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The mighty Beinn Bheula

The mighty Beinn Bheula

Postby PeteR » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:38 pm

Route description: Beinn Bheula, near Lochgoilhead

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Bheula

Date walked: 14/09/2014

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There’s not many walk reports not many reports for this Arrochar Corbett, so I thought I’d add mine from my trip on Sunday.

I was initially supposed to be doing Munros, but a party a few doors along the road and kids (I say kids. Anyone under about 30 these days is a kid to me) were up and down the road making a racket until all hours so I didn’t quite get the sleep I’d have liked :(

Plans got scrapped and replaced with a Corbett combination, which then got scrapped for a single Corbett, which in turn got scrapped itself for Beinn Bheula :roll: All revisions led nearer to home and longer tucked up under the duvet :lol:

Relatively speaking this is a “local” hill for me…………………just a 150ish mile round trip :lol: It’s a red balloon which had been bugging me for a while, as the last remaining of the Arrochar Munros or Corbetts for me to bag (other hill classifications do exist :lol:). I had a feeling that given its detached location from most of the other Arrochar hills it might be lacking in paths and represent a fair slog up grassy slopes :shock:

Well, it does have paths on the ascent, but I did a sterling job of not following the WH route quite as I should, so endured a fair slog up grassy slopes :lol:

But first things first…………….where to park :( I didn’t have a map (tut, tut) and hadn’t really done much research on the route (browsing and downloading routes on WH at 4.00 a.m. isn’t particularly conducive to getting a sense of the surrounding area). So I fannied around for ages trying to find a place to dump the car that wouldn’t annoy the locals (particularly if they took offence to the poster on my front dash :lol:). Eventually stuck the car in a larger than normal passing place/lay-by affair just down from the Lettermay turning. From here I was soon ready to get moving.
ImageP1100934 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

The initial part of the walk is (in my opinion) unspectacular, making its way as it does along a landrover track up on to the Cowal way through forestry. Even when I clapped eyes on Beinn Bheula I wasn’t necessarily hit with any sort of wow factor either. The forecast had suggested breaks in the cloud with sunny spells. Despite the fact I was sweating like a P.I.G it was overcast and hazy, with little sign the sun was going to be making an appearance any time soon. The conditions, therefore, didn’t really enhance the look of the hill.
ImageP1100935 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1100940 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

It probably wasn’t until I made my way to the waterfall on the Lettermay Burn that I started to get some enjoyment from the route. Quite an impressive cascade of water (I should add I had already suffered my first footpath malfunction as well by this point :lol:).
ImageP1100945 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1100946 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1100947 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Once back on the path it weaves its way up a short, steepish section, which was nice if a bit boggy and then follows an easy line to a fence. WH suggested a sharp left, which I did and soon found myself not on a path again. What then followed was a slow, tedious slog over uneven, undulating ground, each step seeming to drain whatever vestiges of enthusiasm I may have had from my body. With the thick haze all around the views toward the neighbouring Arrochar Alps were disappointing too, although I did get some enjoyment from the look of the crags up ahead of me :D
ImageP1100951 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1100958 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1100961 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1100972 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Looking back down the way I could make out the line of the path I wasn’t on too, and was then able to trace where I thought it should be and make my way over to it. And luckily I was right, it was where I thought it should be. Much easier going once back on the path to just below the crags. WH suggest a sharp right at this point, but I spied with my little eye…………a path(ish) heading up a steep grassy gully instead :wink:
ImageP1100977 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1100979 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1100980 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1100989 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

For once this was an intended path deviation, as I took the gully route. While I’d have preferred some rocks perhaps it was still a good little deviation and brought me out onto the main ridge just a short trudge from the Corbett summit.
ImageP1100993 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110002 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110006 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Disappointing, hazy views awaited and by now it was a tad chilly too………………so a quick text to MrsR and I was off over Creag Sgoilte. It’s probably here you get the best views of Beinn Bheula, seeing it now in its best light :D :D
ImageP1110007 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110009 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110012 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110014 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

