Eididh na Clach Geala (927m, Munro 257 what a cracking hill away from the crowds.
I love this area it’s majestic mountains dominated by Beinn Dearg ( Ullapool) it to me is the wild area of Scotland that I love.The forecast was superb with winds on summit’s. I had to be back for a friends 50 th in Elgin so we hoped to get one or two hills done. My friend Diane had not been on the hill this year we both had knocks due to ageing so it would be slow day,
Walk Highlands gives a grand description of our hills but as always keeps bit short for this wee hill. The description is simple as most do not just climb one Munro. Most do the 4 Munro’s in one day which I had done many times adding on Seanna Bhraigh and Am Foachoagh hard going. I am so glad these days are over I can enjoy and take time when out on the mountains.
Eididh nan Clach Geala rises steeply above Lochan a’ Chnapaich; on the other sides its slopes are more gentle. It enjoys stunning views northwest towards the distinctive mountains of Assynt and the Summer Isles. It was the hidden Coire near each side of the Lochan a ‘ Chnapaich that I wanted to visit. It takes you to the beleach between both hills. I had climbed in winter here after seeing Beinn Dearg was not in condition and found a few routes in the Corrie. That was many years ago so I thought it would be a great wander in away from the crowds and work out what we did?
What drive to the hills 2 hours but the views were superlative, Beinn Wyvis, The Fannichs and The great dome of Beinn Dearg and in the middle An Teallach. The wee car park at Inverael was busy, mountain bikers, runners and walkers away early to enjoy a blue sky day. Normally I would cycle in to the end of the forestry but Di wanted to walk. So we wandered the 3 kilometres up to the forestry edge. You pass the wee hydro that produces electricity for Ullapool, so hidden you hardly know it’s there?
It’s a good path then breaks of for our hill. Beinn Dearg dominates on the walk in. It always reminds me of the North Face of Ben Nevis . Is that just me? I know these cliffs well and climbed here often in my youth. From where the path breaks of we saw know one it was another world into the Corrie. An Teallach always behind us watching and the huge expanse of wildness is wonderful. The wind was in our faces most of the way but the sun was up it wax warm and we had no sunscreen. Note to self get the sunscreen in my hill bag.
We soon hit the snow very deep in places near the Loch I went in up to my knees a lot not doing my hip much good. Yet what a place to be. This little Coire is a special place transformed by the snow and the cliffs. I could hear Ptarmigan and saw one later still in its white plumage. It was an Alpine feel today no footprints in the snow just outs few come past the frozen Loch but what a place. Out of the wind it was warm and sheltered.
I like to follow my own way up onto the hill. Then follow looking at the cliffs and gullies. It was more sheltered this way and what views. I took lots of photos and we had a scramble on to the summit where it was very gusty as soon as we hit the ridge
. It was a marvellous view even the snowless far North looking magnificent. We decided not to climb the other Munro time was moving on. We followed the ridge down taking care in the gusts .
It was so windy and hard work on aching joints getting down especially the last bit to the main path. Then down through the forestry ( wishing I had my bike) to the car. It was just after 4 pm. A two hour drive showers and meet for a friends birthday meal in Elgin. A bit of a rush but worth it.
In all a grand day thanks for driving Di and it was great to revisit that Corrie and it’s cliff again. What weather no midges yet! Get out and enjoy whatever you do.