Bealach Nae Ba

Bealach Nae Ba


Distance:     5 Miles

Ascent:         2,500ft

Difficulty:    Hard

Safety:          Single track tarmac with passing places

Highlights:  The top looking down on Skye

One of Britain's Greatest Climbs

One of the greatest climbs in Britain. Bealach-Na-Ba really takes the breath away and offers a great cycling challenge. Starting from near sea-level it rises 626m in 9.1km of uphill – reaching 20% at its steepest gradient. As part of our yearly challenge, we decided to tackle a truly magnificent climb. Mixed in with the ascents were fabulous views, stunning landscape, Lochs, deer and of course famous Scottish hospitality. 

Situated on the west coast of Scotland it can be approached from the North or South. We undertook a route that started in Inverness the day before and headed south down Loch Ness, with an overnight stop in Fort Augustus. The day of the climb we went over the central highlands past the Highlander castle of Alan Doran with a final rest in......


The beauty of this limb is it starts right at sea level, just around the corner from Faslane submarine base, so you know where you begin. Looming above you are two couloirs ribbed with solid rock stretching into the misty heavens. The start is fairly gentle and allows you to cover the first couple of miles at a pace above 4-5 miles an hour. It's only when you turn the corner and imagine you are at the top that the steep bit appears. Then, you find yourself being ground down by the S-bends at the top. If you are slow like me then you watch in agony as the leaders round the bends to the top.

Looking back down the pass

The summit is everything you could wish for in terms of satisfaction. As long as the weather is clear of course. You end up looking down on the Isle of Skye which shows you just how far you have come. We got lucky and the sun was filtering through the clouds, looking like fingers caressing the mountain tops. The descent is equally as rewarding and finishes in Applecross. One of the finest pints you can ever imagine awaits you at the bottom in the .....pub

The Summit and the Isle of Skye in the background


To eat and drink in Applecross: http://www.applecross.uk.com/inn/

To Stay: https://www.syha.org.uk/where-to-stay/highlands/applecross.aspx

The Route

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