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Beinn Mhanach - Brass ones on the hill of the Monk(ey)

Beinn Mhanach - Brass ones on the hill of the Monk(ey)


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:04 pm

Route description: Beinn Mhanach

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Mhanach

Date walked: 19/01/2013

Time taken: 6.2 hours

Distance: 21.3 km

Ascent: 942m

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Wasn't sure if I'd get out today with the forecast promising poor viz and snow - however the West seemed to be more promising and looking for places to go that were not along tiny single roads, Beinn Mhanach looked like it fitted the bill. Got away at 6,30 and headed up Loch Lomondside surprised to see that the roads were free from ice and there was not much in the way of snow at all. Managed to miss the little patch of roadside parking heading up from Tyndrum, so had to go up to Bridge of Orchy and turn round to head back - affording a good view of Beinn Dorain which brought back memories of a very cold snowy day up there in November.
Image
Early morning towards Beinn Dorain heading south by 23weasels, on Flickr

Managed to find the parking site just past the private road into Auch Gleann and got changed.
Image
Beinn Challum from the parking spot by 23weasels, on Flickr

One other couple arrived and set off just before us. The sky was promising it felt warmer than I'd been expecting.
Image
Beinn Dorain by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
Beinn Dorain by 23weasels, on Flickr

Headed off along the track past the farm where a flock of sheep - some with golden fleeces were looking for their breakfast then along towards the viaduct.
Image
Sheep and Beinn Dorain by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
Beinn a Chaistell by 23weasels, on Flickr

A light powdery cover of snow dusted the track. we knew that there were numerous crossings of the Allt na Chuirn to make during the day - as there had been little rain and conditions were icy I was hoping this wouldn't pose any great problems - didn't fancy either taking off my boots to ford a deep bit, or spending a day walking with wet boots.
Image
First river crossing by 23weasels, on Flickr
Image
View back to the start by 23weasels, on Flickr
As it happened, there was no need for concern - the crossings were a skoosh. The second crossing, just after the "shelter stones" on the map was the deepest but even that wasn't bad.
Image
Second - and deepest- river crossing with added ice by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
Third one... by 23weasels, on Flickr
The other couple hadn't crossed there and we passed them on the east bank when we were on the west, picking their way amongst streams and boggy parts - crossing and sticking to the track definately easier.
Image
Beinn a Chuirn with Mhanach just peeking out to the R by 23weasels, on Flickr
The level walk continued up to the old dwelling of Duncan Ban MacIntyre which was bereft of livestock.
Image
Duncan Ban MacIntyre's old hoose by 23weasels, on Flickr
Image
Beinn a Chaistell by 23weasels, on Flickr
From there the path splits about 500m further on and we took the R split heading up towards the base of Mhanach. Allison was not liking the idea that, with this having been a level walk in gaining very little height, it was going to be a steep pull up the hill when finally reached. I, on the other hand, was looking forward to that :crazy:

As we neared the foot of the hill there were some pretty views along to the north where a limb of Loch Lyon was just visible.
Image
Looking towards Loch Lyon by 23weasels, on Flickr

We passed the bridge then set up the hillside, no track as the snow has secreted any paths beneath it. However, it was pretty much straight up, keeping the burn to the L and heading towards a fence which I followed for a while then crossed to head R. Was enjoying the incline, with occasional disappearing acts into snow covered holes :D

Image
Starting up the slope by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
That's it again by 23weasels, on Flickr

About 850m I decided I'd better stop and wait for Allison who had been joined by the other couple on the slopes below and appeared as ant-sized specks.
Image
Meall Tionail by 23weasels, on Flickr
The top of the hill was wearing a misty hat and I didn't want a re-run of last week's events on Beinn Oss where being lost in mist was a possibility. :shock:
Image
Summit's somewhere up there by 23weasels, on Flickr
So I sat and enjoyed the view down to Meall Toinail, initially just sitting on the snowy rocks as I was warm after my ascent, then on my rucksac when my behind started to chill. And waited. After what might have been about 15 minutes, but could easily have been longer the other couple reached me, with Allison still some distance behind. My extra heat had dissipated by this time and the wind had risen - suddenly I became really cold and had to put on a couple of extra layers and warmer gloves. By the time she'd arrived where I'd been sitting I was having to pace up and down chittering and took a while to warm up again.