It was now time to start my descent. The route takes you past the plane wreckage, so spent the obligatory few minutes wandering round taking a look………..always feels an uncomfortable experience stopping off at sites like these on the hill sides, but fascinating at the same time.
ImageP1110020 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110031 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110037 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110042 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Then the route took me down to the remote Lochan nan Cnaimh. Definitely the best part of the day, as I took the time to sit there for a few moments listening to the water lapping up against the rocks 8) :D
ImageP1110052 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110056 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110063 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110070 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

But soon it was time for the next footpath fiasco :lol:

The route took me down into a break between the conifers, beside the course of a small burn :D All good to start off with, but then the path became a bit rubbish so I took the strategic decision to head into the woods :shock:
ImageP1110073 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1110074 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Entertaining I suppose as I picked my way through, avoiding the bog as best I could. It was a case of in and out of the trees for a period as I made my way down. At some point I should have taken a right to pick up a forestry track - I even recall thinking to myself as I passed what looked like a fire break to my right that that was it :roll:

Obviously I ignored the voice in my head saying “turn right, turn right” and just kept heading down. By the time I checked the GPS I’d lost enough height to know I wasn’t heading back up and so was committed to my current route. This entailed picking up a rusty barbed wire fence (not literally of course :lol:) and following this in a general downward direction. There was even an excuse for a path, which eased the slog somewhat. I‘ll often follow traces of path heading in the “general” direction of where I want to go, even if I’m not entirely sure what I might find further on. Thankfully I’ve never come a cropper yet, and today was also thankfully no exception :D

ImageP1110076 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

It wasn’t too long before I could hear the sound of the Lettermay burn cascading over the rocks, even if I couldn’t see it. About this point the path headed back into the trees and soon became a landrover track (I say a landrover track. You could see where the wheels had flattened the grass, but that was good enough for me :D) and eventually I was back onto the main track :D
ImageP1110080 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Now it was just a quick trot back to the car, which had thankfully survived unscathed :lol:
ImageP1110082 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

So, that was my experience of Beinn Bheula. Probably not my best day out on the hill and probably not a hill I’ll be rushing back to repeat if I’m honest. I’m sure though others have climbed this one and had an absolute blinding day, so I wouldn’t want my somewhat less than enthusiastic experience put anybody off really. And let’s face it, it beats an afternoon on Sauchiehall Street :D :D
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Re: The mighty Beinn Bheula

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:38 am

Nice one Pete, enjoyed reading that :clap:
Paths are overated, much prefer reports with a sense of adventure :lol:
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Re: The mighty Beinn Bheula

Postby Silverhill » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:36 pm

Good effort, PeteR! Lochan nan Cnaimh does look lovely! 8)
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Re: The mighty Beinn Bheula

Postby Navvarr » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:00 am

This one is on my to do list- I've been skirting round it for months and climbed all the other Munros and Corbetts around Arrochar a few times- think I'll be tackling Beinn Bheula shortly. Thanks for the report.
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Re: The mighty Beinn Bheula

Postby past my sell by date » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:48 pm

Nice report and photos: did it yesterday . Crossed below the waterfall and headed vaguely up and L towards summit. Last hundred m or so up steep neve but soft enough to kick steps. Great views in clear weather but too hazy for good photos. Also got lost in the forest below the lochan. Missed the R turn and followed the Burn right to its foot - footprints showed lots of others have done the same. Kept having to cross the stream below. Then followed the rusty barbed wire fence, but managed to cross it where the barbed wire had (been?) broken: Not sure this was a good idea as I ended up in bog and brash - a lengthy and tedious descent :( - no-one posting here seems to have enjoyed it. Better I think to keep well L of the forest. Great little hill though :)
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Re: The mighty Beinn Bheula

Postby paz1953 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:15 pm

Enjoyed your report and photos. Did the walk today, weather good, some very high cloud but pretty good views all round. A great view from the top. Descent from the lochan through the trees and then along where the trees had been harvested wasn't too pleasant but a dry April meant it wasn't boggy underfoot. Enjoyed the walk but probably wouldn't rush back
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Re: The mighty Beinn Bheula

Postby litljortindan » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:56 pm

Not bad for a hazy day. Got to watch out for them malfunctioning paths right enough!
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