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3 posts • Page 1 of 1
by Craiging619 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:17 pm
Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Bhreac (Loch Lomond), Tullich Hill
Date walked: 01/06/2013
Time taken: 7.5 hours
Distance: 15.75 km
Ascent: 1175m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I was originally planning to go back to Arrochar on the Sunday to attempt to climb Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime and Beinn Luibhean, but a combination of a rumoured meet-up with friends on Sunday and a birthday night on Friday meant my options were restricted to routes a little closer to home, a little less ambitious and a little less likely to defeat a hangover-ridden cold-bitten Muggins.
991923_10152902446260014_249035178_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
989074_10152902445310014_2031374403_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
I'd been hoping to do this round for ages, having done something similar (but slightly more ambitious) two years ago in the Luss Hills. That was one of my favourite walks yet: a long road up Glen Luss, a full circuit of four Grahams and a cracking descent down Beinn Dubh with Loch Lomond looking picture postcard-esque in front of me. The only problem with that circuit was my desperation to reach the local bus from Luss home, which inspired me to run from the summit of Beinn Dubh in a crazy one-hour charge to the A82.
989067_10152902444525014_68029864_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
I was determined to enjoy this one more, so got the 11am Citylink to Inverbeg and booked the 8:18pm bus back, giving me more than 8 hours for the circuit of Tullich Hill and Beinn Bhreac. The forecast was for some rain in the early afternoon (perhaps heavy showers) before spectacular sunshine from 4pm onwards, eerily similar to conditions two years earlier. From leaving the bus at Inverbeg I followed the minor road up Glen Douglas for almost 3 miles to Invergroin Farm.
991232_10152902443510014_1730235473_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Passing Doune Farm, the weather started to close in, true to the forecast. This would bother me at the best of times, but with my cold and hangover (thankfully I restricted the latter to suitable limits!), it was slightly unnerving to approach Invergroin and feel the rain joining proceedings.
990966_10152902443005014_1707508123_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
989237_10152902410110014_2008576492_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
990121_10152902409740014_1703736462_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Passing through the farm complex of Invergroin (the old ruins have seen better days!), I was guided by signposts to the start of the Tullich Hill climb, passing over a stile and quickly gaining height on the South-East ridge. A faint path quickly petered out, which would surprise me were it not for my memories of a pathless and painful descent from Doune Hill two years earlier! Considering the proximity of the Luss Hills to Glasgow, I'm amazed they're not more popular, and indeed I didn't pass a soul the entire day. Is it coz they is Grahams?
990114_10152902407070014_1063512387_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
A traditional Luss Hills view, with Beinn Dubh and Doune Hill overlooking Glen Douglas.
986931_10152902405270014_1101012277_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
The rain was now persistent and intensifying, prompting me to activate full waterproofs mode. I was also severely struggling with the steepness of the climb. Tullich Hill is one of those ones that looks very inviting from the roadside but quickly develops into a steep and relentless walk. In the absence of a path, I resorted to zig-zagging up the clumpy grass of the South-East ridge to ease the incline. The rain was now getting rather heavy.
989997_10152902404625014_2146476910_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
I was now round about the cloud line, confident I was over 500m but unsure if the weather would improve anytime soon. Invergroin Farm appeared out of the clouds beneath me, reminding me that at least most of the hard work was done now.
987147_10152902404015014_18923187_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
In front of me, an oasis-like pool between two large boulders appeared. I had been tricked into thinking this was the 550m mark, when in fact that was loitering behind, but at least the rain was fading away. Could the forecast have been telling the truth, and were brighter times ahead?
991995_10152902403705014_1850734900_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
986843_10152902401095014_1876007760_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
BINGO!!! I escaped the South-East ridge, keeping to the right of the cliffs and making a straight North-West line, to find the view opening up towards Loch Long and Loch Goil. Now to find the mini-cairn on the summit.
989586_10152902400580014_766650047_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
I reached the summit of Tullich Hill about 1 hour 15 minutes after leaving the farm, to find glorious views opening out in all directions. The Brack and the Cobbler were still shaking off the low cloud, but the rest of the Luss Hills were all visible to the South, with Loch Long and Loch Lomond on either side.
989174_10152902400035014_525278869_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Cruaich Tairbeirt, which inflicted two hours of rainstorm-conditions I shall never forget in 2011, looking like butter wouldn't melt today.
990116_10152902399235014_190726891_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
989723_10152902398570014_1159503582_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
As I had lunch another shower passed over Arrochar, but things were brightening up elsewhere. I planned to head round to Beinn Bhreac, which looked partiularly inviting beind this lochan on the summit of Tullich Hill.
989221_10152901091570014_791395311_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
989643_10152901070655014_726862456_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
The added bonus hill on this round is Ben Reoch, sitting above Arrochar and linked to Beinn Bhreac by a high bealach at 525m. I was hopeful of adding this to the walk if time permitted, but was less confident upon stepping off the plateau of Tullich Hill and seeing the amount of down-and-up required.
991159_10152901069620014_916714958_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
At least I had a great view of the Arrochar Alps to consolidate my good mood as I descended to An t-Sreang, keeping to the right of the rock formations on Tullich Hill.
