Sròn a' Gharbh Choire Mhòir - 823m
Garbh Bheinn - 885m
Druim Mìn - 627m
Sgùrr nan Cnamh - 701m
Beinn Bheag West Top - 696m
Beinn Bheag - 736m
Sgùrr Mhic Eacharna - 650m

Saturday 24th November 2018

Weather/Conditions: Stunning autumn conditions. Calm, still, sunny and a sunset that cast the hills in brilliant colour (see last panorama!). Walked from dawn until dusk.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 17.3km / 1650m / 8h 50m
Accompanying: Fi and Scoob

Garbh Bheinn in Ardgour. What a mountain. I've been looking at this one for years across the water and perhaps predictably never quite got around to it. When I finished the Munros, I started to think of Garbh Bheinn as one of the great Scottish mountains that I'd yet to climb. And that seemed like a nice thing. For a period of a few years I was ambivalent about climbing the Corbetts because I was enjoying the sensation of having mountains out there unclimbed, one a very alien attitude. But since I seem to have gone into Corbett overdrive of late, that sense has vanished. All in all, I'm really glad I made it to this mountain.

It was Fi and Scoob's idea really. I was at the WalkHighlands Corran meet looking for a plan to jump at. The promise of Garbh Bheinn plus three surrounding Grahams on a near-perfect forecast was just too good. I asked to tag along, and met them the following morning at 7am in the bunkhouse.

Garbh Bheinn

Over the ferry, we got parked up. By the time we were starting up Garbh Bheinn, the night was giving way to pre-dawn glow and the sun was shortly to rise over the horizon. We headed up the ridge to the east top of Garbh Bheinn, which climbs as a great rising whale-back. The autumn grasses turned red with the rising sun and all the hills were out on show today.

Any view of the Garbh Bheinn itself was concealed until we reached the summit cairn of Sron a' Gharbh Choire Mhoir. Then Garbh Bheinn itself bursts into view across an expanse of clear air. It is another of those great airy mountains and it has a big atmosphere.

And I was watching the cliffs carefully. As we skirted the top of Garbh Choire Mor, the cliffs changed angle, broke up and features became clear. This cliff faces south and the routes end almost on the summit of the mountain. I can see this being a phenomenal summer climbing area; and why haven't I been before?

We spent some moments on the summit of Garbh Bheinn, I shot my usual 360. I took a quick look down the top of the Great Ridge to see what was there. Across the corrie, the slabs of Beinn Bheag were in the sun. It all feels like a big place and the Great Ridge shot down and out of sight. I returned to the summit and we continued on our way.

Three Grahams

The continuation to the other mountains is actually quite complex, and the terrain doesn't lead you into the obvious route. We zigzagged through rock outcrops to a small saddle on Sron Lag nan Gamhna, and dropped down a north-facing gully which is rockier than it appears on the map!

Sgurr nan Cnamh was next; a bit of an 'outback' Graham-height hill. Between it and us; a couple of kilometres of rough knolly ground. Real rough Ardgour gneiss. I nipped over Druim Min en route and met Fi and Scoob on the other side. Sgurr nan Cnamh is a lovely secluded hill, and an unexpected bonus for it had almost entirely escaped my mind. I suspect this would be the case with most folks unless they are well on their way in Graham-bagging.

And our route back to the car took us in the afternoon via. two beautiful hills: Beinn Bheag and Sgurr Mhic Eacharna. The former rises in a humpback rocky spine. Garbh Bheinn looks massive just across the coire. and I found it hard to pick out the lines of rock routes. The face looks like a chaotic mess, but it's massively impressive. We headed off Beinn Bheag to pass a group of about six folks, who would be out for the night camping. Their trip looked instructed but I never did ask them what they were actually doing.

We climbed Sgurr Mhic Eacharna in the last light of the day: great views and the hills all around turned red. The car was just a couple thousand feet down the hillside, which we arrived back at in the very last light of day.

Photos: Sron a' Gharbh Choire Mhoir

Garbh Bheinn

Sgurr nan Cnamh

Beinn Bheag

Sgurr Mhic Eacharna

360° Panoramas

Sròn a' Gharbh Choire Mhòir

Garbh Bheinn

Sgùrr nan Cnamh

Beinn Bheag

Sgùrr Mhic Eacharna

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 7.55am Glen Tarbert parking
(2.07) 10.02am Sròn a' Gharbh Choire Mhòir
(2.43) 10.38am Garbh Bheinn
(4.02) 11.57am Druim Min
(4.30) 12.25pm Sgurr nan Cnamh
(6.25) 2.20pm Beinn Bheag
(7.28) 3.23pm Sgurr Mhic Eacharna
(8.50) 4.45pm Glen Tarbert parking
Written: 2018-11-28