After checking the mountain weather forecast on Friday I decided to leave Edinburgh early on Saturday morning for the long drive up to the head of Loch Fyne, this was in an attempt to get ahead of the promised wet weather coming across later in the afternoon. What is it Burns said about the best laid schemes o' mice an' men ? After using my car to collect a relative late on Friday evening the better half came home and sheepishly told me that she had managed to run over a bottle in the road and torn a rather large hole in the side wall of a what was a perfectly good tyre. So instead of having an early morning drive to Loch Fyne I started the day sitting outside Kwik Fit in Portobello waiting for them to open at 8.30; I did consider driving up without a spare but the one on the car was one of those stupid little yellow "mini" wheels so I thought better of it. Any way the guys at Kwik Fit were as "Kwik" as their name suggests and had me back on the road before 09.00; although they didn't have much of a sense of humour when I asked if the hole, which was the size of a 50p piece, could be patched, I suppose it was a bit early in the morning for humour.
The M8 through to Glasgow and the road up Loch Lomond was fairly quiet and I managed the 100 miles in under 2 hours.
I had taken the advice of previous walkers of Beinn Bhuidhe and for the first time taken the bike with me; what a great idea that was, the ride up the Glen was effortless and saved me about an hours walking. Probably the most difficult part of the bike ride was deciding whether to continue with the climb or spend the day at the Beer Festival which was taking place in the field alongside the brewery, if I didn't have to drive back to Edinburgh I think the beer festival would have won; I even considered phoning the wife and asking her to get the train up to drive me home (she owed me that much at least for wrecking the tyre). The weather at this time was perfect, loads of clear sky and really warm. I left the car park by 11.00 and 20 minutes later had reached the deer fence and the bike park; there were a few other bikes chained up so I was looking forward to seeing other walkers on the hill.
Beinn Bhuidhe is a great walk, as soon as you leave the track at the old cottages you start to climb, the walk starts off through the gorge which looked great and although there are warning about some tricky bits on this section of the path I found it to be straight forward without any really difficult bits. Soon after I left the gorge the sky clouded over and I could see a storm heading in my direction; it poured down for about 15 minutes but soon passed over. The path up to the ridge was easy to follow and although steep and muddy in places it was still a really enjoyable climb. As I reached the final climb up to the summit I met two ladies who were just on their way down and on the summit met 2 guys who had reached the top just in front of me. The cloud was well spread out on the summit giving me the best view I have seen for weeks; probably because of its relative isolation from other Munro's Beinn Bhuidhe must have one of the best 360 degree panoramas of any Mountain in this part of Scotland you can see for miles. After a snack and chat with the two guys I started off back down and had some great sunshine most of the way down, it did start to rain as I reached the bike but nothing too much. The bike ride back to the car park was effortless and I was back at the car before 4.00 and once I had crammed the bike back into the car was soon on the way back home. I managed to keep out of the beer tent but did succumb to temptation on Saturday night and really enjoyed a couple of beers with the wife. Beinn Bhuidhe is a great walk and I would recommend it to everyone, if you can manage it take your bike it makes the long walk in a lot easier.
Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.