The John Muir Trust own/manage all or part of the countryside in this area and are commited to the conservation of wild places. You can support them by joining the trust or donating to their latest appeals or by spreading awareness.
Latest Appeal: The John Muir Trust assisted the Lochinver community (Assynt Foundation) to purchase the outstanding 44,500 acres of Assynt and Drumrunie Estates including the iconic mountains Suilven, Canisp, Cul Mor and Cul Beag. The land will now be safeguarded as a national treasure, creating lasting benefit for generations to come. In addition to having four SSSI's, a special area of conservation and a special protection area for breeding birds the area was awarded European Geopark status in recognition of its outstanding geology and landscape.
Blaven is probably the exception on Skye - it is part of the Black Cuillin but it's not actually connected to the main ridge. A full traverse of the ridge (raditionally starting from Sgurr nan Eag) should finish with the Bla Bhienn-Clach Glas traverse but many simply stop at sgurr nan Gillean - their loss.
The mountain itself is beautiful with a very distinctive appearance - I can't possibly do it justice by trying to describle it here, so go and see for yourself! - Then try some other walks on Skye.
This page won't detail the traverse - just Bla Bhienn - the traverse will (at some point) be included as a mountaineering route.
MAP: the best map is probably OS Outdoor Leisure 8 1:25000
Where to start
Bla Bhienn is managed by the John Muir Trust - they have provided a car park at 562217 which is about 1 mile after the village of Torrin, just around the head of Loch Slapin.
This land is tennanted so there may be access restrictions byr the JMT will advise of these, generally by using signs at the car park or on their website.
The path leaves from next to the car park, just before the bridge - you can't miss it.
The normal approach is from the car park above but you can walk in from Elgol, either directly (marked footpath along coast to Camasunary - great beach!) or at Kirkibost (discouraged as this is an active farm)
Follow the path up towards the mountain - it is only a short walk-in. The path is westerly at first passing some waterfalls at 550203. Proceed into Coire Uagheich (I have no idea how to say that), past An Stac, until you can "see" the lochan marked at 538211 - the lochan is a useful place for taking bearings to/from. You shouldn't be next to it, though - unless you're going swimming.
From the bottom of the corrie's basin there are several ways to go and you might see several paths of varying distinction - competent scamblers can elect to head straight up - heading for the col at 529217 just below the summit - useful descent route - other walkers may prefer to walk in a more westerly direction to the scree slopes where several paths wind their way up onto the ridge...
There is always "back the way you came" but that's not always fun. From the summit of Bla Bhienn there are probably about 4 choices not including descending Clach Glas:
- Descend the scree slopes from the middle of the ridge back to the corrie.
- Descend the scree from the col at the top (529217) (quickest).
- Head off the top on bearing 092° grid making sure you miss the cliff (check this yourself! - never trust a web page) following a path heading down the least steep slopes passing a flatter area at 700m (534216)
- Head off down the ridge towards Camasunary beach and Loch Coruisk - this is the recommended route if it's a bright sunny day - the views afforded by this walk are practically unsurpassable - the entire Cuillin ridge laid out before you behind the loch with the smaller but beautiful and contrasting Red Cuillin occupying the forground... wow!
Summer navigation is fairly straightforward here - as is the mountain - make sure you're familiar with your intended route before starting, though because if the weather closes in you can't see anything and many drops are vertical...
In winter the usual rules apply - if you can't navigate well - stay at home or better still - get on a course and learn properly.
In summer this is a straightforward walk - Boots, Waterproofs, Fluids, Food, Insect Repellant & space clothing.
In winter you'll need all the normal clothing, crampons, axes etc - be very careful, too because the ridge has some serious drops on either side!