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Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:19 am
by iainwatson

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This walk was kind of un-prepared in a sense that i've a bigger walk planned for tuesday and all of my attention had been focused on that but as i sat last night i started thinking that if i could get out today and bag a Munro,coupled with tuesday's walk it would set up a chance to hit my yearly target next friday,which i'll add looked dead in the water a few weeks ago,this however means that i'll be crimbo shopping on xmas eve :lol: (why break a habit?)

A quick check on the weather last night reminded me that winter walking is not all deep blue sky's and panoramic views,i was to have a 30% chance of a cloud free summit aswell as rain in the glen which would no doubt turn to snow higher up.....MWIS wasnt wrong :(
parking area

As i got ready at the car park i had a niggling thought of abandoning the walk and hitting the shops,was i really up for this after such glorious weather last week on Mount Keen?

weather not looking great

I set off anyway,along the track on my bike and past the brewery and just as i passed the farm building a 'pal' joined me for the next 3km.A dog had run out from the farm and was running alongside me as i cycled down the road,i wasnt quite sure what to do with this,i was happy the fact the dog might want to follow for the whole walk,i love canine company.Just about 3km after the dog joined me i heard a car approaching from behind me and luckily it was the lady from the farm coming up to collect her dog which was a relief from the point of view that it might not be safe for the dog to go with me.
I cycled on which was easy going although passing 7 highland cows standing in the middle of the road was a bit un-nerving,they were just not for moving and i could feel the weight of their stares as i crept past.the rain was quite heavy by this point but my mood had lifted and i was enjoying being out-thank goodness i never went to the shops and soon after i came to the gate where i chained up the bike and headed up the landrover track toward the derilict house that sits just where you cut off and head up the hill to start the acsent toward Beinn Bhuidhe.
With the cloud being low and the rain pelting down i opted to take the grassy hillside over the path as i had read about some dodgy bits on the path route and didnt want any difficulty's on the way up.After a while a snow covered top appeared in front of me and after the initial joy of thinking this was the Munro summit i soon came back to reality and realised this was not the case after a map check
is that the summit already? lol

the view from about 450mtrs

but on the good side the rain had stopped and it was now just a few flurries of snow every now and then.The walk up onto the ridge to take me to the summit started wet and boggy and soon turned to snow underfoot which as usual was iced in places and soft in others,that added to the low cloud was making navigation tricky at times and i had to keep stopping every so often to plot the next 100 odd metres till i reached the ridge.
time to pick the route i'm taking

winter landscape-eerie with the cloud

nearing the ridge

From here it was fairly straight forward,head along the path which i had now picked up and it would lead me all the way to the summit which was the case up until the last rise to the summit where with the cloud in on me i could see the snow had completely covered the hillside and having not ever been here and not knowing how wide this section should be i was concious of possible cornice's so with a slight fear i made my way slowly up to the summit which i reached with no incident.
Beinn Bhuidhe summit

Beinn Bhudhie summit-YAY!

Dont get me wrong the cloud was in and it was bitterly cold in the wind but i loved this summit as much as any other i have reached,maybe more........i had really enjoyed the different challenges that i had today and for the full ascent i had an overwhelming feeling of being out in the widerness with only nature for company....AMAZING!

I didnt stay long on the summit due to it being so cold and after a few cups of hot coffee i set off back from where i came and just as i started to descend from the summit i actually gave myself a wee fright when i spotted my ascent tracks about 8 ft to my left,now as i say i dont know how wide this section of the hill is,it may have been perfectly fine but from where i was standing the footprints looked far to far over and too near the edge of the snow,cue that sudden ill feeling in the bottom of my stomach.
Never the less i headed down thinking i this was a lesson learned,if i had read enough trip reports i would have seen pics of the path to the summit and i could have been better placed to go over that certain section,i hadnt even thought of this factor when planning the walk last night.
I followed the path till it split,one path continued toward my ascent route and the other down a really steep hillside which was caked in snow so i retraced my ascent route and once off the ridge i could start to see further as i got below the cloud and decided i would head for the path at the bottom of the large waterfall and go down that way.
my descent route(right hand side of pic)

more of the descent route

plotting my route to the path

looking back up from where i joined the path

This bit was ok,a bit slippy here and there but i reached the path no bother and walked down to the track only having to avoid a couple of slippy rocks a few times that spooked me a bit with the drop down the gorge to the water.
A quick walk back to the bike and then a nice cycle back down the glen to the van was the perfect ending.....even if it was raining the whole way,

it still couldnt drain the joy of the walk from me :D

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:11 am
by rockhopper
Yup - a bike's definitely the way to go on this one making an easy return :thumbup: Thought I got bad weather with wind, rain and no views up top but looks like yours was just as bad 8) It's a pity as I suspect the views would be nice - hope you're ready to hit the shops tomorrow :shock:

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:53 am
by gammy leg walker
Nice wee hill this one Ian,well done in getting out,me being a purist I walked this one,on the way home passed 3 or 4 bikes locked up,how much did I wish I had a bike for that 7k back :lol:

Rockhopper here"s what you missed.
Glen Fyne
Lochan Shirra (i think)
you need to get summit pics with no clag "rockhopper)

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:06 am
by rockhopper
:lol: thanks gammy :lol:

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:01 pm
by quoman
Hi Iain.
good report wish a took ma bike when a done this yin that wik back was murder.
they cooows diny move for yi :lol:

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:06 pm
by SusieThePensioner
A great report Iain and thought the photos were excellent as they certainly give us an idea of what you experienced :thumbup:

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:02 pm
by Bod
Your some boy Iain, well done again, love your enthusiasm......:)
On a roll I see, here's hoping your Tuesday plan comes together. Pondering Tuesday as well at the moment, but probably something a little shorter. Will keep you posted.
All the best and Merry Christmas :D

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:10 pm
by monty
Nice report Ian.
Enthusiasm in abundance well done. Your right to have been cautious because there its quite a pointy summit. You'll soon be compleat at this rate :D

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:45 pm
by kevsbald
Loving the wheels! Tint my ride?

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:54 pm
by iainwatson
cheers all,i really enjoyed the day and hope that came across in the report :D

and suprisingly the shops were quite quiet today-result!

really looking forward to tuesday now,just hope the weather is ok

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:03 pm
by pollyh33
Fab report again Iain. :thumbup: :thumbup:

You were right to avoid the gully path. It was tricky enough in the warm, dry conditions that I had- could be very dangerous if any of it was iced over :(

Wow how scary are those cows???? I jumped into the field and made sure I had a very high wall between me and them until it was safe to rejoin the path :lol: :lol:

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:26 pm
by pigeon
Good one Ian ,hope you get a better day for your bridge of orchy trip 8)

Re: Winter Wandering on Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:02 am
by smiffysmc
Nice one Iain. Great pictures.I've been looking at this walk but decided to leave it till there's more daylight hours due to the long walk in/ out. I used to work at the quarry and see many people walk in that way.

Thanks for the report.