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Ben Donich - Smashing!

Ben Donich - Smashing!


Postby GillC » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:35 pm

Route description: Ben Donich, via Rest and Be Thankful

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Donich

Date walked: 14/10/2012

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 7.5 km

Ascent: 575m

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The Arrochar area has an absolute wealth of Munros, Corbetts, walks and varying hills, in such a small area. So a week after climbing Beinn an Lochain, where we caught great views of Donich, Margaret and I headed out (a day later than planned) on a changeable morning, mist, rain, blue sky, sun and that was just on the hours drive north from Glasgow!
ben-donich.jpg
View of the hill

Easy to find, the small parking area on the forested track is just past the Rest & Be Thankful carpark on the Drumsynie single track road. Only 1 other car in the car park at 9:45am, a couple leaving bikes for their return journey. The rain had come on,,not heavy but enough to have us putting gaters and waterproofs on.
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The wildlife hiding from the public glare

The initial part of the journey is up through the forest on a road, towards Gleann Mor.
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Looking west up Gleann Mor
Those nice Forestry Commission people have put a lovely clear sign, pointing to the open hill and Ben Donich so theres no excuse for not finding your way. Reaching a gate in the fence, you're then off and on to the hill.

This part of the path is quite steep but open and easy to follow. This hill opens out and is like last weeks climb, Beinn an Lochain, in that it is rocky, scrambly but very easy to follow. Donich though has more open stretches, downward dips and climbs back out.
Argyll and Bute-20121014-00264.jpg
The changing light


The rain had gone off by this time, sun was out but low cloud whipping past making views disappear instantly and then reappear just as quickly. We had seen 2 people on the ascent up Coire Culach when we were kitting up, and were overtaken by a solo walker but otherwise,,no one else around at this point.

Donich consits of 3-4 ever increasing tops, with smashing scrambly bits in the middle towards the summit. At one point, the path just disappears off a rocky drop of about 12-15 ft but with careful picking over very slippy rock you find yourself in a mini canyon of ancient HUGE rocks, showing age old splits and cracks , awe inspiring stuff.
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Margaret disappearing into the depths
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Rocky IV - This time its HARD!!!
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.....and climbing out of the depths


Visibility had deteriorated to more mist/low cloud, with only brief openings of clarity. Started to take mental notes of landmark rocks etc as once or twice,,the path seemed to head off or disappear only to reappear somewhere else. We eventually saw the trig point through the cloud, it seemed too far away and we felt we should have been at the top by now,,but checking the map, you see that the peak is at the West of a large top and steep descents surrounding,,so it couldnt possibly by a different hill. This mist was deceptive however and we reached the summit a lot quicker than we thought.
DSCN2617.JPG
Waaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaay!


Found a spot off the top for lunch,,bit of a biting wind so got some shelter beside a great rock formation, but didnt plan on hanging around too long, the mist had settled in, visibility only around 20yds.
DSCN2621.JPG
Unpacking the chicken soup
Some LOVELY chicken soup, couple of rolls and packed up again for the off. Made sure we headed back round to the trig to retrace our path down. You reach a very small Lochan,,(or large puddle!!) and the obvious path goes straight on,,but we had come from another path going off to the right (on the descent) so rather than heading into a misty unknown,,we stuck to our upward route.

The path is very worn and boggy in places,,so many feet have steered around the slippy rocks and mud, creating several parallel paths,,very visible from a distance.

Wasn't long before the mists were clearing again,,we passed 2-3 groups of 2 on the way up, including a very bouncy dalmation who was having a ball. With daylight in relatively short supply,,they were cutting it fine to get down much before dark.

It was lovely, the sun was fairly low in the sky, casting an amazing yellow glow across the surrounding hills,,which despite the time of year,,still have a lot of greenery amongst the yellowing bracken and heathers.
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Waving at shadows
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Been standing in a growbag again
The colours, together with the blue skies were breathtaking so the downward stroll was punctuated with a lot of stops just to take it all in. This is Scotland in all her glory. Lovely, lovely, lovely.


Heading back down through the fence and on to the road, with great views up to an Lochain.
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Beinn an Lochain from the forest track down
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Lower stretches of an Lochain to the North
Nice early finish so we headed for Ben Arthurs Bothy in Arrochar for what must be the best view from a bar ANYWHERE!
Argyll and Bute-20121014-00274.jpg
Me, a coffee and The Cobbler
(strictly coffee, ) out on the picnic benches on the lochside,,sun shining, Oyster catchers tweeting on the shoreline.
Argyll and Bute-20121014-00271.jpg
View south from the Bothy , down Loch Long
Smashing end to what must rank as one of my favourite climbs. It doesn't have to be a huge Munro, this hill had a bit of everything,,great hill for the beginner giving a bit of everything in bitesize chunks. :lol:

Another lovely autumn walk which will stay on the radar for a return journey.
Last edited by GillC on Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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GillC
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Re: Ben Donich - Smashing!

Postby soulminer » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:52 pm

A fine walk indeed, for you both. Never been up Donich, but i'll remedy that someday. Might not take the Collies though as there are some deep clefts they could fall through- will have to be kept on the lead :shock:
Cheers.
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Re: Ben Donich - Smashing!

Postby GillC » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:51 pm

Thanks Soulminer and good point about the dogs,,,lots of gullys, big gaps under rocks etc,,,would be a bit tricky... ,,cheers again. :D
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GillC
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Re: Ben Donich - Smashing!

Postby Fudgie » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:56 am

A great wee hill with a couple of tricky bits involved and also it's not too far away. I did this very early in the morning and the part through the forest was done in the dark :shock: The scrambly bit was covered in a thin layer of ice and I inadvertently slid off it :lol:

Was the gate that's too small still there? It is the most pointless thing ever :D
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Re: Ben Donich - Smashing!

Postby GillC » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:04 am

haha,,,thanks Fudgie,,yes the gates still there,,could just have climbed under it lol spot of limbo dancing :lol:
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GillC
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Re: Ben Donich - Smashing!

Postby Del246 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:05 pm

Brill, its a great hill. The views on a clear day are superb, down to the sea lochs, east to the Arrochar Alps, Ben Lomond etc.
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Re: Ben Donich - Smashing!

Postby GillC » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:03 pm

Thanks DEL ,,was looking forward to the same views we had from an Lochain last week, but not to be. Margaret comes from Uddingston,,small world.
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Munros:282   Corbetts:39
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Location: Chryston

Re: Ben Donich - Smashing!

Postby Mammut22 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:06 pm

Tackling donich next week good report smashing pictures
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