|Bla Bheinn - from the John Muir Trust car park|
Another glorious day on the West Coast of Scotland - the forecast was for 25 degrees again! - so with plenty of water in our packs, we made an early start for an attempt on Bla bheinn - a potential first Munro for grandson #1!
Jim and I had been this way up Bla Bheinn before - we remembered how much we'd enjoyed the scrambling - easy but exciting (on the route we chose!) - and great views of the main Cuillin ridge from the summit - not to far and not too high. Plus we'd had a close up of a golden eagle on our descent!
|Bla Bheinn and Garbh-bheinn from near the start of the walk|
We weren't just getting away early to avoid the worst of the heat. Everywhere had been very busy and we had a feeling that the recently extended John Muir Trust car park at the foot of our rocky objective could be full if we left later. Good job we did set off in good time - we got the second to last car parking space, and the last place was snapped up a few moments after we pulled in
|The approach to Bla Bheinn beside Allt na Dunaiche|
Packs and boots donned - off we go. The views were awe-inspiring - especially for a newbie - but we couldn't have wished for a more beautiful day to be in such a grand setting.
|Waterfalls on Allt na Dunaiche with Bla Bheinn above|
Even this early in the day, it was hot! Hats were dipped in the burn...
|Waterfalls on Allt na Dunaiche|
The views just kept on getting better and better. The dark of the gabbro and basalt rocks, stark and clear against that azure sky - it didn't feel quite real...
|Nearing Coire Uaigneich - ascent of Bla Bheinn|
The path became a bit rougher as we climbed into Coire Uaigneich, and once the ascent relented and we got our breaths back, the view just took it away again...
|Looking back (east) from ascent into Coire Uaigneich|
Views to Red Cuillin over Loch Slapin
|Views south east over Loch Fionna-choire with Sleat Peninsular beyond to a distant Knoydart|
from ascent of Bla Bheinn
|A few scrambly bits - ascent of Bla Bheinn|
Over lunch, we discussed routes and decided to have a scramble about in the rocks to the right (N) of the main path up - initially the path is rough and a bit of a scree slog - so we looked out and spied a good line up a couple of little gullies - if it got too much for anyone, we only had to traverse a few metres left to get back on the main path.
|A few more scrambly bits - ascent of Bla Bheinn|
Off we go... It was fun.
|Ascent of Bla Bheinn - views back (south east) over Loch Fionna-choire to Sleat Peninsula|
Once at the top of the gullies, grandson #1 was keen for more. It had been easy scrambling so far, on that wonderful sticky Skye gabbro - so we agreed to make our way up the next craggy bit.
|That way? - ascent of Bla Bheinn|
I was in the front, with grandson and son behind, moving diagonally across the hillside, a scrambly bit followed by a grassy terrace - with our daughter-in-law and Jim bringing up the rear.
|A scrambly bit too far? - ascent of Bla Bheinn|
I contoured my way across the hillside to safer ground with the youngest member of the team and then we went back down the path to the terrace Jim was on. Our son scrambled down directly to his dad.
|Jims ear! - Bla Bheinn|
Jim's left ear was hanging off!
|On the way to the hospital - descent from Bla Bheinn, Coire Uaigneich|
Jim seemed fine in himself, trotting along quite happily - we had a few comments from other walkers coming up the path - bandages and blood can do that!
|Views north east across Inner Sound from Broadford, Skye|
Jim was fine when we went back to pick him up from the hospital, laughing and joking - trying to make grandson #1 feel better (he thought it was his fault as it was him who had dislodged the rock, but it could have been any one of us).
|Sunset from Glen Nevis|
Jim was well enough for an evening saunter beside the River Nevis when we got back to the campsite - enjoying the sunset.
We'd certainly had an interesting day...
And it hadn't put the youngster off - he's still wanting to go up Ben Nevis later in the week.
Note to self: purchase climbing helmets!
Route: John Muir Trust car park by B8083 Broadford/Elgin road (NG560215), fp back to road, N across road bridge over Allt na Dunaiche, immediately W along good fp along N bank of burn and ascend into Coire Uaigneich, once into Fionna-choire, just past the crags (NG536212), turn sharp N at a small cairn and follow zig zag very rough path above cliffs return to start
Statistics: Distance: 6km Ascent: 550m Time: 3 hours
Map: OS Explorer 411 Skye - Cuillin Hills