Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

"Top" Weekend in Tyndrum

"Top" Weekend in Tyndrum

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:58 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Mhanach, Bidean nam Bian, Stob Coire Sgreamhach

Date walked: 09/11/2014

Time taken: 12.5 hours

Distance: 35 km

Ascent: 2710m

8 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Firstly thanks to Colleen & Barry for organising this autumn's meet in Tyndrum - good to see the weather turned out better than the forecasts predicted :)

I approached the meet with less in the way of plans than usual - probably because Tyndrum's on my doorstep relatively speaking and I've done quite a lot of the hills around there. I had considered the Corbett of Beinn Mhic-Monaidh, but by the time I'd tagged a couple of Grahams, a Marylin and a few other assorted tops of something or other onto it, my route had grown to 30km with almost 2750m ascent - far too much for a bleedin' Corbett! The appearance of snow on the higher tops earlier in the week did get me drooling a little and thinking about doing something more sizable for the weekend. Bidean nam Bian/Sgreamhach had a trio of Tops I hadn't done, so that looked like a good place to start - especially as when we climbed Bidean first time round we saw nothing but clag.

Arrived up at By the Way Hostel on Friday evening & pitched the tent on some soggy ground up by the chalets - no warm cosy interior for us hardy souls :lol: Nipped into the bunkhouse after dinner and met up with many of the usual suspects, heading off to bed fairly early after finding some other companions for the Bidean trip - Graham, Scoob, Fi. Robert & Jupe all expressed and interest. A civilised start at the back of 9 saw us up at The Study car park where we assembled and set off. The route up was going to be via Beinn Fhada, then on to Sgreamhach, Bidean and back down the Lost Valley. First obstacle encountered was the stepping stones - or rather lack of adequate ones - over the Allt Lairig Eilde. A few of the party nipped across trusting to rock not to be slippy, whilst a larger number of the group searched up & downstream for a better spot - there wasn't one. So eventually everyone was conveyed across, some with drier feet than others :wink: Plan was to head up the north-eastern end of Beinn Fhada, looking out for a grassy rake until we reached the main ridge, then head across to Sgreamhach. The going was boggy in the lower regions as expected. Behind us was the Aonach Eagach ridge looking particularly attractive on this dry autumn day, to our left the Big Bookil poked up behind the Wee Bookil and ahead of us after a rocky knobbly section, Beinn Fhada narrowed invitingly. We stopped for lunch in the bealach between the 823 and 931 points, looking down the steep flank into the Lost Valley. Up to the North we watched the clouds gradually lift on the Ben & Aonachs which were snow topped. A fantastic day to be out and up high.

ImageP1040456 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Some of the crew
ImageP1040458 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Scoob, Jupe & Graham looking serious
ImageP1040463 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Aonach in brown
ImageP1040465 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn Fhada
ImageP1040466 by 23weasels, on Flickr

River crossing
ImageP1040467 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View South (wee bookil)
ImageP1040471 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bookils wee & big
ImageP1040473 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ridge along Beinn Fhada
ImageP1040476 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Aonach again
ImageP1040477 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Gra & Allison admiring the view
ImageP1040480 by 23weasels, on Flickr

It was quite impressive
ImageP1040481 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Fhada ridge, Sgreamhach in distance
ImageP1040482 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View across to Bidean (Stob Coire Lochan)
ImageP1040485 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040486 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Gra enjoying a wee nap with his lunch
ImageP1040489 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Scoob footering with his time lapse
ImageP1040491 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Cloud lifts on the Ben
ImageP1040492 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View down to the Lost Valley
ImageP1040495 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The others were keen to get on so that we'd get back in the light (certain folk having left headtorches behind :roll: ) so we had to hurry our coffee and press on. Made the first Top of Fhada and stood admiring the views which stretched for miles. Then on over another couple of narrower rocky tops before dropping down to ascend to the peak of Sgreamhach. We had been following a good path which petered out at the side of some crags and we had fun scrambling up to the crest again. From there the top of Sgreamhach was reached easily. I had in mind that there was another top on Sgreamhach (not realising they are both on Beinn Fhada and we'd already done them - need to do my homework more effectively) when all I could see was a prominence off to the SE at 778m - not a Munro Top that! With a bit more time I'd have gone along, but instead we headed for Bidean itself. Again the views - particularly those south to Glen Etive and West to Ardgour were fab. Met up with another WH party traversing the hill in the opposite direction and Allison & myself set off to make the Top of Stob Coire nam Beith. This provided a marvelous viewpoint for the sheer bulk of Bidean and the famous buttresses including Church Door & Collie's Pinnacle. Headed back to the summit of Bidean, collected our packs and set off to rejoin the group, which we did not long after the scree descent into the Lost Valley. With a bit of good fortune we met up with the other WH group too who had parked by the Helipad and Martin/FyfeFlyer kindly gave us a lift up to the other car park to collect our cars just as darkness fell and the rain came on.

