Grievous Guibhais

27 10 2016

Tue 11 Oct 2016
Now I have to start this post by reassuring readers that this hill isn’t really grievous – it’s just my play on the Gaelic sound of the name Guibhais – in Gaelic bh = v – therefore I always imagine it sounds like Jonathan ‘Wossy’ Ross saying ‘grevious’ πŸ˜† It’s actually a very nice hill indeed and another tick on my ‘Corbett’ list – not that I’m ever going to be doing ‘The Corbetts’.

grevious-ghuibhais

Click on photos for full size/resolution – all my film photos apart from 2 of Richard’s digi photos

One of the spurs to me doing this particular Corbett is that, a couple of years back while I was out doing a hugely long day to bag some Munros from Heights of Kinlochewe, Richard, left to himself for the day, sneaked off up this peak! I can’t have him bagging things I haven’t so that has niggled ever since and had to be rectified!

I was due to join one of Steve Fallon’s superb walks on a large and scary Torridonian beast the next day but had arrived a day early. I was exceedingly lucky with the weather this particular day as it was bright, sunny, clear and exceedingly beautiful. It was, however, frosty to start so I was careful for my chest’s sake to set off after 10 am. A lot of people with asthma and other chest conditions don’t realise how vital it is to avoid cold air temperatures but I’ve known for years that I must.

Around 1000 I went up to my hotel room to collect my coat and flask (I didn’t bother with any kind of pack as I have a flask carrier and this is not a serious hill on a good day) and bumped into the cleaning lady. She was northern English like me and also a walker and climber – long conversation ensued πŸ˜‰ Eventually she decided she really ought to get on with her work and, as it was by now 1030, I said I ought to get away up my hill!

I have to say at this point that I completely disagree with Muriel Gray in her ‘First 50’ Munros book about not having anyone to talk to when you’re away on a mountain trip. I seemed to spend almost the whole trip, when I wasn’t actually up the hill, chatting to someone or other with similar interests. When I’m up the hill nowadays I have to save my breath…

There is a path directly from Kinlochewe to the mountain so you can leave the car sat happily at the hotel in the sun πŸ™‚ The path sets off just after the shop/garage and heads alongside the road through beautiful woodland towards the visitor centre. About quarter of a mile short of the visitor centre, a way branches off over a bridge to the left with a buzzard sign on it – this is the ‘Pony Path’ – an excellently graded route which takes you exactly to the foot of Ghuibhais.

beinn-a-mhuinidh-from-kinlochewe
The views of Beinn a’ Mhuinidh from the path are great!

The path is a little loose to start with and my chest started with its now-usual shenanigans. I blasted it with my inhaler and continued upwards. It didn’t do more than wheeze and scratch and there was no coughing fit so it wasn’t really causing me a problem this time – annoying though. One of the reasons I’d wanted to do a hillwalk this day however was that I was worried about whether my lungs were up to the next day with the Steve Fallon group – it was due to be a toughie!

There were great views to the peak on the end of Beinn Eighe – a peak I’ve always admired…

beinn-eighe-end-from-pony-track

beinn-eighe-end-black-carls

Soon enough, the angle of climb eased and the looseness of the path stopped bothering me as much and my chest calmed right down. There were great views down a narrow glen to Beinn a’ Mhuinidh again – just peeping over…

beinn-a-mhuinidh-over-mountain-walk

Beinn Eighe’s end peak again…

end-of-beinn-eighe-from-ghuibhais-start

My peak had by now hove into view…

beinn-guibhais-approach

Soon there were superb views to the spectacular back of Beinn Eighe – one of Scotland’s longest mountains – a mini-range all of its own. There were interesting lochans in front of the range to add interest…

ruadh-stac-beag-over-esker

back-of-beinn-eighe-from-ghuibhais-start

As I reached the end of the Pony Track there were a few cairns on the skyline which gave a great view to the end of Beinn Eighe’s main peak of Ruadh Stac Mhor..

ruadh-stac-mhor-end-from-ghuibhais-start

I now had the main climb to do and turned to head across a short pathless section to the foot of the peak. This was easy and dry ground with short grass and an easy angle so no trouble. Most people go up the left-hand side of the peak on very steep heather to the left of a burn. I’d originally intended to do this as it looked better on photos and on the approach. However, on standing directly below the climb, I could see it was much less steep to the right of the burn towards the lower of the two peaks – it was also short grass instead of heather – much better. I headed off up that way.

