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Benvane: not even Plan B

Benvane: not even Plan B


Postby jmarkb » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:58 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Benvane

Date walked: 04/12/2011

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 750m

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Plan A was Glen Lyon, Plan B was Glen Dochart somewhere, both hastily abandoned due to the road conditions: we'd already been delayed by heavy snow on the M9 and decided to minimise the driving for the day. We turned off the A84 just past Callander and parked up below the Glen Finglas Dam. We set off in heavy, wet snow but this soon cleared as we got our first views of the reservoir. At the gate beyond the farm the track was blocked by an unfriendly looking bunch of cows, so we took a prudent detour to avoid them!

As we left the track and headed up towards the long south ridge of Benvane, three fine stags ran across the hill above us.
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As we climbed the sun came out...
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..but then quickly disappeared as a heavy snow shower blew in. This lasted until near the summit, but the next one followed on swiftly and we reached the top in driving snow and no visibility. After a quick lunch, the weather cleared again, and we made across for the ridge which connects to Ben Ledi, but unlike our ascent route, much of the ground here was sheltered from the wind and had collected a lot of fresh snow.

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The going was quite slow, with waist deep drifts every so often. By the time we reached the Land Rover track at the first col, we had had enough, and baled out down the track. This was much easier going, despite quite a few ups and downs. Just before we reached the car, the snow came on again in big heavy flakes.

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So not what we had set out for, but a joy to be out in the snow again, and some good views in between the blizzards!

Wildlife tally: one eagle, two pairs of ravens, small flock of snow buntings, some geese on the reservoir, lots of deer (one herd of 50 and several smaller groups), couple of red grouse. And no humans!
jmarkb
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby kevsbald » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:01 am

image 1014 - outstanding.
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby jmarkb » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:50 pm

kevsbald wrote:image 1014 - outstanding.


Thanks! Just the sort of light you hope for on a day like that: sun on snow and dark clouds behind.
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby mgmt! » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:52 pm

nice report and pictures, hoping for a winter traverse of these two, think i will wait it freezes up more.
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby pigeon » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:06 pm

Ha ha ,not had to resort to a plan C yet ,some great photo,s.We tried this last winter from the balquidder side but the snow was that heavy we were afraid me might not get the cars back out :lol: Opted for Beinn Each that day so still got this up our sleeves for this winter .Good report ,well done :thumbup:
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby jmarkb » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:44 pm

mgmt! wrote: think i will wait it freezes up more.


With hindsight, a route with 9km or so of ground above 600m wasn't really a good choice for a fresh snow day! In summer, there's a reasonable grassy path most of the way once you gain the ridge proper, but it was of little help on this occasion other than to point the way...
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby jmarkb » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:56 pm

pigeon wrote:Opted for Beinn Each that day

Sounds familiar: we ended up on Beinn Each and Stuc a'Chroin as a Plan B day last winter!

pigeon wrote:Good report ,well done

Thanks, my first report on here, glad you liked it!
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby rockhopper » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:27 am

Lovely - enjoyed that :D and you've really captured the light brilliantly in some of the photos - makes them all the more dramatic and atmospheric. Look forward to seeing more of your reports - cheers :D
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby Graeme D » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:46 am

pigeon wrote:Ha ha ,not had to resort to a plan C yet


Really??? You don't know you've lived! :lol:

Nice report. Better than my pain in the backside day I had on this one!
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:49 pm

jmarkb wrote:
mgmt! wrote: think i will wait it freezes up more.


With hindsight, a route with 9km or so of ground above 600m wasn't really a good choice for a fresh snow day! In summer, there's a reasonable grassy path most of the way once you gain the ridge proper, but it was of little help on this occasion other than to point the way...


Good idea mgmt, as with jmarkb you can only take so much of waist deep snow before you start to lose it :D
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Re: Benvane: not even Plan B

Postby Frogwell » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:43 pm

Graeme Dewar wrote:
pigeon wrote:Ha ha ,not had to resort to a plan C yet


Really??? You don't know you've lived! :lol:


Was just thinking I must have pushed plan T or U on occasion. :)
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