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Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Postby Aldo_2M0TXY » Sun May 15, 2011 9:50 pm

Route description: Beinn Dubh - Glen Striddle horseshoe, Luss

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Dubh

Date walked: 14/05/2011

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 11.5 km

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This is the fourth hill walk in our recent weekly endeavour to shed some pounds (in weight) and generally improve our fitness levels. It's fairly local to us as a family and we even decided to have a late start, arriving in Luss around 1030. We parked on the road leading down from the Colquhoun Arms Hotel as there is no parking charge on that street, unlike the tourist rip-off that is the main car park. It didn't take too much persuasion when walking past the local shop with the aroma of freshly fried onions to tempt me in and order a Roll and Lorne Sausage, I should start having a proper breakfast in the morning to fuel me up with carbs for the walk but I hate eating too early.

Once the rolls were consumed I started the GPS track and launched Runkeeper, a great wee Android App that keeps track of my road to fitness then we set off for the wooden bridge that crosses over the A82. I was accompanied today by my walking partner and young nephew Scott, tagging along with us today were my daughter Linzi and wife Louise. Louise has missed the last two weeks as she was floored with the cold (a likely excuse) so this was going to be tough on her, Linzi however has been faithful to the cause and has stuck with us over the last few weeks.

Anyway, over the bridge past a really nice property on the right before negotiating a gate obviously designed to remind you how overweight you are, personally I think it was my large rucksack that was the problem ;-) We took a right at this point and headed over a stile and launched straight into a fairly steep climb.

Cross the A82 via the wooden bridge.

Scott climbs the first stile of the day.

We continued up the indisputable path through a grassy field full of sheep (I'm sure I heard them sniggering at us) and endured the cooing of Louise about the 'wee baby lambs' and 'Aaawwwwww, they're lovely' until we came to a gate which has a stile available?

I love that house. Note to self check Euromillions result when you get home...

Anyway, onwards and upwards... It's not long before you start to gain height and the views open up, the path is very obvious but already I find myself longing for the mode of transport we noticed in Luss before we set off.

Tourist transport in Luss

At this point the path is bordered on both sides by bluebells and fern, the fern is small at the moment but I can't help thinking that given a few weeks you will be hard pushed to see much of anything, fortunately this section of path doesn't last long before you are out on the open hill. Our progress was slow as we are to fitness as Eddie the Eagle is to Ski Jumping, hopeless! We have already been overtaken by someone twice my age, he wasn't even out of breath, I thought I was dying! Incidentally, there wasn't much chat from Louise about poor wee lambs at this point, she was probably contemplating her poor wee lungs! Thank god none of us smoke...

The young fern that will undoubtedly become Luss's answer to the Amazonian Jungle in a few weeks.

Despite our slow pace, before we know it we are being rewarded by stunning views over Loch Lomond and the many islands at the Southern end of the Loch.

Stunning views already, can't wait to see the view from the top.

Already the walk has thrown up a few surprises, the first of which is why is Linzi, our reasonably fit 23 year old, not racing ahead as usual? Normally she is the pace maker and keeps us all on our toes. Apparently she's not feeling too good today, maybe she has the cold that caused so many problems for Louise over the last couple of weeks?

Louise is struggling today too, probably down to the two weeks of inactivity; Scott however is really enjoying himself, I'm really pleased that he has taken to the walking as he will undoubtedly become great company for me once the women lose interest :-)))

My young nephew Scott.

As we continue up the hill the ground starts to get really soggy underfoot, it's not long before I wish I had worn my gaiters as below my knees are soaking wet. There are many sections where we have to leave the path to skirt around marshy/boggy areas. The wind has also picked up now that we are on the open hill, coming in from the West at a rate of knots that nearly blew Louise over on several occasions.

Louise and I have split from Scott and Linzi by a few hundred meters so we decide to hold up and regroup. Once they rejoin us I managed to grab a great photograph of Scott taking in the view, looking over towards Conic Hill where our weekend hill walking started about four weeks ago.

Scott take in the view across Loch Lomond.

As we head off we are met by a couple who overtook us a while back, they are heading back down now which reminds us just how unfit we really are, surely we will get better as time goes on?

