Garbh-bheinn, Skye Walking

Often driven past by people speeding to the nearby Cuillin, but less often climbed, Garbh-bheinn is a dramatic peak that merits a lot more attention. With its scrambly summit ridge, and perhaps one of the most comprehensive views of the Cuillin, this craggy Corbett makes a perfect half day on its own, but can also be combined with neighbouring Belig or incorporated into an extended traverse over Clach Glas to Bla Bheinn. The route described here visits Garbh-bheinn alone.

The Cuillin Ridge from Garbh-bheinn  © Dan Bailey -
The Cuillin Ridge from Garbh-bheinn
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Detailed description

NG5378226522 From the car park follow the river bank south - there's a path, but dry-shod progress is unlikely. Soon branch right and cross rough pathless ground to join a better-used trail on the broad shoulder at the foot of Garbh-bheinn's north ridge.

NG5312326104 The path follows the high ground up the ridge, where a fairly steep ascent leads onto the minor summit of Druim Eadar Da Choire.

NG5250124382 Descend to a little col before attacking the north ridge proper, a rough rocky ascent that soon brings you to a distinctive level shoulder (marked as spot height 500m on some maps). From here the ridge becomes narrower and steeper, with plenty of scree. Towards the top there's some easy scrambling. As the north ridge turns east the scrambling becomes a bit more significant and the ground feels quite exposed.

NG5312723225 From the airy summit there's an amazing view of the Cuillin, while to the south Bla Bheinn and Clach Glas look fierce. Continue down the narrow northeast ridge, which involves more scrambling at first. As the broken crest gets more precarious look for a well-worn rubbly path on the right (southeast) side; this outflanks the difficulties before rejoining the ridge crest. The ridge soon eases off, and there's a long descent on rough ground into the Bealach na Beiste.

NG5384423789 Trend north and then northwest to descend from the bealach towards Coire na Seilg, staying left of the burn cutting. Traces of path come and go, and the ground is is pretty rough - but you'll be used to that by now. Follow the west bank of the Eas a' Chait to eventually join the Abhainn Ceann Loch Ainort. Hop across this burn and stay with the west bank, where a better path takes shape. Heading downstream there are several tempting pools and waterfalls that might be hard to resist on a hot day.

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