Just short of the summit ridge, there were some boulders to contend with which the steeper, heathery approach didn’t seem to have but these were no problem in ascent. I was soon on the summit ridge by the smaller summit with great views across Loch Maree below.

ghuibhais-to-loch-maree

It was here that an absolutely blasting wind with a severe windchill made itself felt! I didn’t hang around but set off towards the main summit…

ghuibhais-main-summit

It was viciously cold on the summit so I hurried down the back slightly out of the wind and in full sun. As well as wanting to be out of the wind, I also wanted a good study of the great Beinn a’ Chearcaill behind my peak as I’ve always wanted to do it and was considering it for a couple of days hence if I still had the energy – it’s a real ‘table mountain’…

beinn-a-chearchaill-from-ghuibhais

There were superb views to Beinn Alligin and the Baosbheinn range too…

ghuibhais-to-alligin-baosbheinn-group

Incidentally, Richard got this blinding digi-shot of Ruadh Stac Beag from the summit on his visit…

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After a nice sit in the sun with a coffee and a biscuit, I headed back into the cruel wind for the descent. I started off down the side most people use but, in the end, found it too steep and swapped back to my original slope below the boulders. I was very drawn by a stupendous view to the lochans at the top of ‘the Mountain Walk’ – a lovely-looking circuit which I fully intend to do next time…

mountain-walk-lochs-from-ghuibhais-descent

I decided I must approach closer for a full investigation πŸ™‚

mountain-walk-lochans2

mountain-walk-lochans3

Looking to the Fannaichs…

mountain-walk-lochans-to-fannaichs

I descended right to the lochans and joined the top part of The Mountain Walk to its summit before returning back to The Pony Track.

mountain-walk-lochan

Made a bit of a muff of this one – not enough hand shading and I don’t have a lens hood…

mountain-walk-lochan-into-light

Back to my peak…

mountain-walk-lochan-to-ghuibhais

I returned back down the Pony Path feeling energised and very happy at how my day had gone – superb weather and a great hill! All that’s left to say is that the walk only took around 5 hours and here is a superb photo of Guibhais at sunset which Richard took after his visit…

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Stats: 8 miles, 2788 feet of ascent, around 5 hours

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12 responses

1 11 2016
McFadzean

Very spectacular area, that, Carol. Some lovely pictures too. Makes all the difference when you get some half-decent weather.
Alen

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1 11 2016
mountaincoward

the weather makes ALL the difference!

Liked by 1 person

31 10 2016
chrissiedixie

Looks a very shapely peak! Great photos. πŸ™‚

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31 10 2016
mountaincoward

Thanks Chrissie – it’s a very nice, short walk anyway πŸ™‚

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29 10 2016
tessapark1969

Cracking looking day out. Are you sure you aren’t bagging Corbetts? πŸ˜„

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29 10 2016
mountaincoward

not the whole list, no – not enough time left unfortunately. I’m not sure I’d have done them anyway. I did the Munro Tops list instead πŸ™‚

Liked by 1 person

28 10 2016
Paul Shorrock

Some superb pics Carol – great subject material!

I had to smile at the Jonathan ‘Woss’ reference (or should that be weference) πŸ™‚

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28 10 2016
mountaincoward

‘weference’ LOL. It is a lovely area in good weather – strangely, I’ve been luckier in Torridon than any other area for good weather I think.

Liked by 1 person

28 10 2016
Gaslight Crime

Absolutely stunning, JB

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28 10 2016
mountaincoward

Thanks John – it’s a lovely area on a nice day

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28 10 2016
Blue Sky Scotland

When you get good weather up there it really is a stunning area. Lovely set of photos.

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28 10 2016
mountaincoward

It was a really great day out! I’ve been quite lucky in that area with weather

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