walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views


Postby steverabone » Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:42 pm

Route description: Ben Donich, via Rest and Be Thankful

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Donich, The Brack

Date walked: 10/08/2021

Time taken: 9 hours

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).


The brack and ben donnich.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



I have had reports that the photos are not appearing on this report. If you can't see them you can see them all and the text on my website.

[url]/www.steverabone.com/MunroWalker/ben_donnich_and_the_brack.html[/url]

In June 2021 I attempted to climb The Brack from Ardgartan approaching the hill along the Cowal Way up the Coilessan Glen. It was a day of heavy rain, thick mist and, further up the hill, increasingly strong winds. With less than a kilometre to go to the summit I decided to abandon the
walk.
Two months later in August I decided to try again but this time to combine climbing The Brack with the neighbouring Ben Donich and starting from the Rest and Be Thankful pass.
Image
It was a very early start from Glasgow on the 06:15 bus to Campbeltown seen here at Rest and Be Thankful at a quarter to eight.
Image
Is this the only bus shelter in Britain to have a gate to keep out the animals?
Image
Looking north towards Loch Restil with the cliffs of Beinn an Lochain towering above the water.
Image
In the opposite direction the A83 and the old military road can be seen in Glen Croe. The old road had been pressed into use the week before because of concerns that there might have been another severe earth slide down onto the A83.
Image
My objective for the morning was Ben Donich with its summit hidden by cloud.
Image
The hill walk starts just off the B828 Lochgoilhead road along a forest drive....
Image
...and is clearly signposted for walkers to Ben Donich.
Image
The hill track leaves the forest road...
Image
...and is initially very broad through recently planted trees.
Image
It soon reaches a gate leading onto the hillside.
Image
Looking back to the Rest and Be Thankful and Loch Restil.
Image
Across Glen Croe the engineering works needed to try and keep the A83 open can be seen. The hillside has been cleared of vegetation and a catch pit has been blasted out of the rock into which any landslides will fall. A high concrete wall along the roadside protects the road itself.
Image
The nature of the climb is quite varied....
Image
....with a lot of minor rocky sections and quite steep in places.
Image
Looking down Gleann Mor towards Lochgoilhead.
Image
There's a slackening of the gradient
Image
....followed by an enjoyable zigzagging section.
Image
Looking back down Glen Croe towards Arrochar.
Image
The hillside further on is littered with boulders and .....
Image
....several sections of rocky slabs to climb.
Image
There's a glimpse of Loch Fyne across Gleann Mor.
Image
The climb reaches this small crag near the spot height at 660m....
Image
....with the dip beyond marked on the map as Coire Culach where the path drops slightly for a short distance.
Image
Once past Coire Culach the climbing starts again and I get....
Image
...the first view of the day's second hill, The Brack.
Image
This interesting looking rock formation preceeds to the main excitement of the walk up Ben Donich.
Image
The path leads straight to this drop down a rock outcrop into a deep cleft across the ridge. It's not too difficult as there are plenty of foot and hand holds but I threw my trekking poles down the twenty or so feet and then half way down realised that I would be safer without my rucksack on and dropped that down as well.
Image
Looking back from the bottom of cleft whilst....
Image
....on the other side there are more rocks to climb up.
Image
With the excitement over it's a gentle stroll across...
Image
...the summit plateau past a small lochan..
Image
....before reaching the triangulation point. It had taken me two hours to get to the summit of Ben Donich (847m) , a little longer than expected as I'd had a slightly problem with a toe that need attention!
Obviously, there were no views so after a brief chat with the only walker I saw all day I set off towards The Brack.
Image
After retracing my steps for a short distance to NN22060 04420 I headed off eastwards across the trackless hillside towards Bealach Dubh-lic.
Image
