Bla Bhienn from Elgol: an out and return walk

This is an ascent of the South ridge of Bla Bhienn starting from and returning to Elgol. It includes the cliff top walk to Camasunary Bay, followed by the ridge. The views are spectacular and the ridge is one of the most memorable mountain days to be had.

Technical sheet
No. 11092669
A Highland walk posted on 28/06/21 by Alwayswiththehills. Update : 26/07/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 9h15[?]
Distance Distance : 12.61mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 3993ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 3986ft
Highest point Highest point : 2953ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 13ft
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Highland
Starting point Starting point : N 57.145689° / W 6.106808°
Download : -
Sunset over the Black Cuillin Ridge from Elgol Sgurr na Stri, Marsco and Bla Bhienn South Ridge as the rain approaches Boulders where the path splits The rake (on the left) leading up and down from the South top. Taken in the col between the two tops looking South

Description

(D/A) From the parking walk uphill following the road. Pass houses and look out for a footpath sign on the left for Camasunary 3.1miles / Sligachan 10.7miles.

(1) Turn left and walk along a single track road passing some houses to a gate on the right and a driveway to a house on the left. The path continues between the two properties, taking a grassy footpath with fences on either side. It will bring you to another gate.

(2) Go through the gate (note the sign regarding fossils) and into a wider pasture. The path contours the fellside, descending a little before traversing beneath the rocky side of Ben Cleat through another gate and down to a stony beach. Cross the beach to the far side.

(3) The path now ascends, steeply via a few zig zags to a gate. The path now traverses above a steep cliff edge which is often hidden by bushes and small trees. At one point the path turns sharp right to ascend some stone steps before continuing. Later, before reaching Camasunary Bay, it crosses some slabby rocks and a stream bed then becomes rockier before dropping down to the edge of the bay itself. Walk past the stone built bothy and pick up the track that ascends in a easterly direction.

(4) Ascend the good but stony track, to a point where it turns sharply to the right.

(5) Then, ascends in a southerly direction. Either leave the track at the bend to follow a faint path along a small grassy ridge or, ascend the track in a southerly direction and look out for a cairn and path on the left. Then take this path. Both ways join and follow a path through the heather and grass in a northerly direction, descending on the left to a stream and waterfall.

(6) Cross the stream and follow the path contouring the hillside beneath the South ridge of Bla Bhienn. Look out for some large boulders and the path splits near here (see photo).

(7) Turn right and ascend the path up the hillside heading up a broad grassy bowl to a band of cliffs.

(8) At the band of cliffs the path turns right and ascends to skirt them on the right, it then turns left and follows a narrow grassy gully to regain the ridge itself. (Now the walking gets really interesting).

(9) Follow the path along the ridge, it is often marked with small cairns and picks out the easiest line. It crosses slabby rocks and in places, you will have to scramble through small rock bands. (you can make it more challenging by keeping to a direct line and doing more scrambling) There are false summits and as you, near the top, there are sections through scree, so take care with loose rock.

(10) Arrive at the South top 926 meters. Take a few photos and then continue north to where the ridge ends in a steep drop.

(11) The easiest way from the south is to descend on your right (facing the North top) to a rake that slants downwards. It is easy scrambling, no harder than anything you have done on the way up but take care. (See photo taken looking up when approaching from the North) At the bottom ascend, via some more easy scrambling to the North top 928.

(12) There are excellent views in all directions from the North top. Enjoy. Return by retracing your steps back to Elgol.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 30ft - Parking
1 : mi 0.4 - alt. 289ft - Single track road
2 : mi 0.63 - alt. 318ft - Gate
3 : mi 2.12 - alt. 36ft - Ascends
4 : mi 3.56 - alt. 56ft - Stony track
5 : mi 3.96 - alt. 364ft - Ascends
6 : mi 4.27 - alt. 348ft - Stream
7 : mi 4.38 - alt. 348ft - Ascends
8 : mi 4.67 - alt. 906ft - Band of cliffs
9 : mi 4.84 - alt. 1175ft - Ridge
10 : mi 6.13 - alt. 2940ft - South top
11 : mi 6.19 - alt. 2927ft - Rake
12 : mi 6.3 - alt. 2946ft - Point of view
D/A : mi 12.61 - alt. 30ft - Parking

Useful Information

Park at Elgol : either in the parking beside the village shop / Elgol Hall or in the parking beside the quayside.

There are no shelters on this walk and you are ascending 928m from sea level, take a range of clothing with you, the weather can be very changeable in the Cuillin.

Best done on a day where there will be clear views from the top.

Boots are must as there is scrambling underfoot, plus some scree.

It is more usual to start this walk from the parking place at Kilmarie and to take the track over to Camasunary Bay, joining this route at point 5.

Or park in the car park beside the forest at the top left of Loch Slapin and ascend Bla Bhienn by the East flank to descend the South ridge. This is a great traverse of the mountain but means walking back to the car along the road. (Hitching a lift, having a second car or a bicycle makes this more feasible, particularly if you are staying in Elgol)

You can descend the East flank to the car park at Loch Slapin but there is a lot of loose scree and it is an unpleasant descent plus you have to get back to Elgol by walking along the road.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Enjoy the spectacular views as you walk along the clifftop path. Enjoy the ridge and its short scrambles. Marvel at the amazing panorama from the top.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.