The Met Office forecast for today looked pretty-good so I booked today off and
travelled down to Ardgour/Sunart last night.
I spent the night at the
Ariundle Bunkhouse - a superb independent bunkhouse.
On waking this morning, and looking out the window, I was somewhat disappointed.
The Met Office forecast was wrong - instead of sun there was clag.
There was no mention of rain at all in the forecast and yet I got soaked twice
I tried to stay positive, thinking perhaps the weather would improve in an hour
I therefore set off as planned to undertake the Garbh Bheinn horseshoe.
I ascended the nose of Sgorr Mhic Eacharna. Views were quite good below 350m.
Coire an Iubhair:
Ascending Sgorr Mhic Eacharna:
By the time I reached Lochan Druim an Iubhair, I was walking in thick clag.
At this point I got my compass out and used it very frequently during the next few hours. Decided not to use the GPS today - good practice relying on good old map and compass.
Lochan Druim an Iubhair:
Looking back to Lochan Druim an Iubhair:
No views at all during the two kilometre walk from Lochan Druim an Iubhair to Sgorr Mhic Eacharna
A fleeting glimpse of Sgorr Mhic Eacharna:
Twin-cairned summit of Sgorr Mhic Eacharna:
I didn’t spend long at the summit, just enough time to work out the distances and bearings for the next two legs.
Nearly three hours today spent walking in this:
The clag was worse than it appears in the photos - most photos I took during very brief views.
The descent from Sgorr Mhic Eacharna was quite steep.
A fleeting glimpse down Coire an Iubhair:
During the ascent of Beinn Bheag, the clag disappeared for a couple of minutes
The clag would soon be back but it was definitely lifting.
Looking back to Sgorr Mhic Eacharna:
Ascending Beinn Bheag:
As the summit of Beinn Bheag was also in clag, again I just spent enough time there to take bearings.
Summit of Beinn Bheag:
From the summit of Beinn Bheag, I continued along the ridge to the 696m top.
Descent from Beinn Bheag:
At last, a view of Garbh Bheinn:
Until now, I had been a bit apprehensive about ascending the back-end of Garbh Bheinn. I knew there were a couple of steep gullies but I didn’t fancy ascending them without seeing what I was ascending into!
After passing the 696m top the clag started to lift permanently – great timing
I could see across to the gullies and decided that the one on the left looked easiest.
Looking across to the gullies on Garbh Bheinn above Lochan Coire an Iubhair:
I descended steeply to Lochan Coire an Iubhair and then started my ascent of the steep gully. The grass was very wet and slippery, however, it was much easier close-up than it looked from a distance.
Looking back to Lochan Coire an Iubhair from gully:
It didn’t take long to reach the top of the gully.
Looking back down the gully:
I didn’t have a clue how to get to the top of Garbh Bheinn from the top of the gully. The grassy line looked good so I made my way up it.
The next section of Garbh Bheinn above the gullies:
On reaching the top of the grassy line, I was left with an easy walk to the summit
Easy walk to summit:
Was great to get some views
View towards Loch Sunart:
Summit of Garbh Bheinn:
Beinn Bheag from summit of Garbh Bheinn:
From the summit of Garbh Bheinn, I followed a distinct path to the col between Garbh Bheinn and its 823m top.
823m Corbett Top of Garbh Bheinn:
Looking back from the col, Garbh Bheinn looks seriously impressive – a very rocky mountain.
Very rocky Garbh Bheinn:
I nearly stood on a frog which was sitting on the path.
I ascended to the top of the 823m top, just in case it was a HuMP - it isn’t
Looking back to Garbh Bheinn from 823m top:
I then descended Sron a’Gharbh Choire Bhig back to the starting point.
I was a bit surprised that there were a number of scrambling sections during the descent. Ascending the back-end was definitely technically easier.
Descending Sron a’Gharbh Choire Bhig:
View towards Ballachuillish and Glen Coe:
Now looks like Beinn a’Chasgein Mor will be my final one.
Hard luck to my pals who tried talking me out of finishing on a long one