It was an early start to meet my pal Kalie in Applecross before the forecast weekend storm broke. I had looked at a route and though the forecast was poor I thought we could see what the weather was like at Beleach Na Ba at 2000 feet. The drive down was past big rivers and flooded fields. One of the good things about starting so high was there would be no rivers to cross. There were plenty of deer about and the early morning light was stunning in places .
It was very quiet up in the car park but cold and windy. It was over-trousers and all the gear on as Kalie and her collie dog Islay arrived. We waited out a heavy shower then with gloves and hats on headed of up to the mast on Sgurr a Chaorachain. Here we could discuss our route and see what the wind is like.
It was windy and cold but after the mast we headed along the ridge her you are in another world. The classic Cioch Nose finishes here.It’s a wonderful sight the sandstone and the views into the coire. I love it here it was my solace when unwell a few years ago and 30 minutes from the road you are in heaven. The views are superb Kishorn in the sun, the light and the sandstone ever changing and the huge gullies and cliffs wet and dank from the rain your eyes cannot take it all in.
From here after I bored Kalie about previous climbs I said the plan was to walk over from here to Beinn Bhan. Kalie had done the hill before but not this way. It’s pretty pathless and I had done it years ago and remembered how hard it was. Yet the views as we followed the Corrie Rim were superb the ground was hard work, time consuming but we had plenty of time. The weather had the odd shower it was cold but we were well prepared we picked a route through the sandstone boulders. This is great ground to navigate on at night and I had been this way with the newer RAF Team members in the past. You get some great sandstone but also Boulder fields that you have to be careful in. Yet what wildness.
We then headed along to the connecting ridge that would take us to Beinn Bhan it does not look far but it is to me the never ending ridge. I dare not tell Kalie that is longer than it looks but her and Islay were loving the views and the changing in light.
We had a break ate and needed it I carry a flask now with hot chocolate that went down well and some cheese and jam butties. I also had a wee bottle of iron brew as we sat and enjoyed the views, Then began the toil up the ridge of many false tops.
The sandstone and the Boulder fields have a path of sorts now the rock is stunning so many shapes and colours. As always the views that few see and we took our time enjoying the sun and Islay always in front picking a line up the hill.
We had to be careful I was coughing a lot as the cold air hit me and am still awaiting a scan. I needed more water as my mouth was dry and throat sore. Kalie was going well Islay waiting and yet it was another top and another. Maybe it was just me but I had been this way before and knew what was coming.
Kalie charged ahead and we were now at the summit trig point. It’s a high Corbett just under a Munro in height. The maim ridge is now easy ground but the views from the ridge into the wild Corrie is breathtaking. I had a few thoughts of some great ice climbs here. The great Mad Hatters Gully was a great day fighting our way off the cliff in the dark. Other days taking your gear for a walk in poor conditions. Every day on this mountain is wonderful.
It was then a bit more super food some tablet and then start the journey back. Time was moving on its dark by 1730 but we had some great views from the summit of the Torridon Giants.
We wander back over some awful ground I lost the path but we were soon heading back to the Beleach where I got some water. I was still coughing but we were going fine.
It was a better route back but still hard going all the time you see the mast and think your further on. The sandstone is amazing we saw a few Ptarmigan already white. It was hat and gloves back on and torch out.
Kalie kept me right as we traversed back to the car park just getting off before dark. It was then sort out kit and get some fish and Chips in Applecross. The road to Applecross from the Beleach is awful we saw some deer and I hit some potholes. I was pretty tired when we got back and had an early night with the fire.
The weather has been awful all night it’s raining and windy it will be an away day today, We needed all the gear at times you could feel the change in the weather. The hills are very wet and you have to be aware of the rock being slippy. A head torch is essential as is a winter hill bag. We knew we would be late coming off but we had plenty of breaks to see the mountains in their beauty and enjoy good company. What more do you need apart from a new body.
It had been an early start but so worth it. Thanks to Kalie and Islay for a great day.
Awesome Heavy see you at golf.
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Thank you mate !