Glencoe - Beinn Fhada Ridge
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One of Glencoe's best kept secrets, the Beinn Fhada ridge is both challenging and spectacular.
First of the three sisters of Glencoe, the imposing ridges that greet visitors to the glen after passing through the gorge entrance and passing the waterfall viewpoint.
All but a few bypass these craggy peaks thinking them too difficult an ascent but there are ways and we will travel them.
For those that know Glencoe, Beinn Fhada ridge is on the left as you pass up the Hidden Valley towards Bidean Nam Bian and you will no doubt have seen the imposing buttresses that make up its sides.
Following the path less travelled means that we travel over ground with barely a hint of a path and the likelihood that we wont see a soul for the length of the ridge, a breath of peace at last in busy Glencoe.
Weather permitting, this is the spot to view the whole of the rest of Glencoe from, the later images in the slideshow are examples of what can be seen from along the ridge.
Towards the end of the route is a serious scramble, safe enough with care but with a significant degree of exposure meaning that this is not one for those without a head for heights. You will also need a good level of fitness to participate in this event. Feel free to contact me to discuss if you are in any doubt.
Oh, and there's a Munro at the end of the ridge, Stob Coire Sgreamhach, but it's the ridge that is the star.
Ps: Ridge walking so hopefully a breeze will keep the midges at bay but bring bug juice just in case.
What to bring
Please pack according to the weather. The route may be muddy in places, hiking boots, waterproofs, warm clothing, a small rucksack, food and drink are recommended.
Don't forget the bug spray.
Boots: Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere. Walkers should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support. Boots should also be in good condition.
Socks: A good comfy pair of walking socks is essential really; they keep your feet warm and drier than normal socks.
Gaiters: Gaiters attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg. They are not essential to have but you will feel the difference if you have them when walking through muddy or boggy ground - which is almost guaranteed in Scotland.
Walking Trousers: You should have a suitable pair of trousers for walking in, jeans are not suitable as they take on water when wet and will make you cold. The same goes for jogging pants/tracksuit clothing.
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in case of wet weather. They are also good to be worn as a second layer as they can act as a windproof barrier, keeping the legs warm.
Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body. This could be a cheaper sports top or you could go top of the range with a merino wool top. Avoid cotton T-Shirts as these will become damp and uncomfortable when climbing a mountain.
Other Layers: On top of your base layer, you can have a variety of options such as a micro fleece, a fleece jacket or a rugby/sports top can sometimes be good. Having one or two additional layers gives you flexibility when the weather is changeable – the more layers, the more flexible you can be in adapting to the weather.
Waterproof Jacket: A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking. Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat. Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices but they can be expensive unless you shop sensibly, don’t forget your OutdoorLads discount for Full Members at Cotswold outlets.
Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential. Consider carrying a second one in case your first blows away (it happens).
Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months, windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice. Consider carrying a second pair in case your first ones get wet or blow away.
Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment. Day sacks should have a capacity of around 30 litres. As an option you could store your items in waterproof bags inside just in-case or ensure the bag has a waterproof bag to pull over the top.
Emergency Equipment: The leader of the group will normally carry some emergency items, but you are welcome to bring your own such as spare energy food, survival bag, personal first aid kit, head torch and a whistle. It is not essential that you bring all or any of these items but it will do no harm if you do bring.
Map & Compass: If you want to learn to be a leader or you just like to know where you are, then you can bring a map that covers the area. If you are not sure which map to bring, just message the leader. It is best to bring your map either in a map case or purchase maps which are waterproof.
Mobile Phone: If you choose to bring your phone, then you are well advised to buy a waterproof bag or if that is not possible a simple food/freezer bag will suffice.
Food & drink
Bring a packed lunch and ensure you also have plenty of water and spare food in your rucksack.