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Beinn a'Chochuill/Lairig Noe Loop (The Whippet's Return)

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 2:40 pm
by tweedledog
The Whippet reminds me that it is a long time since we posted a report. He is concerned that his fans (he has delusions of grandeur, this dog) will think that, having passed his ninth birthday, he has retired. Not true. In fact we have spent the last few months wandering in northern Argyll. The thing about such wandering, of course, is that it usually has no particular objective, and since most reports on the site tend to have very firm objectives - often summits - our random rambling hardly seemed worthy of record. However, The Whippet is insistent that we report this walk since it is the completion of one we reported last October which then remained incomplete because of clag obscuring the craggy descent from the summit of Beinn a'Chochuill to Lairig Noe. This time, however, we got a clear day, and we report the full round in case any walkers fancy an alternative visit to Beinn a'Chochuill.

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The first half of the walk is the standard route up Beinn a'Chochuill: Castle Estate track along the flanks of Beinn Eunaich, up the shoulder of Beinn a'Chochuill, and west along the gentle ridge. The site is already replete with pictures of this route (some of them ours) and, lovely though the views are back down to Loch Awe, we shan't add to that collection here. The Whippet treats this as routine since it's the fourth time he's been up this hill. The summit is deserted and we stop for the obligatory photographs, more populous than usual since we have company today.

Admiring the view from the summit.

The Whippet and his amanuensis.

Time now to find a route down to Lairig Noe which is a long way below us over what would be a series of dispiriting false summits were you coming up that way.

Prospecting for the route.

It's a slow process, picking your way down a steep slope around and among crags, and stopping every so often to take in the views.

Glen Noe and the north facing corries of the Cruachan Horseshoe.

It's this way, honest!

Close inspection of the route map above will reveal rather a lot of zigging and zagging down here, not occasioned as they usually are by The Whippet's desire to go in a different direction to his companion, but by the steepness of the slope and inability to see what will appear over the next step.

Ah, there's the lairig.

Getting lower: Glen Noe and Loch Etive.

Finally we arrive on the flat, boggy bealach and seek out the old wooden posts that mark the easiest route down to the track which, in its turn, will take us all the way home.

Heading for the track, to be seen snaking along the flank of Beinn Eunaich in the background.

There's a welcoming committee at the final post before the track itself.


Now we are in warm afternoon sunshine, and the walk down past the various hydro inlets necessitates numerous stops to lap in the streams.

On balance, this route makes for a worthy alternative encounter with Beinn a'Chochuill, though the descent does require care and could be rather uncomfortable in wet conditions. Even for a whippet.

Re: Beinn a'Chochuill/Lairig Noe Loop (The Whippet's Return)

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 8:54 pm
by Graeme D
Good stuff. I had hoped to continue on from Eunaich and Chochuil across the bealach at the head of Glen Noe and up onto Stob Diamh before heading for Beinn a'Bhuiridh but the weather conditions and the close up of the ascent from the bealach put paid to those notions!

Re: Beinn a'Chochuill/Lairig Noe Loop (The Whippet's Return)

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 11:12 am
by tweedledog
Yes, it's one of those ascents that actually looks worse in reality than it does on the map - not always the case. You can see some of the challenge in the picture in the report captioned 'It's this way, honest'. Not for me or The Whippet! But it would make a good round for younger legs and steadier nerves.

Re: Beinn a'Chochuill/Lairig Noe Loop (The Whippet's Return)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:43 am
by Will C
It was great meeting you and the dog up there at Loch Awe this week, left you a DVD of the charity I am supporting at the moment. Some great life stories on it. Enjoy your walking.

Re: Beinn a'Chochuill/Lairig Noe Loop (The Whippet's Return)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:47 am
by Will C
If you'r on Face Book you can see the hills I've done at " 50 Munros for Teen Challenge Strathclyde "

Re: Beinn a'Chochuill/Lairig Noe Loop (The Whippet's Return)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:50 pm
by tweedledog
Good meeting you too Will. Thanks for the DVD - I shall watch it with interest. I hope you are going to post a report when you reach your 50...