Hills: Beinn na h-Uamha and Sgurr a'Chaorainn
Date: Saturday 28th November 2009
Company: Andy, Dave, Dave, Kathy, Ruth, Anne
Time: 7Hrs 30Mins


Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

At 762m, Beinn na h-Uamha is the lowest Corbett and at 761m Sgurr a'Chaorainn is the highest Graham. Given the accuracy of OS measurements both could potentially either be Corbetts or Grahams.

After crossing over to Ardgour using the Corran Ferry both myself and Dave drove round to the intended finishing point at Ariundle where we left one car. We then drove back round to Sallachan in the other car to allow us all to undertake a traverse from Sallachan to Ariundle. Before setting off we got together for a group photo.

Andy, Kathy, Ruth, Dave, Dave and Anne at starting point (Sallachan):


We set off along Glen Gour passing Lochan nan Gabhar. The track was very wet in places given the volume of rain in recent days. As we walked through the glen, we were all a bit apprehensive about the un-bridged crossing of the River Gour a few kilometres ahead.

Looking towards A'Bheinn Bhan from Glen Gour:


Walking through Glen Gour:


Cloud-capped Stob an Uillt Dharaich, Beinn na h-Uamha, Sgurr a'Chaorainn:


After about 4km we reached the point where we had to cross the River Gour. A variety of river-crossing methods were undertaken Dave1 ran across the river as fast as possible still fully clothed and booted. Dave2 walked through the river fully clothed and booted. The girls opted to take of their socks but put their boots back on, putting their socks back on into wet boots at the other side. I opted to take off my boots and socks and wade through barefoot. It was ******* cold.

Where we crossed the River Gour:


Our varied attempts to keep feet dry crossing the River Gour didn't really matter as before long we were stomping through bog and all our feet got wet.

Stob an Uillt Dharaich:


Ascending Stob an Uillt Dharaich:


Crossing the Allt an t-Sluichd:


After crossing the Allt an t-Sluichd we started our ascent initially up Stob an Uillt Dharaich and then Beinn na h-Uamha. The hills in this area are fantastically contorted, with many ups and downs to get to the summits. Neighbouring Sgurr Dhomhnuill and Carn na Nathrach are both very similar. The ascent of this lowest of Corbetts involved more effort than the ascent of many a Munro.

Dave storming on ahead:


As we gained height we got some incredible views of surrounding hills and fleeting glimpses of snow-capped Ben Nevis, Aonach Eagach, etc.

Looking back down Glen Gour towards Ballachullish:


Looking across to Beinn Bheag (zoomed):


Contorted ridge from Stob an Uillt Dharaich to Beinn na h-Uamha:


Looking down to Lochan na-Beinne Baine:


Much of the ascent can be made via wet grass or via fine lines of rock. Many of the rocks are superbly twisted.

Twisted rocks:


Approach to Beinn na h-Uamha:



Final ascent of Beinn na h-Uamha:


Dave waiting at summit of Beinn na h-Uamha:


Dave, Anne and Ruth approaching summit:


We reached the summit of Beinn na h-Uamha three hours and twenty minutes after setting off. At the summit we stopped for around fifteen minutes to have a bite to eat and or some soup/tea. The route between Beinn na h-Uamha and Sgurr a'Chaorainn was similarly contorted with loads of ups and downs.

En-route to Sgurr a'Chaorainn:


Sgurr a'Chaorainn:


We all reached the summit of Sgurr a'Chaorainn just over an hour after leaving Beinn na h-Uamha.

Summit cairn of Sgurr a'Chaorainn:


We didn't hang around for long at the summit of Sgurr a'Chaorainn as we knew we had a long walk out to Ariundle and that at least part of the walk would be after sunset. We also had inside information that much of the ground to come was "a bogfest". During the descent it was nice to get some sunshine.

View across to Beinn Resipol:


The descent of Sgurr a'Chaorainn took a fair time. We were however down at the Strontian River and walking out towards the Ariundle Oak Woods by sunset.

Looking back to Sgurr a'Chaorainn:


Looking back to Sgurr a'Chaorainn:


The final few kilometres out through the woods to Ariundle were undertaken in moonlight. No need for headtorches.

Walking out by moonlight:


This was a really enjoyable walk through rough remote country that is without Munros but is full of Corbetts.