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Deliberating The Dorain Double

Deliberating The Dorain Double


Postby Rossco » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:36 am

Route description: Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh, Bridge of Orchy

Munros included on this walk: Beinn an Dothaidh, Beinn Dorain

Date walked: 05/03/2012

Time taken: 6.38 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1324m

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After being away for 6 weeks with work, I was desperate to get back to the hills when I got home. A quick weather forecast check and a browse of some Walkhighlands reports told me that there was still snow up this neck of the woods so I decided on the double feature of Beinn Dorain & Beinn an Dothaidh at Bridge of Orchy. Although this isn’t the real highlands, I was getting further and further north with my trips and this was the furthest I had been on my own so that coupled with the sun trying to break through the fluffy white clouds meant spirits were high for a good return to the hills! :D

I parked at the car park for the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, crossed the road and headed up for the train station. This short road is part of the West Highland Way but after going under the tracks you leave the path and head left to start the ascent alongside the river up towards Coire an Dothaidh. The clouds never seemed like shifting at this point but they were sitting high so the views around were still great with Stob Ghabhar to the north-west looking menacing as usual.

Image
Beinn an Dothaidh (1004m) & Beinn Dorain (1076m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Loch Tulla & The Black Mount by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Coire an Dothaidh by Rossco 7, on Flickr

The further I got up Coire an Dothaidh and the closer I got to the bealach at 744m I could see there was more snow lying on the ground so my hopes got up for some thicker stuff up on top. I had no plan on which of the two to tackle first so when I reached the bealach I enjoyed the views that opened up in front of me to the east towards Loch Lyon then stepped to the left and headed for Beinn an Dothaidh.

Image
Light Drizzle Of Snow On Beinn Dorain (1076m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Blue Skies by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Some Fun Ahead by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Loch Lyon by Rossco 7, on Flickr

I remember this part being a bit tricky to manoeuvre. I think I left the path and doubled back on myself at one point to get up past the steep rocks and I was hoping to look at the map at the end of the day to compare my route to the one on Walkhighlands but somehow my GPS didn’t track me correctly at that exact point putting a straight line right up the hillside instead! Not to worry though, I made it up and onto the smoother slopes which looked perfect for snowboarding down. It’s just a pity I never packed that in my bag this time! :lol:

The rest of the path was an easy walk to the south Top of Beinn an Dothaidh, I met a couple of other walkers at this point who were heading down and remember them admiring my new Black Diamond walking poles. They liked them so much I was a bit worried I was going to get them nicked so I said my goodbyes and kept on going for the true summit! :-P

The views at the top were brilliant and complemented well by the smooth white slopes surrounding me. Considering the amount of clouds above, they stayed high enough to let me see the tops of the hills all around so I found a comfortable rock to rest on and scoffed a sandwich with some soup then made my way back down towards the bealach.

Image
If Only I Had A Snowboard by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Looking Towards The Summit Of Beinn an Dothaidh (1004m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Beinn an Dothaidh (1004m) Summit by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Wrapped Up For Lunch by Rossco 7, on Flickr

The walk back down was easy enough but by the time I reached the bealach I was knackered. I stopped for a few minutes to gather my thoughts on what became my first true mental test on the hills. Should I stay on the hill and complete the second Munro or should I call it a day and go back down? I had no idea why I was suddenly so tired but I couldn’t decide what to do. I was walking about on the spot trying to decide when I finally caved in and started to walk back down the path. After about ten steps I had a complete change of heart, turned around and headed back up to ascend Beinn Dorain!

It was a strange few minutes not knowing what to do but once walking again I was glad I stayed for the second one. Stob Ghabhar was a nice view over my right shoulder as I headed south along the lower path to the summit of Beinn Dorain. I had read that some people don’t reach the true summit on this hill, stopping at Carn Sasunnaich only to head back down thinking they’ve went as high as they can go. So taking this lower route meant I bypassed the false summit and would only pass it on the return leg back.

After so long taking this lower path, you actually pass the true summit above you but it quickly doubled back and around to the top. I finally reached my second Munro summit of the day and I was extremely glad I stayed. The views at the top were fabulous. I’m not 100% sure of my surroundings in this area but I think I could see Ben More and Stob Binnein in the south east covered in deep snow and a small glimpse of Loch Lomond too further to my right.

Image
Should I Stay Or Should I Go? by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Looking North West by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Made It! Beinn Dorain (1076m) Summit by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Looking South From Beinn Dorain (1076m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

After admiring the views to the south I had to turn round and head north for the trip back to the bealach. Much of the path up here was untouched so fresh snow was all around me. I always feel privileged to take the first steps on an untouched patch of snow so I done that for most of the way back stopping often to enjoy the views and what I thought might be the last snow of the season for me. As much as I love going up the hills on a warm summer’s day, walking in the snow is so entrancing and definitely worthy of being called mountaineering at times so I like to get the most out of it as I possibly can.

At one point the sun seemed to be going down behind me. This cast a shadow across the hill in front of me which isn’t shown well in the photos but really was a brilliant sensation made into quite an atmospheric experience with the bright, white snow below me and the thick, dark clouds above.

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Walking Through Fresh Snow by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Clouds Trying To Ruin A Great Day by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Worth It For This Moment Alone by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Once back at the bealach it was finally time to head down into Coire an Dothaidh again. Thankful that I was doing it now and not a few hours earlier, I descended looking into the sun on my left and the views over Loch Tulla and the Black Mount appearing on my right the further down I went.

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The Way Down by Rossco 7, on Flickr

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Looking Back Up To Coire an Dothaidh by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Sometimes you get moments in the hills where you are struggling, you question why you are there and if you really have the energy to go on. Usually these times are during extreme wind and rain when your body is getting battered from all directions and you’re having little to no fun at all. This time it was on a sunny day in pleasant and easy conditions, I just turns out I was exhausted due to lack of fitness but somehow found the strength to go on and do the full trip. The memories from the second part of the day are the best so I will always maximise my time in the hills from now on. I’ll be making the most of them while I still can! :)

27 down, 255 to go...


05.03.2012 Beinn Dorain & Beinn an Dothaidh.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Beinn Dorain & Beinn an Dothaidh Profile.png
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Rossco
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Re: Deliberating The Dorain Double

Postby rockhopper » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:40 am

Yup - good hills for winter and you do get some great views up there - cheers :)
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rockhopper
 
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Re: Deliberating The Dorain Double

Postby StevenF » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:45 am

nice pictures :-)
StevenF
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Re: Deliberating The Dorain Double

Postby GillC » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:49 pm

Lovely,, did these two in similar conditions,,in April of this year, reverse order from you but still had to do the dble back to reach the summit of Dorain.,, still a cracking set of hills, and prob my first solo munros too,, Well done on keeping at it and getting both done. (My brother wimped after only one lol) :clap:
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GillC
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Re: Deliberating The Dorain Double

Postby basscadet » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:25 pm

Well I just did the one on my first attempt.. The snow was between thigh and chest deep most of the way though, so bloomin tiring! Got photos just as good as yours though.. An amazing viewpoint is that :D
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basscadet
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Re: Deliberating The Dorain Double

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:44 am

Nice one Rossco, good walk this, did it on a nice summers day :D
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Johnny Corbett
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Re: Deliberating The Dorain Double

Postby Rossco » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:39 pm

basscadet wrote:Well I just did the one on my first attempt.. The snow was between thigh and chest deep most of the way though, so bloomin tiring! Got photos just as good as yours though.. An amazing viewpoint is that :D


Thanks guys, it was a good day! Snow up to your chest sounds utterly amazing though. I fancy some of that this year!! :D
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Rossco
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