Variations on Two Fine Ardnamurchan Horseshoes

Corbetts: Beinn Resipol, Creach Bheinn (Morvern), Fuar Bheinn, Garbh Bheinn (Ardgour)
Grahams: Beinn Bheag (Ardgour), Beinn na Cille, Sgorr Mhic Eacharna

Date walked: 19/05/2019

Time taken: 21 hours

Distance: 48km

Ascent: 4069m

With our holiday coming up I was keen not to overexert ourselves this weekend. I thought a nice trip to Ardnamurchan, for the first time in a long while would be pleasant - Garbh Bheinn Friday, camp at Resipole over the weekend and do Resipol, then Creach Bheinn & Fuar Bheinn on the Sunday. Weather forecast seemed reasonable too.

We drove up on Thursday, catching the Corran Ferry and camping at the start of the route up Garbh Bheinn. Nice wee spot, a camper van parked nearby with an older couple in occupance. Would have sat outside for a bit after pitching the tent, but the appearance of the first midges of the season put paid to that idea. Well, we knew they were coming... A fair night's sleep for being pitched close to the road (although there seemed very little overnight traffic) and up early in a muggy sort of morning with a reddish glow to the sky over the mountains to our east. My intention was to do the standard Garbh Bheinn horseshoe, taking in the two Grahams, then extend to the west to cover the two Simms on that side of the ridge.Last time we'd had a good day to start with, but the summit of Garbh Bheinn had coincided with rain and cloud - I hoped for better today.

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

We walked over dry bogs towards Sgorr Mhic Eacharna and hiked up the grassy mountainside. As you climb, Garbh Bheinn slowly opens up to the eye. A fine mountain. There were also good views up Loch Leven - so used to seeing that view from the opposite perspective. The first summit of the day reached, we could look round at the circuit awaiting us, including the high bealach from where ascent up the northern side of Garbh Bheinn takes place. Onwards, over Beinn Bheag and its northern Simm before a steeper, rocky descent to Bealach Feith 'n Amean where we paused for lunch. The choice of gully up was made and we ascended - the grass being dry helped but it is quite a steep pull up here. At the head of the gully we opted to head over the rocks to our left rather than take the obvious grassy rake in front of us - this gave excellent scrambling opportunities, as easy or tough as you wished to make it. The rock was dry and super-grippy, just a joy to play on. We both took different routes and at one point I saw a figure way up ahead. I was puzzled as to how A managed to get herself so far ahead of me - however, this was actually a climber who had solo-ed up the main face :shock: We reunited at the top of this section, meeting three guys who were doing the horseshoe in reverse.

The start of the walk
ImageP5170297 by Al, on Flickr

View up Loch Leven
ImageP5170299 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5170300 by Al, on Flickr

The horseshoe
ImageP5170301 by Al, on Flickr

Mhic Eacharna
ImageP5170303 by Al, on Flickr

Garbh Bheinn
ImageP5170304 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Bheag
ImageP5170307 by Al, on Flickr

Gully up
ImageP5170310 by Al, on Flickr

Scrambly fun
ImageP5170312 by Al, on Flickr

On to the summit, where we met the older couple who had been at the campervan last night, had a good blether. Then we headed round the top of Choire a'Chothruim for the two rocky Simms along the western ridge. A steep descent down a dried up gully was next - I was hesitant about attempting on first sight, this but A went across for a closer view and reckoned it was safe enough. There was evidence of deer passage, which is always a good sign :wink: We managed to get down safely, following the deer fence for a bit then walking back along the road. Altogether an enjoyable day out, especially the scrambly bits.

Summit Garbh Bheinn
ImageP5170313 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Sunart, Beinn Resipol, Simms in the foreground
ImageP5170315 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5170317 by Al, on Flickr

Garbh Bheinn from the west
ImageP5170318 by Al, on Flickr

Descent gully
ImageP5170319 by Al, on Flickr

Time & distance are wrong - should read 8 hours and 16km
ImageP5170321 by Al, on Flickr

We drove along to Resipole campsite in glorious sunshine. There were not many tents in place and I chose to park near to one where the owner had walking boots out beside his car...thinking if he's a hillwalker he'll be a decent sort. On closer inspection I recognised my brother-in-law, Alan, who told us he'd come up for the weekend to get a few Corbetts done. What are the chances? Anyway, that was a nice co-incidence, we pitched and enjoyed a few hours sat in the sun having a good blether before the sun dropped and the midges appeared.

