Beinn Damph, Torridon Date Completed Friday 10th June 2011
Start Point (OS Grid Ref) NG 88796 54045 Total Distance 7.36 miles / 11.8 km
Walking Time 4 hr 40 min Total Height Climbed 2,917 ft / 889 m
Total Time 7 hr 03 min Moving Average Speed 1.6 mph / 2.5 kph
OS Maps Explorer 428 1:25,000 Landranger 24 1:50,000
Weather Conditions Sunny, light cloud cover, 18°C

Summits Height Status Download the GPS data file of this walk
Beinn Damph 2,962 ft / 903 m Corbett



Approaching the Summit, Beinn DamphThe last proper day of our summer holiday dawned bright and sunny. We decided to tackle our old friend Beinn Damph again. This is a Corbett on the south side of Loch Torridon that we have climbed many times but before the days of digital photography and GPS.

As we were staying in Victoria cottage in Shieldaig we cooked a leisurely breakfast and packed a couple of mini rolls and coffee for lunch, plus copious litres of orange squash as it was to be a warm day.

After a short drive to the parking spot by The Ben Damph Bar ( Oops!! Sorry I mean 'The Torridon Inn' as it has been renamed, but all the locals still call it The Ben ) we pulled on our boots and at about 10:50 am. set off up the delightful path through the rhododendrons and into the Caledonian pine forest.

This is one of Linda's favourite paths in the area as it is delightfully shady and full of birdsong. As you walk you can see the Allt Coire Roill thundering down the gorge to your left, then at the top of the gorge there is a spectacular waterfall which can be seen through the trees and is just crying out for a scenery break ( NG 88386 53416, 25 min actual time ).

We didn't stop however until after the fork in the path higher up, which was well needed as although this ascent isn't steep it is a relentless steady climb with no breaks until you get above the trees.

Linda on the RidgeOnce replenished with squash and a quick ciggie we carried on ascending. The path is still very good until it gets to the steep bit that runs up to the col where the river and path have confused themselves. We think this is due to people taking short cuts which has led to erosion on the hill that has in turn caused rain to use these shorts cuts as water courses. Thankfully the really spludgy stuff didn't last long and we were soon into the short zigzag section that leads to the saddle. Here Linda always finds heather very useful as handholds!

Once on the saddle we walked to the opposite edge to peer down into Loch Damph the views were already good but we knew they would be even better as we ascended ( NG 87596 51688, 1 hr 40 min actual time ). After a brief rest we carried on up towards the first of the subsidiary tops ( which some think is the summit ), but bypassed it on a good path to the west. Here the ground turns bouldery and continues as boulder field all the way to the summit Spidean Coir' an Laoigh, so if you don't like boulder fields this is not the hill for you.

A tenuous path leads through the boulders but is very easily lost. We saw a tiny, baby ptarmigan chick on the path squeaking frantically probably looking for it's mum. It was gone when we came back so either it's mum or an eagle found it, hopefully the former.

Alan taking in the summit panoramaAs we ascended the narrow part of the ridge we were treated to some cracking views down into the corrie followed by the final easy pull up to the summit ( NG 89263 50192, 3 hr 15 min actual time - we had not been in a rush!!! ).

Here the views were as stunning as we remembered them with Loch Torridon, Beinn Alligin, Beinn Dearg, Liathach and Beinn Eighe to the north and Beinn Liath Mhor, Sgurr Ruadh, Maol Chean-dearg and An Ruadh-stac to the south. Over to the north-west we could see the Outer Isles and little Ben Shieldaig with it's summit lochan and to the far south last weeks friends Carn Eighe and Mam Sodhail -- and many more!!

It was a lovely day and we sat in the sunshine with our coffee , soaking up the views. Although there is a shelter cairn on the summit we didn't need to use it as the weather was ideal.



Loch Damph and Loch Torridon from the descentWe stayed for some time and a few other people turned up including a man who looked like the Duke of Edinburgh and a woman that wouldn't stop moaning about how slippery the rocks were. After we had let them get a head start we started the descent, boulder hopping down and occasionally finding the path and then losing it again, but the descent is not difficult and we were not rushing so it was very enjoyable.

Once we had descended as far as the saddle we stopped to apply another quick slap of sunscreen as the sun was very hot, and then descended the spludgy bit and headed back down into the shelter of the forest. We stopped for a scenery break at the waterfall before the delightful walk through the forest again, it's lovely even with sore feet!

Then we walked down through the rhododendrons to the car and a quick drive to Shieldaig led to some well earned pints in the sunshine. Once back at the cottage we had hot showers followed by haddock and chips, before going back to spend our last evening in Shieldaig in the pub with our friends. A great end to a fantastic holiday.