989171_10152901064880014_1887214013_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
I reached the 359m col just after 3:15pm, with five hours still remaining. I could either veer right to the 525m bealach and go straight to Beinn Bhreac following some faint sheep tracks, or plough straight on up Ben Reoch for the easier flat walking afterwards. Ach, no pain no gain. Up we go.
987046_10152901064300014_610595061_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Within about 20 seconds I was deeply regretting this decision. However steep Ben Reoch does or doesn't look on the OS Map, it was quite a trial coming so soon after Tullich Hill. A 300m ascent followed, with only a brief respite in the middle and a line of old fence-posts guiding me (they actually provided some support, in the end).
989730_10152901063315014_1517058374_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
990738_10152901062565014_963572737_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
990887_10152901059020014_1056282832_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
992138_10152901057975014_1408189245_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
After almost an hour of stop-start ascent, I finally reached the summit of Ben Reoch and rested up in a sheltered spot just to the East. The wind was strengthening from the North-West by now, but in doing so had lifted all cloud cover from the Arrochar Alps and Ben Lomond. If anything, the view from Ben Reoch was better than from Tullich Hill.
989033_10152901057445014_346468711_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
The pointed summit of Beinn Bhreac lay to the South-East, now looking even more inviting bathed in sunshine. Most importantly, it looked like I was once again going to get the classic view of the loch on a sunny descent.
989924_10152901057015014_1454398075_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
990999_10152901056615014_505716424_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
989051_10152901056185014_847723180_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
The Arran Corbetts were visible behind Cruach an t-Sidhean.
990858_10152901055950014_1593086095_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
989248_10152901051215014_2124354359_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
A few faint tracks helped me to negotiate the uneven ground in the bealach before climbing up to the final summit of 681m.
990966_10152900969020014_1324755635_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Just after 5:15pm I climbed over the brow of the hill to be greeted by the greatest false summit I've ever seen. No really, they got me there. I had been approaching this summit when I saw the trig point nestled at the top, gleaming in the sunlight. It was only when I finally reached this summit that I discovered the trig point was actually on the next peak, another five minutes away. Due to an illusion created by the land (or just by my own knackered-ness), I had completely fallen for it. Hook line and sinker.
991258_10152900753300014_2004958967_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
987020_10152900751665014_1250249055_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
I finally reached the summit of Beinn Bhreac at about 5:30pm, to be greeted by the view I'd been waiting all day for. Loch Lomond lay to the East, a pool of blue reflecting the clearing skies above. The Ben was opposite, now clear of clouds. A cacophony of mountains straddled the horizon to the West and North. Perfection. And this time I wouldn't even have to run for the bus home.
991894_10152900751010014_1657597869_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
991094_10152900745180014_231681966_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Glasgow was visible through the Dumgoyne Gap.
990718_10152900650515014_1228385189_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Stirling could also be seen over the side of Ben Lomond.
992168_10152900649720014_909436964_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
I could pick out Beinn Duchchraig, Beinn Dorain and the shoulder of Beinn Chabhair to the North of the Loch.
989695_10152900647355014_714882182_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
I had another mini-lunch underneath a rock to the side of the summit. Great place for a bite to eat, this.
989882_10152900644260014_1238856876_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Leaving the summit I could see darker clouds drifting back in from the direction of The Cobbler. Thankfully these never came to much. Despite my extended break on Beinn Bhreac there were still over two hours to descend the broad South-East ridge to Inverbeg.
991201_10152900641550014_2015922233_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
991224_10152900636330014_1067776278_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
I followed the fence leisurely down to a huge boulder at 390m. Here the fence turned left, so I carried on straight down to the corner of the forest at 250m before following its edge down to a mast and track at 150m.
986853_10152900634835014_1082253419_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
989665_10152900634240014_711504983_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
992109_10152900633605014_1982265272_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
990845_10152900628130014_381782483_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
990898_10152900627290014_2071800036_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Beinn Dubh and Mid Hill lay in the sunshine to the South.
989267_10152900626620014_1621196273_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
992053_10152900623375014_1553972618_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Inverbeg appeared below the track down to the Glen Douglas Road, heralding my arrival back in civilisation. My ticket was for the 926 bus to Glasgow, but the 976 toddled along a few minutes before and let me on anyway. In seven and a half hours I had seen no human beings, a few sheep and barely any sign of a path. But on a relatively low-risk range like the Luss Hills, that's a perfect climb to me. Thrashing about the Cairngorms in such circumstances in February, I wouldn't last two hours. But the Luss Hills have provided two memorable days out of two, with only the two MoD hills still to bag. Something tells me they might be a little less fun-filled.
992015_10152900621270014_212963455_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
Oh, and every great hillwalk has to end with a rainbow. Perfect timing.
989980_10152900618490014_1259754754_o by Craiging619, on Flickr
by rockhopper » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:10 pm
very nice - great weather for this trip to show the views - have been looking at hills closer to home, will keep this in mind - cheers
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3 posts • Page 1 of 1
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