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Beinn Eighe
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Great Ridge of Beinn Eighe

Location: Torridon, Wester Ross, Northern Highland

Length: 19km / 11.75 miles

Ascent: 1425m / 4675ft

Time: 10 hours

  Beinn Eighe from Glen Torridon
     

Difficulty: This is a long expedition: even the approach to the massif involves a considerable distance, as does the way out, and the ridge itself has six sections of ascent. Technically the most difficult part of the whole ridge lies in the negotiation of the shattered quartzite pinnacles of the Bodaich Dubh (the Black Men/ Pinnacles', also known as 'Black Carls'): if tackled directly they make interesting scrambling (Scrambling Grade 2), though with care the difficulties can be bypassed

  The sweeping ridge of Beinn Eighe
     

Seasons:

Summer conditions may be expected from June to September and winter conditions from October to May.

Geology:

The rocks along the ridge are mostly quartzite, and the going is generally good. The Bodaich Dubh pinnacles are black (mineralised)-skinned, white quartzite, and heavily jointed and frost-shattered...

  Beinn Eighe
     

As a result - take care with hand and foot holds.

Underfoot some rocky beds of quartzite also contain coral-like fossils. The rocks of the basin of Coire Mhic Fhearchair and the base layer of the Triple Buttress are red Torridonian sandstone.

Flora and Fauna:

Golden Eagle, buzzard, lapwing, red deer, wildcat and pine marten. Alpine meadow rue, club moss, alpine club moss, parsley fern and alpine lady fern.

  Beinn Eighe reflections
     

Comment:

This is a major mountain expedition; moreover it is linear, and requires two vehicles or pre-arranged transport. Tackling it this way, from east to west, has the advantage of ending in Coire Mhic Fhearchair (Corra vik erra-ka), a particularly magical place at sunset and with an excellent, recently reconstructed paved path leading all the way back to the road. This one deserves a dram or pint of ale at the end of a long and fulfilling mountaineering experience.

  Beinn Eighe summit
     

The full traverse of the main ridge is the longest of all the Torridon ridge traverses and is a magnificent expedition. In all there are six seperate sections of ridge, each with its own particular character, crossing six major summits.Setting off from the east, the traverse begins with the steep climb of the east ridge of Creag Dhubh, and ends with the highest top of all, Ruadh-stac Mor; finally you descend into the hallowed, magical mountain sanctuary of Coire Mhic Fhearchair, before making the long circuitous trek back to Torridon: The end of a most successful day.

  Beinn Eighe looking towards Liathach

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