Saturday 23 July 2011

Bad an Sgalaig - Holiday in the Far North and West of Scotland - Day 16.

Bad an Sgalaig Walk
Stalkers path south from Am Feur-loch
We set off from the little car park opposite Am Feur-loch on the A832 (NG856721). There is a little information shed, which, although we had a look around, we only vaguely registered that the footbridge further up the glen had been washed away. We set off with bright, but grey skies and good views into the hills.

Lochan a Chlerich and Slioch from NG872703
The walk initially followed a good stalkers path, with occasional information boards about the history of land use hearabouts. There were great views of Baosbheinn, Beinn an Eoin and Flowerdale ahead, and Slioch, over the hills to the east. A gradual ascent to a bealach at  NG873700, then we followed a fast diminishing path into Garbh Choire. There were waymarks through the bog, which helped to keep us out of the worst of the mud, but I would hate to have walked along this path after heavy rain.
Baosbheinn from descent into Garbh Choire - Rafe, Jim and Hal
We descended alongside wonderful waterfalls on the Abhainn a'Gharbh Choire, before following the river down towards Bad an Sgalaig.

Waterfalls on Abhainn a'Gharbh Choire
It was at this point, where the river passed through a bit of a gorge, that we came across the washed away bridge, which lay diagonally across the river. We walked a little further along the river, but soon realised that we would not be able to walk along the side of the gorge at this (east) side of the river (not without scrambling way up the side of the hill above, anyway!).

Washed away bridge on Abhainn a'Gharbh Choire
So with much grumbling and messing about, we set about finding a safe place to cross. If the river had been flowing any higher we really would have had problems (without getting seriously wet, or trecking upstream to another footbridge), but we managed to get across without mishap and without getting wet. Except for the dogs of couse, who enjoyed a swim and a splash about.

Abhainn a'Gharbh Choire and Loch Ban an Sgalaig

On the western bank, we follwed the river down, past more waterfalls, to Bad an Sgalaig.

Abhainn a'Gharbh Choire

The route took us around the side of the loch, through Scot's pine woods and varied wildflowers, over the hills and back to our start.

Waterfalls where Abhainn a'Gharbh Choire reaches Loch Ban an Sgalaig

Route:  Car park on A832 by Am Feur-loch (NG857722), south east along footpath to NG873700, south west into Garbh Choire to Loch Bad an Sgalaig, north east to start.

Statistics:  Distance:  7.5km  Ascent:  250m  Time:  2:30 hours

It was about lunchtime by the end of the walk, so we drove on to Gairloch for supplies, and had a picnic at Slatterdale, where we had intended to launch the canoe.

Unfortunately the wind had got up again, and Loch Maree was running high, with white horses over the entire surface. Canoeing was out for the day.

We had another walk from the campsite, around Kinlochewe, and to the Beinn Eighe Visitor Centre via the Ridge Trail, before an early night, ready for a long drive tomorrow.

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