Beinn Resipol - 845m
Sunday 15th March 2015

Weather/Conditions: Cloudy winter conditions.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 10.9km / 850m / 3h 35m
Accompanying: Struan

Beinn Resipol is a mountain standing alone near the western sea above Loch Sunart. It occupies a quieter corner of Scotland: that almost-island of Ardgour, Sunart and Moidart. And in the absence of such island-status, the area as a whole doesn't recieve quite the intense tourism of the rest of the Western Highlands.

Struan and I spent the previous night at Resipole on the shore of Loch Sunart sleeping under the stars. The campsite owner was kind enough not to charge us for our impromptu night under the stars, stating that he did not officially open for a couple of weeks time, at the beginning of April.

The track to Beinn Resipol begins in natural woodland just out the back of the campsite. We followed tracks through oak and birch wood which then gave way to the open hillside. The weather was holding just as spectacularly as the previous day, but Beinn Resipol had a lot less snow than Streap from the previous day.

The erosion tracks on Beinn Resipol are quite easy to follow, and they funnel into a narrow passage below the summit; Glac Gharbh, literally the 'rough defile/opening'. Just prior to this I was looking at crags on the skyline when without warning I disappeared into bog up to the waist. Luckily it was only one leg, but I went in a long way. Struan laughed, saying he'd never seen me do something like that before. My excuse was I was looking at the crags above!

The summit followed shortly after. The views were stunning, though a haze obscured the distant hills. All the Ardgour and Moidart hills were in plain view, along with Loch Shiel below which cuts between them. The previous day we'd stood opposite on the north side of Loch Shiel and had gazed south from Streap.

On the shores of Loch Shiel, and at the foot of Beinn Resipol lies Eilean Fhionain, the location of an old monastery and burial ground for past centuries. To the east, Garbh Bheinn looked enormous - even bigger than it does from Glen Coe, and oddly it looks like a completely different mountain too. It's obviously a complex peak, one that I really must climb soon.

And then Struan and I descended; Beinn Resipol was intended as a morning's walk, and Struan wanted to be home in Edinburgh before it got too late. Back at the campsite, we threw our stuff in the car then drove east through Glen Tarbert to the Corran Ferry. It was also the first time I'd taken this ferry. From this side, it seemed an odd perspective on Glen Coe and Ben Nevis to eyes accustomed to being only on the east bank.

And finally, because I'd been in 'tourist mode' all weekend, I carried this view across to Glen Coe. I know the glen so well, but I proceded to see it with fresh, perceptive eyes. I was knocked sideways by the vertical relief of the mountainsides and cliffs closing in all around, without doubt one of the most spectacular Highland glens.

It was a fine second day to a brilliant weekend, one of the most notable of recent times.

360° Panorama

Beinn Resipol
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.55am Resipole
(2.10) 12.05pm Beinn Resipol
(3.35) 1.30pm Resipole
Written: 2017-11-27 & 12-13