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Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin circuit

Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin circuit


Postby BlackPanther » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:38 pm

Date walked: 17/06/2012

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 23 km

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Another wet, cloudy weekend and I'm beginning to loose my patience, but I guess it's just a typical Scottish summer...
Having done some necessary shopping and sorting out on Saturday (in preparation for the BIG WEEK :lol: :lol: ), on Sunday we popped out to Glen Affric, just to catch some fresh air and stretch muscles. This area is good for cyclists, with many tracks and paths across the woods, most of them good enough to use a bike.
Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin circuit is not as popular as a similar circular walk around Loch Affric, as it is longer and the views are less spectacular, most of the time the track goes through dense woodland. But as a cycle trail it's a great route :D

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Basically, one can start from any point along the northern side of the Loch. Car parks belonging to Forestry Commission will soon be charged £2 daily, at the moment it is still free but how much longer... We parked by Chisholme Bridge and started our circuit anti-clockwise.
The car park:
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Kevin wanted to play hide and seek, but he was brutally attacked by a wild bunch of midges as he was lurking in the bush...
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Low cloud over Affric hills:
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From Chisholme bridge it's only a short cycle to Glen Affric car park and another bridge, crossing the river between the two lochs:
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Mountain tops still hidden...
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Past the bridge we turned east and to the forest track on the southern side of the loch. It's still cyclable though a bit rough in places, we encountered a few big, muddy puddles. I usually cycled through them first, splashing dirty water and meowing like crazy :lol: :lol: My trousers were soaked soon but who cares, I was having fun :lol:
Views across Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin:
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The dry part of the route:
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To the right, one of the muddy attractions :lol: :lol:
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We didn't take any long breaks, midges were really vicious and we forgot our repellent... As long as we were on the move they couldn't get at us, but as soon as we stopped, we were being eaten alive...
Looking east along Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin:
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Eventually, we cycled past the Dog Falls viewpoint and reached the bridge:
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The river was quiet:
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The forest may look tranquil, too, but the little, black enemy is just waiting... Just waiting to suck your blood out of you...
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We took a break by Dog Falls, had a snack and rested for a short while, but the little black enemy attacked us with a double fury so we decided, better to be on the move...
Before we left, I noticed a curious chaffinch observing us from the nearest tree. I left a few small bits of my biscuit on the opposite end of the picnic table and soon the curious fella was sitting on the bench just next to his grub:
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He grabbed a beak-full of biscuit and flew away so quickly that I had no chance to take a photo with my old camera. He came back a couple more times until all the crumbs were gone :D
Midge bites reminded me, it was time to move on. The return route is much easier, on the tarmac road all the way, and downhill most of the time. We took another short break by Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin dam:
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Not much water flowing out of the reservoir at the moment, but I remember how spectacular it looked in 2008, when the Loch was full.
Now:
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January 2008:
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A few more pictures from the dam - luckily there were no midges to bother us there:
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The loch:
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The river below the dam:
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Are you sure it's not going to overflow again?...
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From the dam it was now plain sailing (or plain cycling I should say :lol: ) all the way back to Chisholme bridge and our car. We got there wet, muddy and bitten by dozens of midges, but still happy :D Just praying for some better weather for next week, I can't imagine sitting in the tent on Skye, listening to the pouring rain... Weather gods, please, do us a favour...
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BlackPanther
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Re: Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin circuit

Postby ChrisW » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:49 pm

Fine report BP, made me laugh as you splashed your way through muddy puddles (as we all like to do :wink: ) shame about the clouds of midges eating you alive though :shock: Hope the weather picks up for the Skye trip :D
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ChrisW
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Re: Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin circuit

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:07 pm

ChrisW wrote:Fine report BP, made me laugh as you splashed your way through muddy puddles (as we all like to do :wink: ) shame about the clouds of midges eating you alive though :shock: Hope the weather picks up for the Skye trip :D


Thanks, Chris, maybe not as spectacular as your Canadian trips but a lovely circuit nevertheless. I've just checked long-term forecast and it's looking wet :( But I can't give up hope... If it's really bad, we will stay home and try to climb some hills locally. We have two weeks off booked in September so Skye trip can always wait until then... But surely I'd prefer to go now.
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BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3024
Munros:246   Corbetts:147
Grahams:107   
Sub 2000:37   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin circuit

Postby jonny616 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:39 pm

I went to skye with a 10% chance of cloud free Munros & never saw a cloud, so you are right not to give up hope 8)

Looks like a nice walk (for me. I don't do two wheels) :lol: :lol:
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jonny616
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