Bruach na Frithe

Thursday 1st October 2020


We were itching to explore the Black Cuillins once more.

This time we decided on the Munro Bruach na Frithe which was meant to provide spectacular views over its sister mountains.

As we left the carpark and began our hike, we could see the tops of the Black Cuillin but we all know how that can change at any given time!

The mountains here produce wetter and windier weather than elsewhere on the Island.   The weather can also be very unpredictable and you can never assume it will remain the same from the time you set off to the end of your day.

Could this be the perfect spot for a house!

We climb at a reasonably easy gradient along the north side of the Allt Dearg Mor.  The rain started to fall lightly.  However there was some really beautiful waterfalls and pools which took our mind of the rain and added interest to the walk.

We eventually reached a couple of cairns marking the start of the path up into Fionn Choire and the clouds started to build again!

As we headed up we kept glancing back and we eventually got a beautiful view of what lay below us.

The Pinnacle Ridge of Sgùrr nan Gillian slowly came in and out of view over to the left looking so impressive.

The gradient steepened as it rose to the corrie which, when we reached it, I was surprised to find flat, grassy and pretty pleasant to walk across.

We headed towards the back of the grassy bowl and began to head up an increasingly steep well-worn rough scree path that zig-zags up through boulders to reach the ridge at the Bealach na Lice between Bruach na Frithe, on our right, and Sgurr a’ Bhasteir, on the left.

This is when you can truly see the difference in these Munro’s compared to all others.  

The Ridge of the Black Cuillin comprises extremely rough terrain, boulder hills, steep scree slopes and knife-edge ridges, suitable really for only experienced climbers…you can feel the meanness in these mountains. 

The Red Cuillin, although less challenging, also contain areas of steep, rocky terrain but they are more rounded

The cloud remained low but opened up at points, it was very atmospheric whilst slightly intimidating too.

If there had been no cloud and mist (something of a rare occasion on Skye) we should have been able to view most of the main Cuillin ridge…what we got was small openings and glances of spiky, huge, dark summits but we were very lucky!

We were still given amazing views just not clear great amazing views along the Cuillin!

The bealach was spectacular. As you reach it, everything happens at once. The massive summit of Am Basteir is right beside you, it’s huge, this is another Munro we hoped to undertake and is known as ‘The Executioner’, seeing it from here I can now understand why!  This involves a scramble to the top and conditions are better to be dry as the rock when wet is very slippery…today it was windy, wet and slippery.

The Executioner

We were also up close and personal with the magnificent and hugely impressive Basteir Tooth, a dramatic fang of rock….see I told you these mountains are vicious! 

As the cloud rose we looked up to the top of Basteir Tooth and there stood two rock climbers right on the top – wow guys!!

To the right of the tooth is the rock peak of Sgurr a Fionn Choire, which is less fearsome than the Tooth and can be traversed by scramblers.

We took the time to enjoy the Bealach na Lice as you never know when times like these will come again. 

From here we were heading to Bruach Na Frithe’s shapely summit which has a trig point – the only one on the Cuillin ridge. The name means Slope of the Deer Forest.

As we were on the summit of Bruach Na Frithe we got our first snowflakes off the year.

Eventually we left the summit taking the path back down to Bealach na Lice…it was so stunning we wanted another look…the jagged shapes of the mountains up here are something else!

From here we decided to undertake a Munro Top, Sgurr a’ Bhasteir, we didn’t want to leave these tops. Although we could not see a thing, we hoped as we got over to the summit things would open up as views from this summit were meant to be amazing. We got to the top and never got our views, the clouds seemed to thicken.

We returned to the bealach for one last time before descending firstly down some steep loose scree, onto a rocky path, into the coire and then eventually onto the long path out past the waterfalls and pools.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Theresa Skelhorn says:

    The scenery is very impressive so rugged. The colours are amazing in the surrounding landscape so beautiful and atmospheric with the clouds hanging around the mountains. Great music accompanying the video.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The scenery is spectacular isn’t it…I so love Autumn in the Highlands, especially on the hills, the colours of the heather is so pretty. I must admit I do like looking back at pictures when the clouds are atmospheric…just like on these ones, however these kinds of low clouds whilst on the tops of the mountains does always make things appear more intimidating when your up there….which of course adds to the days I guess! Living in Scotland its just one of the things you have to get used to dealing with…otherwise you’d change your hobby! I have to give credit to Andy for choice of music on this one…he wanted to add a bit of’ Irishness’ to it!…but very fitting for the conditions!

