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Ben Lawers & Beinn Ghlas

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:38 pm
by howzat
For a third successive Saturday the weather forecast was looking pretty good. Predictions were for an iffy start to the day but for things to start clearing from 10am onwards ending in a fine afternoon. With the wife now back from a two week working trip to London we departed Edinburgh for the sister-in-laws in Blairgowrie on the Friday evening. I'd decided that Ben Lawers looked a good bet for a nice half day walk to bag a couple of Munros so we set off from Blairgowrie around 8am Saturday morning in cloud/rain/mist for Loch Tay. We arrived at a busy Ben Lawers NTS car park, the vistor's centre was demolished in 2010 I believe, and I headed off at 10am to tackle Beinn Ghlas & Ben Lawers while the wife & in-laws went to the Crannog centre. Following the path through the nature reserve Beinn Ghlas was still enveloped in cloud, although it was now dry and somewhat muggy.
Beinn Ghlas hidden from the NTS Nature Reserve path
It's up there somewhere
As the path started to climb I disappeared into the cloud.
Not much of a view so far
Restored path up Beinn Ghlas
I made fairly quick progress, although the path became steeper and rockier near the top, reaching the tiny summit cairn of Beinn Ghlas at the edge of an apparently steep drop in something like 1hr 25mins.
Summit 'cairn' on Beinn Ghlas (I think?)
I set off pretty much immediately for Ben Lawers, still with absolutely no view of anything, along a clear path along a ridge, descending downwards for a time.
Path along ridge from Beinn Ghlas to Ben Lawers
As I approached the start of the ascent up to the top of Ben Lawers the weather started to somewhat clear.
Cloud starting to lift approaching start of climb from ridge up Ben Lawers
Still climbing
I reached the top of Ben Lawers exactly 2 hrs after departing the car park.
Made it to the top of Ben Lawers - still no views!
I stopped for about 15 minutes for a bite to eat, and was afforded brief glimses, too quick for a camera shot, of An Stuc and the surrounds. During my rest I was joined at the summit by at least 10 other walkers so it was time to descend. Within minutes of setting off back down the path I had ascended the clouds cleared and the promised blue sky appeared. Not exactly great timing!
Cloud clearing top of Ben Lawers just as I start back down
Blue skies at last
I could now see the path that I had followed in cloud along the ridge down from the top of Beinn Ghlas (left) towards the start of the ascent up Ben Lawers.
Beinn Ghlas (left), Meall Corranaich (right)
Looking back up Ben Lawers
Instead of going back via the top of Beinn Ghlas I decided to use the bypass path around its north side. The sun was now well and truly out and the views all around great.
Ben Lawers from path around Beinn Ghlas
Stream coming down Beinn Ghlas
Sun well & truly out
An Stuc (left), Ben Lawers (right)
The walk along the easy going bypass path was delightful. I gazed up and saw a couple of walkers very slowly descending the very steep side of Meall Corranaich.
Meall Corranaich from Beinn Ghlas bypass path
I made it back to the nature reserve, looking back I could now see Beinn Ghlas that earlier had been completely covered by cloud, reaching the car park exactly 4 hours after departing.
Beinn Ghlas now visible from NTS Nature Reserve
I finished the walk off with a pint of real ale at the Ben Lawers Hotel before having a bit of lunch and another pint in Kenmore.

Re: Ben Lawers & Beinn Ghlas

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:05 pm
by basscadet
Oh I met you just before you turned down the bypasspath from the bealach :D I was walking with my dad..
T'was a lovely day, and you got some great photos :)

Re: Ben Lawers & Beinn Ghlas

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:40 pm
by howzat
basscadet wrote:Oh I met you just before you turned down the bypasspath from the bealach :D I was walking with my dad..
T'was a lovely day, and you got some great photos :)

Hi basscadet, yes it was indeed a lovely day, fingers crossed for a few more of them for what's left of the summer.