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Beinn Chabhair - wrong turns and waterfalls

Beinn Chabhair - wrong turns and waterfalls

Postby PeteR » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:33 pm

Route description: Beinn Chabhair, from Inverarnan

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Chabhair

Date walked: 17/07/2011

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A week and a half late, but I've finally got round to posting my report on a walk by the Ben Glas burn and onto Beinn Chabhair on Sunday 17 June 2011.

The forecast for the day wasn't that promising :shock: but this is something I've been getting used to this year (cue last weekend, when I was down in Sussex, and the weather up here looked brilliant :lol: :shock: :lol:). I was expecting lots of rain, with a risk of thunder and even lightening. Thankfully the rain during the main part of the day was no more than a 5 minute downpour and there was no thunder or lightening to ruin the day :D So by the end of the day I was happy I had made the effort to get up and get out :)

The plan had actually been to head to somewhere like lochnagar, but confession time - I overslept :shock: and so made a quick change of plans and decided on somewhere closer. So Beinn Chabhair it was. Not a hill that had featured on my top 10 to-do list, but on reflection a much better walk than I had expected and one I was gald I had done.

Parked up at the Drovers and was immediately set upon by those lovely biting buties - midges :shock: If ever motivation was needed to get moving, they were it and I was soon on my way.

Took the route round the Benglas farm campsite
Start of the route

And prepared for the steep climb up beside the burn and the appealling looking falls

And so to my first wrong turn :? although I obviously didn't realise it at the time.

At the back of the campsite I turned off to find the path up beside the benglas burn and falls. Found a path - no problems so far then. But very quickly the obvious path I was on seemed to become less obvious and I found myself waist high in (wet!!!!) bracken :shock: Surely this wasn't the route up beside the burn! It just seemed to get steeper and steeper :shock: more and more slippery :shock: and the path :lol: :lol: less and less obvious :shock:

As I stood admiring the waterfalls (on my left :? :lol: ) I noticed a couple of people on the other side. How the @!@! had they got there? And then I saw it - the path :lol: :lol: :lol: I was on the wrong side of the b****y burn :lol: :shock:

What to do? Turn back and find the correct path, or act all nonchalant and carry on the way I was as if I had always intended to make my way up this side of the burn. I chose the latter and pressed on up the wrong side getting increasingly soaked trousers as I plowed my way through the sodding bracken. If only that would be my last experience of that overrated weed on the day :shock:
The b****y bridge I shouldn't have crossed

Despite being a king sized, 24 carat plonker there was one advantage to my alternative route up beside the burn. You can get much closer to the falls and really enjoy the power of the water coming down :D I was practically in the burn at one point (would have been too had I slipped on the wet rock :lol: )
Ben glas falls

Ben glas falls 2

Eventually ......... after much longer than I had planned I was at the top of the steep ascent, but then came my next problem. How to cross the burn? It was fast flowing and too wide to get across from what I could see. It seems I wasn't the only person to have made the (obvious :lol: ) error and headed up the wrong side of the burn, as there was something of a path to follow, although it was definitely boggy in places. It was just a case of following the burn until such time as I could get myself across. Seems it was going to be some time, but the views weren't bad though 8)
Searching for crossing across the burn

Came across a few problems on the way. Had to cross a barbed wire fence, which I managed to do while keeping vital organs undamaged :D Then there was the tributary to the burn, which wasn't as wide, but was still deep, too wide for me to jump and fast flowing :( Had to make my way up this, in completely the wrong direction to where I wanted to go. Hit another split in the water, but it was still a bit too wide for me, was still deep and was still fast flowing.

For @!@!s sake was I ever going to get across this water. Eventually found a spot I thought I could jump. Eventually jumped and landed safely on the other side :D I was beginning to curse my original mistake up by that burn :shock: but then my luck seemed to change.

A godsend :D
A bridge over the ben glas burn

Now I was cookin' :D I was on the proper path, which would make the going so much easier. Really enjoyed the walk up by the burn, with a nice minor set of falls to admire too
Second set of falls

Eventually made it to Lochan Beinn Chabhair and the route on the left up onto the Chabhair ridge
Lochan Beinn Chabhair

The route up was obvious in the clear weather I was enjoying, but would be hard to locate in mist perhaps. From now it was a nice walk up a good path all the way to the summit. Took longer than I had expected as it was a fairly undulating ridge, but the weather seemed to be getting better and better as the day went on, so I wasn't too bothered.
Start of path up the ridge

Had some great views pretty much all round 8)
View back toward Lochan a Chaisteil

And again

Looking to lochan a chaisteil I had it in my head to head back via that route. It didn't llok that far away. How hard could it be?

