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Bank Holiday II: Loch Fyne to Loch Lomond with Scary Cows

Bank Holiday II: Loch Fyne to Loch Lomond with Scary Cows


Postby Craiging619 » Sun Sep 11, 2022 12:30 pm

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn Damhain

Date walked: 24/05/2015

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 18.7 km

Ascent: 700m

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Part I: Creise, The Bike Race & The Lost Camera
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=114492

Previously in my 2015 Bank Holiday Bus / Hill Marathon, I had gone up to Glencoe, run into a colleague acting as a steward for a bike race on Meall a' Bhùiridh, headed over Creise and Beinn Mhic Chasgaig, crossed a river, found a camera, found the guy who'd lost the camera, gave him the camera and just avoided the rain with a minute to spare. I was hoping for a more straightforward day today, but I had picked an unusual route...

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I took the Oban / Campbeltown bus (can't remember which one) and jumped off at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. The weather had been ok at Loch Lomond but was starting to cloud over here.

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A herd of cows. I get nervous around cows, but thankfully these ones are fenced off. For now...

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I was heading up the private / hydro road on the Eastern side of Glen Fyne, before it crossed a bridge and met the other one. My aim was to climb Beinn Damhain and head over the other side to the Drovers Inn, but if there were any complications, I could just head back to Loch Fyne with my Citylink Explorer Pass.

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I could see the two patches of forest ahead, which meant I was nearing the bridge. There were some more Highland Cows ahead, but hopefully the road was fenced off, right...? Right...? :o

I turned around to find a bull. With horns, Walking towards me. With pace. :shock:

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I don't really know the protocol for this. Run as fast as you can, or walk normally so as not to unsettle them? In 2012 I walked straight through a herd of cows (pretty close to here actually), but at this point I had never heard any stories of cows attacking people unless dogs were involved. In the years between 2012 and 2015, I read something on this website about walkers without dogs being viciously attacked and being left with serious injuries. Or worse......

I just legged it. Sprinted as fast as I could up the road, and eventually round the corner of the forest towards the bridge. There was no time for photos of the bull, because, well obviously. :crazy:

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After about five minutes I turned round again. No bull this time. I nearly fainted with relief, then picked myself up and crossed the bridge, secretly hoping that bulls have some bridge-phobia.

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Already I was getting tired of Glen Fyne, due to the angry residents, so I headed towards the track heading up the hill to the right (before the old Beinn Buidhe route).

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Oi, are those your cows?

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Finally, it was time to start the climb proper.

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The long, long view back through FarmVille to Loch Fyne.

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A hydro thing.

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The track climbs gently from about 50m to 300m, heading towards the reservoir and dam at Allt na Lairige.

The topography changed dramatically, heading out of the classic glacial valley of Glen Fyne and into a hollow underneath the reservoir. The Corbett of Meall an Fhudair lay ahead, and I had briefly considered climbing this along with Beinn Damhain, but the weather wasn't look great by this point (and also I was just glad to be in one piece, after the cow thing). Also I was hoping to meet a friend in the pub that night, so Meall an Fhudair was quietly ditched for another day.

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At the Allt na Lairige dam I finally left the tarmac behind (although it was a great assist), and started heading diagonally up the hill, slowly but surely edging away from the reservoir.

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Sunshine! (briefly, in amongst loads of showers) 8)

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The way ahead was relatively clear, but very very pathless.

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Things were steepening a lot now, but the main climb was less than 400m from the dam, so I knew it wouldn't be long.

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If you head up from Loch Fyne, then once you get up to the summit plateau there are a lot of views like this.

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Nearly there...

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Phew. And a bit of a cairn as well.

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The descent to Inverarnan was the same idea, but in reverse: a steady diagonal descent along the side of the hill (that hurts the ankles a bit), find a hydro track, head down to the main road. Glen Falloch appeared in the distance.

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It's quite a steep descent at first.

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But there was a clear enough route down to the river.

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I think this was the stream from Lochan Beinn Damhain. No bridge over this one unfortunately...

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This was some sort of hydro thing before the main bridge. There's a spiral staircase here, but, erm, bit of a dead end.

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Aha, the main bridge. There's always a bit towards the end of a big hillwalk when I reach a path / track and breathe a big sigh of relief, but after my run-in (literally) with a bull earlier, it was a bigger sigh than normal. :crazy:

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Finally I reached the main track that I remembered from the Beinn Oss etc. climb in 2012 (The Tyndrum Extension), and turned right for the last big descent.

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Bonnie Bonnie Banks Update: STILL Bonnie.

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An actual railway line. Civilisation. Getting there.

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Great Western Road (well, technically). Now it's just a one-mile walk along the roadside. :crazy:

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Beinglas Campsite.

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I arrived at the Drovers Inn in good time for the next bus back to Glasgow. I was absolutely exhausted, since I had been up two Munros and a Corbett the day before, and wasn't expecting to have to sprint away from a charging bull today. I wasn't sure if I would go anywhere on the Bank Holiday Monday. Maybe meet my friend for dinner / drinks, see where the night takes me, check the weather forecast on the Monday morning. One thing's for sure, I don't want to spend the Monday running away from cows again? :wink:

...surely not again......? :shock:

Part III: More Scary Cows & Salvation At Holy Pool
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=114778
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Craiging619
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 313
Munros:71   Corbetts:35
Fionas:41   Donalds:44+16
Sub 2000:22   
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Joined: Jul 21, 2009
Location: Glasgow
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