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Beinn Mhanach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:08 pm
by clivew
This is my first Munro of 2012 but not my first walk as I did a Pentland's circuit last weekend as it was too windy to go any further North. Checked the mountain weather forecast on Friday night and the outlook for Saturday was promising; managed to get up at 6.15 which was as early as I could manage on a cold Saturday morning. Took the road North to Tyndrum and on up the A82 to the turn off to Auch which I reached just before 09.00; I parked on the road side just south of the turning and grabbed a quick coffee and banana whilst lacing up my boots. The weather wasn't quite what I expected, it was fractionally above freezing and the cloud was a lot thicker and lower than I had hoped for but the real bonus was there was none of the gale force winds we had experienced over recent weeks.
There was one other car parked at the top of the Auch access road so hoped to meet some fellow walkers on the route to the summit.
I started walking just after 09.00, the route is very easy to follow down past the farm and over the West Highland way track, just keep heading for the railway viaduct which you can't miss.

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The railway viaduct from near the point where the West Highland Way crosses the path to Auch Glen


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Beinn a' Chaisteil through the arches of the viaduct


Its a bit of a slog up through the Auch Glen but the views all around are great with Beinn a'Chaisteil to the east and the slopes of Beinn Dorain which I climbed back in November to the North West. It was perfect walking weather, cold but not too cold if you know what I mean. The track crosses and re-crosses the Allt Kinglass about 10 times as you walk up the Glen but thankfully water levels were fairly low and I managed to ford the burn without getting wet. I'm very wary about crossing water after my unplanned swim in a burn in the Cairngorms on one of last years outings. The track leads on past the farm buildings at Ais an t-Sidhean before branching off to the right just after a bridge.
I followed the track for a further K until reaching the bridge over the Allt a'Chuirn stopped here for a coffee and sandwich before tackling the steep climb up to the bealach below Beinn Mhanach.

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The bridge over the Allt a'Chuirn


The easiest route from the bridge to the summit is to follow the fence line which runs just to the east of the burn; the going is steep with no path to speak of. I followed the fence for about 1K until the fence line veered off to the NW; by the time I reached this altitude the ground was frozen hard with a fair bit of snow in places and the cloud base limited visibility to about 20 metres. From the point where the fence line veered to the left I took a compass bearing off the map and walked in a NE direction towards the summit. I was pretty pleased with myself when my mapping skills came good for a change and my chosen route bought me directly to the cairn on the summit at a little after midday.

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The cloud shrouded cairn on the summit of Beinn Mhanach


I was enjoying a cup of coffee and a chocy bar when I could here voices approaching through the mist; it was the two guys who's car I had noticed at the car park. They had climbed up to the western side of the burn and had encountered a lot more snow than I had. We had a good chat and did the mutual photo taking as you do but didn't hang around too long as it soon gets cold when you stop.

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Me on the summit


My original plan was to follow a route around the North side of Beinn a'Chuirn and then follow the Allt an Loin back to the Auch Glen but the visibilty was so poor and there was a lot more snow on that side of the bealach I decided to play safe and follow the fence line back to the bridge.

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The Western extremity of Loch Lyon


The walk back to the car was very enjoyable and I was really glad I had managed to get into the hills, managed to re-cross the burn a further ten times without getting my feet wet which was a real success. I made it back to the A82 at 14.10; stopped off at the Green Welly in Tyndrum for a cup of tea and a slice of cake before driving back to Edinburgh. Hopefully this is the first of many Munro's during 2012.


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Re: Beinn Mhanach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:21 pm
by Fudgie
That was a good read. Like yourself I found the forecast to be less than accurate but at least it wasn't too windy. I can feel the cold at the summit though in your last picture :)

Re: Beinn Mhanach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:44 pm
by clivew
Fudgie wrote:That was a good read. Like yourself I found the forecast to be less than accurate but at least it wasn't too windy. I can feel the cold at the summit though in your last picture :)


I was hoping for a nice clear day but you are right anything is better than the strong winds we have experienced of late. I had a few layers on but after I had been on the summit for a while you could certainly feel the cold and the need to get walking again.

Re: Beinn Mhanach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:28 pm
by monty
Nice walk Clive. Its good to get out, even if the weather is less than expected :D

Re: Beinn Mhanach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:37 pm
by MarilynMunro
Wouldn't fancy going for a swim there, that looks cold brrrrrrrrrrr.
Liked the look of that area since I did the WHW.
Think you earned your cake after that.
Cheers

Re: Beinn Mhanach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:01 pm
by quoman
Hi clivew
Good report there crossing the Allt Kinglass 20 time in all. ave still to do that hill but i will wait till a bit more frost to lower the river even more.

Re: Beinn Mhanach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:47 pm
by jonny616
Nice one. I still have to do this so tips on the river crossings are great.

Re: Beinn Mhanach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:03 pm
by clivew
monty wrote:Nice walk Clive. Its good to get out, even if the weather is less than expected :D

You are right Monty it's great to get back up in the hills after a break of a few weeks, I really enjoyed the walk.

Re: Beinn Mhanach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:06 pm
by clivew
jonny616 wrote:Nice one. I still have to do this so tips on the river crossings are great.

I use a single pole when I'm walking and find it gives me that extra bit of stability when crossing rivers; believe me I need it at times.