I had come over to the West for a hill day with a friend who lives on the Applecross Peninsula. I love the Corbett Beinn Damh : ‘hill of the stag’ it’s a classic mountain and one I have done several times. Its a favourite of Kalie as well so that was the plan the forecast was good!
It’s a well documented hill in the Torridon area and a lot easier day than the big Torridon Classics of Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Eighe. It’s starts from the Torridon Inn and parking is available. From here the route is through the wonderful Caledonian pines on a great footpath out of the forest and onto the main ridge.
The path is excellent but sadly getting eroded by mountain bikes in places. There has to be an action plan for this erosion as it in places is getting worse. The midges were wild and we dare not stop. Despite our efforts they were everywhere in your ears your nose and biting a lot despite sprays and midgy net. I had forgotten how awful they can be. Kalie was laughing at my complaining (my threshold for midges is low ) and she seemed to cope so well as I retreated into my midgy hell. She had promised a day of sunshine and a breeze. The agreed forecast was for sunshine after midday Kalie promised it would clear but I had swallowed so many midges I coughed all the way up despite my midges net. Kalie was going great I would have run away but she kept smiling so it was onwards and slowly upwards.
We had Islay the collie with us up front no bother for her and the path was busy. I was even over taken by a 9 month baby on the steep part just below the ridge. Kalie loves this hill there was to be no retreat and wanted to climb to her favourite viewpoint away from the crowds. She was on a mission along with Islay and I just had to keep going.
We had a chat with the couple with the baby from Newcastle enjoying their banter and enthusiasm and the breeze when we reached the ridge. Then we headed up onto the broad ridge; from the far side there are on a good day great views of Loch Damh, Kishorn and the Applecross hills, backed by Skye and the sea. Not today it was misty. From here it is possible to make an hour long detour to the summit Sgurr na Bana Mhoraire – well worth the effort in good weather; the path is clear over the intervening peak with one steep section on the final climb beyond (out of sight from the bealach).
We hardly had any views but the steep cliffs cleared briefly and we got the occasional views. This is the haunt of goats but not today we saw a bird of prey but could not work out what it was.
The heather was in bloom so colourful and there were bees working hard on the collecting the nectar.
We had a long stop on the summit no midges a wee snooze waiting for the weather to clear but it did not. The Trig point is made of the local sand stone and is a classic cairn. Occasional glimpses of the loch and the hills and then the clouds came in.
We set off down the midges were not that bad and were soon back at the car park where we had a soft drink. It was then on to Sheildaig to the cafe for cake and a brew and back to Kalie’s joining the camper vans along the tight single track roads.
It was back for a shower and then a great dinner thanks Kalie. Then we went up to her other viewpoint to see the sunset ask me was there any midges ???
Thanks for a great walk lovely to be out on the West and I think the West Coast midges have had there fill of me. I will be back thanks Kalie sorry for my winging!
Please be aware of ticks there are lots about well worth checking you and your animals wherever you are just now .
To a midge
You wee buggers
You drive me mad
Getting everywhere and making me sad.
Up my nose and in my hair
How did you get there?
Nowhere is safe from their bite.
Ankles, legs, ears, even eyes.
They at times make a grown man cry.
There is no answer to the midge
Such is life and then there’s the itch!
You canny stop them when they bite
Whatever you try it’s not worth sh—te.
The curse of Scotland these wee pests.
I tried and tried they always come out best.
Yet they still drive me to tears!
I must man up is the shout.
But when they bite I still want to run about.
You would think by now I be used to them?
No chance at all getting bitten on every Ben.
We pray for that wind that never comes.
To disperse these buggers to another land.
So the moral to this tale is?
We are stuck with midge get used to it !