Bla Bheinn from Kilmarie. June 2016.

Date: Friday 17th June 2016
Distance: 14km
Ascent: 1150m

We’d gone for a rather claggy and blowy walk up Beinn Tianavaig on the Thursday, followed by pitching the tent out at Suidhe Biorach, 1km south of Elgol. Some nice pitch sites here, with a great view (although this is a cattle grazing area).

This was our last camp of the holiday, enjoyed seeing Oigh Sgeir lighthouse flashing between Rum and Canna. A grey evening improved to a reasonable morning.

Allak at Suidhe Biorach:

Cuillin from Suidhe Biorach:

We were heading for Torridon – we hadn’t decided what walk to do on Friday, but as Bla Bheinn was en route and clearing by the time we struck the tent we decided to head up this hill via the Camasunary track and its SW ridge.

Parked at the large parking area at NG 544 172. The route for Bla Bheinn is simple – follow the Camasunary track over the bealach, take the right fork onto the Glen Sligachan track at NG 523 188, and then head up the SW ridge.

The only difficulty in this route is the minor scrambling between Bla Bheinn’s 2 tops.

Set off in sunshine – nice to get the sun back after a few grey days.

Cuillin from Kilmarie:

Bla Bheinn from Kilmarie track:

About 40 minutes on the track and the bealach is reached with views out to the Small Isles and across to the Cuillin.

Soay and Rum:

There’s a good view of the route of ascent too.

Bla Bheinn SW ridge:

Saw our first Gold-ringed dragonflies of the year. The 4 spotted chasers emerge from May with these bigger hawkers emerging a bit later.

Gold-ringed dragonfly:

The path drops down a wee bit to cross Abhainn nan Leac – it then carries on north up Gleann Sligachan.

Abhainn nan Leac and Bla Bheinn:

We diverted off at the foot of Bla Bheinn to ascend the ridge. The ascent is steep at first, but on easy terrain. Unlike the main ridge Cuillins you can actually stay on mainly grassy ground all the way up to about 100m below the summit.

The views open out across to the Cuillin and out to sea.

Alasdair and the Pinn:


Loch na Creitheach:

We made decent progress – it was pretty gusty with a northerly. Rather chilling despite the warm appearances.

SW ridge and Camasunary:

The Cuillin loom rather dramatically across the glen, rather intimidating looking hills.

Cuillins from Bla Bheinn:

The summit remained firmly cloud-capped unfortunately, just the last 100m or so, but enough to rob us of summit views.

That said, the mainland looked seriously cloudy all day too. We’d chosen pretty well by not heading across in the morning.

Didn’t bother with the scramble across to the NE summit in the clag, this presented no major difficulty last time round but wasn’t going to improve the day this time.

Turned around and revered route.

Descending SW ridge:

Although much of the main ridge was clear all day the northern Cuillin, Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Basteir were clouded throughout

North towards Sligachan:

Loch na Creitheach:

A simple bimble back to the car. Much warmer once towards the foot of the ridge.


Got a brief glimpse of a male adder crossing our path into the undergrowth – first of the year (and a first for Skye).

A few emerging moths around too.

New moth:

Still a marvellous view from the bealach – we must go up Sgurr na Stri again.

Sgurr na Stri and Gars Bheinn:

The flower clock is ticking along – Bog Asphodel already flowering.

Bog Asphodel:

More Bog Cotton than I can remember in years past too.

Bog Cotton:

Back to the car we headed to Torridon for our last night before heading home. Got a clear view of a Pine Marten running across the road between Kilmarie and Torrin…these only colonised Skye after the bridge was built.

Definitely our preferred option for Bla Bheinn…..must go back on a day with clearer views and a clear summit. No chore there.

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