We plod on and after a couple of false summits reach a fence line, I remember looking at the map and noticing that the fence wasn't too far from the top and this gives me an added boost so I trudge on picking up speed, cross a stile over the fence and head for the top, there's no stopping me n ow :-)

I remember looking back to check that the rest of the family have crossed the stile safely as the wind was really fierce and I was worried about Louise being blown off her feet. They all negotiated the stile so I headed for the summit, mindful of my plans once I got there.

On reaching the cairn at the top the area was very bleak with little protection from the wind. I managed to tuck in behind a furrow and it wasn't long before I was joined by Scott, beaming from ear to ear as he slapped the cairn with delight and gave me a high five, another one bites the dust!

The summit cairn with Ben Lomond in the background

Scott at the top.

Scott told me that the girls had turned back as Linzi was feeling really unwell. I was gutted for them as they were probably about five minutes from the top. I was also gutted as Louise had the sandwiches in her pack, lesson learned there I can tell you :-)

Scott and I are also involved with the Amateur radio community (Ham Radio) and we have started to collect points with a group called SOTA (Summits on the Air). This involves climbing hills and unpacking some radio equipment and attempting to make contact with other amateurs around the globe. We managed to make seven contacts from the summit of Beinn Dubh, three more than required to pick up the four points awarded for the hill.

Me activating the summit for SOTA, I managed a 62 mile summit to summit contact with another amateur to the South.

There's nothing more to say about the walk other than to take in the views, enjoy the brief spell of sunshine and imagine how good the sandwiches might have tasted. Till the next time...

Pano 1 - Beinn Dubh (View From Summit).jpg

Pano 2 - Beinn Dubh (View of Loch Lomond).jpg

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Re: Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Postby lomondwalkers » Wed May 18, 2011 11:50 am

Good wee hill this, cracking views over the loch on the way up, and summit views to Arrochar Alps & Crianlarich Munros are great. The more you are out the easier it becomes, been doing this hill walking malarky just over a year and already feel the difference :)
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Re: Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Postby ChrisW » Wed May 18, 2011 3:10 pm

Great report Aldo, shame the girls turned back so close to the top....if only they had known. Some cracking pics of the views and good to see I'm not the only big fella on here looking to unload a few pounds :lol:

Keep it up mate, it gets progressively easier over time :D
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Re: Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Postby bob e skunky » Wed May 18, 2011 8:15 pm

Aye, nice photies, great view of Luss plus great to make the contact with you :wink:
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Re: Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Postby hillwalker02 » Wed May 18, 2011 10:44 pm

Hi Aldo
Nice report with some lovely photo's and another two sota points in the bag.
I remember doing the hill a few years back and the hardest bit for me was having to carry my 31kg dog across
the wooden bridge over the A82 as she absolutely terrified.

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Re: Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Postby LeithySuburbs » Wed May 18, 2011 11:02 pm

Great photos of Loch Lomond :D . The Luss hills are on my winter radar.
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Re: Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Postby dan_the_dingo » Thu May 19, 2011 8:53 pm

Aye, a crackin' report there with some top photos. I sometimes think it's rather difficult to show how windy it was in a photo as it doesn't look as windy as it was from your photos.

I wonder if your euromillions came up? :D
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Re: Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Postby Aldo_2M0TXY » Fri May 20, 2011 12:26 am

Thanks for the comments folks!

Things must be getting better as the next day I had none of the usual muscle pains, that must be progress.
My Euromillions didn't come up so the owners of the house at the bridge are safe for the moment :D

It's nice to see a couple of the guys I spoke to on the radio leave comments here as well.

There will be no hill walking for me this weekend as I am invigilating a Foundation Amateur Exam on Saturday, Scott will hopefully be licensed by the end of next week all going well. To make up for the lack of hill walking I will be walking home from work tomorrow, Glen Fruin to Balloch, 14 miles of exercise should make up for the lack of ascent this weekend.

We are heading off to the isle of Jura on Thursday for a week so we hope to tackle a couple of the hills there if the weather is half decent.

Cheers the noo...

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Re: Beinn Dubh - SOTA Summit GM/SS-090

Postby bob e skunky » Sat May 21, 2011 5:39 pm

Just as an aside...


Have you seen this other forum post

Clicky Here

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