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Beinn Bhuidhe on one hell of a wet day

Beinn Bhuidhe on one hell of a wet day


Postby skidmerc » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:05 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhuidhe

Date walked: 02/10/2011

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1005m

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I've been aware of Beinn Bhuidhe for a while. Ever since I started clibming munros I was aware of this one hill over to the west of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. I had read reports about the long long walk-in, it's a full ascent from not much more than sea level (~100m), and they had always put me off.

In recent weeks I've been out and about (posted about a walk of Meikle Bin not long ago) and was keen to keep up the momentum this weekend. I have recently got hold of a bike rack for my car, so Beinn Bhuidhe sprung to mind. Had read of people cycling to take the string out of the long walk-in and walk-out.
I had been keeping an eye on the weather all last week, trying to decide if Saturday or Sunday would be better.
Up until last night, it looked like Sunday between 7am and 1pm was going to be nice. Hardly any cloud, and no rain.
Great. Had made plans to set off from the house at 5.30am, arrive and cycle in about 7am, and start the walk itself at 7.30am. Would make the most of the weather.

Didn't go to plan.

Stepped out my house to set up the bike rack in the pitch black just after 5am and the rain was torrential. I was soaking before I even got out of my street.
The drive up the A82 was very very misty. The worst I've ever driven in. The weather forecast had changed to say it would be overcast, but didn't expect this.
Arrived on time though, around 7am. The dawn was just breaking so cycled off in the half-light. It was still very misty. Between that and the low light I saw none of the glen. Gave the highland cattle a hell of a fright through zipping past in the dark.
It was light rain at this point, but I pressed on. The rain veered between this light drizzle and fairly heavy all day. Never did it stop.
Arrived at the last gate where you leave the bike around 7.20, and it was 7.35 or so by the time I got my gear sorted and started off. Put my phone (GPS) in plastic to protect it.
I had totally misunderstood the location of the cottage, I didn't realise it was about 1k beyond the gate.
As I was walking along the cottage just appeared ominously through the mist.
Went through the gate, and took a sharp left up the hill. The bracken was soaking, legs instantly drenched.
I pressed on up the little glen. The stream was a torrent, the mud was unreal, and the rocks were very slippy. Some small scrambles over some big rocks and big steps. Each time I made it past one of these small obstacles I figured "that's the one I read about - that's not so bad"...then I reached the one everyone talks about.
I think in the dry, in the sun, this wouldn't be too bad, but today it was tough. Tossed my bag and pole over to the other side and managed to gingerly scramble across.
Eventually the cloud lifted a bit and I caught a glimpse of the waterfall and the back of the glen up which I was climbing. There were some looming shadows over the top of the glen of the hills beyond. It was about 8.30am by this point, and my ambitions of getting to the summit by 9.30 were fading.
This is a steep hill, was steeper than I thought it would be. By boots were now waterlogged, and every step became a chore.
I eventually make it over the back of the glen and onto the marshy plateau. There were lots of deer roaming around here, and in the distance they were making quite a racket!
This area was totally swimming. I didnt care about my feet at this point, they were a lost cause so ploughed through. This bit was a bit easier going, nowhere near as steep. I managed to stick to the path, but its very very easy to veer off it.
Next step is the craggs. I had read that were was a decent path up them - and that was true - but it was an active stream this morning. Took me ages to get up. I was knackered and it was pretty slippy. After getting to the top, I found my way to the summit ok. The path along the ridge is very good, but had absolutely no views at all. Arrived about an hour later than intended - 10.20am.

I didnt hang about long at the top. Was actually pretty nervous about getting down the steep sections so was keen to start off again. Wasn't looking forward to the way down at all. Always think going down is more dangerous than ascending. I made decent progress getting down however- I think the thought of new socks and trainers in the car spurred me on. Eventually got back to the bike at 12noon, and the cycle out was over in no time.

To add insult to injury as I was cycling out the sun finally broke through the cloud and all the mist started lifting.
Too little too late!

Quite a day. Was my first munro on my own, and that definitely made me much more aware of the care I had to take. I had assumed I'd bump into other people on the walk, but when I got back to the bike it was still the only one there, so was just me on there lonesome.
Given the conditions, I could understand why.
Very glad I completed it though.
Last edited by skidmerc on Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
skidmerc
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe on one hell of a wet day

Postby pollyh33 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:16 pm

Brilliant report depicting a very accurate account of walking in the Scottish hills in the rain. :shock:
Great idea taking the bike. I walked it all of the way but I had a lovely day and it wasn't too much work, just a bit on-going :lol:

I enjoyed the scramble but the rocks were dry and I did have someone with me to keep me right. :)
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe on one hell of a wet day

Postby skidmerc » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:26 pm

Today reminded me a lot of doing nearby Ben Narnain.
I had tried to do Narnain with a friend 3 times.
The first time we managed Vane and Ime - but didnt have the legs for Narnain so called it quits still feeling pretty chuffed.
Second time the rain was horrendous and we didn't make it out of the Inveruglas car park. Got a bacon roll and drove home!
Third time the weather was the same, thought "sod it", and did it. It's a long long long walk up to the foot of the mountain.
Very misty, couldn't see a discernable path, so just headed straight up the slopes. Soaking.
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe on one hell of a wet day

Postby pollyh33 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:31 pm

Yeah when I did Narnain I went straight up the waterfall/stream route. Blooming horrendous!!! Met two guys as it was beginning to level out and they stared at me in disbelief!!! Couldn't believe I didn't use the very easy route from the bealach with Ime!!! That being said, the direct route is an awful lot faster, and more interesting :D
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe on one hell of a wet day

Postby Del246 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:22 pm

Really enjoyed reading your report, I still have this Munro to do. I think there is an alternative ascent/descent missing out the scrambles. Think I will be taking my bike with me too !!
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe on one hell of a wet day

Postby Scaredywalker » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:12 pm

Well done on doing this as a first solo. I nearly came to grief on the big rock towards the end of the gully and just froze over the drop! However apart from that and a couple of airy bits on the final ridge (which can be bypassed) it was quite an enjoyable hill!

Del246 wrote:Really enjoyed reading your report, I still have this Munro to do. I think there is an alternative ascent/descent missing out the scrambles. Think I will be taking my bike with me too !!


Del.....There is an alternative route just walk about 50 yards from the start of the gully to the sheep folds and its straight up grassy slopes We descended this route and it was easy walking on grassy slopes albeit pathless for much of the way. The gully was good apart from the one bit and you gain height quite quickly...even though I had issues with the rock I would climb the gully again and use a different approach to the final scramble. The rest of the scrambles were very easy and hardly merit the name! Really don't fancy the alternative route for ascent.

John
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Re: Beinn Bhuidhe on one hell of a wet day

Postby skidmerc » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:49 pm

Yeah for ascending if unsure of the main scramble I'd just go round it - the gully has grass slopes, so could just climb the grass slope and come back down to the path beyond the scramble.

I opted to come back down the route I came up.
Visilbity was bad and everything was really slippy. Decided to stick with the path. Better the devil you know and all that.
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