Hills: Beinn Eighe - Ruadh-stac Mor, Spidean Coire nan Clach, Sgurr Ban and Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe
Date: Friday 22nd July 2022
Company: Myself and Ann-Marie
Distance: 21.9km, Ascent: 1385m
Time: 9Hrs 25Mins

After nearly three months off the hills due to injuries, holidaying in Costa Rica, looking after my aging dog and catching Covid, it was great to finally get back out on Friday.

An opportunity had presented itself to go on a whale-watching trip from Gairloch on the Thursday, so I opted to ascend nearby Beinn Eighe on the Friday taking in both Munros and two Munro Tops that I had not climbed previously. On Friday morning, Ann-Marie drove across to meet-up for a walk. We left her car at Cromasaig, near Kinlochewe, before driving in my van to the Beinn Eighe car park across from the Ling Hut. Having two vehicles allowed for a traverse of the mountain.


Once suited and booted we set off walking. Having walked the track round to Coire Mhic Fhearchair three times previously, the track, terrain and scenery were familiar.

Beinn Eighe from just beyond car park:

Before long we were approaching the col between Liathach and Beinn Eighe beyond which we gained views of Beinn Dearg, Beinn an Eoin and Beinn a' Chearcaill.

Approaching the col between Liathach and Beinn Eighe:

On the track skirting round Sail Mhor:

At the track junction we took the right fork to ascend up into Coire Mhic Fhearchair rather than the left fork which skirts round behind Liathach. The waterfall below the outflow of Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair was as lovely as ever.

Waterfall below outflow of Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair:

It was fantastic to see Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair once more. As no-one else was around, I took the opportunity to go in the loch for a skinny-dip. The water was not warm . I have debated whether or not to post-up a pic but for now on balance I have opted not to .

Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair:

Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair:

Once dried, using a buff as I didn't have a towel, we skirted round the loch towards the triple buttress.

Looking back across Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair:

Instead of following the track directly up the hill, I decided to visit the wreckage of the Lancaster which crashed into the mountain in 1951 sadly killing all on board.

Engine from Lancaster crash:

Wheel from Lancaster crash:

Part of wing from Lancaster crash:

From the wreckage area, we made our way back across to pick-up the path up the back of the coire.

Triple Buttress:

Ascent past the small lochans:

The next photo shows the path up onto the ridge. It is easier than it looks.

Looking towards our ascent route:

Looking back during ascent:

Onto the scree:

Triple Buttress:

I stuck to scrambling up the rocks at the side of the gully as much as possible to avoid walking on the scree.

Ascending the scree gully:

On reaching the top of the gully I had a brief stop while waiting for Ann-Marie to get to the top.

Looking back to Coire Mhic Fhearchair from the top of the scree:

As the next section of walk to the summit of Ruadh-Stac Mor was an out and back, we opted to leave our rucksacks on the ridge collecting them around twenty minutes later on our return.

On the ridge looking towards Ruadh-stac Mor:

The views from the summit were not fantastic as the cloud level was just below the Munro summits.

At the summit of Ruadh-stac Mor:

Limited view from the summit of Ruadh-stac Mor:

Having ascended the Munro Tops Sail Mhor and Coinneach Mhor previously, our next target of the day was the second Munro, Spidean Coire nan Clach.

Looking back towards Ruadh-stac Mor during ascent of 902m top of Coinneach Mhor:

On the ridge between Coinneach Mhor and Spidean Coire nan Clach:

As we progressed along the ridge we began to meet other parties undertaking an anti-clockwise round of the two Munros. One lass asked if I was ascending the next Munro and forewarned me that it was difficult scrambling to get to its top. I certainly couldn't remember any difficult scrambling during my previous ascents.

Looking back to Coinneach Mhor and Ruadh-stac Mor:

We soon reached the lower 972m top with the trig point before continuing on to the summit.

Trig point at the 972m top of Spidean Coire nan Clach:

The "difficult scrambling" I was told of I guess was the final ascent to the summit which the lass would have been descending rather than ascending. It wasn't difficult but I guess it depends what you are used to. If new to scrambling, coming down this section could be scary.

Final ascent to the summit of Spidean Coire nan Clach:

At the summit of Spidean Coire nan Clach:

On reaching the summit we stopped to take a few photos before continuing along the ridge towards Sgurr Ban. I was now onto a section of the ridge I had not walked previously.

Onto the ridge leading out to Sgurr Ban and Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe:

The ascent of both Sgurr Ban and Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe was not that difficult albeit I would say this section of the ridge is trickier than ascending the Munros.

Short scramble ahead for initial ascent of Sgurr Ban:

On the ridge leading to Sgurr Ban:

Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe ahead from the summit of Sgurr Ban:

Chockstone in notch:

Sgurr Ban is an impressive, rocky top.

Looking back to Sgurr Ban:

The ascent of Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe required a bit more care.

About to ascend Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe:

Ascending Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe:

The view looking back during the ascent of Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe was probably my favourite view from the ridge.

Looking back to Sgurr Ban and the two Munros during ascent of Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe:

While it was relatively easy to reach the summit of Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe, what lay ahead looked a good bit trickier. As there was incoming rain just a few minutes away, I did not want to be traversing the final section of the Black Carls on wet quartzite. We therefore decided to descend directly from Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe via a steep zig-zagging path down the scree which leads onto one of the ridges of Coire Domhain.

At the summit of Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe:

Loch Clair during descent:

Approaching the 690m top above Coire Domhain:

I didn't take any photos of the descent beyond the 690m top as the trackless terrain was fairly shit.

The walk out felt long due to walking on lots of scree and then via increasingly long grass. With some relief we eventually made it out to the road where we had left a car earlier in the day. We then drove back along the road to collect my van.

Alas, on reaching the car park it was midge hell so we didn't hang about.