Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
24th May 2013
A traverse of Beinn Resipol (Homestead mountain) starting near Strontian and finishing at the campsite at Resipole.
Beinn Resipol is an isolated mountain that is a prominent landmark especially when viewed across Loch Sunart when approaching Salen from the south-west. Snow showers had dusted the top the previous day but any remnants would be long melted before I arrived on what was a warm and pleasant May day. I was camping at the fine campsite at Resipole and caught the 9.20am Fort William bus. The lady bus driver expertly negotiated the narrow single track road and I alighted at the road leading up to the Ben View hotel about 2km west of Strontian. Whilst Beinn Resipol forms a backdrop it cannot be seen from the hotel so the Ben in the name possibly refers to Garbh Bheinn although there are also views across Loch Sunart to the Morvern Hills. Soon out of the small hamlet I was heading over toward Scotstown but only for a couple of km before taking the track that leads past some lead mines on its way to Polloch.
The track to Polloch
At the cairn which marks the high point there were feint ATV tracks heading to toward Meall an t-Slugain.
Path leading to the old mines in Coire an t-Suidhe (Corrantree)
I had noticed a couple of buzzards earlier, circling a little south of Beinn Resipol's summit, but these were now replaced by the much bigger presence of a Sea eagle. Off track now, I picked up animal tracks were possible while heading generally northwest toward Leac Chlann Domhnuill Mhic Shughaill which forms the vaguely two fingered eastern ridge of Beinn Resipol.
Hills of Ardgour
A guy and his King Charles Spaniel stopped beside me for a quick chat and a breather before continuing on ahead, he was up from Edinburgh just for the day and preferred running up the hills rather than walking.
As I gained height short grass replaced the boggier lower sections and gave pleasant going on the way over to the ridge proper. The ridge narrows nicely over the final km or so and opens up some fine airy views all around.
Beinn Resipol and summit lochan
I had another chat with the runner as he returned from the summit as we both enjoyed the warming sunshine on what had turned out to be a very pleasant day. After farewells I soon made the top and picked out a comfortable seat from which to enjoy an extended lunch break and take in the views. Loch Shiel lay to the North while further east were the hills of Ardgour that had formed part of my backpack just a few days earlier. Loch Sunart glistened in the sunshine to the south and out west was the sea and the Isles of Rum and Eigg.
Eigg with Rum behind
Northern end of Loch Shiel
The Isle of Rum
Loch Shiel meets the sea
A few more walkers came and went over the course of about an hour but now I felt it was about time to complete my traverse. Some of the walkers had followed the path that traced the line of Allt Mhic Chiarain and branches toward Glac Gharbh to a col just north of the summit. I had other plans and took the craggy ridge heading west from the top. Working my way down through some grassy gullies I avoided the crags to gain the edge of Lochan Bac an Lochain from where I picked up a narrow well defined ridge I had viewed from the summit.
Beinn Resipol and Lochan Bac an Lochain
I dropped from the ridge onto the path near the head of a channel gorged out by the waters of Allt Mhic Chiarain.
Apart from a slight detour around a new fence lower down I followed the burn toward the pleasantly wooded glen and onto a track leading back to Resipole and the campsite.
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