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Ben Clach and Beinn nan Eun on Bastille Day

Ben Clach and Beinn nan Eun on Bastille Day

Postby Graeme D » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:04 pm

Donalds included on this walk: Beinn nan Eun

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ben Clach

Date walked: 14/07/2011

Time taken: 4.2 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 855m

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14th July - Bastille Day. As a boy I traditionally spent my summer holidays in France with my parents and younger brother and although I obviously do not recall exact dates, it is probably fair to say that I spent most if not all Bastille Days between 1979 and 1987 in France itself. I remember fireworks, son et lumière shows, street parties and spontaneous renditions of La Marseillaise by toothless, beret wearing old men drinking rough-looking red wine or sickly yellow pastis. Did I ultimately come to love France almost as a second home because I had a gift for learning new languages, most notably French in the first instance, or was it the other way round? Chicken and egg! Who knows?

Anyway, there were sporadic Bastille Days spent in France throughout the 1990s but it has been exactly 10 years since I last spent "le quatorze juillet" over there. Subsequent ones have been spent in a variety of places from Zakynthos to Zambia, Wales to Uganda. And of course "en Ecosse". All of which are fine places in their own right and their own ways, but they just don't do Bastille Day in the same way. Have you tried the wine on Zakynthos? Or the food in Uganda and Zambia? And as for Wales! Only kidding Welsh friends - although now I come to think back to that weekend spent in Merthyr........

So, we had booked ourselves and young Ailsa into a guesthouse in Anstruther for the Friday and Saturday evenings. Yes, I know - it seems a bit excessive and unnecessary when you live in Perth to go the the East Neuk of Fife and actually stay over. But that way it felt a bit more like Ailsa's first holiday rather than a simple daytrip. And it would be a dry run ahead of her first "proper" holiday when we head up to Dornoch later in the summer. Lots of nice hills round about there I believe....... I digress. Anyway, as I was saying, we were off to Anstruther but the dog was off to Auchterarder so I took her down there on the Thursday early afternoon and took the opportunity to kill two birds with the one stone by heading along the back roads towards Braco and then Comrie and turning up into Glen Artney where the plan was to do a "pick 'n' mix" route that would take in the Sub2K of Ben Clach, the Donald of Beinn nan Eun and the Graham-cum-Donald of Uamh Bheag.

I was parked in the large parking area across the road from Glenartney church and on my way shortly after 1 o'clock.

Looking up Glen Artney from the car park

First obstacle encountered was the white wooden gate at the start of the track leading into Fhindu Glen. It was firmly padlocked. I wonder when landowners are going to get the message that this is only liable to cause their land and property more damage, not less! I climbed over, Lucy crawled under. I don't think there was any damage done to the gate in the process but I just couldn't be sure. Certainly would have been a lot easier on all concerned if I'd been able to open it, walk through and then close it behind me again. Sensible. Rational. What the .......???? :wtf:

North across Glen Artney to the Comrie Grahams and co.

Second obstacle was encountered a short distance along the track when we came across an adder - not huge, but probably as long as any I've seen in the hills and countryside of Scotland - sunning itself. Not exactly an obstacle of insurmountable proportions, but with Lucy on the rampage and not exactly backwards about coming forwards so to speak, it was still an obstacle that required some careful negotiation.


Adder - zoomed

Sron Odhar (centre) and Creag nan Eun (far right)

Fhinduglen below Sron Odhar

Beinn nan Eun from the bridge by Fhinduglen

Things got a little more straightforward and less eventful thereafter. Beyond the building at Fhinduglen, I decided to leave the track and take a more direct route to Ben Clach, heading up to the saddle between Cnocnan Oighreag and Sron Odhar. As I climbed the heather and fern clad slopes the sun lost some of it's strength and a nice little breeze got up as the clouds gathered to the north west above Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich.

On ascent to the saddle, Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich popping their heads up

Beinn nan Eun across Fhindu Glen

First sighting of Ben Clach from the saddle

I was still suffering the lingering effects of a bad cold and was labouring a bit more than I would normally have done on such an ascent, and I soon started to think that Uamh Bheag was going to have to be left for another day.

A short but steep descent and reascent up onto Ben Clach then followed.

It's amazing the places trees will take root in!

The views from the top are decent enough but the summit itself is as unremarkable and forgettable as any I have set foot on.

North east from summit of Ben Clach to Torlum

South west from summit of Ben Clach to Beinn nan Eun

After a couple of quick shots, it was south west down towards the Corriebeagh Burn through some seriously rough terrain and onto the track around the southern side of Sron Odhar.

Descent off Ben Clach - looking towards Braco

Onto the track at last - Beinn nan Eun ahead

Peat cutting in progress

A fainter track then led up towards the windfarm which was visible on the horizon and after a short distance on this, I crossed the Allt na Gaisge and up the eastern shoulder of Beinn nan Eun to the second superbly unremarkable summit of the day.

Ben Clach from the eastern shoulder of Beinn nan Eun

Creag nan Eun crags

It had been obvious on the arduous haul up the shoulder that I was not going to make it to Uamh Bheag today. Oh well, there's an opportunity for another day!

Vorlich and co from Beinn nan Eun summit

As close to Uamh Bheag as I'll be getting today

Peat hags and edge of the crags

Ben Clach

From the summit I headed north around the edge of the Creag nan Eun crags and then descended down the Allt na Stainge back to the track in the Fhindu Glen.

Heading back down into Fhindu Glen

The adder had clearly had enough sun and moved on for the day. So had I. :lol:

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Graeme D
Posts: 3516
Munros:220   Corbetts:104
Grahams:64   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
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Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Ben Clach and Beinn nan Eun on Bastille Day

Postby Alan S » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:47 pm

A fine couple of reports you've put in Graeme 8)
Looks like had some good weather too :D
Like the adder shots :shock:
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Alan S
Mountain Walker
Posts: 1461
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Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Nov 10, 2008
Location: Stirlingshire
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Re: Ben Clach and Beinn nan Eun on Bastille Day

Postby ken reid » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:35 pm

good trip report there but what are all the danger areas marked on the map ?
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ken reid
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Joined: Jun 17, 2009

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