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Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh - simply perfect

Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh - simply perfect

Postby old danensian » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:41 pm

Route description: Beinn Dòrain and Beinn an Dòthaidh, Bridge of Orchy

Munros included on this walk: Beinn an Dòthaidh, Beinn Dòrain

Date walked: 08/03/2010

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1108m

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Two high level stretches on this walk made it an absolute delight, with the added bonus of perfect weather and the sense of being completely surrounded by magnificent scenery and future opportunities.

The solitary early morning walk over firm frozen ground was a pleasure. While watching the shadows shift and change as the sun rose, distance and height were gained with hardly any effort and none of the squelching glutinous perils associated with wetter times.

Coire an Dothaidh

Crampons were fixed in an ideal spot in Coire an Dothaidh - sitting on a rock in the first warmth of the sun, then stepping immediately back into the shadows to benefit from the harder snow. From the coire easy angled snow made a rising traverse up to the right possible, thus avoiding the direct route to the col - I'd be visiting it later anyway. Looking backwards and forwards when joining the wide ridge, now slightly higher than the col, revealed the rest of the day's enjoyment to come.

North West from Beinn Dorain's ridge

The large cairn on the skyline ahead was soon in view towards the southern end of the ridge of Beinn Dorain. Usually these false summits, even when you know about them, elicit despair and disappointment: but not this time. The view across the final couple of hundred metres, with slopes sweeping steeply down on either side and the panorama of the hills to the south opening up, must be one of the finest and most enticing.

Looking south up Beinn Dorain's north ridge

Beinn Dorain's final summit ridge

East from summit of Beinn Dorain

Once wrenched away from the summit, the descent back to the col gives plenty of time to scan and think about the next part of the trip that is laid out ahead. The shallow south-facing bowl of Beinn an Dothaidh's summit offers its high level circuit in full view.

Beinn an Dothaidh

The snow on its western edge was beginning to thin and thaw so a route was traced up and across patches of emerging grass and newly exposed rocks. Surprisingly, in less than twenty minutes from the col its west top was reached and like a slightly titled saucer the rim could be followed to the central summit and then on to its eastern edge in another twenty minute stroll - taking in the expanse of Rannoch Moor below.

Summit traverse of Beinn an Dothaidh

As I suspected, the sun had been working on the snow in the centre of this huge saucer and the descent across it back to the col became more of a slither. SIAS has a charming phrase "generaly stable, becoming moist": this stuff was definitely moist now and I felt sorry for those who had chosen this as their way up in the afternoon.

East from col between Beinns Dorain and Dothaidh

Back at the cairn on the col it was time for a sit in the sun and to enjoy a sandwich. The day had been memorable for the final ridge to the summit of Beinn Dorain and the marvellously positioned walk round the summit rim of Beinn an Dothaidh - and the view across to Ben Cruachan has pushed it to the top of my "to do" list - prayer for equally fine weather when I do it has already begun.
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old danensian
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Re: Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh - simply perfect

Postby Graeme D » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:56 pm

Superb - brings back great memories of a day which started quite similarly (weather conditions that is) about a year ago. Unfortunately I have very few photos of it for some reason (although my avatar pic is from the north ridge of Dorain that day). It ended in a raging blizzard on Beinn an Dothaidh!
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Re: Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh - simply perfect

Postby MG1976 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:03 pm

Nice Report "old danaensian"
Reminds me of the great day I had walking the same hills, just 2 weeks prior to yourself.

Some great shots you've taken, a few of them familiar to my own.

013 (Views taken heading along the North Ridge of Beinn Dorain 4 of 4).JPG
Familiar View ???

021 (Dorain's North Ridge - Taken from halfway up the the path leading to Dothaidh's West Top).JPG
My favourite picture of my walk...
I really enjoyed the views on this walk and looks like you had an equally enjoyable day. :D

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Re: Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh - simply perfect

Postby DonnyW » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:39 pm

Yup..its one of my favourite walks too ..nice to see it all again 8)
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