Seana Bhraigh August 2006

Helen Rose Hill Diary

Photo: Seana Bhraigh. As I continue the quest to complete the full round of Munros in Scotland, there have been a few that I was not looking forward to climbing. One of those was Seana Bhraigh (pronounced Shona Bray). It was a mountain that other hill walkers had done and were not enthusiastic about climbing a second time. However, by speaking to other walkers, I found a much easier way to do it. Most walkers have done it from Inverlael on the road to Ullapool and it involves a lot of ascent and descent as another hill lies between it and the glen at the start of the walk.

The easy route is from Oykel Bridge, near Rosehall on the road from Lairg and we completed it as slow walkers in seven hours at a very leisurely pace on a fine summers? day. The only disadvantage was the length of the drive from Kiltarlity where Floris lives but it did save a lot of hard work and if anyone asks me about Seana Bhraigh, I will not throw up my hands in horror and say it is a long, hard walk. As it is a mountain which has eluded me for years, I was delighted to complete it as an easy walk. Seven hours may sound long to non hill walkers but this year I have walked up to 14 hours in the Cairngorms. Now, that is what I call a long walk and I will write about the Cairngorms shortly.

There is a fair drive from Oykel Bridge to the start of the walk at the Corriemulzie Lodge but there is ample car parking. The landrover track from the car park goes steadily uphill south alongside the Corriemulzie River for about eight kilometres. A cycle could be used but I am a purist about these things and have never used a cycle to Munro bag. Actually, I am not a purist, just a poor cyclist! No river crossing was required as we left the riverside and carried up grassy slopes to the ridge. It was all very easy walking in good weather. We hit a boulder strewn area just before the top but as soon as we were on the top, the cairn was close. You can carry on around the ridge to An Sgurr where the route from Inverlael is and then carry on down and around past a bothy back to the turn off at the river but there will be a river crossing on this route. There is then the walk back along the track to Oykel Bridge but I don?t mind as there is a different vista on the return journey.

Photo: Oykel Bridge Hotel. Oykel Bridge is a fishing area and the Oykel Bridge was full of fishermen all dressed for dinner but they did not seem to mind two sweaty hill walkers sitting with them! This is prime fishing country and the hotel is full of fishing memorabilia. The beats are expensive here on the river but presumably well stocked.

Well, if you are a bagger, you now know the best route to Seana Bhraigh. I have only 19 more Munros to do so I hope to finish next year but before then I have some big hills to climb, eg Bidean Coire Sheasgaich. Any offers of help?

Coming attractions: Cairngorms, Mullardochs, Beinn Fhionnaidlh on a boat and return to Rum.

Contact me at [email protected]

Thanks to Tom Addie for the photograph and the Oykel Bridge Hotel for the painting.