Hills: Bla Bheinn
Date: Friday 31st August 2018
Company: Myself and Adele
Distance: 8km, Ascent: 940m
Time: 5Hrs 10Mins
On Thursday afternoon, I drove from home to
Broadford (Skye) where I had some fish and chips before meeting up
with my friend Adele. We then both drove round to Elgol. It was fantastic to
just relax and chill outside with a beer for a
couple of hours, especially sitting out on the pier where there were fewer
We were not disappointed with the beautiful sunset in what is
Watching the sunset at Elgol:
on the pier:
it got completely dark, Adele pitched her tent in a stunning location looking
out to sea and across to the Cuillin while I made us some hot chocolate in
my van. Once Adele's tent was
pitched we sat watching the Cuillin until we couldn't see them anymore and
also looked up to the stars where the Milky Way was quite prominent. Adele then
retired to her tent and I familiarised myself with the route for Bla Bheinn
before also retiring for the night.
In the morning, I awoke to a
lovely view out the van window; definitely a room with a view. After
having some breakfast, and getting my rucksack ready, I chatted with a lass
from just outside Paris who was touring Scotland for a few days after
working at the Edinburgh Fringe. Soon thereafter, Adele and I both drove
round to the Bla Bheinn car park to commence our ascent of Bla Bheinn. We
set off walking around 08:50.
My only prior ascent of Bla Bheinn was in October 2003 on a day of
minimal visibility with no summit views. It was therefore good to come back
and ascend Bla Bheinn to hopefully get some views. On my previous ascent, I ascended the SW Top first before also ascending the main
summit. This time we would be taking a different route, ascending directly
to the main summit.
From the car park we followed the car park track back to the road, crossed the bridge over the Allt na Dunaiche, and then
commenced our walk along the excellent path leading towards Bla Bheinn. The
path follows the burn which has some lovely waterfalls and pools some of
which were tempting for a dip.
Bla Bheinn and Clach Glas from
Allt na Dunaiche waterfall:
Crossing the Allt na Dunaiche:
across the Allt na Dunaiche the path steepened as it led up to Coire
Uaigneich. We followed this path to a height of circa 430m before turning
off to take the path leading towards Bla Bheinn's South-East ridge.
Ascent leading to scree gully:
ascent of the scree was not pleasant but to be fair ascending scree gullies
is never pleasant. During the ascent of the scree it is important on
reaching a vertical wall to ascend the scree slope to the left of the vertical wall.
After a hundred metres or so of ascending scree the gradient eases off and
it is an easy walk thereafter.
back from above the scree gully:
On reaching the gap in the rocks, marked
with a large cairn, we stopped to take some photos.
At a viewpoint cairn:
Glas and Red Cuillin:
then made our way up towards the rocky section where we ascended the gully
in the centre of the next photo. The ascent is much easier than it looks with only
one awkward scrambling move which is probably easier if you are
Approaching the rocky section:
the one-move-wonder scramble it was just a case of follow the path to the summit. You
literally get no views of the Cuillin ridge until reaching the summit.
Unfortunately, the Cuillin were capped in a thin layer of cloud but on the
plus side they still looked great! We were getting summit views while anyone
atop the southern end of Cuillin ridge was in cloud and zero visibility.
summit of Bla Bheinn:
from the summit of Bla Bheinn:
summit of Bla Bheinn:
wind was very strong up top, with quite ferocious gusts, we were not fussed
about also ascending the SW Top of Bla Bheinn, which I had ascended
previously anyway. Instead we decided to head back down out of the wind before
stopping to have something to eat and drink.
Adele at the summit of
We returned to the van and car via the same route. My knees felt their age and decades of abuse during the descent;
walking poles are
Unfortunately, I subsequently had to cut my Skye trip short and return
home due to van problems - a repair on Skye was not possible as none of the
garages stocked the parts needed and I would likely be waiting until the middle of next
week before any parts arrived! I am therefore back home, following a
tediously slow drive, awaiting a repair on Monday and hoping my friends are
all having a good time .
Massively enjoyed my evening at Elgol and day on Bla Bheinn though. Thanks