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Beinn an Lochain - an autumn treasure

Beinn an Lochain - an autumn treasure

Postby GillC » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:15 pm

Route description: Beinn an Lochain

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn an Lochain

Date walked: 07/10/2012

Time taken: 4.75 hours

Distance: 5.5 km

Ascent: 720m

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Had spied this hill recently and liked the look of the rocky ascent so when it came up on the Glasgow Hillwalkers meetup group, we signed up for it. My poor wee car was a bit sick, so borrowed my brothers and headed off for the meet up with the rest of the group. Margaret and I had both done walks with this group before, but to different locations so you never know if you will meet anyone you know. Jurys still out on large groups,,on one side, you lose the 'wilderness' feel and the freedom to go at your own speed etc but on the other hand, you get to experience areas you might not have the confidence to tackle on your own.

We introduced ourselves, had a brief briefing about what to expect and headed off at 9:30 am. First hurdle of the day, a rapid wee burn, beside the Easan Dubh Fall, with no sticks and most of the stepping stones being mossy AND under the water surface,, had a horrible feeling this would be as far as I went. But, we all made it across and progressed across the very boggy lower reaches of Lochain.
Argyll and Bute-20121007-00230.jpg
Margaret,,that girls on the up!

The path up is worn and very often in deep cutting in the grassland, down to the bedrock. Its easily followed and very boggy. Its a quick rise up on to the rocky shoulder. The early cloud had lifted and we had great views in all directions. Although again,,with such a large group (around 20 or so) you rarely get a chance to stop at will to soak up the surroundings. We stopped a few times on the way up to let us regroup before setting off again.
Argyll and Bute-20121007-00238.jpg
View over the Brack and Rest & Be Thankful
Argyll and Bute-20121007-00235.jpg
Grid lock

This is a fabulous climb, rocky, scrambly, something to hold your interest all the way and the glorious views just added to the day. The views over The Cobbler, Narnain and Ime gives you a real scale of the routes I've done on several misty days before.
Argyll and Bute-20121007-00240.jpg
Interesting perspective on The Cobbler (and a gob full of midget gems!!)
Spectacular views
Argyll and Bute-20121007-00241.jpg
Up on onwards on the ridge

The top of Lochain is a long, undulating area, 2 cairns, 1 real peak and lots of rocky outcrops to shelter in for lunch.
Argyll and Bute-20121007-00250.jpg
Our spot was looking over towards Jura, with Ailsa Craig and even Ireland beyond, just visible to the naked eye but not really showing on the camera pics.

To kill a bit of time,,some of the group headed off the top and on to a plateau to the SSW. We started off down the hillside, but just took some time to appreciate the surroundings, have a wander then head back up to the top where a few of the group were still enjoying lunch in the sun.
Argyll and Bute-20121007-00254.jpg
View over the plateau & the sea beyond

After a time,,we regrouped on the top and started off on our way down. Beinn an Lochain is a steep hill so all the rocky scrambling of the ascent,,had to be done in reverse, with lots of scrambling down deep steps, rocks and the odd muddy patch. Sticks seemed to be more of a nuisance to some as you really needed your hands,,and your bum, to get down over the rocks. You are never really out of sight of the road on this climb, and the pretty Butterbridge is visible to the north as the road heads west.
Argyll and Bute-20121007-00231.jpg
The Butterbridge
The old Military road is clearly visible following roughly the same route as its modern counterpart.

I was pretty much at the tail end of the group with one of the leaders for the last few hundred yards. Getting back to the burn, Margaret was waiting with a stick, to help get over, MUCH appreciated.

So, we were up and down by 2:15 pm but opted not to go to the pub but to head home, things to do, people to see, work to go to in the morning.

All in all,,this is a lovely climb, is little short of Munro height but starting at nearly 250mtrs makes it seem smaller but its steepness is hard on the legs as theres no real let up in climbing and this can be equally as tough on the descent too.. as told by the pain in my thighs for 4 days,,long time since my legs hurt like that after a climb. Much making of involuntary noises when getting up out of a chair or climbing down stairs lol Must be an age thing :lol: Go do this one,,it's FAB!
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Re: Beinn an Lochain - an autumn treasure

Postby gordon l » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:37 pm

Great report and pics of a cracking hill; hope to enjoy it again this winter :D
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Re: Beinn an Lochain - an autumn treasure

Postby soulminer » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:00 pm

You did pick a fine day for it 8) Great on a day like it was,but a really different hill in winter- phenomenal 8) Will be back up here again when the snow appears !
Nice to have nearly met you both :thumbup:
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