Beinn Alligin

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

11.4 km/1182 m/07:00 hrs

I was going to climb Beinn Alligin in a clockwise direction, saving the best (the Horns) for last, and started off on the standard route from the car park by the bridge over the Abhainn Coire Mhic Nòbuil.

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Looking across to the Eag Dubh and the Horns of Alligin.

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Close-up of the Horns.

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I followed the path until it enters Coire nan Laogh.

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A few years ago I found out about a more interesting route, and since then I have never used the eroded path up Coire nan Laogh again. At this distinctive boulder I left the main path and walked on a deer track/path in a southerly direction towards the “nose” of Na Fasreidhnean.

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There I picked up an even clearer path that winds its way up the crest of Na Fasreidhnean.

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Upper Loch Torridon.

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The scrambling on the rough sandstone is easy, there are various route options and plenty of good handholds.

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The standard ascent via Coire nan Laogh.

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Upper Loch Torridon, with Skye just visible in the distance.

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Coire nan Laogh – the views from the eroded path are limited, and the scrambling on Na Fasreidhnean is much more fun!

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It was already very hot at this time of day, and I rolled up my sleeves – later in the evening I found that I had got sunburn on my arms…

The upper section of Na Fasreidhnean.

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The Horns of Alligin, and Beinn Dearg on the right.

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Beinn Eighe and Liathach.

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Walkers at the summit of Tom na Gruagaich, the first of Beinn Alligin’s two Munros.

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Loch Damh on the left.

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Looking W to Skye.

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I was being watched…

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Tom na Gruagaich on the right.

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Gairloch (zoomed).

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Baosbheinn.

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N Skye.

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On my way to the summit I came across this “bookshelf”. Someone must have been very bored 😆

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The way ahead, and the second Munro Sgùrr Mòr on the right.

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The Horns of Alligin, and Beinn Dearg.

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Beinn Eighe.

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Tom na Gruagaich trig point.

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Sgùrr Mòr.

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Beinn Dearg.

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View from the ridge to Eag Dubh, the “Black Cleft”.

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On the way to the second Munro.

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Baosbheinn.

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NW towards Gairloch.

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View back from the ascent to Sgùrr Mòr, Eag Dubh in the foreground.

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Sgùrr Mòr summit cairn.

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The Horns with Beinn Dearg behind.

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Slioch.

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From Sgùrr Mòr a steep path leads down to the first of the Horns.

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Again, there are lots of handholds and the scrambling is straightforward.

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Looking back to the descent from Sgùrr Mòr.

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Baosbheinn.

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On the first Horn.

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On to the second one…

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… and down to the last one.

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Stùc Loch na Cabhaig, the N top of Beinn Dearg.

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Beinn Dearg.

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Descent from the last Horn.

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Looking back to the last of the Horns.

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Baosbheinn.

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Sgùrr Mòr.

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Liathach.

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Coire MhicNòbaill.

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Sgùrr Mòr and the Horns of Alligin.

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Beinn Dearg.

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Beinn Eighe.

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The walk back through the forest in the late afternoon sun was a relaxing end to what was probably my most memorable day in the hills in 2012.

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(Sorry for the excessive number of photos, I’m afraid I got carried away a bit!)

During my walk I had considered booking another night at the hostel and climbing Beinn Dearg the next day, but when I stopped at the YH to hand in the map I had borrowed, I looked at the weather forecast and it was awful. Although I found that hard to believe after a day like this, I decided to drive home – and really, past Garve I entered thick fog, and even in Inverness visibility was down to a few metres.

Altogether it was a great holiday, apart from the day I drove from Mull to Fort William and the first day of my backpacking trip from Fersit to Loch Treig I had perfect weather. I managed to climb the last three Munros before my final one, although my enthusiasm was seriously dampened when I informed my guide for the InPin that I was ready for it now, just to be told that it was too late in the year now and the best time would be May to September 😥

The complete Tranter’s Round is still high on my To-Do-List, but in the meantime I included part of it (the Mamores Ridge) in my 2013 TGO Challenge Route.

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9 thoughts on “Beinn Alligin

  1. Excellent photos again, really like the one looking back to the descent from Sgùrr Mòr, gives a nice sense of scale.
    Will have to try your ascent route next time I go, although my last descent down Coire nan Laogh was much improved as there has been a lot of work building a pathway. If people stick to it then hopfully the signs of erosion will diminish over the next few years.

    • Good to hear that some work has been done to the path in Coire nan Laogh, I had noticed that the path on the way to the coire had been improved as well (now the whole round can be done with dry feet!).

      • An easy but very scenic route leads through Glen Affric (from the car park at the road end to Morvich/Shiel Bridge). It’s all on good tracks and can be done in one (long) day or with an overnight camp or a stay at Alltbeithe YH.

        A very popular, longer route goes from Glenfinnan to Shiel Bridge, you could stay in bothies or camp, and don’t miss out on a visit to Inverie (Bunkhouse or camp on Long Beach)! Some sections are a bit rougher and can be quite boggy, but the scenery makes it all worthwhile 😉

        Letterewe/Fisherfield has some great options as well, you can start from Poolewe, Kinlochewe or Corrie Hallie and just make your way through the area on mainly good paths. Shenavall bothy is always worth a visit!

        If you feel more comfortable on a waymarked trail, then the West Highland Way might be a good idea. I haven’t walked it completely myself, only the sections from Victoria Bridge to Fort William, but it is probably a good introduction to walking in the Highlands 🙂

  2. You really do get good weather don’t you (I’m jealous). Which way would you say the scrambling of The Horns would be easiest for someone who doesn’t like steep descents? I was originally thinking the way you went there but the descent from the ‘first horn’ at the end looks pretty awkward!
    Carol.

    • I always did the walk in this direction (clockwise), so I can’t speak from my own experience, but I have heard from some people that they prefer the other way round to get the Horns “out of the way” first. The descents are not that steep really, there are almost always several routes to choose from, as easy or as hard as you like 🙂

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