There's another small lochan that's marked on the map ....
Image
...but it's then a case of finding the way down the hill (about 400m of descent and 2km distance) to the bealach.
Image
It is rough ground, in places quite steep...
Image
.....and with a lot of small crags to avoid and work around.
Image
The views were improving and in this photo the head of Loch Long at Arrochar can be seen with Ben Lomond beyond.
Image
....whilst to the south west is Loch Goil and the Firth of Clyde.
Image
Beyond these outcrops the Cobbler still has a cap of cloud on it.
Image
There is a small but well built cairn on a large rock near the 575m spot height. Quite why it is there I have no idea as there were no obvious paths nearby.
Image
A glance back northwards shows the Rest and Be Thankful and Loch Reskil.
Image
Suddenly I stumble across a short section of a track but whether it's made by animals or humans isn't clear. Needless to say it soon disappears.
Image
Eventually about 90 minutes from the summit of Ben Donich I arrive at Bealach Dubh-lic. The photo is looking back the way I've come down.
Image
There's a low fence to cross but at one section the top wire has been pulled lower so this is obviously the place walkers are supposed to cross. Whilst I have a banana to give me some energy I ponder which approach to take up The Brack and decide not to go straight up the north west ridge which has a lot of crags on it.
Image
This panorama photo is looking across the bealach towards Glen Crowe with the distinctive rock formation on the Cobbler now visible.
Image
Initially I headed more or less due south gradually climbing uphill to about 540m contour. Lower down it's a bit wet but soon dries up ...
Image
...and for a short while I find a faint track to follow below some crags.
Image
Once beyond these I turned towards the south east and started ....
Image
...to climb up the steep grassy slopes keeping to the left of the gully on the right
Image
The climb is unrelentingly steep as can be seen in this image with the Cobbler and Beinn Narnain in the background.
Image
It was simply a case of slogging uphill slowly and steadily stopping quite frequently to admire the view.........
Image
Looking back towards Rest and Be Thankful with Beinn an Lochain now clear of cloud.
Image
At last the summit of The Brack (787m) was reached. It had taken nearly an hour and a half from the bealach much longer than the hour I had expected.However, the difficulty of the climb was
soon forgotten with the superb views. Beyond the summit are the Cobbler and Ben Naranain.
Image
Arrochar at the head of Loch Long with Loch Lomond beyond and Ben Lomond.
Image
Ben Donich panoramic image.
Image
Looking down The Brack's southern ridge with Cnoc Coinnich on the left, and Loch Goil in the centre.
Image
Loch Long, the Gare Loch and the Firth of Clyde beyond .
Image
I had considered the possibility of also climbing the third Corbett in this area - Cnoc Coinnich - but as I needed to be back at Ardgartan by 1720 for the bus back to Glasgow I clearly would not have
time (and almost certainly not the energy!) so that hill will have lot wait.The walk back to Ardgartan was to be by the Coilessan Glen route so I set off down the ridge. For most of the way there is a faint path...
Image
...although in some places it disappears.
Image
This is where I turned back on my previous attempt to climb The Brack.
Image
There's a small lochan about half way down the ridge...
Image
.....although my attempt to get an “arty”image of Ben Donich wasn't quite as successful as I'd hoped.
Image
On my previous attempt I'd climbed over the high point of the ridge (on the right) with its spot height of 578m but heading down hill there is a clear bypass path which...
Image
.....skirts around under the crags.
Image
Looking back to The Brack.
Image
After hopping over a low fence I joined the Cowal Way ...
Image
....which enters the forest at a stile and gate...
Image
......before dropping steeply to join the ...
Image
....forest road.
Image
At a junction the main route is downhill....
Image
....and a couple of kilometres from the edge of the forest Loch Long comes into view and the beginning of the paved road back to the Ardgartan car park.This is a pleasant and easy end to the
walk. The walk had taken just under 9 hours. A tough but enjoyable day.
Last edited by steverabone on Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
steverabone
 
