Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
31st March 2013
The Lochailort Pyramids, Sgurr na Ba Glaise (peak of the grey cow), Rois-Bheinn (horse hill) and An Stac (the stack).
I had been looking forward to a round of these three Corbett’s for some time. A few years back during a weeks holiday at nearby Arisaig the first (and as it turned out only) day of reasonable weather had enabled a trip up Gulvain but all the other walks on the list for the week had to be put to one side. The clear blue skies of the previous day were sadly lacking being replaced by a somewhat hazy but at least a cloud free outlook. Leaving the van in a small lay-by near the phone box a little east of the Lochairlort Inn I headed back toward the hotel before taking a left turn down a small road to cross a bridge, another left led me along the river bank passing Glenshian lodge and some out building before the way opened up with grassy fields on my right and trees lining the path and hillsides of Tom Odhar on the left. Upon reaching a couple of ruined sheds it was time to find the footpath that would lead up into the hills. It was not very evident on the ground but I was sure it lay at the edge of the trees at the start of what looked like a narrow pass. The path was indeed there and became better defined after crossing a small burn. The path soon joined a wider track that wound its way up into the lower reaches of Coire a' Bhuiridh. I decided to do a clockwise circuit and crossed Allt a' Bhuiridh by the small bridge before tackling the broad grassy slopes of Meall Damh. As I headed for higher ground I was soon into the snow line and picking my way through some icier sections before reaching Beinn Coire nan Gall. I now had a good appreciation of the route ahead and a grandstand view of the ‘Lochailort Pyramids’.
An t-Slat-Bheinn, Sgurr na Ba Glaise and Rios-Bheinn
After rounding a small lochan steeper ground of packed snow led through some crag’s onto the ridge of Druim Fiaclach.
Sgurr na Ba Glaise, Rios-Bheinn and An Stac from Druim Fiaclach
The ridge from here is rocky, steep sided and extends west all the way to Rios -Bheinn before dropping quickly to the shores of Loch Airlort. The ridge stays high for much of the way only dropping off at a couple high bealachs. Before crossing the first, Bealach an Fhalaisg Dhuibh, I decided to don my micro-spikes after a hardening of the snow cover had me questioning the grip provided by boots. There is some impressive rock walls to the south of Druimm Fiaclach which can be admired from An t-Slat-Bheinn as they drop into Glen Aladale.
Druim Fiaclach from An t-Slat Bheinn
The going from here was pleasant although I was glad that the winds were light because there was a definite chill bite in the air.
An t-Slat-Bheinn, Sgurr na Ba Glaise and Rois-Bheinn
It had already taken a good amount of effort to reach Sgurr na Ba Glaise and now I gained an appreciation of what still lay in store.
Sgurr na Ba Glaise summit cairn with Rois-Bheinn behind
A reasonable amount of up and down to each Rois-Bheinn would provide a taster for a steeper and deeper episode while sampling the delights of An Stac. Down at Bealach an Fhiona a cairn was positioned at a point that I initially assumed may be the way off toward An-Stac. But after a not too close inspection this seemed an unlikely prospect given the steepness of the slopes and the current icy conditions. Putting thoughts of descent on hold I headed on up Rios-Bheinn following the line of what is still an impressive dry stone wall. At the east top, which I believe is the summit, I decided it would be worthwhile making the effort to head out to visit the west top, it would after all be rude not too! The west top had a larger cairn and although hazy enjoyed fine views out to the Isles of Rum and Eigg.
Rois-Bheinn east top from west top
It was now time to find my way onto An Stac, I first needed to drop down to the bealach between Coire na Cnamha and Coire Bhuiridh. A couple of hundred metres before I got back to Bealach an Fhiona I used the wall and then a fence line as a guide to work my way steeply down.
Sgurr na Ba Glaise
The start of the steep climb up An Stac begins at about the 550m contour and after picking through some rockier sections it was grassy slopes most of the way to the summit.
Sgurr na Ba Glaise from An Stac
After another wee rest and a bite to eat it was time to negotiate the steep rock strewn slopes to the north.
Northern slopes of An Stac
Keeping a good line avoided any difficulties and as the ground had levelled out I headed over Seann Chruach to follow its north east ridge. Further down I dropped east to meet my outward path leading round Tom Odhar and back onto the estate track for the final stretch back to Lochairlort.
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