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A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

A wander to Tigh nam Bodach


Postby basscadet » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:15 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chreachain, Beinn Achaladair, Beinn an Dothaidh, Beinn Mhanach

Date walked: 14/07/2012

Time taken: 12.5 hours

Distance: 44.9 km

Ascent: 2139m

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This weekend, I thought I would do something I've been meaning to do for years! Visit Tigh Nam Bodach. I love Glen Lyon - tucked away off the beaten track so it was with a jolly heart, I crawled through McGregor's leap, dodging red squirrels and onward up the glen, on the roller coaster road. I arrived at the Dam at the eastern end of Loch Lyon, and parked up right next to the bridge. After the usual faff, I took the track along the north of the loch.

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It was a decent enough track - not too hard on the feet :) On my map, the track finishes well before Glen Meurain, but the track continued into the glen, which aided my progress, and by 9.30, I decided that I had gone far enough, and looked for a good campspot. There was a ford over Allt meran, and there was a really good spot there. I was drinking a brew within 15 minutes. This was what this wild camping molarchy is all about - Not a midge in sight, sitting out in the setting sun in a t-shirt with beautiful views and a brew. Amazing :D

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I was up and away by 8.30, heading up the track toward glen Cailliche, and Tigh Nam Bodach. I met the keeper driving down the Glen - he was a friendly chap - and then it wasn't far until I spotted it :)
It was so good to be there.. Very interesting little place.

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So it wasn't even 9 O'clock yet, so my attentions turned toward the hills :D There was a ridge up to my right that should kill the day, and a single hill up to my left for tomorrow...
I followed the track up the glen, but it hardly even went half a mile further, so onward I went through the squelchiness. I found a sheep pen with some interesting ruins round about - 3 huts and by the looks of things 2 medieval grain stores. It was a bonny place, and just where I would descend, so I ditched most of my stuff there, just taking waterproofs and lunch with me. Onward up the glen. In an hour i was countuoring round into the bealach between Beinn an Dothaigh and Beinn Achaladair.

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I had met the ridge a bit high, so i had to descend before the steep grassy hike up to the first top of Beinn Dothaidh. I was excited because this would be my middle munro :D I made the first top, and the next one looked higher, so i went to it.. Then I saw a 3rd top , so I went to it.. then I looked at the map and discovered the middle top had been it. I sat and had 1st lunch and admired the views.

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Then it was back to the first top, and back down to the bealach. The ascent up Beinn Achaladair was very much easier - and once up on the ridge, there was very little ups or downs. You could see everything from ben Nevis, to the cairngorms, scheihallion, the Tyndrum hills - Havent had views like that since the last time i was in this neck of the woods! Those photos are worth checking out.. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.211199935627800.52302.100002133859009&type=3&l=0d4f6a0dab

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It wasnt far until the summit.. I think it would be easy to be confused at this one.. The cairn at the highest point on the map is tiny, whereas, the main cairn is at the lower top :crazy:

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From Beinn Achaladair, the way down to the next bealach is steep, but I was surprised that there were scrambly bits! nothing very tricky though.. Views still stunning..

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There is a top, Meall Buidhe that has to be climbed before the final steep ascent up Beinn Creachain, the final top of the day.. It was still only half past two! A short ridge it seems. So I sat at the top for ages eating and checking out more of the views. Its been such a long time since I saw one, I'd forgotten how nice it is :lol:

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Eventually, I returned to the last bealach, and followed the burn down, back into Glen Cailliche, past some pretty nice waterfalls. I hit the sheep pen bang on, and found my stuff. From what I had seen further up the glen, there was more bog than grass to pitch up on, so I found a spot close by and pitched up. I made a cuppa, but fell asleep in the sunshine. Still no midges, nothing to do - it was bliss. it did get chilly later though, and for the first time this trip, I had to find my jacket.

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I got awoken sometime in the darkness by fierce winds and pelting rain. I went straight back to sleep, but in the morning it was still windy and chucking it down. I had awoken early, but emerged from the tent late due to motivational issues. The rain had stopped and the sun was out now though.. :) Things didn't look settled though - more showers were coming, but worst of all, the river had swollen to twice the size! This kind of put a kybosh on my plans to walk over Beinn Mhanach.. The river would be just too big to cross further down.. I couldnt even see how I could cross it here! So I set off up the glen , and left my stuff again, knowing I would have to return this way.. Not long after I left it started raining again, and it was so heavy, and so windy, the noise on my hood was deafening. I worked my way upstream, knowing that every side burn I crossed made crossing the main river easier, until I got to a place, where the river seemed to split in 4.. I still had bother getting across, but I managed.. Still the rain pelted.. I followed a burn uphill, trying to avoid the worst of the bog, but even bits that would usually be dry and firm had 2 inches of water. I splashed onward, upward, through some peat hags and up to the coll between Beinn Mhanach, and Beinn a Chuirn. The going from there was easy, but went on longer than expected through the clag on a featureless landscape. The cairn appeared.

