The Vault Regulars

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beinn Damh and Sgurr na Bana Mhoraire

  Dorothy said you two go off and do something yourselves. That Liatach blob can wait until i've done the Manchester Marathon. I'm not taking any chances pulling a muscle getting up there. 

 So i hatched a plan, in fact i had Plan A for a good day and if it was a bad day then Plan B. I'm told always have a Plan B.

 Plan A, as it turned out was where we went. Beinn Damh, Meall Gorm and Sgurr na Bana Mhoraire. We decided to leave it until 11.00 am to start because the mid and late afternoons were better than the mornings.

 Parking up just outside the Torridon Hotel, adjacent to the track up through the Rhododendrons.

 This first section of the route is delightful at this time of the year. The flowers were huge and in full bloom. As we made our way up the good path the sound of a waterfall fills the air. I would love to be here in times of spate because it sounded great today.

 I spotted a toad in the undergrowth and it stopped while i took a photo. Along the track there are lots of wind fallen trees with the huge root balls acting like walls as we passed. The humidity was quite high, no wonder the Rhodies were doing so well. We started off with our windproofs on but they were quickly removed. 

 Clearing the woodland the breeze greeted us and it was so nice after a mile in a sweatshop. A chap in front of us took a left path which crosses Allt Coire Roill. It looks a nice walk on the map exiting at the southern end of Loch Damh. We took the right branch, climbing steadily uphill. Crossing an old boundary fence the track gets steeper but is still a good one. It stays good almost to the top of the col but due to some water erosion the track is disjointed but easy to follow.

 Strangely as we ascended we passed numerous signs that off road motor bikes had been up here. I don't know if that is legal or not.

 When the col is reached we do as probably everybody does and that's to go and see the view from the other side. There is a lovely view down to Loch Damh.

 Our first top would be Beinn Damh to the left as this was a little higher than the tops to our right. We would come back and do these later. Setting off from the col the obvious route is to aim for the first high point but this is not the easiest track. At a point half way up look out for a split in the track. One goes high and one goes around, contouring. The right split is the one to take.
This takes you directly in line with the second col prior to the 903m summit. 

 The views from the summit and the top 868m command views 360 degrees and in my opinion the view over Coulin Forest rates as one of the best views ever, anywhere in the world. A camera just doesn't do justice to such spectacular views as these.

 It was very windy crossing the col and at one point Sheila was almost blown over. We climbed the boulder field and headed for the shelter. We got in behind the shelter to gain our breath which at this point seemed to be sucked out of our bodies. We stayed 5 minutes or so and then headed back down across the boulder field to the intermediate col. 

 There was no wind here and it made a good stopping point for a coffee and some lunch. The views still superb. All the high tops on the north side of the Torridon Rd were clear of cloud. The view down the glen  and out to sea, excellent. 

 The path up to Meall Gorm 675m and beyond to Sgurr na Bana Mhoraire 687m is a good one although there is a little exposure just before the final summit for anyone who suffers from vertigo. Its not dangerous in respect.

 The top provides a wide summit with great views of Torridon and surrounding lochs. There is also a trig point which i forgot to photograph the number plaque. I will have to go back.

 Retracing our steps we took the Pythagorus route off Meall Gorm, we took the diagonal until we encountered the path alongside Allt an Toll Ban. As we left the top the rain started. Not heavy but the curtain of rain was sweeping in and the views were diminishing.

 Resisting to put on our waterproofs because we were headed into the humid woodland again we enjoyed the rain, it was pleasant, not heavy, not drenching but softly falling. We managed to find a viewpoint for the waterfall which somehow we missed on the way up. The falls crash through a wooded revine of some depth.
With the water now on the leaves of the Rhodies the colours looked pronounced. I took some photos of the splendid flower heads and differing colours.

 All too soon we were back down at the car. We had seen 5 people all day. 

1100m ascent approx and 15k including the satellite tops. One of the nicest days i have had in the hills.

photo's to follow.


Alan Sloman said...

Sounds wonderful, Al
Really looking forward to your pictures.

AlanR said...

A very rewarding day Al. Thanks. I've given up trying to load photo's it is taking to long. I will do a slide show when we are back home on Monday.

The Furry Gnome said...

Oh to be there ... You lucky guy!

AlanR said...

We were indeed fortunate to be out there on such a wonderful day. Just stunning.
It's a bit different today though. Cannot see more than 500yds.

John J said...

What Alan & The Furry Gnome said, you seem to be having a cracking time!

John J said...

Oh, and Happy Summer Solstice!

AlanR said...

Hi JJ,
Yes we are having a good time even though the midges are quite bad here in Kenmore. But we are right on the loch so to be expected really.

The light nights are 4 minutes a day shorter starting now. Oh joy. Roll on summer.

John J said...

Aye, it's all downhill from here!

Phil Ross said...

This brings back some very good memories for me from last year, A thoroughly enjoyable walk and one which rewards you with great views from each high point.

AlanR said...

Hi Phil,
I cannot recommend this walk enough. Stunning views especially over the Coulin Forest peaks.

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