros: 19
Corbetts: 2
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 55
Wainwrights 26


Trips: 47
Distance: 504 km
Ascent: 43786m
Munros: 23
Corbetts: 1
Hewitts: 48
Wainwrights 4


Trips: 37
Distance: 378 km
Ascent: 33525m
Munros: 12
Hewitts: 46


Trips: 43
Distance: 512.1 km
Ascent: 44205m
Munros: 19
Corbetts: 4
Fionas: 1
Donalds: 2
Hewitts: 63
Wainwrights 6


Trips: 40
Distance: 476.5 km
Ascent: 40740m
Munros: 12
Corbetts: 2
Hewitts: 75
Wainwrights 17


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