Remains of the route to Sgreamhach
ImageP1040496 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Wee scramble
ImageP1040497 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Wee Bookil
ImageP1040498 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040500 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040501 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Sgreamhach
ImageP1040502 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Lost Valley
ImageP1040504 by 23weasels, on Flickr

On to Bidean
ImageP1040505 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View down Etive way
ImageP1040509 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View N
ImageP1040510 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Bidean looking West
ImageP1040511 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Top of Stob Coire nam Beith in view
ImageP1040512 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040515 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040517 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to West
ImageP1040518 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bidean from Stob Coire nam Beith
ImageP1040519 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Another Top in the bag - & she's not even collecting Tops
ImageP1040520 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040522 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040524 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Descent into the Lost valley
ImageP1040525 by 23weasels, on Flickr

in the flat section, looking back at Sgreamhach
ImageP1040529 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040531 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Gearr Aonach
ImageP1040536 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040537 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040538 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Back at the Hostel there was the usual merriment into the night, with the quiz making sure we didn't get to bed before midnight...too late for a weekend :lol: No decision had been made for Sunday's hill(s) given the vagaries of the weather. When we rose at 9am to a fairly pleasant morning I just couldn't face the grind of Mhic-Monaidh so opted for something a bit more straightforward. The Top, Beinn a'Chuirn - a sister hill to Beinn Mhanach was nearby and fitted the bill. Got packed up, said our farewells to those other late risers from the weekend and set off for the parking spot beside Auch Estates. We'd originally done Mhanach in a cold spell maybe Jan 13 - I remember the many river crossings having layers of ice and deep snow traps on the top of the hill. Today couldn't have been nicer- the late autumnal sun passing a little warmth still, the hillsides resplendent in yellows and browns. We trotted speedily along the track up Gleann Achadh Innis Chailien, with the spire of Beinn Dorain to the left and the mighty bulwark of Beinn a'Chaisteil on our right, under the viaduct and over the many river crossings. Wearing mesh trainers helped mightily with these - just splash right through them, no messing around on stepping stones. Up past the farmstead and branching right, folllowing the Allt a'Chuirn. We could see our hill up ahead - a double header with Mhanach to the north and a puffy cloud sitting over the summits. Decided to go round to the deep gorge cut by the Allt a'Chuirn as it descends between the twin tops of the hill rather than head up a'Chuirn directly. As a result we did have to go and visit the top of Mhanach on the way. Three Munros in 2 days - people will be thinking we're Munro baggers or something :wink:

Ben Dorain on a beautiful morning
ImageP1040539 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040541 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn a'Chuirn up ahead
ImageP1040544 by 23weasels, on Flickr

It took up an hour to head up the 600m flank of Mhanach - reasonable since Sick Kid was a bit, well, sickly with oceans of snot. Hot work on the way up but by the time we paused for a bite at the cairn we were in need of jackets gloves and hats. Clag mostly, every so often clearing to reveal a'Chreachain or Creag Mhor then they'd dissolve into mist again. Set off back to the bealach, meeting a man off to almost complete his second round, then up to the understated cairn on a'Chuirn. Decided to head pretty much due South from the cairn, descending the steep grassy side of a'Chuirn, making for the track we came in on. Over to our Left the tail of Loch Lyon nestled in between Tionail, Furain & Mhanach, their sides gouged by river-scored ravines. A solitary stag watched our descent before letting out a bark and fleeing. Back along the track making good time in the late afternoon sun.

Summit Mhanach
ImageP1040547 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit a'Chuirn
ImageP1040549 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back down the Gleann
ImageP1040553 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Lyon
ImageP1040550 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stag watching
ImageP1040554 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Steep descent
ImageP1040556 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Red mushrooms
ImageP1040557 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ben Dorain
ImageP1040559 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn a'Chaistail
ImageP1040560 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back to a'Chuirn / Mhanach
ImageP1040562 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040565 by 23weasels, on Flickr
User avatar
Hill Bagger
Posts: 1922
Munros:217   Corbetts:44
Grahams:76   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:377   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: "Top" Weekend in Tyndrum

Postby tina bonar » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:00 pm

An enjoyable read from an enjoyable weekend :clap:

You got some brilliant photos there Al, the experts certainly got the forecast wrong on this occasion!
Good to see you and Alison again :D
User avatar
tina bonar
Posts: 142
Munros:158   Corbetts:1
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Jun 24, 2012
Location: montrose

Re: "Top" Weekend in Tyndrum

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:44 pm

Another cracker again Al :clap: :clap:

Great to meet up again with you & Alison :wink:

How lucky were we with the weather - unbelieveable :shock:
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
Posts: 2398
Munros:195   Corbetts:47
Grahams:24   Donalds:50
Sub 2000:121   Hewitts:2
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: "Top" Weekend in Tyndrum

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:01 pm

Good stuff :clap: :clap:
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 1803
Munros:282   Corbetts:145
Grahams:32   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:23   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

Re: "Top" Weekend in Tyndrum

Postby scoob999 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:12 am

Nice one :clap:

Always a pleasure getting a wee walk in with you two 8)
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 1692
Munros:101   Corbetts:222
Grahams:106   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:141   Hewitts:25
Wainwrights:7   Islands:9
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Birnam/Dunkeld. i think?

Re: "Top" Weekend in Tyndrum

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:03 am

Looks a great day. Love the photo looking down into the lost valley (both). Not too sure about that river crossing :crazy: Great hills! :D
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: "Top" Weekend in Tyndrum

Postby malky_c » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:43 pm

Top notch, particularly Bidean :D . I think the weather was even better in Glencoe than Tyndrum.
User avatar
Posts: 6019
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:276   Hewitts:268
Wainwrights:122   Islands:36
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow/Inverness

Re: "Top" Weekend in Tyndrum

Postby rockhopper » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:11 pm

Enjoyed that, the weather certainly turned out better than forecast - Bidean nam Bian is one of my favourite walks - hope to get back some time - cheers :)
User avatar
Posts: 6692
Munros:282   Corbetts:218
Grahams:64   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

8 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 35 guests