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Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby PeteR » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:30 pm

Route description: Beinn an Lochain

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn an Lochain

Date walked: 13/03/2011

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Checking out the MWIS forecast for the weekend and I wasn't too keen on travelling too far Sunday as it wasn't looking too clever. So instead decided to stay a little closer to home and settled on Arrochar. Time to visit an old favourite, Beinn an Lochan. Have been on this hill a few times over the years and have never been disaapointed. And this trip would turn out no different. The walk up the ridge is always great fun and the latest dump of snow just made it even more interesting.

Heading past the car park for the Cobbler and friends there were a few walkers about and so I had expected to see cars at the Lochain parking area, but when I arrived there wasn't a car in sight. It looked like I had the hill to myself.

As I parked up and got myself ready there was a bit of a breeze and I was reminded of my last visit here last winter, when a group of us had to turn back due to the gusts about two thirds up the hill. But undeterred I set off.
Today's objective

Even early on the views opened up
Rest and be Thankful and Ben Donich

Lower down on the ridge it was a combination of bog and wet snow, which made for a bit of hard work either slipping or sinking. But thinks were improving the further I went and the higher I got.
The start of the ridge

Then I arrived at a nice scrambly bit, which is always fun..... :D
The scrambly bit .......Fun, fun, fun

As I made progress, so the snow improved and became a lot firmer, if deeper in places. The wind was also picking up steadily, but nothing to get too concerned about at this stage.
Moving up the ridge

Despite no cars at the parking area I suddenly became aware of fresh footprints in the snow :? ......so I clearly wasn't alone. Despite the prints I never caught sight of the other walkers on the hill.
Fresh prints in the snow

Despite the cloud about I was lucky, as the views were always there and the route ahead always looked inviting.
Onwards and upwards

But it also looked impressive when the cloud descended, although the wind was picking up now and any cloud that did appear didn't last for too long.
Intimidating in the mist

It was just great fun walking in the snow. By now the path was obliterated and it was a case of pick your own route. But that just added to the enjoyment of the day. It was pretty steep in places. A very different experience from my other visits here. I was taking it slow and steady, but was decided I wouldn't be returning by the same route as I didn't fancy coming back down what I was currently clambering up.
Looking good

And a bit closer up
Good snow

Nice views opened up toward the Arrochar Alps, with the Cobbler taking centre stage :D
Toward the Cobbler

As I hit the ridge before the final push to the summit the wind really picked up and I was being buffeted all over the place. Looking at the final ridge left me feling nervous and having already got it into my head not to go back down the same route I had a moments hesitation about carrying on :? Head back now or just go for it? Despite my natural caution hill walking has taught me that sometimes it's just a case of growing a pair and getting on with it. And so I found myself headed for the final push ..... and for a moment the wind speed dropped ...... ever so slightly!
Looking at the final push

And was I glad I did carry on? The walk up the narrow ridge was fantastic :D
Deep snow :D
Looking back

More deep snow :D
Almost there

Fantastic views :D :D
Toward Loch Fynne

And a window on the world :D 8)
Blue sky

By the time I got to the summit the wind was well up. I was being pushed all over the place. Can't believe I was able to stand still long enough to take a quick photo. Then it was a case of continuing along to the south top and then off the hill.
South top

Getting to the south top I decided to drop down the back of the hill, avoiding anything that looked even remotely steep. The plan was to bear left and pick up the ros back to the Rest and be Thankful. But then that left the prospect of a treck back along the road to the car. So..... I decided to bear right and pick up the road nearer to Butterbridge and the car. Well, it was a good treck, but little did I know how far it was, how much forest there was to navigate, how long it would take and just how far I was from the car still :shock:

I did get some good views in compensation
Beinn Chorranach & Beinn Ime

Looking back the route just taken

Still ..... eventually I spied the old bridge at Butterbridge, which meant's it wasn't much further to go. Soon I was back at the car, and just as well. Driving back toward the Rest and be Thankful and the rain set in. But that couldn't spoil what had been an excellent day on a cracking little hill.
The old bridge of Butterbridge
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Re: Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby The-Big-Grey-Man » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:56 am

Yeah Beinn an Lochain is very high on my list of mountains to climb this year, it looked very impressive when I saw it from the Cobbler, mayby in the summer if I can get a day or so to spare. Like picture 7197, looks like something you might see on the continent.
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Re: Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby yokehead » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:37 pm

Wonderful stuff, great description and superb photos. Particularly like 'blue sky'. 8) I'm feeling very jealous! :sick:

PeteR wrote:Despite my natural caution hill walking has taught me that sometimes it's just a case of growing a pair and getting on with it.

:lol: :lol:

And well done in persevering, it was certainly worth it, also adds extra spice to the day!
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Re: Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby monty » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:24 pm

Excellent report. Love the "Window on the World". Perseverence paid off. :D

Re: Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby Del246 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:08 pm

Cracking pics, well done.
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Re: Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby houdi » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:44 pm

Pah snow indeed! What planet are you people on up there? We've got sunbathing beach weather down here in South Devon. Seriously though, cracking report and pics. Don't envy you with the snow though. I'll stick to the beach if you don't mind :lol:
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Re: Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby malky_c » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:15 pm

Brilliant - that must easily have been the best of the weather on Sunday. Some great photos and looked quite hard going too 8)
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Re: Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby soulminer » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:26 pm

Makes you work hard for the joy of summiting :lol: Cracking big mountain for a winter walk 8) Similar conditions to what Doogz and I encountered, worth the effort for the views 8) Thanks for the photographic reminders :D
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Re: Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby LeithySuburbs » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:36 pm

Nice 8) . Looks a really enjoyable hill this one - duly noted maybe for next winter.
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Re: Super snow on Beinn an Lochain

Postby Jock McJock » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:33 am

What a difference a week makes. Was on The Brack last week and there was very little snow, except a wee bit near the top. Cloud was bad that day so didn't get much of a view once I went past 600m. Done Beinn an Lochain last year and got the same cloudy day, so didn't see much that day either. Will def be back on a clear day for this one. Nice pics :)
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