Bagpipes a’Ghlo

Route: Beinn a' Ghlò

Munros: Bràigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, Càrn Liath (Beinn a' Ghlò), Càrn nan Gabhar

Date walked: 16/08/2020

Time taken: 8 hours

Today was to be my first "biggish" day in a LONG time. Having grounded myself in September of last year due to overdoing it and fitness concerns, and then the world being turned upside down in March, today was to be my first multiple summit hike in a couple of years!

I have had these on my radar for a long time, not least because I pass them so regularly. They had never struck me as particularly exciting, and so had always decided against them. Today seemed like the perfect chance to get them done, with the forecast promising much.

With the new craze of hillwalking, which I am all for, and the current situation preventing a lot of car sharing, I knew I had to get to the car park early. I was a little late in leaving Glasgow, and getting there for 8am, I was late! I managed to get parked safely, just, and off i went.

Apparently late start

As per the forecast, the cloud was low. So low that I had to do a double check on the map just to exactly where the hill was! I stuck to the path, and again, had to check just to make sure I hadn't missed it. More proof how important a map is, even at the very beginning!

Where are the hills?

Loving the colours

Eventually I came to the turn off on the path, which was to lead up the hill. Still only able to see a few meters in front, visibility was poor, and I was starting to doubt whether the day would be worthwhile. I know many people still enjoy the hills despite not seeing anything, but I am not one of them. I decided to trust the forecast that it may clear at the tops, with the ambitious hope of being above the clouds (would I get high enough).

The path kept heading directly up, making for a pretty straight forward ascent. It was hard to tell due to the cloud, but I would imagine this Munro on its own would make for a great beginner walk. This is backed up by the path building going on, which will make for a clear route to the top.

hmmm, nice

As the summit got near, there were chinks of hope. I could see the sun trying to break through. Again, would I get high enough. I saw a cairn in the distance, and was disappointed, as the cloud was still low. This turned to relief, as it wasn't the summit! We still had hope. Then came another cairn, nope, got to keep going. Then came another! Relief started to turn to mild annoyance! Where is the summit!!!! Then, as the cloud started so slowly clear, there it was. Above the cloud, almost calling me towards it!

Maybe, just maybe :-)

I made it, and was above the clouds, kind of! It was coming and going, but still, having only experienced a cloud inversion once before, I was delighted!

Time for tune number 1

It's an amazing, yet eerie, feeling, standing above the clouds. It really is something to strive for in your hillwalking adventures. The downside being, with 2 Munros still to go, I couldn't see a thing in front of me. Back to the map :D

Fortunately, I didn't need to keep the map out too long, as the cloud began to clear as forecast. The negative side to this is seeing the amount you have to climb in front of you.


A young couple had met me on the the summit, and I could see them in the distance. It made for a good target, and helped to keep me going as I was struggling a little with my lockdown fitness.

It really wasn't as bad as I thought, with the views allowing for some moral boosting breaks.


Summit 2 was reached, and it was busy. Now, I say busy, i mean busy compared to what I generally am used to. There were 6 people on the summit :D. It was really nice briefly chatting, and I realised how much I missed meeting people in the hills, and just having a chat about hills and weather, simple things haha.

Summit 2

Right, off to the final summit, and now I was struggling. I could see the descent before the final climb, but now I could also see the horrible walk back to the car. Spoiler alert, it was horrible!

The route was simple enough as it was clear, but I do see how it could be a bit dodgy if you couldn't see. It was a case of just getting to the summit.

The final summit seemed to take forever to get to, as I hit the boulder field, my tired legs were starting to shout at me, as were my feet. This was to prove to be the final adventure for my boots of over 100 Munro adventures, they were on their last legs :-)


The cloud kept teasing me. Would it be an ok summit, or would it be an incredible summit.

Looks like happening

It was incredible! 360degrees above the clouds, little or no wind, and perfect temperature. Again, there was a bit of a crowd, but this time they were coming down from the top, so I basically had it all to myself.

Munro Dreams

Days like this, you want to stay all day. The thought of going back down was a really forced one. Ultimately, you always have to return, and the walk back, despite being horrible, couldn't dampen what was an incredible day. The boggy descent off the hill, followed by a brutal never ending path, with the appearance of the midges, certainly tried to break me, but the memories of being above those clouds made all the pain worth it.

All in all, delighted to get back doing slightly longer days. With the winter months coming, it may be a while before I can do that again, but plenty time for winter fitness building adventures!!!

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Occupation: Sport Therapist
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Glenelg Inn
Mountain: Beinn Sgritheall
Place: Glenelg
Ideal day out: Ridge Walk
Ambition: To complete all Munros

Munros: 136
Corbetts: 3

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Joined: Feb 20, 2013
Last visited: May 18, 2024
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