Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
22nd July 2014
A wonderful trek from Arnisdale to walk the undulating ridge between Buidhe Bheinn and Sgurr a' Bhac Chaolais with fine views down the length of Loch Hourn.
Buidhe Bheinn & Sgurr a’ Bhac Chaolais are more normally climbed from Kinloch Hourn or Glen Sheil via Bealach Duibh Leac but I decided on a (much) longer approach from Arnisdale to the west. I choose this option partly because I’d read some glowing reports about Glen Arnisdale.
Arnisdale & Beinn Sgritheall
Starting at the small hamlet of Arnisdale I began walking along the north shore of Loch Hourn admiring the views south to the mountains of the Knoydart peninsula before turning inland to head up the wonderfully scenic Glen Arnisdale.
A large number of Stags were enjoying the gathering warmth of the new day while lazing in a field to the side of the track.
The glen is pleasantly tree lined and I soon found myself walking in shade as the glen was squeezed into a narrow pass between the knobbly peaks of Druim Fada and Beinn Clachach.
Glen Arnisdale meets Gleann Dubh Lochain
The dam holding in Dubh Lochain had been breached slightly and its waters gushed forth into the river Arnisdale.
Rising above the falls the first of the two waters that make up Dubh Lochain was revealed, the second connected by a couple of short river channels became apparent as I progressed further into the lovely Gleann Dubh Lochain.
Gleann Dubh Lochain
After following the loch shore and passing a fishing hut the Glen opened out into a wide grassy arena. The high tops of the Kinlochhourn forest were now revealed in the distance with a reminder that I still had some way to go. The glen narrowed again before the path left the rivers edge to take a short rise before dropping to the side of Lochan a' Choit. Branching off the main track a good stalkers path then provided a steady climb into a high shallow corrie below Buidhe Bheinn's west shoulder while affording fine views along the length of Loch Hourn.
Loch Hourn From Buidhe Bheinn
Once upon the ridge proper I began the nice airy walk along to the summit of Buidhe Bheinn pausing for a bite to eat beside a small lochan.
Loch Hourn From Buidhe Bheinn
Buidhe Bheinn and Sgurr a' Bhac Chaolais sit at the opposite ends of a curved undulating ridge. They were considered as Corbett twins until fairly recently as they are both mapped at a height of 885m, a recent survey revealed that the difference in height is just 0.29m.
Sgurr a' Bhac Chaolais from Buidhe Bheinn
Although undulating there are no great drops along the ridge and it proved to be an enjoyable high traverse above Coire Reidh.
Sgurr na Sgine and Sgurr a’ Bhac Chaolais
The prominent southern cliff face of Sgurr na Sgine provided much constant interest as did the steep slopes of Faochag plunging into Coire Toiteil.
Sgurr na Sgine and Faochag
From Sgurr a' Bhac Chaolais I carefully descended through a few crags before crossing the col toward Sgurr na Sgine.
Sgurr na Sgine
I then traversed along a wide shelf created by an easing in steep slopes of Sgurr na Sgine’s south face.
Sgurr a’ Bhac Chaolais and Bhuide Bheinn
Plenty of conveniently placed stepping stones provided a dry pathway across some very wet ground leading onto the south west ridge which eventually led down onto another stalkers path.
From here I decided to take a fairly direct line across some rough ground fording Allt Coire Mhalagain before picking up my outward path next to Abhainn Ghleann Dubh Lochain.
The Saddle and Allt Coire Mhalagain
Sometimes I find the return leg of a long walk a bit tiresome but today I very much enjoyed retracing my steps back down the enchanting Glen Arnisdale.
A refreshing dip in the river near the end of the walk capped what had been a long but very rewarding trek.
A final look back up Glen Arnisdale
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