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

Through the night we could hear pretty constant rain and sadly this continued all day on Saturday. Midges were making up for their long absence by plaguing us in and around the tent. We'd decided that we'd all do Resipol, with a comfortably late start of 9.30, given that it was a short day. Last time we'd done the hill from the east, so it was pleasant, even in the wet, to ascend by a different route. The walk starts from the campsite, though an old oak wood then into birch trees lining the Allt Mhic Chiarain. A boggy section on an ATV track follows before heading into the coire - we were going to the Simm south of the main summit first, lying on the opposite side of Lochan bac an Lochain. This was Alan's introduction to the delights of Simm bagging - not sure he's been converted :lol:

Al, Allison & Alan, Resipole campsite
ImageP5180323 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5180326 by Al, on Flickr

Lochan bac an Lochain
ImageP5180327 by Al, on Flickr

Balanced boulder
ImageP5180329 by Al, on Flickr

Alan bags his "first" Simm
ImageP5180330 by Al, on Flickr

We paused for some lunch before tackling the steep 250m pull up to Resipol's summit - mostly on grass though there are some craggy bits near the top. Alan was struggling with his poles, which kept sliding down into midget poles - not a great deal of use. No views sadly when we reached the top. Did see the smashed remains of two trig pillars. My plan was to return by the usual route to Resipole, but I managed to take a path leading east and had to make some corrections...The descent was uneventful, the rain continued to drizzle upon us. Back at the campsite just after 3 - time for a shower, then an early tea, followed by an early bed on account of ongoing rain and midges.

Summit Resipol
ImageP5180332 by Al, on Flickr

Midget poles
ImageP5180333 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5180334 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5180335 by Al, on Flickr

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

Up early on Sunday - Alan was having a rest day - we thought we'd had one of them yesterday :wink: So we headed off, having packed a sopping wet tent away amid a plethora of midges. Drove along to Kingairloch for the Creach Bheinn circuit. Last time we'd done the horseshoe as described in WH, with a memorably steep ascent of Beinn na Cille in shoulder high bracken. I'd revised to route, starting from a forest walk/bridleway route into Coire Ghardail. There's limited parking at the start, and a stony forest track takes you through the trees to a height of 250m. Onto open hillside on the western aspect of Beinn na Cille - a rough ATV track leads up until it disappears in the grass, but there are useful deer tracks heading up the hill. Once again we had poor visibility, although the rain had faded to a light drizzle. This ascent of Beinn na Cille was far far more pleasant than last time - just an easy stroll on short grass, not a single bracken stem around.

ImageP5190337 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5190338 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5190339 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Beinn na Cille
ImageP5190340 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5190342 by Al, on Flickr

From the Graham summit it's the standard route to Fuar Bheinn and then Creach Bheinn. As we could see little we had to navigate by GPS and compass. Saw a herd of feral goats on the way up to Creach Bheinn. Didn't see much else - though we did note that the cairns of Ardnamurchan are substantial ones. Creach Bheinn's summit has another smashed skeletal trig point - lightning has a lot to answer for. We retraced our steps back to the bealach with Fuar Bheinn then headed for the western continuation of the ridge, around Coire Ghardail to climb the two Simms before descending easily into the glen and regaining the forest track we'd started out on.

Fuar Bheinn
ImageP5190343 by Al, on Flickr

Goats in the mist
ImageP5190346 by Al, on Flickr

Approaching Creach Bheinn summit
ImageP5190347 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5190348 by Al, on Flickr

The two Simms
ImageP5190350 by Al, on Flickr

Impressive cairn for a Simm
ImageP5190351 by Al, on Flickr

Fuar Bheinn
ImageP5190352 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5190354 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5190355 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP5190356 by Al, on Flickr

The way home was marred by me hitting a rock on one of the tight corners on the road from Kingairloch. Fortunately I have a spare wheel in the car, not just a can of spray cream, so I was able to get us moving again - that's the first time I've had to use the spare on the Yeti. We called in at Ballachuillich for something to eat from the Co-op and who should we meet there but my niece Emma, who was taking a group of her school pupils for a two week mountain adventure, having been in Glen Affric for the last week and now down in Glencoe.

