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Ben Donich in a Bothy Bag

Ben Donich in a Bothy Bag


Postby FourLeggedPal » Thu May 17, 2012 11:58 pm

Route description: Ben Donich, via Rest and Be Thankful

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Donich

Date walked: 16/05/2012

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Yesterday's forecast was for sunshine most of the day - one decent day in a week of gray skies and rain. We decided to take advantage of it and headed for Ben Donich. We'd been thinking about climbing this hill for quite some time, but were a little concerned as to whether our little Beagles would manage the scramble. There was only one way to find out!

A big part of hill walking for us is photographing the scenery. Paul prefers moody, atmospheric skies so we got a nice early start in the hope of catching some early morning cloud around the summits. We started our ascent at 7.30am. Initially conditions looked good. Mostly blue skies with a little bit of low cloud. But it wasn't long before those clouds completely engulfed us. There was a thin coating of snow on the ground and that, coupled with the poor visibility made the path a little tricky to follow. Fortunately someone had a head start on us and there was a clear trail of footprints all the way to the top!

The scramble was no problem at all - the only slight difficulty was the jostling for footholds between me, Beanie and Biggles! It wasn't long before we reached the summit. Our mystery guide (the 'owner' of the footprints in the snow) emerged out of the clouds and, before making his way back down, informed us that we'd have had some great views if only we'd been there a little bit earlier. We decided to hang around for a while in the hope that the cloud would lift. We got the occasional brief glimpse of the surrounding hills but nothing worth photographing. It was VERY cold.

We'd recently invested in a bothy bag - not so much for use in emergencies, but we figured it might work quite well as a kind of 'sensory depravation tank' for our crazy little Beagles. The mountains drive them wild with excitement and on long days out it's difficult to get them to chill out and take a rest. Now seemed an ideal time to give our bothy bag a test drive. Initially I just pulled it over my head and held on tight - the wind was really picking up now. I was amazed at how quickly I warmed up.

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Shortly after this the winds really picked up and we found ourselves in the midst of a snow storm. We all scrambled under the bothy bag and huddled against the summit trig point. Within moments we were as warm as toast despite the howling winds and freezing cold temperatures outside. The pups settled down nicely and we got stuck into our sandwiches and coffee. The bothy bag comes with an integral carry bag which doubles up as a ventilation vent - a tube of fabric with a fine mesh at the base. The strange thing is, there were two of them. Now why on earth would you want two carry bags? Well, we soon found out. Beanie and Biggles each stuffed their head down a vent in order to savour the delightful aromas blowing across the mountains. Clearly the bothy bag manufactuers had Beagles in mind when they came up with this design. Just perfect!

By about 11am we relcutantly decided to give up and head back down - such a shame to come all this way and see nothing. But as we crawled out of the bothy bag the wind dropped and the clouds started to lift. At first just brief glimpses of the surrounding mountains then gradually a whole new world opened up before our eyes. It was quite magical!

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The pups were even more enthusiastic about the scramble back up. If you look very closely you can just about make us out in the bottom right quadrant:

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Here's a closer view - sherpa Beanie legged it up the rock face before I could blink and Biggles wasn't far behind her!

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We really loved this hill. We're suprised it's only got a user rating of three stars. The views are really quite stunning and it's an interesting little route up. We'll definitly do it again!
FourLeggedPal
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Re: Ben Donich in a Bothy Bag

Postby wolf1973 » Fri May 18, 2012 1:29 am

Nice report. . . . . . . and those pic's are outstanding, do you use any filters/editing software??
Everytime I muck about with the settings on my eos550d it just looks the same :wtf: :-?
Looks like the pups had a blast!
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Re: Ben Donich in a Bothy Bag

Postby Fudgie » Fri May 18, 2012 10:09 am

Yet again great pictures. I did that hill in clag from bottom to top so it's good to see the views that I missed.

I'm also thinking about heading to that area tomorrow so I now have an idea of the underfoot conditions.
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Re: Ben Donich in a Bothy Bag

Postby Rudolph » Fri May 18, 2012 10:49 am

That's a great report with stunning pictures. I'm glad you were able to wait at the top :D

I take it you are pleased with your bothy bag. I wouldn't have belived it's as warm as you've found it to be and am now tempted.

I can't quite work out what is happening in your picture of the bag though :?
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Re: Ben Donich in a Bothy Bag

Postby FourLeggedPal » Fri May 18, 2012 10:56 am

Thanks wolf & Fudgie!

wolf1973 wrote:Nice report. . . . . . . and those pic's are outstanding, do you use any filters/editing software??
Everytime I muck about with the settings on my eos550d it just looks the same :wtf: :-?
Looks like the pups had a blast!


Yep I've got a good quality circular polarizer (pretty much essential for landscapes) and I always shoot "raw" rather than jpeg so I have a chance to put back the "magic" that my eyes see but the camera (or me driving it!) sometimes fails to capture. I'm a big fan of Adobe Lightroom for photo editing - takes a bit of getting used to but the initial pain is worth it.
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Re: Ben Donich in a Bothy Bag

Postby FourLeggedPal » Fri May 18, 2012 11:01 am

Rudolph wrote:That's a great report with stunning pictures. I'm glad you were able to wait at the top :D

I take it you are pleased with your bothy bag. I wouldn't have belived it's as warm as you've found it to be and am now tempted.

I can't quite work out what is happening in your picture of the bag though :?


Get one - honestly they're blummin' brilliant, definitely a worthwhile buy. As to what's happening in the bag in the photo, well, Beagle chaos pretty much!!
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Re: Ben Donich in a Bothy Bag

Postby kevsbald » Fri May 18, 2012 12:10 pm

Very nice indeed.
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