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  2. Alice Reid says:

    Hello Mary. You’ve certainly been making up for lost time after your 14day lockdown😎and Anday is getting very professional with his videos, even adding music. The Irish came through loud and clear with his choice of Foggy fogge dew I love that misic. The one taken at night, I think it was in Glen Coe, was fantastic , he should take more stargazing ones. Some of your wAlks, if you could call them walks look a bit dicey, but very atmospheric with the mist swirling around you. Your cottage reminded me of the But and Ben in the Broons. Uncle Tony sent me a cartoon from the Sunday Post I think where the police have given them the news that they and Granbpaw Broon count as 2households so he can’t visit the But and Ben with them. How about you two will you still be able to go away since the new restrictions have been announced. I don’t have to worry as I’m in lockdown anyway😄 Looking back at your Swiss photos and comparing them with the Highlands makes you realise how wild the Scottish Highlands are. Thanks again for sharing your adventures with me .
    Love & God Bless. Aunty Alicexx☘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there…so yes lockdown made us a bit crazy and once we were ‘allowed’ out it appears we have not went back in again for fear of lockdown happening again and us being kept in…lol!!!! Seriously though, we are trying to take advantage at the minute as it looks like stricter measures can/will be introduced. At present though we are allowed to travel which helps, so we are packing in the weekends and trying to escape to places where we think most people would not go – which is not always the case!! Like I mentioned in a blog previously….lockdown/COVID appears to be bringing out everyone and their dog (literally) to the hills….who would have thought!

      Andy is getting very good indeed with his video’s – I actually prefer them to my blogs – but don’t tell him though as it will go to his head!! I think the videos really give a feel of where we have been or our surroundings more so than the photos/writing. Everybody has commented on that piece of music – his pick – and yes he was certainly getting in his Irish connection there…but very fitting considering the conditions we had that day!

      We both just love a night sky on the mountains, especially a clear night sky and the one we got in Glen Coe that evening was perfect. People must think we are a bit mad but until you experience it you cannot understand. I love stargazing…I love space!! We are getting slightly better trying to capture the night time skies but it still needs to improve…,it takes quite a skill (and patience) to do this actually!

      So yes our ‘walks’ are getting more interesting….some of them more interesting than others….did you watch the video of the Ridge Walk we did in Glen Coe and the scrambling involved…now that one was something else…and on completion appreciated those two Munro’s we bucketed that day more so than any of the others because of that ridge walk! Also what about the scenery in some of those videos from Glen Coe…I know you love your Switzerland (and I did/do too) but I’m challenging you here…..surely some of this scenery had to be right up there!! I always say it but the Scottish Highlands are so different to every other place we go in terms of their ruggedness….even when we were in the Lake Distract I found it beautiful but I also felt everything was pristine, amazing paths, superb signage, beautiful benches ON TOP of the mountains….the Alps were like that as-well in terms of signposts in the middle of the mountains with distances and how long it would take you to get to the next point…very surprising…also on some of the hikes in the Alps especially the more ‘exposed’ parts they put in metal steps or handrails….in Scotland you are hanging on to the heather for support or clinging from rocks and it takes you to find a sign on the roads never mind on the mountains…it is unheard of!!! But that is what I love about these mountains, they are unfinished, natural, rugged, untamed….my favourite kind I guess.

      So Skye was as always very beautiful…as you know! It was great to find places we had not visited previously also. So you liked our Crofting Cottage….your comment made me smile about the Broons. I never thought about them until your comment but your right it did look like their But & Ben! Inside our cottage though we were luckier than the Broons, firstly there was only the two of us, we had central heating and all the other mod cons…BUT no internet which I kind of think nice when away on holiday!

      Glad you are still travelling with us, enjoying the scenery and our shenanigans!!

      Take Care 💕😘🤗

      Like

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