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Beinn An Lochain at the second attempt

Beinn An Lochain at the second attempt

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:34 pm

Route description: Beinn an Lochain

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn an Lochain

Date walked: 16/12/2012

Time taken: 3.3 hours

Distance: 5.5 km

Ascent: 669m

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Back at the end of October I had tried to climb up here, but high winds at the ridge had forced me to turn back on that occasion. Since then I have had a hankering to finish the business and get to the top. I had to be into Glasgow in the afternoon today, so a nice quick ascent would be the order of the day. Forecast was for sunny spells and clouds, but there was more low cloud than I was hoping for as the day broke as I was driving up to Tarbet. However this wasn't about a view from the top, this was about me and the mountain!

Got to the layby just north of Loch Restil about 8.30

P1000423 by 23weasels, on Flickr

and had a bit of a leap across the wee burn at the start of the walk - was fast flowing today and I didn't fancy a slip and wet boots again.

P1000424 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There wasn't much ice left of the initial steep section which was a relief. Some nice views across to Binnien an Fhidhlier, another hill that's earmarked for going up sometime soon...

P1000425 by 23weasels, on Flickr

and down to Loch Restil

P1000426 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Up to the end of the first section at 637m and the snow is soft with the odd patch of ice.

P1000427 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1000428 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I remembered walking around the north side of the hill's flank had been quite steep but with an easy track the last time I attempted to go up here - today it was a more intimidating prospect as the path was hidden by the snow - knee deep in places. Icy patches became more frequent and I decided it was Crampon Time.

Came to a section which I remembered going up vertically before, but didn't like the look of it in the snow - was thinking about avalanches and just generally slipping down the not inconsiderable drop below, so decided to head across the 30 or so feet to an easier slope - this meant kicking steps in snow that was of varying consistency til I got across, which had me a little scared. Anyway, made it over and headed up to the ridge proper.

P1000435 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I came to the steep bank of about 15ft that I had been forced to turn back at last time. No wind to speak of today, so made it up and over. Into unknown terrain!

P1000436 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1000437 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Again I ws feeling quite scared as I went along to the ridge - partly cos I was on my own, partly cos my head was still full of fearsome outcomes from the Winter Skills Training weekend last week. There was one moment when I swithered about turning back, when I was crossing a steep slope just under the ridge and once again thinking what would happen if it just avalanched under me - although there was no sign of slips and just a few snowballs tumbling. However I trusted to my judgement (as well as thinking I couldn't face being turned back on this hill twice!) and pressed on, and glad that I did.

P1000438 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1000439 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1000440 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Finally the top loomed into sight out of the mist, must admit to being quite relieved!

P1000441 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stopped for a banana and a warm sense of achievement tempered only by the thought that I had to go back the same way!

P1000442 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1000443 by 23weasels, on Flickr

P1000445 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Came across this strange little "snow castle"

P1000446 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The descent was uneventful, again apart from the little bit of traverse. Looked like the sky was going to clear as I got to the lower sections but it didn't.

P1000448 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Got to the two big boulders at the foot of the hill with a real sense of having enjoyed the hill today - felt I had had to make judgements and choices today that were probably more demanding given the conditions and terrain than on any of the hills I've been up so far and I was a bit frightened in a couple of sections, but that's part of the experience :wink: I do think that there's a tangible feeling of relief in this photo!

P1000449 by 23weasels, on Flickr

A great hill and a great morning's fun - think I'll be back on this little beauty again
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Re: Beinn An Lochain at the second attempt

Postby dawnfoth » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:57 pm

Hey! Well Done! Its always a bit of a bummer when you climb most of a hill only to be beaten by it, then to return with the prospect of being beaten again. Looks like a bit of that snow has attacked your beard! :lol: Just kidding..... maybe next time you are there you might see something - lots of clag :shock:
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Re: Beinn An Lochain at the second attempt

Postby Fudgie » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:10 pm

Well done for persevering. It can be frustrating having to turn back so the relief is clearly visible in that last photo :D
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