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Beinn Dubh by bus from Glagsow

Beinn Dubh by bus from Glagsow


Postby neilmckenzie » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:17 pm

Route description: Beinn Dubh - Glen Striddle horseshoe, Luss

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Dubh

Date walked: 11/04/2014

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 11.5 km

Ascent: 725m

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I've signed up to climb Ben Nevis for Macmillan Cancer Support, and while I've climbed a few munro's over the years, I was shocked to find out that it's been 8 years, so I thought I'd better get back into the way of it. I have a few walking partners I have cajoled into joining me on the training and maybe the adventure, but none of them were around today, so I was on my own with my iPod. On this occasion I didn't have access to a car, so I was determined to find something mild to climb by public transport from Glasgow.

There are various buses that go along the A82 and can get you to the Lomond area of hillwalking. With my first walk on my own for quite some time, I wanted to do something nice and easy to break in my joints, muscles and map reading skills, so I reckoned Beinn Dubh was about the correct level of challenge.

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I took the 926 Glasgow to Cambeltown from the side of the Oran Mor at 0925am. It's worth noting that you really have to reserve a space on these buses as they are often full. It's not ideal for your trip back as you need to estimate how long the walk will take. Someone with walking gear got turned away further down the road at clydebank - and the buses are quite sporadic.

The Luss Bus stop(1015am) is right beside a wooden footbridge which connects Luss town to the road leading to Beinn Dubh, so it;s a short walk along the side of the busy road until you can head up a slip road and connect with the end of the footbridge. From here, you head through a steep field up to a small wood before coming out the other end and seeing the sparse boggy route in front of you and the wondrous views of Loch Lomond behind you. It's worth taking this wee walk up the hill just to see that.

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From here, I get myself in walking mode, fix my camelbak, take off my jacket and stick on Quadraphenia on my ipod and get ready for the thigh burn.

While I go to the gym 3 times a week once a month, it's been years since I did this and I start to wonder why I'm doing this to myself, if I'll manage it and how much harder Ben Nevis will be. Eventually the tip of Ben Lomond appears and I am reminded that my legs have climbed that before:

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The ground underfoot is seriously boggy, and the depth of said bog is pretty unpredictable. I like stamping in puddles as much as the next guy, but just when I'd accepted that it might be best to walk through it than try and avoid it, I drop nearly waist deep in scotland's answer to indiana-jones-esque quicksand. I pray that in my walking adventures I will never have to call mountain rescue, but If I do, I imagine that I am carrying my friend cos he has broken his thigh and I have only broken my ankle - I never imagined that my downfall would be a soggy mixture of mud and sheep jobbies. Eventually I ungracefully drag myself out. The sheep and I have an unspoken agreement never to talk about it:

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I'm now soggy and the hard slog of the hill is fairly unrelenting, ever increasing views of Loch and Ben Lomond are little solace against the burning in my thighs. To make matters worse, a fell runner jogs past as if he's trotting round the local park. He's ahead and out of sight in minutes. The same distance will take me about 20-30 mins. I trudge on along all the false peaks wondering if it will ever end - avoiding the OS map in my bag incase the news is bad - eventually there's a wee cairn in sight and all struggles are forgotten.

It's now cold, windy and rainy, so there's no time for setting timers on cameras anything - I opt to go straight for the unflattering selfie.

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At this point I would normally sit down and enjoy my pieces and the fruits of my labours, but on such a wide top in April, it's not the most pleasant picnic location. I stick a few porridge bars and apples in my pockets and get ready to continue onwards. I have a look back at where I'd been - it's quite the climb. There's two specs of people just starting out on the same walk. I reminisce about when my thighs hurt and I was wondering if I'd make it through. It was really just the follies of youth - it was easy really.

The walk from now on swings round in a wide horseshoe ridge. You;re really exposed to the elements and have to keep moving to keep warm, but there's very little incline, so you can just enjoy the views of Ben Lomond, The arrochar alps and the Crianlarichy stuff(Ben More?)

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You really feel like you are on the top of the world here, and despite the fact I still have The Who playing on my iPod, I make a mental note to get the theme music to Lord of the Rings for the next time I'm walking alone. There's a variety of cairns along the walk which gives you a marker to walk towards. I'm not sure if any of them are significant - so I take a photo just in case:

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Eventually you get to the end of the horseshoe and start your descent. It looked pretty steep from Beinn Dubh, but luckily it looks a little easier in person. It starts easy enough, but as you get lower the grass seems to get wetter and I skite around 30 times. A thoroughly unpleasant and frustrating experience, made worse by the condescending sheep and the worrying visibility to civilisation; I will peruse next week's you've been framed with great caution.

Finally I get to the bottom of the ski slope:

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You come out onto a single track road. The weather is now lovely and it's roughly a kilometre along this back to Luss:

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I make it back to Luss in time to go to the toilet and change my shoes and clothes for the bus ride home. I've timed it perfectly and my reservation on the 1452pm gets me in a hot bath and finally eating my pieces by 4pm.
Last edited by neilmckenzie on Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
neilmckenzie
Wanderer
 
Posts: 40
Munros:34   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jan 17, 2012
Location: Glasgow

Re: Beinn Dubh by bus from Glagsow

Postby GillC » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:30 pm

smashing day out you had there, I spent a winter bussing it to hills,,,the 976 bus is great for arrochar lol. I remember the steep descent from Dubh last summer, face was redder at the bottom that it had been at the top lol

Best o luck with the Nevis trek too, :clap:
User avatar
GillC
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1507
Munros:282   Corbetts:37
Grahams:27   Donalds:31
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Chryston

Re: Beinn Dubh by bus from Glagsow

Postby neilmckenzie » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:38 pm

Cheers - hopefully I'll get a few more done next week if work and weather allows.
neilmckenzie
Wanderer
 
Posts: 40
Munros:34   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jan 17, 2012
Location: Glasgow

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