From where we were it was just a short hop to the summit which was immersed in mist and loomed up ahead to the R of our path. Surprisingly - given the wind there had been near the top and the forecast for summit winds of 30-40mph, it was almost totally still up there and we decided to have a bit of lunch and a very welcome cup of coffee - had taken about 3.25 hours to get up to the top.
Image
She did catch up! by 23weasels, on Flickr
Image
Me, summit Mhanach by 23weasels, on Flickr
The other pair had returned to way we'd come up, but we decided to follow the path round to the N of Beinn a Chuirn,
Image
Even sunshine! by 23weasels, on Flickr

in the valley between it and Beinn aDothiadh, which was definately a good thing to do, giving snowy views of BaD and later, Dorain. The snow was gathered in drifts which presented the excitement of never knowing, when you walked across a drift area, whether it would be inches deep or whether you'd disappear up to your waist in the white stuff.
Image
Posing by 23weasels, on Flickr
Both of us had many thrills and spills of this sort and general hilarity along with shrieks and yells ensued.
Image
See - it is deep! by 23weasels, on Flickr
We got our obligatory fly pass by a solitary raven, no doubt - to quote Robert MacFarlane - "muttering hexes" at us.
Image
P1000761 by 23weasels, on Flickr
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Beinn an Dothaidh by 23weasels, on Flickr
Walking along the final strech of the path before we rejoined the walk-in route, there were lovely views down to Beinn nam Fuaran and Beinn a Chaistell, with the sky never quite opening up enough to give more than a glimmer of blue above them, unfortunately.
Image
oh, another one - waiting for the light by 23weasels, on Flickr
Image
Bealach between Fuaran & Chaistell by 23weasels, on Flickr
Image
same again by 23weasels, on Flickr
There were some interesting icicles on the water steps just past the dam and a posse of 4 sheep gave us a distinctly suspicious glare as we slipped along the path which was slippy with verglas in places. The weather, which had been pretty decent all day, started to change - clouds came down and a light snowfall started up.

Image
Frozen river steps by 23weasels, on Flickr
Image
Watchers! by 23weasels, on Flickr

By the time we hit the return track my metatarsal pain wes giving me gyp again and the last 6km or so back to the car were accompanied by the "occasional" grimace and curse from me. Passed an odd split rock on the way down that looked for all the world like the head of a petrified sperm what]le coming out the grass. Or maybe I was just delirious by this point.
Image
Fossilized Sperm whale by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
Almost back home by 23weasels, on Flickr

Made it back to the car without getting savaged by any of the wild dogs that we could hear baying from the farm and it was a delight to take my boots off and rest my sore L foot in the snow :wink: Although there had been a little snow when we were out, there was no trace of it on the road and it was nice to be able to get back in daylight - via a stop off in the Village Inn for a welcome pint of Mr Sno'Man. :thumbup:

Image
Beinn Dorain by 23weasels, on Flickr
User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1761
Munros:205   Corbetts:205
Grahams:68   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:177   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Beinn Mhanach - Brass ones on the hill of the Monk(ey)

Postby PeteR » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:33 pm

Excellent report and photos weaselmaster :D It's a long walk this one, at any time of the year. I see you unfortunately enjoyed the same summit views as I did when I was on it a few years back :lol:
User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1952
Munros:282   Corbetts:150
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Sub 2000:157   Hewitts:3
Islands:7
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Beinn Mhanach - Brass ones on the hill of the Monk(ey)

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:18 pm

Yeah, it was tantalisingly close to lifting when we were leaving - reckon it was only the last 50m or so that was shrouded - but they are the most important ones! Was a good day out again though.
User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1761
Munros:205   Corbetts:205
Grahams:68   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:177   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Beinn Mhanach - Brass ones on the hill of the Monk(ey)

Postby grenfell88 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:35 pm

Great report and photos :)
User avatar
grenfell88
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 82
Munros:24   Corbetts:2
Joined: Sep 5, 2012
Location: Falkirk

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