Posts: 60
Munros:190   Corbetts:34
Sub 2000:4   
Islands:38
Joined: Apr 6, 2008

Re: Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Postby jmarkb » Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:01 pm

Just in case you see something different - your images are not showing up in your report. I can only seeing them by opening the links in a new tab/window.
User avatar
jmarkb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 4873
Munros:241   Corbetts:98
Grahams:81   Donalds:31
Sub 2000:46   
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Postby nigheandonn » Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:36 pm

I can see them in Firefox, but not when I tried in Chrome. Maybe this is something Paul would (not) like to know :D
User avatar
nigheandonn
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1537
Munros:19   Corbetts:9
Grahams:7   Donalds:26
Sub 2000:54   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:214   Islands:34
Joined: Jul 7, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Postby steverabone » Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:37 pm

jmarkb wrote:Just in case you see something different - your images are not showing up in your report. I can only seeing them by opening the links in a new tab/window.


This is curious. I can see them on my pc and also my tablet but not on my mobile phone.

The direct link below is to my website which has almost the same text but also the panoramas can be seen full size.

http://www.steverabone.com/MunroWalker/ben_donnich_and_the_brack.html

Has anybody any ideas why the photos aren't appearing on some devices?
steverabone
 
Posts: 60
Munros:190   Corbetts:34
Sub 2000:4   
Islands:38
Joined: Apr 6, 2008

Re: Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Postby steverabone » Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:48 pm

This does seem to be a problem related to Chrome. On my mobile I had the same problem with images not appearing. I've installed Firefox and the images are there.

It's a pity that this problem takes away from what a cracking walk I had. Maybe somebody can post about the walk rather than tech issues!!!!! :roll: :clap:
steverabone
 
Posts: 60
Munros:190   Corbetts:34
Sub 2000:4   
Islands:38
Joined: Apr 6, 2008

Re: Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Postby Paul Webster » Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:51 pm

I think it is because they are on your own website, which is not secure (https).

Chrome has changed its settings so that non-secure content isn't shown by default as part of a secure webpage - because it can create security issues for viewers; I suspect this will eventually happen with other browsers too. So you have to open them in another page rather than have mixed secure and non-secure content. You might want to get a security certificate for your website (google letsencrypt) so you can include secure pics; non-secure sites are also getting demoted in search; you'll see your site displays a warning at the moment in Chrome.
User avatar
Paul Webster
Site Admin
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 5429
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:68   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:117   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:134   Islands:92
Joined: Jan 6, 2007
Location: Highland
Walk wish-list

Re: Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Postby steverabone » Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:07 pm

Paul Webster wrote:I think it is because they are on your own website, which is not secure (https).

Chrome has changed its settings so that non-secure content isn't shown by default as part of a secure webpage - because it can create security issues for viewers; I suspect this will eventually happen with other browsers too. So you have to open them in another page rather than have mixed secure and non-secure content. You might want to get a security certificate for your website (google letsencrypt) so you can include secure pics; non-secure sites are also getting demoted in search; you'll see your site displays a warning at the moment in Chrome.


Thanks for that advice. I've now applied to have my site certified so will hopefully become https shortly.
steverabone
 
Posts: 60
Munros:190   Corbetts:34
Sub 2000:4   
Islands:38
Joined: Apr 6, 2008

Re: Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Postby Paul Webster » Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:34 am

:thumbup: works
User avatar
Paul Webster
Site Admin
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 5429
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:68   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:117   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:134   Islands:92
Joined: Jan 6, 2007
Location: Highland
Walk wish-list

Re: Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Postby jmarkb » Wed Aug 18, 2021 11:11 am

steverabone wrote:Maybe somebody can post about the walk rather than tech issues!!!!! :roll: :clap:


Nice way to do these two as a traverse! When you go back to do Cnoc Coinnich, starting from Lochgoilhead and including the Saddle and Beinn Reithe is an interesting option (some rough going on the Saddle, but it gets better!).
User avatar
jmarkb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 4873
Munros:241   Corbetts:98
Grahams:81   Donalds:31
Sub 2000:46   
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ben Donich and The Brack - steep but good views

Postby steverabone » Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:30 pm

Thanks for the suggestion to tackle Cnoc Coinnich from Lochgoilhead.

As you may guess I use public transport wherever possible (I don't want to drive up from Middlesbrough so take the train up to Scotland). One possibility would be to travel to Helensburgh by train and take one of the afternoon buses to Lochgoilhead and stay there. That would be much better than staying in Glasgow!. The next day climb the hills and catch the bus back to Glasgow from Ardgartan.

Thanks for all the advice about getting my website a SSL certificate so my website is now an https one!
steverabone
 
Posts: 60
Munros:190   Corbetts:34
Sub 2000:4   
Islands:38
Joined: Apr 6, 2008

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests