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Two northern Donalds

Two northern Donalds


Postby jgregor » Sat Feb 18, 2023 1:17 pm

Fionas included on this walk: Uamh Bheag

Donalds included on this walk: Beinn nan Eun, Uamh Bheag

Date walked: 12/02/2023

Time taken: 5.75 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 878m

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I parked at the Glen Artney Church car park. The church itself, up the hill, looked shuttered and closed up. I walked back along the road until I reached a white gate. On the gate was a sign with a picture of a bomb on it, warning of explosives testing. Fortunately the red flags were not flying, so it was safe to carry on with a low chance of being blown up.

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Fortunately Red Flags were not Flying today


Beyond the gate was a track going south. At a fork I took the right, which continued south down to Findhuglen Water, which was crossed on a wooden bridge. I then climbed a metal gate, and passed though an open and rather dilapidated looking wooden gate onto Beinn nan Eun.

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Crossing the Findhuglen Water


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Through the gate onto Beinn nan Eun


The walk up Beinn nan Eun was rather boggy in parts, and pathless for the most part. Or I lost the path quite early on at least. Further up the infamous peat hags started and grew more prevalent towards the summit post.

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Looking towards Uamh Bheag, with the steep sided Am Beannan on the right


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Cnoc Brannan and Ben Halton under the spotlight beyond


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The lumpy summit of Beinn nan Eun


From there I turned west to cross over to Beinn nan Eun's slightly shorter twin Beinn Odhar.

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Sròn na Maoile - on the other side of the Highland fault line - bathed in sunshine


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Water on Beinn Odhar


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There is some colour up here, if you look close enough


The south side of Beinn Odhar is probably where the peat hags are at their most extreme. They're massive and everywhere, and are all interconnected. If you can get in a dry, grassy one heading roughly in your direction, then the going isn't too bad for a while. Other times you need to cross them and find the best way up the muddy bank on the other side. I got ankle deep in mud a couple of times, despite best effort to avoid it.

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A peat hag valley on Beinn Odhar - one of many


Then there's the mother of all hags at the bealach between Beinn Odhar and Uamh Bheag.

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This much photographed beauty spot has some nice new fencing!


Going improves following the fence up Uamh Bheag. About half way up the path passes a steep, rocky section of the hill, forming a natural lookout across the wide Forth valley. At the edge is a neatly constructed cairn, where I decided to stop for lunch.

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A natural look-out half way up Uamh Bheag


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A good place to stop for lunch - if a bit chilly


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Looking south-east across to Dunblane and the Ochil Hills (left) and the wide Forth Valley


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Looking south-west to the Lake of Menteith and The Menteith Hills


Continuing on I reached the trig on the East Top of Uamh Bheag.

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The East (lower) Top of Uamh Bheag, looking north


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Callander, Loch Venachar and Ben Ledi with its head in the clouds


And it was a short walk from there over to the main summit.

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A short hop over to the summit of Uamh Bheag


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The summit of Uamh Bheag, sadly now missing its cheerful post man


From here there were fine views across the Highland fault line, with Ben Ledi, Beinn Each, Stùc a' Chròin and Ben Vorlich all close at hand. And this got me thinking about the difference between hills and mountains. Although what I was standing on is classed as a mountain in terms of height (being over 600m high), in the present company it felt like a hill. Those are the mountains over there!

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Beinn Each, Stùc a' Chròin and Ben Vorlich - three of my favourite mountains


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Looking north towards Ben Lawers


I turned north, following the fence up Meall Clachach, and making a slight detour to hit the summit of it.

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View north-east over the hump of An Beannan, with Ben Chonzie in the distance


Then headed over to Am Beannan.

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A peat hag submarine


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Uamh Bheag now in cloud


Despite being sub-Donald height, there are good views from Am Beannan as well, due to its steep slope down to the Water of Ruchill, and its even closer proximity to the fault line. The steep slope was the reason I'd decided to come down this way, rather than up.

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Looking up the Gleann an Dubh Choirein with Stùc a' Chròin and Ben Vorlich either side


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Looking over Glenartney Lodge and up Srath a' Ghlinne


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Water of Ruchill flowing towards Comrie


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Descending Am Beannan


Concerned that I would have to ford the Allt Ollach, I decided to head down north-east, rather than north, thinking I'd have a better chance further upstream than where it joins the Ruchill. From up on Am Beabnan it looked like there might be a track leading up to it where crossing might be easier. I made my way to a couple of big boulders I'd seen from above, but then lost the track, if there had been one at all.

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Rocks at the foot of Am Beannan


Reaching the burn, I looked up and down stream for a place to cross. Upstream looked the best bet. There was a big mossy boulder I reckoned I could leap onto and over, which I managed without falling in.

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Crossing the tributary of the Ruchill the hard way


Then going downstream, after a couple of minutes I came to a... bridge!
And then a bit further down, another bridge, just where the trees started. That'll teach me to check the map properly! :lol:

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One of the two bridges I hadn't spotted on the map, overlooked by Am Beannan


Skirting Auchnashelloch Hill I soon came along side the Water of Ruchill, and followed it back along to the road.

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Following the Water of Ruchill back to the road


I walked along the Glenartney Road back along to the car park.

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Glenartney Road


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Back to the car park


With thanks to rob munbett whose route I followed - in reverse!
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jgregor
 
Posts: 116
Munros:19   Corbetts:8
Fionas:17   Donalds:63+40
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:1
Islands:9
Joined: Apr 22, 2015

Re: Two northern Donalds

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Feb 18, 2023 9:34 pm

Thank you for reminding me about "the mother of all hags" :lol:

A bit disappointed to see the post man has gone - I wonder what happened to him......

It's a good route this one - I did it the opposite way round so didn't realise there was a risk of being blown up till I was nearly back at the car (probably better that way!).
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Gordie12
Wanderer
 
Posts: 2162
Munros:114   Corbetts:65
Fionas:30   Donalds:38+0
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:37
Wainwrights:32   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Two northern Donalds

Postby The English Alpinist » Sun Feb 19, 2023 5:56 pm

Very interesting, and you did damn well with that mossy boulder!
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The English Alpinist
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 321
Munros:56   Corbetts:11
Fionas:27   Donalds:28+16
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:136
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Oct 27, 2015
Location: Lancashire England.

Re: Two northern Donalds

Postby jgregor » Sun Feb 19, 2023 6:19 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Thank you for reminding me about "the mother of all hags" :lol:

A bit disappointed to see the post man has gone - I wonder what happened to him......

It's a good route this one - I did it the opposite way round so didn't realise there was a risk of being blown up till I was nearly back at the car (probably better that way!).


I did wonder how anyone would know, if they were coming the other way around. Look out for mushroom clouds I suppose :lol:
jgregor
 
Posts: 116
Munros:19   Corbetts:8
Fionas:17   Donalds:63+40
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:1
Islands:9
Joined: Apr 22, 2015

Re: Two northern Donalds

Postby jgregor » Sun Feb 19, 2023 6:22 pm

The English Alpinist wrote:Very interesting, and you did damn well with that mossy boulder!


Thanks, yes the boulder was handy - even though there was a bridge just around the corner!
jgregor
 
Posts: 116
Munros:19   Corbetts:8
Fionas:17   Donalds:63+40
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:1
Islands:9
Joined: Apr 22, 2015

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