Beinn Reidh, Assynt.
Height – 567 metres. Map – OS Landranger 15.
Climbed – 12 February 2010. Time taken – 6.5 hours.
Distance – 18.5 kilometres. Height climbed – 880 metres.
Trip Report Details:
My walking partner had decided to head home so at short notice a plan was devised to climb this Sub 2000 foot hill located on the south side of Loch Assynt. I had previously studied the map but couldn’t see a suitable crossing point for the River Loanan to enable me to make an easterly approach from the Inchnadamph area. However I had noted that near Little Assynt, at the west end of Loch Assynt, there was a bridge crossing the River Inver and paths for part of the route towards Beinn Reidh.
I drove west along the A837 Lochinver to Skiag Bridge Road but missed the path beside Little Assynt and stopped in a small lay-by at NC1634225162 where I saw what appeared to be a bridge. On closer inspection I noted that it was sluice gates at the outflow of Loch Assynt and could be walked across. I therefore geared up and set off over a slight rise and onto the sluice gates, which were a bit slippery after some morning frost. However once on the other side there was no path and just some very rough terrain. While studying the map I heard deer barking several times and later saw a couple of hinds running off.
This next section was hard going due to the underfoot conditions which also involved clambering over some small knolls but eventually I reached the path near a gate in the deer fence at NC1635224598. I wouldn’t recommend this route as there doesn’t appear to be any benefit compared with starting from Litle Assynt where there is a path to follow.
I followed the path east up a gentle gradient and soon reached another deer gate at NC1700524780 where again there was a wicket gate for walkers. The ascent continued to the Bealach Aird na Seilege before descending to beside what appeared to be the same deer fence. The path was now quite wet and in places icy and looked little used.
It was a beautiful sunny day with some cloud on the mountain tops so I stopped for a break looking east onto Loch Assynt. After this break I continued on my descent which went through an area of gorse where deer obviously sheltered. Shortly after this I spotted two stags as they ran off from the gorse bushes on the opposite side of the deer fence. The next section of the path I lost as it was difficult to tell the difference between the deer paths and the stalker’s path as there was a lot of deep heather and bog around. Eventually I arrived back at the shore of Loch Assynt having lost all the height I had gained earlier
At NC1932524623 according to the map there was a junction of paths but this wasn’t obvious. To continue east would take me to the ruins at Tubeg but I wanted to head south so I clambered through some deep heather and after gaining a bit of height the path became obvious. The weather was terrific for the time of year and I was far too warm wearing my winter gear so I had to make a few changes. Thereafter good progress was made along this path, which was a bit wet, but ended just before Leathad Buidhe marked by a cairn at NC1910122973.
Navigation would be quite testing from this point as there was a vast area of pathless terrain to cross including peat bogs, peat hags and patches of wet snow hiding some of these features. However with the fine sunny weather navigation wasn’t a problem although I did a lot of meandering to avoid the above mentioned obstacles. I eventually arrived at the foot of the north ridge and watched several deer run off and later heard the distant sound of a shot so someone was out stalking the hinds.
Initially the ascent of the north face of Beinn Reidh was quite steep over some long heather followed by frozen grasses and snow which I tried to avoid. The gradient later eased considerably and it was a pleasant walk to the summit cairn where I had some lunch. The tops of the surrounding mountains, Quinag, Glas Bheinn, Conival, Ben More Assynt, Breabag, Canisp and Suilven were obscured by cloud but it was a peaceful and pleasant location to take a break.
The return was by the long ascent route in fine winter sun.
Photos taken on walk.