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I tapped it and turned around.. Not wanting to hang about in the deluge. The walk down was even wetter, possibly because i was head on into the wind. When i got back down to where the rivers met, 2 of them had burst their banks, and the stones i had used to cross were well submerged. It must of risen 6 inches in just the hour and a half it had taken me to get up there and back! i got over one no bother, but the second, I lost my balance and went in knee deep. left foot sodden. :( It was good to be over the burn though, and it was a fast squelch back down to the sheep pen to pick up my stuff. Check these two photos. The first on the way up, the 2nd taken at the same place on the way down.

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I was aware that there was still the river crossing to do over the Allt Meran, and wanted to get over it as soon as I could, so I hastened down the glen, picked up the track back. I noticed there were 3 sheep with their heads firmly planted in the Tigh Nam Bodach wee hut.. Not a bad idea to get out of this rain. My waterproofs were failing :(
I got down to the river, and right enough, as expected, the kindly trickle that had been last night, was raging today. There were no stepping stones at all, so I was forced to make a run for it at a shallower section. Right foot sodden :(
It was an uneventful trot down the track back to the car from there.. The sun came out for a while, but it was raining again by the time I got back. So glad I went though, I had such a good time in general. Its been ages since I was last out by myself. Good for the soul :D
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basscadet
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Re: A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

Postby laconic surf » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:13 am

Another fine report BC. I like your plan of tackling these from Loch Lyon rather than from Bridge of Orchy :think:
Looks like it was a good trip out, despite needing to freestyle across the burn at the end :lol:
Congrats on getting across the halfway line 8)
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Re: A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

Postby Steve B » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:56 am

This is an interesting way into these hills, always good to see an alternative. :)
I have not seen anything in the hills like the ancient stones you found before. Did you know about these before you went up there?
Well done on getting across those rivers in the conditions you had, easy for things to go wrong.
Thanks for the report.
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Re: A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

Postby basscadet » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:40 am

Steve B wrote:This is an interesting way into these hills, always good to see an alternative. :)
I have not seen anything in the hills like the ancient stones you found before. Did you know about these before you went up there?
Well done on getting across those rivers in the conditions you had, easy for things to go wrong.
Thanks for the report.


Tigh nam Bodach is unique as far as I know - thats why I wanted to visit. There was talk of a new hydro scheme there last year that rekindled my intrest in them. I find it interesting how the old pagan beliefs relate to modern pagan practices. I actually prepared a wee ceremony, and called in the quarters to speak to the Cailleach about all this crap weather we have been having.. I bribed them appropriately with mead and cake, but I take it from Sundays weather its a firm 'No' to my pleas :lol:

As for the route, this would be a short trip with a bike, definately a go-er. I think its the single track roller coaster road to get there, that puts folk off going in from this direction maybe? :roll:
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Re: A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

Postby rockhopper » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:51 pm

Didn't know about Tigh Nam Bodach when I was up here but have learned about it since then - interesting story and that's some route - 45km and >2,100m in 12.5hrs, no way could I manage that with a heavy pack and without a bike ! - cheers :D
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Re: A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

Postby basscadet » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:14 am

rockhopper wrote:Didn't know about Tigh Nam Bodach when I was up here but have learned about it since then - interesting story and that's some route - 45km and >2,100m in 12.5hrs, no way could I manage that with a heavy pack and without a bike ! - cheers :D


Well, I left the heavy pack in the glen for the hilly bits.. It was only a 2 hour walk in at a decent trot, so not that much lugging. I weighed my pack afore I left and it was less than 7KG, so not that bad. :)
As for the timing, you would manage fine!.. thats the time recorded on the GPS, which is put on when I leave the car/tent and switched off as I pitch my tent up for the night.. I did do the walking parts far quicker than I would of thought possible when I was planning it.. I guess this old couch potato nicotine addict, might actually be getting somewhere resembling a fit person :crazy:
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Re: A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

Postby morag1 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Really like this report :thumbup:

In the past, Glen Lyon was known as the valley of the sun god. I would love to visit someday and see the Tigh nam Bodach, also the praying hands of Mary. Google it if you want to know more :D
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Re: A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

Postby basscadet » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:33 am

Aye, there is almost too much in Glen Lyon. It used to be a big pict stronghold, and there are towers and forts right the way up the glen. Its quite close to Dalriada, so you can imagine it being a sheltered camp with good links to the border for reiving or defense.
Theres the stone that the plague was cast into as well, although it is well hidden, managed to find it on the 2nd attempt last year. Its just a rock though :lol:
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Re: A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

Postby malky_c » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:38 am

Enjoyable report - always meant to approach these hills from the east, or maybe do a full circuit of Loch Lyon, but it's just another of the hundreds of things I've never got around to.

Shades of Graeme D's epic retreat from a couple of years back at the end there :shock:
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5707
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Re: A wander to Tigh nam Bodach

Postby basscadet » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:36 am

malky_c wrote:Enjoyable report - always meant to approach these hills from the east, or maybe do a full circuit of Loch Lyon, but it's just another of the hundreds of things I've never got around to.

Shades of Graeme D's epic retreat from a couple of years back at the end there :shock:
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5707


I originally planned a route right around the loch, looks quite tempting! but I never seem to get round to the trips that will take longer than a weekend.. Only another 32 years to work :( lol
Thanks for the link, I really enjoyed reading about Graeme's antics. I am getting anxious about the rivers on this weekends trip already though.. Oh I'm such a woos! :lol:
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