Nice view toward the Tyndrum hills (well, ben Challum(ish)) too
Toward Challum and friends

Great views to Ben Lomond when I hit the summit
Ben Lomond from Beinn Chabhair summit

And back along the ridge to Lui and friends
Back along the ridge

Sitting at the summit was warm and sunny, so decided to make the most of it and sit there all on my lonesome as I had the summit to myself. After about 15 minutes I thought it was probably time to head off back via lochan a chaisteil. Followed the path back to just before the drop down off the ridge that I had walked up earlier, but this time continued along the ridge. Technically, nothing too it in clear weather, but I imagine another tricky section in mist. Either way it would be hard going, as I discovered :lol: Up and down and up and down and up and ...... you get the picture :lol: Suddenly the lochan seemed further way than I had expected it to be and was taking longer to get to than I had hoped. And the the earlier sunshine seemed to be under threat too
Looking back to Beinn Chabhair summit

Beinn Chabhair with lochan beinn chabhair

Eventually, after a bit of a slog I arrived at lochan a chaisteil. It was just me and the silence. A mysterious little spot to contemplate life, the universe and everything 8) Spent a little while just sitting there, soaking it all in :D Loved it 8)

And then the whispy cloud moved in, which just added to the atmosphere 8)
Lochan a Chaisteil in mist

Lochan a Chaisteil

Heading off down Chabhair's noth west ridge I opted to keep well to the right and avoid any steep craggs to the west. The plan was to eventually veer left lower down and meet up with the path I had so spectacularly missed on the way up. Well, that was the plan. Everything started of well and I found myself on a nice, gentle descent down from the lochan. When I thought it was safe I decided to veer left, as planned. All seemed to be going so well. And I could see a track. This was too easy :D I'd be back at the car in no time :lol:

Or so I thought :shock: Plonker alert :lol:

Turned out the track was a farm track that was heading off in the wrong direction :shock: I'd turned left to head west too late and probably hadn't even turned west enough anyway. So, change of plan and I decided to keep heading west(ish) where I was sure to pick up the path I was after.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

No such luck. Discovered a lovely deer fence which undulated along the hillside :shock: @!@! it, I was going to have to follow this sodding fence back to the burn and then get myself back to the car. And if to make my misery complete I was going to be walking in waist high, wet bracken again :shock: Where had I had that experience recently? :lol: :lol: Lovely soaking wet trousers to boot :lol: :lol:

Walking alongside the fence I could eventually see my car in the Drovers car park. So near, yet so far :lol: What a relief the steps over the fence were when I saw them
Almost there

Soon I was on my way down the path and enjoying some last views of the falls - this time from the correct side :lol:
Ben glas burn on route home

Getting to the car I thought I deserved a pint, so headed into the Drovers. About 3 minutes later pint was suitably consumed and I was heading out the door :lol: :lol:

Despite my silly wrong turns this was a better route than I had expected. A little gem in fact. The undulations made it a good workout and I can well see this on my winter schedule, where a good bit of snow would make a good day out :D 8)
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - wrong turns and waterfalls

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:59 pm

Enjoyed reading this after doing the walk yesterday. The waterfall was a lot more spectacular the day you did it!
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - wrong turns and waterfalls

Postby neilmci » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:28 am

I made the same mistake by climbing the wrong side of the burn.

The path is quite good up to the waterfalls and then disappears a bit after that although you can see where others have made the same error as the path follows the stream.

Reading your report just took back all the memories of seeing others on the right path and the penny eventually dropping that I should have the stream on my right!

Cue lots of sweary words and striding about like I was meant to be on this side of the stream.

My father phoned at this point and I even had him recheck the WH route description for me.

At one point you can see the path and it looks like a dream compared to the heather and wet grass!

Anyway these things are there to test us and it usually all adds to the fun.

On the way back I ended up thigh deep in the black sticky (And strangely smelly) stuff due to a moments lack of attention - so I never even got a pint at the drovers.

This hill is one i vowed never to return to....... But we will wait and see.
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - wrong turns and waterfalls

Postby lomondwalkers » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:19 pm

Glad to see I'm not the only one to make the error of going up the wrong side of the burn :lol: Tho it was well worth it for the better view of the falls (or so I kept telling myself!). Wasn't quite as spectacular as the day you did it tho, and was fairly easy to cross once above the falls. Love the pics at the Lochan!
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - wrong turns and waterfalls

Postby gagfax » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:08 pm

I did this one on Sunday and missed the path up to the ridge. Ended up nearly going past the loch and just picked a spot and went for it. A bit of a leg burner but i found the path near the summit :roll: A good day out and never saw a soul till i was half way down. So you're not the only one to use creative route finding :lol:

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