Beinn Dearg Circuit (Ullapool)

Saturday 09 August 2014

26.5 km/1585 m/09:30 hrs

Munros (2nd round): Beinn Dearg, Cona’ Mheall, Meall nan Ceapraichean + Eididh nan Clach Geala (Nos. 55 – 58)

Munro Top: Ceann Garbh (No. 75)

I had attempted this round in August 2013, but had turned back because of low cloud and had climbed a nearby Corbett instead. Today the forecast was promising and in spite of my usual late start I was confident I would complete the circuit this time.

Gleann na Sguaib.

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Approaching Coire Mathair Làthail.

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Instead of continuing to Bealach an Lochain Uaine I gained Beinn Dearg’s NW ridge by ascending the wide gully Cadh’ an Amadain.

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The slope steepens higher up, but I could follow some deer tracks which helped with the ascent.

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Looking down the scree slope.

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Eventually I arrived on Beinn Dearg’s wide ridge.

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View along Gleann na Sguaib.

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Loch Broom with Ullapool in the distance.

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Eididh nan Clach Geala and Meall nan Ceapraichean.

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Bealach an Lochain Uaine.

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As it was very windy on the ridge, I sheltered behind the wall for a short break before I continued to the summit.

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The Destitution, or “Famine”, Wall.

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I even found a miniature destitution wall in front of the summit cairn…

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Towards Loch a’ Bhraoin.

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I followed the wall down to the bealach, further down there are a few scrambly sections over large blocks but otherwise it is a straightforward descent.

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Meall nan Ceapraichean.

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On my way around the 884 m top on the bealach I got a good view of the impressive crags on Cona’ Mheall’s SW flank.

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Loch a’ Choire Ghrànda.

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After crossing the bealach towards Cona’ Mheall I tried to avoid the boulders and to stay on the grassy sections as long as possible.

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Loch Prille.

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Cona’ Mheall’s summit ridge.

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Summit cairn on Cona’ Mheall.

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Seana Bhraigh with the pointy top of Creag an Duine on the right.

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Beinn Dearg’s E flank.

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The bealach and my next target, Meall nan Ceapraichean.

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Coire Grànda.

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The ascent to Meall nan Ceapraichean.

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The craggy N face of Beinn Dearg above Gleann na Sguaib.

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Beinn Dearg.

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Meall nan Ceapraichean summit.

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View across to the Munro Top Ceann Garbh.

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Ptarmigan.

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Dark clouds over Plat Rèidh and Lochs Tuath and Prille beyond.

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Ceann Garbh summit.

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Seana Bhraigh in the distance.

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Lochan a’ Chnapaich and Eididh nan Clach Geala.

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After leaving the top I tried to descend directly to the N, which was a mistake as I found my way down blocked by several rock bands. A look at the map would have helped… 😳

It would have been better to follow the ridge towards Ceann Garbh Meall nan Ceapraichean and then descend N. After traversing in an easterly direction I even came across a path leading down from there.

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After I found the path, the descent became a lot easier.

This photo shows the complex terrain from the other side of the bealach, the rock bands are on the upper right.

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Eididh nan Clach Geala summit cairn.

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There is a second cairn about 150 metres to the NW, and as I couldn’t tell which one was higher I visited this one as well. At home I did some research online and found that it is apparently one metre lower than the first one.

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Some “celebrities” on the skyline: Ben More Coigach, Stac Polly, Cùl Beag, Cùl Mòr and Suilven.

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I walked along the W ridge for a few hundred metres until I was past the steep crags on the S side of the summit, and then descended on heather-covered slopes to the path that skirts around Lochan a’ Chnapaich and joins the main path in Gleann na Sguaib further down.

Last look back from the path junction towards Meall nan Caipreachan and Beinn Dearg in the low evening light.

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9 thoughts on “Beinn Dearg Circuit (Ullapool)

  1. I was looking forward to some more of your posts and this one didn’t disappoint. I love the Fannaichs – more the ones the other side of the road but have fond memories of these too. I love Glen Sguaib – just all that lovely chain of little lochans heading away from the col. Some superbly dramatic skies on those photos too.
    Carol.

    • Many thanks for your kind words! I had a bit of a “writer’s block” lately – this post took me four months to complete 😳
      But I’ve already started the next one, hopefully this one will be finished a little bit quicker.
      I did the rest of the Fannichs all in one go last week as a backpacking trip from Lochluichart, rather than in three portions like on my first round…

  2. A fine outing, some impressive rocky scenery around this area.
    Still fancy a walk alongside the wall sometime.
    I’m also well behind with my trip reports, trying to catch up a bit this weekend!

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