Beinn Sgritheall – Oh Deer

Beinn Sgritheall – 974m
Date: 20th July 2012
Distance: 5 miles
Ascent: 1, 300m
Weather: Glorious
Two Feet Four Paws: Anne, Bill and Molly

We were en-route to Kintail Lodge for our summer minibreak. We needed a shortish walk, just enough to give Molly some exercise and to make sure we got to the hotel early enough for the pre-dinner drinks. Beinn Sgritheall fitted the bill perfectly.

Despite searching each time we have climbed Beinn Sgritheall we have never been able to locate the cairn marking the start of the path through the woods and have always ended up in Arnisdale ready to tackle the hill from the west and this time was to be no exception!

A rustic handwritten sign indicated the start of the path to Beinn Sgritheall which passes through some scattered birch and oak woodland alongside the burn.

This way!

Suddenly Molly shot out from the bracken and stood staring, ears and tail down looking extremely worried. Right in front of us was a huge stag who just stood looking at us whilst chomping on the undergrowth and he clearly had no intention of moving.

It would be possible to miss the ‘path’ up to the bealach as it resembles a thigh deep trench in places, thankfully we gained height very quickly and the views across Loch Hourn to Knoydart gave us a great excuse to rest and stop hyperventilating.

We followed a line of old fence posts up onto the ridge where the views hit us full in the face………Skye, Rum, Eigg, Knoydart. This was our fourth ascent of Beinn Sgritheall and all four had been completed in near perfect weather. No doubt our luck will run out soon.

The walk along the summit is a stroll in the park compared to the effort involved in getting to it in the first place.

Along the ridge to the summit.

Neither of us fancied the trudge back along the road so we decided to retrace our steps along the ridge with a small detour to bag the NW Munro Top.

The NW Top…………further away than it looks
Back to the summit from the Munro Top.

This seemed like a good idea at the time but the combination of the heat and endless steepness of the descent was energy sapping and my poor knees spent the rest of the evening protesting about the route choice.

Just as we got back to the trees Molly spotted the stag again. He had broken cover and was now on the open hillside just above the houses and still happily eating his way through the grass. Again, he wasn’t remotely bothered by our presence and gave us a cheery wave with his hoof as we passed.

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