Click to mark this as a great report. Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Comments: 2

Getting Lucky on the Islands

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Clisham, Garbh-bheinn (Skye), Glamaig
Grahams: Belig
Sub 2000s: Sgaoth Aird (Harris), Toddun (Harris)
Date walked: 12/05/2019
Distance: 51.7km
Ascent: 4392m
Comments: 2
Views: 188

Joyous Return to Kinlochhourn

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Ben Aden, Buidhe Bheinn, Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe, Sgurr nan Eugallt
Date walked: 06/05/2019
Distance: 69km
Ascent: 4904m
Comments: 10
Views: 492

Kylie meets The Minutemen

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Ben Tee, Carn a'Chuilinn, Carn Dearg - Glen Roy
Grahams: Leana Mhor (Glen Roy East)
Date walked: 28/04/2019
Distance: 52.7km
Ascent: 3220m
Comments: 1
Views: 241

Three Girl Rùm-ba (aka Chirpy Chirpy Streap Streap)

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Ainshval, Askival, Beinn Mhic Cedidh, Streap
Grahams: Trallval
Sub 2000s: Mullach Mor (Rum), Orval (Rum), Sgurr na Dubh-chreige
Date walked: 22/04/2019
Distance: 69.4km
Ascent: 5854m
Comments: 7
Views: 402

Sun in Kintail, Wind up your Tail

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn Loinne, Garbh Bheinn (Loch Leven), Sgurr an Airgid, Sgurr Mhic Bharraich
Sub 2000s: Beinn a'Chuirn (Glenelg)
Date walked: 14/04/2019
Distance: 60.2km
Ascent: 4083m
Views: 217

I Found my Chill on Raspberry Hill

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Meall Buidhe, Meall nam Maigheach, Meall nan Subh
Date walked: 07/04/2019
Distance: 41.8km
Ascent: 2451m
Views: 246

Holiday in Kinlochewe - wind, snow and (finally) sunshine

Attachment(s) Munros: Moruisg
Corbetts: An Ruadh-stac, Beinn Damh, Beinn Dearg (Torridon), Beinn Enaiglair, Beinn Liath Mhor a'Ghiubhais Li, Beinn Tharsuinn, Little Wyvis, Ruadh-stac Beag, Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine, Sgurr Dubh, Sgurr na Feartaig, Sgurr nan Ceannaichean
Grahams: Meall Doire Faid
Date walked: 23/03/2019
Distance: 159km
Ascent: 11207m
Comments: 13
Views: 615

When a Corbett isn't a Corbett - adventures in the snow

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn Loinne, Meall Dubh, Stob Coire a'Chearcaill
Date walked: 18/03/2019
Distance: 45.9km
Ascent: 2531m
Views: 285

Back to White

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Mam na Gualainn, Stob Dubh
Grahams: Tom Meadhoin
Date walked: 10/03/2019
Distance: 31.5km
Ascent: 2912m
Comments: 4
Views: 432


User avatar
Location: Greenock
Occupation: Bandersnatch?
Interests: Solvitur Ambulando
Activity: Wanderer
Mountain: Foinaven
Place: Assynt and beyond
Gear: Satmap Active 12
Member: MCofS
Camera: Olympus TG5 / Sony RX100
Ideal day out: A long walk that thrills, chills and makes me feel alive
Munro rounds: 2
Corbett rounds: 1
Graham rounds: 1

Munros: 203
Corbetts: 132
Grahams: 57
Donalds: 89
Wainwrights: 15
Hewitts: 31
Sub 2000: 163
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way   

Filter reports



Trips: 23
Distance: 1106.9 km
Ascent: 76768m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 70
Grahams: 23
Sub2000s: 6


Trips: 61
Distance: 3090.77 km
Ascent: 206176m
Munros: 271
Corbetts: 16
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 9
Sub2000s: 32


Trips: 76
Distance: 2994.86 km
Ascent: 175243m
Munros: 67
Corbetts: 12
Grahams: 72
Donalds: 81
Sub2000s: 97
Hewitts: 13
Wainwrights 12


Trips: 78
Distance: 2035.42 km
Ascent: 124390m
Munros: 17
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 142
Donalds: 71
Sub2000s: 24
Hewitts: 15


Trips: 68
Distance: 2453.94 km
Ascent: 164961m
Munros: 77
Corbetts: 126
Grahams: 17
Donalds: 8
Sub2000s: 2


Trips: 64
Distance: 2406.7 km
Ascent: 166291m
Munros: 109
Corbetts: 112
Grahams: 16
Donalds: 10


Trips: 64
Distance: 1894.46 km
Ascent: 127277m
Munros: 219
Corbetts: 17
Grahams: 4
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 1


Trips: 24
Distance: 254.33 km
Ascent: 16304m
Munros: 26
Corbetts: 5


Trips: 1
Corbetts: 1
Donalds: 1

Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Last visited: May 23, 2019
Total posts: 1708 | Search posts