1024 m. |
Translation: Red peak
Pronuncation: byn vair
Driving to Ballachulish from Inchree where we had spent the night at a nice B&B Beinn a’Bheithir’s skyline promised an interesting walk and a fine long day on one of the hills we had been talking about and looking forward to for years. We parked the car at the start of the right of way to Glen Creran close to the school house in Ballachulish. This being a Saturday there were quite a few people on the lower slopes of Beinn Bhan. All members of a hiking club whom we met later on the main ridge. After 15 minutes we left the track and headed up the ever steepening ground leading to the north-east ridge of Sgorr Bhan. The first 400 m were gained quickly albeit with considerable effort due to the very steep slope of grass and heather. Soon we reached the section where the ridge becomes more defined and rocky. The last 200-300 m below the summit of Sgorr Bhan were an exposed scramble in some places and required attention indeed. Real fun and very enjoyable in the nice and dry conditions of the day. Not a place I would like to be in bad weather, though. Climbing the last final scree slopes we reached the easier ground leading to the summit of Sgorr Bhan where a light snow shower greeted us at the summit. Without stopping longer than for a short snack we headed on over the connecting ridge to Sgorr Dearg but could not get a good impression of the symmetry of this curving arc since the snow shower hid much of the beauty from our view. Then, at last, we saw the summit of Sgorr Dearg and reached the cairn soon after. From here on the view improved. The impressive east face of Sgorr Dhonnuill, the Pap of Glencoe, Bidean nam Bian and so on. The hill-walking club was catching up with us and soon we moved on heading down towards the beallach between the two munros. Down at the col another group joined the procession of ridge walkers, complete with dogs and all. The steepish ascent to Sgorr Dhonuill and the ascent of the last few rocky metres to the summit were spent in the company of many people moving up or down the slope at different speeds and different kinds of looks on their faces ranging from please carry my rucksack (and me if possible) up to the top to what am I doing here with all these weekend walkers who can’t tell a Donald from a Munro. Frank and I talked to a guy from the group we had met on Sgorr Bhan and enjoyed ourselves. At the summit of Munro No. 2 we ate sandwiches and drank tea. With more and more people arriving at the cairn we soon decided to head on. Going due west for a kilometre or so we soon found a path down a steep scree gully opening up a route north into Gleann na Chaolais. Further down, above the plantations, we picked up the path along the stream in the glen and reached the forrest road at a bridge. From there it was another hour and a half back to the car in Ballachulish along forrest roads and the trunk road on the south side of Loch Leven. But it was easy walking and the views back to the mountain we had first climbed up to and then walked on compensated for the ugly scars of tree harvesting on the slopes. Great hill, varying terrain and good weather. What more can you want?
Description Beinn a' Bheithir is the great double-topped mountain which rises on the south side of Loch Leven at South Ballachulish. The two summits are on a long curving ridge which encloses wide north-facing corries whose lower slopes are extensively covered with vast areas of conifers, now being felled. Above the forests the mountain has some fine narrow ridges which give a good day's hillwalking, once a way has been found up through the lower forests.One possible route starts at Ballachulish by the road at the south edge of the village. Go 0,5 kilometre past the school and climb south-west up a ridge which becomes a fine rocky crest high up before joining the main ridge of the mountain just north of Sgorr Bhan. Continue round the beautiful curving ridge to Sgorr Dearg, the highest point of Beinn a' Bheithir. Descend the broad stony ridge to the next col and climb to Sgorr Dhonuill. Return to the col and descend on the east side of the stream and through the forest. Turn left at the first road and go down Gleann a' Chaolais to South Ballachulish. An alternative route which starts and finishes at South Ballachulish is to make the ascent to the col between Sgorr Dhearg and Sgorr Dhonuill by the descent route just described and, having climbed the two peaks, return by the same way.