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Beinn Heasgarnich & Creag Mhor - Loch Lyon Bike & Hike

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:53 pm
by dhowie5
First time writing a walk report and I do so in the hope it provides others with some food for thought on an alternative route up Beinn Heasgarnich & Creag Mhor.

I’d been looking at climbing these two less popular hills for a while and with the forecast looking good, booked a last minute day off work. From the walk reports, I could only find one other where someone had climbed these two from the North - there probably are more reports for this route, somewhere!

Route from Beinn Heasgarnaich & Creag Mhor.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I set off from Kenmore and arrived at Loch Lyon dam around an hour later. Be prepared for the long and windy single track road through the Glen. It was a fairly straight forward cycle on a good path for 4.5 miles/32 mins, pretty flat for the most part other than one section where I jumped off and pushed. There were a few burns to cross which might pose some difficulty after very heavy downpours but I’d imagine you’ll find a way across one way or another. The wooden bridge photographed in the other walk report for this route is now all but gone and impassable.

I stashed the bike just before Alt Fionn a’ Ghlinne and began to head up the steep sides of Beinn Heasgarnich. N.b. I followed a route which I’d found on ViewRanger. There was an alternative route which heads up the hill a bit further east.

I was in low fog for the majority of the ascent which meant it was difficult to plan the exact route to take. Eventually at around 700m I broke through the fog and was treated to an inversion. I reached the summit around 1hr 30 mins after leaving the bike. Quick bite to eat and onto Creag Mhor.

Creag Mhor above the clouds

Beinn Heasgarnich

On the route up, I found the remnants of a helium balloon which I picked up. I don’t understand how releasing plastic waste into the environment is still acceptable - especially when it’s done in memory of the deceased!

The descent to the beallach wasn’t too bad, if a little difficult with the wetness. On the ascent of Creag Mhor, I decided to follow the route I’d downloaded from ViewRanger and stick tightly to the crags. The last section was incredibly hard going on the legs and in hindsight, I should have aimed for the beallach between Creag Mhor and Meall Tionail which I think is actually the WH recommended route. It took me around 1hr 45 mins between the two summits.

Creag Mhor in the clouds

The walk back down to the bike was pathless and boggy in places but manageable. By this time the fog had cleared and it was impressive seeing the bulk of Beinn Heasgarnich and I remember thinking to myself “how on earth did I make it up that?!”. I hope the photo does the number of ravines which looked like they had been ploughed into the hillside justice.
Beinn Heasgarnich

All in, around 5hrs 20 mins walking and 30 mins each way on the bike. I have a bad habit of putting my head down and not stopping so my time is probably a bit on the fast side.

I plan on bagging Beinn a Creachain, Beinn Achaladair and Beinn Mhanach via Loch Lyon in the future. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has approached these hills via a bike & hike! I’ve downloaded a route from ViewRanger which estimates around 16 miles as well.

Looking back towards Beinn Creachain

I travelled back to Kenmore via the private road over to Glen Lochay which probably wasn’t the wisest of moves. The road was passable but large sections have been washed out. I certainly don’t think I’d have made it heading in the opposite direction due to the large sections of gravel slopes!


Re: Beinn Heasgarnich & Creag Mhor - Loch Lyon Bike & Hike

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:36 pm
by Sspaterson
Did same route back in November 2020 and did a bike n hike of Ben Mhannach earlier this year (should be on walk reports somewhere). It was pretty straightforward but would advice to leave bike this side of the river rather than trying to carry it across the stepping stones. You've only got about another 100 metres before you go straight up the hillside so it's not worth the hassle.