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10 ticks on the east side of Loch Lomond

10 ticks on the east side of Loch Lomond


Postby malky_c » Sun Jun 05, 2022 10:36 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Beinn Uird, Binnean nan Gobhar

Date walked: 24/05/2022

Time taken: 3.2 hours

Distance: 14.5 km

Ascent: 810m

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Sub 2k Marilyns: Binnean nan Gobhar, Beinn Uird
Date: 24/05/2022.
Distance: 14.5km.
Ascent: 810m.
Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes.
Weather: Bright and breezy - not very warm.

A week in Glasgow beckoned as I needed to meet up with people for work. Jackie is still keen to avoid people so I was down on my own. Having just been to a meeting in Perth, I decided to nip up a couple of hills between there and Glasgow. Carleatheren and Stronend were good candidates but I reckoned this pair by Loch Lomond would work too and the scenery would probably be more interesting.


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On the roads over from Perth the weather had done just about everything - strong sunshine to rain so heavy I could barely see where I was going. Would it stay at least partially dry for the walk? It was dry and sunny but quite breezy when I finally parked up at Cashel (£3 for parking). I spent a good 10 minutes wandering around looking for some kind of reassurance that I wouldn't get locked into the carpark, then set off up the forestry track.

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Loch Lomond from above Cashel

As I climbed up the loch and islands emerged from the trees in lovely evening light. There were lots of short woodland walks around but I wanted to be in Glasgow before 10pm (it was now well after 5) so I followed the main track to the top of the woodland.

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Towards the Campsies

A left turn where the track appeared to terminate took me into more mundane conifers, then a right beside a well-concealed hydro dam provided a squishier path to the edge of the trees. From here it was typical Southern Highlands terrain - deep heather, tussocks and wet ground. It is easy to fool yourself that the undergrowth isn't too bad around Arrochar, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs but that is because there are more paths here than further north. Once you leave the paths be prepared for some hard going!

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Towards Beinn Bhreac from the top of the woods

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Conic Hill

I had some semblance of a quad bike track to follow but it was just as wet as the surroundings. Eventually I moved southwards onto a ridge so I could see where I was. As it turned out I had missed the summit with the trig point on it (Beinn Bhreac), but as this wasn't the top I didn't bother to go out of my way to include it. I eventually arrived at a small cairn on an intermediate summit which had great views back to the loch. The highest summit (Binnean nan Gobhar) was now close by and despite the ground not being great, it looked pleasant - a series of outcrops, heather, lochans and small trees. Another few minutes saw me on the summit proper.

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Back to the loch from Beinn Bhreac

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Luss hills

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Ben Lomond and the hills around Loch Katrine

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The summit that wasn't the summit

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Arrochar hills, Beinn Uird and Ben Lomond

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The summit that was the summit (of Binnean nan Gobhar)

While not the most distinguished of hills, I thought this was a decent summit. The ground getting off it was less decent, with some hidden holes amongst the heather - I disappeared up to my knee a couple of times. A gate through the fence on the col between Binnean nan Gobhar and Beinn Uird led to slightly better (and wetter) ground and the actual summit of Beinn Uird was well grazed turf. I was now much closer to Ben Lomond but it appeared to be absorbing any bad weather and the cloud constantly skimmed its top.

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Loch Ard Forest and Ben Venue

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Loch Lomond from Beinn Uird

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Arrochar Alps and Ben Lomond from Beinn Uird

My plan now was to go south along the top edge of the Rowardennan Forest and drop back down to the Cashel burn on the opposite side to the one I had come up. This started well enough with more grazed patches, but the heather gradually took over and after a km or so the going became tougher. I could see that the next couple of km would be pretty similar so I decided to brave the Rowardennan Forest and drop down to the track I could see on the map. It might be rough but I would soon be on a track which would take me most of the way back to Cashel.

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Luss hills from the top edge of the Rowardennan Forest

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Across Loch Lomond to Glen Douglas

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Most of the islands in one shot

...or so I thought! The top of the forest was a good viewpoint onto some of the islands and forested shore of the loch, and although the ground was poor, the initial way was clear. This appeared to have been clear-felled some time ago so new undergrowth had established itself on top of the old stumps. As I got lower, the old overgrown stumps had been replanted over and I had to push between small conifers. The ground became steeper and I was relieved to eventually be thrown out onto a track.

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Towards Luss

As it turned out, this track wasn't marked on my map and I mistook it for a parallel one lower down. I followed it gradually uphill but instead of descending again, it ended. The track I wanted was another 300m down the hillside and the newly planted trees on top of old stumps were even thicker and harder going than higher up. The lower track couldn't come soon enough!

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Wrong track but the hills above Tarbet look nice

This track went uphill a bit as well, but at least it was the correct one and would drop me down to Cashel. Actually it didn't - the last part didn't exist so I ended up following a deer fence down into mixed woodland. Annoying but this was much easier going than the earlier forestry, and had a nice carpet of bluebells to boot. I finally picked up one of the waymarked woodland trails which took me back to the car. Phew!

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Bluebells above Cashel

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More bluebells

Thankfully the carpark wasn't locked as that would really have ruined the end of the day. It was going to be a late night though - I finally rolled into Glasgow at about 9:45pm with dinner still to cook. Unsurprisingly given the vegetation, I removed 9 ticks from my legs while in the shower (none attached) and a 10th one the next day which had attached itself somewhere rather intimate :shock: . While I made all of that sound rather grim, I quite enjoyed myself up there - some nice obscure hills on a (mostly) sunny evening with great views over Loch Lomond. Having now looked at some other walk reports, I would probably avoid the Rowardennan Forest completely in the future and drop straight off Beinn Uird to Blairvockie.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 6382
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:219   Donalds:80+37
Sub 2000:325   Hewitts:281
Wainwrights:140   Islands:41
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness/Glasgow

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