Bealach Coire na Banachdaich

Backpacking across the Cuillin, September 2014

We’ve just returned from a splendid 3 day trip with a small group with members from England, Scotland, and Lebanon. The weather was pretty much ideal (dry, mainly sunny) and a good time was had by all. Our normal “Backpacking across the Cuillin” trip is 2 days with an overnight camp, but on this occasion we added an extra day to allow us to explore further into the heart of the Cuillin

Day 1 was spent walking the coastal path from Elgol to the beach at Camasunary, then via the infamous “Bad Step” to our camp at the head of Loch Coruisk in the heart of the Cuillin.  Here our support team, assisted by our friends at Misty Isle Boat Trips, had set up a great base camp in a stunning location complete with swimming pool and private beach.

The following day we chose to head up the indescribably rough An Garbh Coire to explore the southern end of the Cuillin Ridge. Upon our return to camp at the head of the Loch, we noticed a small dinghy heading up the loch. This turned out to be the arrival of our neighbours for the night – Climber Gilly McArthur and her team who had turned up with a view to making a repeat ascent of one of the most challenging rock routes on Skye- ” Skye Wall” on Coir’ Uisg Buttress, originally climbed by Lakeland legend Dave Birkett a few years back.



Day 3 saw us heading up and over the Bealach Coire na Banachdaich to Glenbrittle. On the way up we had grandstand views of the climbing team preparing for their ascent of Skye Wall. The route to the bealach is varied, wild, rough and very scenic.  The last couple of hundred metres involves toiling up on some mildly punishing scree before the final steep notch into the bealach itself.  From there it was the simple matter of the complex (and rough!) descent into Coire na Banachdaich, whose gentle grassy floor took us down to the road by the BMC Hut in Glenbrittle.

All in all our trip backpacking across the Cuillin was a great adventure, especially for those team members getting their first up close experience of the rugged Cuillin corries and crest.  With support from the boat, we’d enjoyed some pretty luxurious camping in one of the most inaccessible and beautiful spots in Britain.

As well as our friends at Misty Isle, we’d like to thank Roderick Downes  for assisting us with logistics and load carrying. Without them we couldn’t have done it in such style !

  1. Ptarmigan Reply

    Thanks Ian, we all had a great time. Good hiking, good company, good food!

  2. Wol Reply

    Hi, I like your photos here. I’m researching my first Cuillin trip in July. Thinking of a one-day walk from Glenbrittle to Loch Coruisk and back via Bealach Coire na Banachdaich. Your blog is the first mention I’ve found of walking the Coire Uisg side of the ridge, and I wondered if you had any GPX points of your route you might share.

    • Ian Reply

      Hi Thanks for your interest. Over the BCnB and back in a day would be a fairly tough day out! Sorry, don’t have any GPX points for you:-( The route is pretty much trackless and terrain makes it quite complex though. Have fun :-)

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