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Beinn Bhuidhe from Loch Lomond

Beinn Bhuidhe from Loch Lomond

Postby weedavie » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:19 am

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhuidhe

Date walked: 27/07/2011

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 30 km

Ascent: 1300m

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My favourite bit of Groundhog Day is when they’re driving a car along the railway track at the oncoming train.

Phil: It's the same thing your whole life: "Clean up your room. Stand up straight. Pick up your feet. Take it like a man. Be nice to your sister. Don't mix beer and wine, ever." Oh yeah: "Don't drive on the railroad track."
Gus: Well, Phil, that's one I happen to agree with.

After last Wednesday you could have rewritten that for my friend Gordon.

Davie: It's the same thing your whole life: "Clean up your room. Stand up straight. Take a map and compass. Remember your boots. Be nice to your sister. Don't mix beer and wine, ever." Oh yeah: "Don't go to Beinn Bhuidhe from Loch Lomond."
Gordon: Well, Davie, that's one I happen to agree with.

We parked at the gate in Glen Falloch 319197. There I found I’d brought two left boots so instead I was doing the day in a pair of Ecco goretex street shoes. We hauled the bikes over a locked gate. The initial climb, about 250 metres in 1.5 k is murderous. It then flattens. The 3 k along to the end of the track is a bit like Enver Hoxha’s Albania as each burn you cross is trapped and stolen in a large concrete pillbox. The bikes are abandoned at the pipe, 279211.

The next bit, the traverse to Glen Fyne is dispiriting Four kilometres in which you lose 150 metres trudging through long grass and tussocks under serious assault by clegs are going to make you grumpy. . If you’re ever tempted to do it, follow the path to its end, then take a long diagonal down to the burn. Follow the left bank of the burn. The Fyne can be a bit of an obstacle but it was barely a burn today and we hopped across it at 246208. There’s a path then a track down the glen towards the standard route.

About 800 metres short of Inverchorachan, just before a small patch of woodland we cut up the hillside to make a climbing traverse to the upper corrie. By the waterfall we were following a faint track, with the Munro scar below us on the other side of the gully. There were three people on it, the only ones we saw all day. They must have turned back, we never saw them on the upper ridge. It seemed strange, it was getting late but it would only have cost them another 90 minutes to top and return. We intercepted the path below the final climb and followed it to the summit.

This had taken us 5 hours. We didn’t hang around long. Instead of leaving the summit by the Munro path, we tried returning along the top of the ridge. It’s pleasant and gives better views west. You also find signs that a well used path used to go this way. When did that change? The minor climb to point 901 seemed tough now. As for the two tops of Ceann Garbh, we by-passed them on the south.
Beinn Bhuidhe.jpg
Looking back to summit from point 901

The descent is now on a grassy ridge with outcrops. There are good views on each side, a new aspect on the Laoigh hills, a glimpse of Lochan Shira. We’d lost the clegs at about 500 metres and dropping to that level, we got them back again. A final crag, a fence and then we dropped south east to rejoin the path in Glen Fyne at a group of shielings, not marked on the map.
Bhuidhe towards Laoigh.jpg
Looking to Laoigh and Oss

We retraced our path to the bikes, a fairly pathetic pair. I was stumbling in my street shoes, the clegs were wicked and going uphill this late in the day, through clumpy grass to retrieve your bike, demoralises. Gordon took time to point out that I’d done this route before and how in god’s name had I forgotten its defects. He was right and it was then I thought of Groundhog Day.

The cycle back was fine, if hair-raising. It seemed impossible we’d got up a hill as steep as that with one stop to push. My forks have a slight leak and such was the pounding they were taking the liquid was spraying back over my legs when the forks compressed. My legs never look great but the combination of red cleg bites and black oil splashes didn’t get me admiring glances when I got home.

The chief attraction of this route is just that it’s not the Munro motorway but doing the full length of Ben Bhuidhe’s ridge is fun. I’ve thrown in Meall an Fhudair when doing it before, but that’s silly.
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe from Loch Lomond

Postby kevsbald » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:32 am

I see your point about not doing hills the 'normal way' but your report does little to suggest replicating your route! :lol: I commend your endeavour doing it this way though.
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe from Loch Lomond

Postby skuk007 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:48 pm

Nice report Davie, sounds tough but good on you for taking an "alternative" route. :)
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe from Loch Lomond

Postby weedavie » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:45 pm

Yes, I’ve not made it seem too attractive. It didn’t help that I’d got the timing wrong and we were pushing it on the return leg so I could be socialising in Edinburgh at eight.

It’s just there’s a lot of fun in losing the Munro track – and it’s a serious groove on Bhuidhe, thanks to its status as an only approach. One of the good moments was stopping above biting insect level on a faint green path and watching a group toiling up the Munro scar on the other side of the waterfall.

Beinn Starav is a fantastic hill but I was back on it a couple of months ago and I really resented following the groove – there wasn’t any need for map and compass. Actually I’ve an idea for cycling in from Taynuilt and picking off that annoying southern Top. Shouldn’t be too bothered with paths.

On the other hand there’s the Loch Lomond Ben Vane. I’ve approached it or left by at least seven routes. But it’s got that single horrendous scar – and I’ve seen people complaining about it!

Anyway I did enjoy the day on Beinn Bhuidhe. Which is more than I’m sure about for Gordon. He said he thought it would get into his top 10 hill trips for July. He’d only done 9.
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe from Loch Lomond

Postby malky_c » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:33 pm

Nice route (in a way!). I can see why this never even occurred to me before - bit of a drop into the top of Glen Fyne before you even start on the hill.

I certainly have an interest in getting off the beaten track if possible, so I rather like the look of this if I ever return to Beinn Bhuidhe. I think you can safely say this won't become popular :lol:
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