Bruach na Frithe and Bla Bheinn are just 2 of the 12 Munros situated in Skye. I climbed them in 2014 during an epic weekend.
It was the weekend of the 13th and 14th of June that I was in Skye with some of the guys from work. We climbed the two Munros, Bruach na Frithe and Bla Bheinn.
I drove there the Thursday before, a distance of 220 miles, leaving my house in Glasgow at 8.15am. My intention was to get there mid to late afternoon with only a couple of stops made.
My first stop was for coffee and breakfast at one of my most favourite cafes, Crafts and Things in Glencoe. If you’ve never been there I seriously recommend it. You’ve just got to sample their lorne sausage breakfast rolls!
My second and final stop was in Fort William to pick up some food provisions for the weekend, sandwiches for lunch and to fill up with petrol.
I got to Skye just after lunch having made excellent time on relatively quiet road.
The picture above was taken as I just turned off the road to Carbost (road below) and onto the Glen Brittle road.
You can just see the Talisker Distillery, the white building with the chimney in the distance.
The Glen Brittle road is a narrow single track with passing places. Not all drivers remember that.
Unfortunately, I had to veer off the road when a car came towards me around the corner.
My tyre caught the sharp edge of the tarmac road and was slashed. The other car sped up and continued on, oblivious to the damage they had caused.
Limping along the road I covered the final 2 miles on the rim of my wheel. I finally reached the Glen Brittle Youth Hostel at around 3pm.
I did manage to get some assistance at the Youth Hostel from other residents to put the spare tyre on. I was extremely greatful for that.
One by one our work group all met up at the hostel. After a delicious chick pea tagine dinner, we settled in for an evening of wine drinking and re-telling of previous hillwalking expeditions and adventures that we had all been on.
The rain absolutely thrashed it down that night. I was in a dormitory with 9 other guys. Usually it would have been someone snoring that kept the rest of us awake. Not this time, it was the rain drumming down onto the corrugated roof!
13.06.14 – Bruach na Frithe
We drove to the Sligachan Hotel where we parked our cars on the Friday and we started walking at about 10.50am.
First up the Glen brittle walking path that leads to the youth hostel. Then up the shoulder, the scree scramble and the jagged ridge.
Over the boulders next where you have to be really careful. Especially when its wet underfoot, like it was that day and we finally summited Bruach Na Frithe at about 2pm.
Of course if goes without saying that on the way down the weather improved, the clouds began to part and there was actually some blue sky and some sun.
Guess who had left his camera in the car… (so the above is not my photo!)
As we arrived a bit later down from the summit to our cars than we had planned we skipped our original plan of having a quick pint of Guinness in the Sligachan.
Instead we headed off to our next accomoation. Broadford Youth Hostel (above).
Some of the guys went out that night for a few pints and to catch up on the proceedings of the World Cup on a TV in a local pub.
I enjoyed some wine and banter with some colleagues from the group who had decided to call it an early night.
14.06.14 – Bla Bheinn
The weather was looking so much better on the Saturday.
We had ourselves parked in the car park at the foot of Bla Bheinn at about 10.30am and were off pretty quick to make the best of the day.
The sun streamed down on us, actually giving us a healthy glow and even a slight touch of sunburn to my bald head!
This time I managed to remember my camera!
It was an amazing hike up the hill.
Quite a bit steeper and with more rock climbing than the previous day.
We had a few chimneys to climb up and some precarious rock cliffs to deal.
As it was misty we actually hadn’t realised we had deviated slightly from the path and could have avoided the chimney climbing.
Seriously, there was us with all our ordnance survey maps and even GPS technology too! It just shows you how careful you have to be!
A step in the wrong direction could have easily led us off the end of the cliff.
But with the mist so thick and swirling it was pretty easy to get lost and to loose the scree path as all the scree looked the same.
We stuck together, which is always the right thing to so.
Even though the mist was all about us, it was still a really hot and sweaty walk upwards.
It was about 1.15pm when we reached the summit of Bla Bheinn.
The summit was shrouded in cloud, lifting ever so slightly every now and then.
Above is the view we saw off from the top of the summit of Bla Bheinn. Of the clouds and mist!
We had our lunch on the summit (we could at least see what we were eating!).
Then we passed around the bottle of whisky to celebrate and laid about enjoying then what was quite a heat!
Here’s a picture of me taking a welcome breather and having a seat on the summit of Bla Bheinn.
My red face tells you just how warm and sweaty it was!
On commencing our descent downwards, we came across the path that we should have come up on!
It was a path made up of lots of scree and loose boulders so going down was a careful pace for me. A couple of the other guys were very quick making it down in just under 2 hours.
I was down for about 3.15pm and the last of the guys arrived about 4.00pm.
Of course just before leaving the car park the summit (back left of photo) was now clear of clouds and mist!
We celebrated our successful Bruach na Frithe and Bla Bheinn weekend and of adding another 2 out of the 282 Munro’s you can “bag” by having tea and cake at The Blue Shed Café!
If you ever get to Skye I recommend a trip there to sample their home baking even if you aren’t walking!
It was an amazing weekend away. I drove back home from Skye on the Sunday 15th quite early as I wanted to get back home not too late.
Of courseI had to have another coffee and breakfast stop at Crafts and Things. A bacon and egg roll this time! 🙂
I absolutely love hill walking. I’ve done it in all different types of weather and I’ve done it in the extremes of winter with full winter climbing gear on and hard hats and ropes and all of the proper kit.
Mostly though I just want to have a day out with a good bunch of people that you can chat to whilst walking.
I’m not into doing anything overly dangerous and I’m more of a social climber for the fitness and fun side of it rather than trying to claim all of the 282 Munro’s.
Although I must have done about 100 of them myself since I took up this hobby at university 26 years ago.
Incidentally did you know that hillwalking at a fairly moderate pace, with a back pack on can burn on average about 400 calories per hour?
So if I count the hours I was hillwalking over those 2 days, which was about 10 hours and multiply that by 400, then I burnt roughly 4000 calories. That’s nearly 2 whole days that I burned, of my daily recommended intake of calories!