Summit of Garbh-bheinn 

At 808m high, Garbh-bheinn (sometimes anglicised as Garaven) is one of only two mountains on Skye classified as a Corbett (between 2,500 and 2,999 ft high). The other is Glamaig. Despite not reaching Munro status, an ascent of Garbh-bheinn, whose name means 'rough mountain', is right at the extreme end of what constitutes a hillwalk. Reaching the summit requires putting hand to rock, but not before you've reached 40m from the top. The last section is a little narrow in places and is best tackled in decent weather.

 Garbh-bheinn summit

The starting point for this one is the big waterfall, Eas a' Bhradain, by the A87 at the head of Loch Ainort.There is a big parking lay-by at NG534267. Head off the road following the highest part of the ridge - Druim Eadar da Choire. To begin with it is very rough going, but before long a path starts to develop (it starts at NG53202607) and the way is clear right up to the high point of 489m at NG525243.This is a fine viewpoint, worth pausing to enjoy. There is a full length panorama of the main Cuillin Ridge and a close view of Marsco and the southern end of Glen Sligachan. The summit of Ruadh Stac is right there at eye level too.

The Cuillin from Garbh-bheinn

From this minor summit there is a descent of a couple of hundred feet to the bealach where the granite of the Red Hills meets the gabbro of the Cuillin outliers. The contrast is strong. At the bealach you leave the characteristic short grass and easy, rounded topography for the raw black jaggy stuff. It does get steep here, but it really is much less daunting than it looks on the approach.

Garbh-bheinn from Druim Eadar Da Choire

There are traces of pathway up through the areas of scree, and route finding is just a case of following, not too closely, the edge of the coire on your left. Just before the summit the ridge steepens to an easy scramble, turns left and narrows. There is then a small further rise to the summit itself.

As you reach the top, the views open up to the other gabbro outliers, Clach Glas and Bla Bheinn, but neither is in reach from here by non-climbers. For us, the return is by retracing the way we came up.

Looking down the north ridge of Garbh-bheinn