Beinn Damh

So this day was absolutely fantastic!! We’ve waited for a while to have some weather like this. We got off to a bit of a late start because when we got up it was the same day as normal, raining and foggy. Then all of a sudden around 11, everything cleared, blue sky and sun. So we mobilised pretty sharp, MUNRO DAY! Ironically we decided to go climb Beinn Damh, which isn’t actually a munro as it’s 38ft to small but it sounded like a pretty nice walk so I’m willing to let that slide. We started of driving down the side of Loch Maree towards Kinlochewe.

Loch Maree

The start of the walk up Beinn Damh is just down the road from the Torridon Hotel. We parked up in a lay-by next to the river. The path climbs up from here through the pine forest besides the river with glimpses of mountains through the trees.

Walking to Beinn DamhWalking to Beinn Damh

Nearing the top of the forest, which is a fairly steep walk, you’re rewarded with a view down to this lovely waterfall.

Walking to Beinn Damh

Early on wildlife.

Beetle

Once clear of the trees you get a clearer view back over Loch Torridon with Beinn Eighe in the background.

Loch Torridon

The path the crosses the river above the waterfall and continues across moorland.

Walking to Beinn Damh

Loch Torridon still just visible in the background.

Walking to Beinn Damh

More of the local wildlife.

Frog

For this walk we decided to try a new walking book, it’s called “100 Best Routes on Scottish Mountains” by Ralph Storer. It grades this walk as 3/5 for ‘grade, navigation and seriousness’ and a 4/5 for terrain. I picked this one out as firstly, I wanted to try another book, secondly I liked that it was a circular walk not a linear one. Plus I thought we can easily manage a 3/5, we’ve been here over a week now!

I only got slightly worried when it said things like “climb the east buttress directly” and “leave the path” but was reassured when it said it was an “easy scramble”. Totally got this. Here’s the point where you’re supposed to leave the path by the loch.

Walking to Beinn Damh

From here the path, or lack of it, winds around the bottom of the craggy rocks to the left and the climbs the mountain on the right! The highest point of this walk is the left hand smaller looking summit to the right of the photo.

Walking to Beinn Damh

After climbing the first section of this bit which is fairly straightforward despite the lack of path, the area plateaus out briefly with a view to the next section.

Walking to Beinn Damh

The view to the climb ahead. I think it’s look best to go up the right side and try and avoid the snow and Lee thinks the left hand side looks better. We’re ultimately heading for the centre peak. We’re both stubborn – “I’ll see you at the top”.

Walking to Beinn Damh

While I was expecting it to be fairly tough, I wasn’t expecting it to be this hard!! Stopping for one of my many breathers half way up.

Walking to Beinn Damh

At this point it was really difficult! I was crawling on all fours up this of the mountain, trying to avoid the snow as it’s very slippery and you don’t know how deep it is as well. Words don’t really seem to do the struggle justice! I was mainly spurred on by the fact that I wanted to get to the top first and that trying to go down would be just as bad. The highlight has to be when I was that close to the top but that tired I could barely bring myself to walk let alone climb. Everything was a bit shaky too, I was concentrating pretty damn hard on not slipping and falling off, and had already slipped a few times and it wasn’t pleasant! At this point I stopped to get by breath back and looked over the other side to see Lee, the same height as me climbing on his hands up the other side. I whistled across and we both sat there on our respective rocks for a minute before he shouted across to me, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done!” I know the feeling, but I know feel much better knowing that it’s not just me who feels this bad! Our paths merged shortly as we both tried to avoid the now at the top of the ridge and finally we made it.

Walking to Beinn Damh

We sat there and ate chocolate to recover. We then had to climb the last bit along the ridge to the top of Bein Damh, only a few more metres up.

Walking to Beinn Damh

This photo shows the path we’d just taken. If you look to the left of the bottom of the mountain this is taken from you can see a small loch (not the larger one further in the background) that was the starting point for the climb. I later worked out that we had climb around 1640ft in under half a mile!

Walking to Beinn Damh

View from the top.

Walking to Beinn Damh

The route for the walk follows this ridge to the next peak.

Walking to Beinn Damh

View back to Beinn Damh from the next high point on the walk.

Walking to Beinn Damh

From here the path begins its descent to the saddle between this mountain and the next. As we start to climb down over the loose rocks that cover the top of this mountain a few lone clouds sweep across below us.

Walking to Beinn Damh

The walk in the book also climbs this next peak on this ridge shown here. We decided we’d rather save the time for the pub, we can see the view pretty damn well from here. The path descends just before this next peak and drops back towards Loch Torridon.

Walking to Beinn Damh

Route back down to the loch.

Loch Torridon

After a fairly quick climb back down we’re back into the trees again, the circular route rejoins the path out about a mile before the end.

Route down from Beinn Damh

Last look at loch in the early evening light.

Route down from Beinn Damh

We met a couple of walkers on the way down who’d climbed the peak from the easier side and watched us climb up. We decided to go for a quick drink in the hotel before driving back and they, including another woman walking on the mountain, were in soon behind us. Seems everyone had earnt a drink!

Still a lovely lovely day here as we drove back home, we even had another nice sunset once we got there.

Ceol na Mara

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