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Only a dog walk!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:21 pm
by tweedledog
It's Friday 13th, mid-afternoon, and the sun has come out. "Shall we go for a walk?" says I. "Woof" says the dog. "Let's walk up Beinn Lurachan" says I. "Woof woof" says the dog. I rather think that means no, but since the last time we went up Beinn Lurachan in early summer we were assailed with wind and rain I'd rather like to check the views on a better day. I'm even going to take the serious camera, cumbersome though it is. Beinn Lurachan, by the way, is a Graham top at the north end of Beinn Eunaich's NE ridge, and the route is about as simple as they come.

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So off we set up the Glen Strae track, across the Allt Dhoirrean bridge and then immediately up the rough path on the east side of the allt. The Glen Strae cattle herd have been up here recently so the path - at best pretty wet - has been churned up by hooves and The Whippet rapidly acquires muddy paws. The path, such as it is, peters out as we start to climb the shoulder proper, and the 'walk' rapidly becomes a depressing plod, If there are any Graham-tops-of-Munros completists out there let me warn you that Beinn Lurachan is unremitting and, more to the point, is liberally endowed with false summits.
Those crags are false summits when you are on the shoulder, including the one that looks like the top - there's a couple more after that.

After the third false summit, and dark clouds gathering, the little devil on my left shoulder, the one reclining in an armchair with a glass of wine and a good book, says "come on, it's only a dog walk - let's go home". But the angel on my right shoulder has other ideas. She is decked out in full Patagonia weather gear, armed with twin poles, and probably has crampons and an ice axe in her bag just in case. "Onward and upward," she says: "because it's there". Succumbing to this Mallorian invocation we continue, The Whippet, as ever, choosing inappropriate routes. Another word of advice to you completists: take the crags head on. Though they may not look it, they are easily negotiated, and if you try to ease round them - as we did earlier in the year - you find yourself on a much steeper slope. As we surmount each of them the view behind us opens up.
The Whippet, Glen Strae and Loch Awe from one of the false summits

And to the west lies the rest of the NE ridge of Beinn Eunaich, the one from which we were driven by the heat earlier in the summer.
Meall Copogach, the 880m unnamed summit, and Beinn Eunaich

By the time we crest the last and real summit the clouds are coming in and the wind is getting up. There's a short ridge at the top with cairns at either end and according to the OS map the summit proper is at the north end. However, having been here before I know that there is virtually no height difference between the two, and by now the devil with the glass of wine and the book is winning the argument. So, after a quick picture from the cairn at the south end, we dismiss the possibility of dropping down to Lairig Dhoirrean (which lies between us and Meall Copogach) as an alternative route home and head off back the way we came. The Whippet, as ever, is pleased to be retracing his pawsteps. He's feeling the cold in what is now a strong, westerly wind.
The south cairn

After a knee-stressing and whippet-pouncing descent it's a pleasure to find ourselves back in Glen Strae with no wind and patchy sunshine. We meet someone out for a stroll up the glen. "Lovely evening" she says. "Woof" says the dog.

Re: Only a dog walk!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:16 pm
by litljortindan
I like that, very entertaining and dog inclusive. Doubt I'll ever go up this hill though, but I do like the area.

Re: Only a dog walk!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:23 pm
by tweedledog
Can't say that I blame you. I wouldn't recommend it. Much more fun to climb to Lairig Dhoirrean then Meall Copogach and along the ridge to Beinn Eunaich. But a bit long for a dog walk starting late afternoon in September...

Re: Only a dog walk!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:10 pm
by Sarah86
Lovely scenery and reading back I see your dog is also a whippet :-) Lovely to see another out on the hills.

Re: Only a dog walk!

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:03 pm
by tweedledog
And a yours is a very similar colour and look to my whippet. Maybe we should start a club for highland whippet walkers :)

Re: Only a dog walk!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:56 pm
by dogplodder
My two enjoyed this one and its neighbour and don't know why they can't have a dog walk like this every day! :lol:

Re: Only a dog walk!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:09 pm
by mrssanta
that was most enjoyable! more, please