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Highland Coo Safari on Beinn a'Chochuill

Highland Coo Safari on Beinn a'Chochuill

Postby IrnBru92 » Sun Oct 25, 2020 6:25 pm

Route description: Beinn a'Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a' Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich

Date walked: 22/10/2020

Time taken: 5 hours

Ascent: 980m

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We did this walk towards the end of a completely washed out week staying near Oban, where it tipped it down with rain almost non-stop every day and night for most of our time there. Desperate to squeeze in a munro, we raced out on the one dry day to bag Beinn a'Chochuill, as we'd already walked up it's neighbour Cruachan the previous year and loved the area. From the get-go we decided not to include Beinn Eunaich in our walk this time, as the steep final descent sounded particularly treacherous in mega-boggy conditions following all the days of heavy rain. I was hoping to avoid a muddy tumble for a change! :crazy:

We parked easily at the start of the walk, arriving at 8.30am and only the second car there. From there, it was boots on and straight through the gate into some farmland, with Beinn a'Chochuill looking down on us. Now, I'd read the other walk reports and knew we might see some highland cows, but I was expecting to see them in the distance or at least off the path. To my surprise they were on the path as soon as we started the walk, and the entire first chunk of the journey they would be standing, sitting or wandering around right beside us on the path. A wee bit scary up close, I'll be honest, and we were careful to give them a wide berth so as not to startle them, but it was a real instant highlight of the walk to see these lovely animals so close up. Maybe we were just lucky on the day but it truly felt like we were on our own private highland coo safari with Hamish and chums :lol:


The real Monarch of the Glen

After a fair few photo stops to admire our bovine pals, we were behind on time but thoroughly enjoying ourselves. This changed pretty swiftly though as we reached the end of the snaking path and hit the point of actually ascending the mountain. Blame it on our reduced fitness post-lockdown, or blame it on the exceptional bogginess after all the rain - either way it was A SLOG marching upwards through thick mud and trying to make progress without sinking or slipping. This is where we found ourselves pausing a lot more than normal (hello very early scotch egg lunch to give us an energy boost!) although we couldn't afford to stop for too long - the view ahead was clear, but below us clouds were gradually working their way towards us and we wanted to make sure we got to the top before they did. Onwards!

After about an hour, we made it up through the boggy ascent and onto the ridge to a view which unfolded beautifully and restored our good moods completely. Despite the thick grey cloud behind us, ahead of us the view over Glen Kinglas was truly stunning, with the autumn colours really putting on a show.

View over the ridge

From this point, the walk was an absolute pleasure - turning left to ascend Beinn a'Chochuil (instead of turning right onto Beinn Eunach) it was a lovely path to rocket up, with great views all around and a few easy rocks to de-tour and scramble on for fun. Reached the top at about 11am. The light and views at the top were perfect for some great photos of the neighbouring mountaintops and valleys, and of course a slice of millionaire's shortbread while we soaked up the view. It looked particularly dramatic with the cloud rising up below us like smoke!


As we made our way down (back the same route we'd come up - didn't fancy our chances on the steep descent from Beinn Eunach given the boggy wet conditions) the cloud continued up towards the top of the mountain, and pretty much stayed there until we reached the bottom. We really had hit the jackpot with the views when we'd been up there, and felt sorry for the other climbers making their way up behind us to a sorry foggy sight. The descent down the hillside was of course much easier than on the way up, and we had another chance to say hello to our highland coo pals (who seemed to have gotten bored of us and wandered off into the grass this time!). Back to the car in decent time, rounding off a nice easy return to munro climbing after months stuck indoors!

Spot the highland cow!
Hill Bagger
Posts: 1
Munros:4   Corbetts:1
Joined: Oct 25, 2020

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