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It's A Beautiful Day - Beinn Bheula

It's A Beautiful Day - Beinn Bheula

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:16 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Bheula

Date walked: 28/12/2014

Time taken: 6.09 hours

Distance: 15.2 km

Ascent: 1035m

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Great bit of weather this Xmas period. Able to enjoy a couple of days doing Tops and then had a day on call when I unexpectedly ended up covering a junior doctor's 12 hour shift due to sickness - not done that kinda thing for a full 25 years :lol: For a time it looked like I'd be on call again today but a locum was found to cover at the last minute and that freed me up to enjoy a beautiful sunny wintery day. I'd been saving Beinn Bheula for a clear day with views and it fitted the bill of being near enough to manage with :lol: a late start, when I finished my on call at 9am. Drove up to Lochgoilhead along an "interesting" icy single track road from Butterbridge and found a place to park by the houses at Lettermay. Beinn Donich dominated the views across Loch Goil as we set off. I didn't have a map for today's outing, just a print off from WH so getting a good sense of where we were going eluded me. The track up into the forest provides easy going for the first section, and the hill up ahead is Beinn Lochain, not Bheula. Looking back we got some curious perspectives on Ben Arthur.

Beinn Donich & Ben Reithe dominate the view behind Lochgoilhead
ImageP1050263 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ben Arthur
ImageP1050265 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Start of the track
ImageP1050267 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn an Lochain
ImageP1050269 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ben Arthur again
ImageP1050271 by 23weasels, on Flickr

After a couple of kms the path splits, with good views to the waterfall from Creag an Fitich. We missed the cut off to the left after the bridge and continued on the track for a bit, before recognising our error and tracking back. Twas a bit boggy going through the trees then we arrived at the waterfall. Climbing easily up the hillside we arrived at a fence which we followed uphill onto Beinn Bhreac. Soft and powdery snow underfoot, brilliant sunshine and blue skies - what could be better. As we got the the top of Beinn Bhreac the wind picked up - despite the bright sunshine the temperature was chilling. Stopped for lunch in the shelter of a big boulder and feasted our eyes on the vista ahead.

ImageP1050272 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050275 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050278 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Our route in
ImageP1050277 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050281 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Up Beinn Bhreac
ImageP1050283 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050284 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ben Ime in the distance
ImageP1050286 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View South - Lochan an Cnaimh
ImageP1050294 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Arrochar hills
ImageP1050292 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ben Lui
ImageP1050296 by 23weasels, on Flickr

To the top of Beinn Bhreac
ImageP1050297 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Next it's picking our way through the crags of Caisteal Dubh and finding a gully to ascend by. There were footprints which looked from eariler in the day and we followed these up the snowy rake. It bacame quite steep, and I was regretting not having swapped poles for ice axes, but it would have been a rather precarious switch over on the steep slope. Reached the gentler slopes before the summit/trig point, fantastic scenery in every direction - the Arrochar Alps, Ben Lui, windfarm, just great views. From the trig point we could see the route onwards over Creag Sgoilte and Ceann Garbh cased in fine white snow. Good place to look down at Lochgoilhead ringing round the scooped out basin of the loch. On the summit of Creag Sgoilte we cold see a fine mist coming over the hills high up and were treated to a Brocken spectre - these are becomming ten a penny :lol:

Up to Caisteal Dubh
ImageP1050299 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050300 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050302 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050303 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Axes would be better :roll:
ImageP1050304 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050306 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking NW
ImageP1050310 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Bheula
ImageP1050314 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050315 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050316 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Yep - it's some view!
ImageP1050317 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Our onward route
ImageP1050322 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050324 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050325 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back to Caisteal Dubh
ImageP1050326 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050328 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Moon over Creag Sgoilte
ImageP1050334 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to Faslane
ImageP1050336 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Lochan na Cnaimh again
ImageP1050337 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050338 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Heading down through the crags on Ceann Garbh we came to a large piece of plane wreckage - the RNAS Grumman Martlett/Wildcat that crashed, fatally, on its delivery flight on 13/12/40 - almost exactly 74 years ago. Difficult to spot any other parts of the wreckage in the snow. We decided to head over to Cnoc Na Tri Criche just for the hell of it, hoping the views would continue to dazzle. i did briefly consider staying up a bit longer til the sun began to set - I knew it would be a cracker today, but I was also minded that we still had to navigate the forest on our way out. We therefore made it back down to Lochan nan Cnaimh - Lochan of the Bones and cut round to the edge of the tree line. The route indicated we should go into the trees, I decided this was possibly unneccessary and decided to walk around the edge of the trees for a while. We startled a herd of young deer from their shelter in the process. Coming to an area where the treeline narrowed on the map I decided we should make a break through the trees to join up with the path otherwise we were going to get further from our intended destination. This did not turn out to be a wise move :lol: Everywhere were fallen trees with any progress being won at the price of being poked and scratched by branches and having to wriggle under and over trunks. At one point I decided to walk along the trunk of a fallen tree, without really taking into account what was underneath - when my foot slipped into nothingness through its branches I realised I was about 20 feet above the ground and had to cling like a monkey-weasel to the trunk for safety before inching my way back. Fortunately Allison had discovered an easier route out of the trees, down a stream bed, and in another 5 minutes or so we were stood at the edge of a devastated woodland. Ironically, if we had kept walking on for another 100m past the point I turned into the trees, we could just have walked over the stumps as all had been cleared. Made our way through this apocalyptic scene on a track of frozen lumpy mud, which did not make for easy going :shock:

Plane wreckage
ImageP1050341 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ceann Garbh from summit Cnoc na Tri Criche
ImageP1050343 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Crags on Ceann Garbh - almost Torridonian in appearance
ImageP1050345 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Tree route - not recommended!
ImageP1050349 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050350 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050351 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050352 by 23weasels, on Flickr

At the Edge of the trees
ImageP1050353 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Frozen mud track
ImageP1050355 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Back onto the proper track we disturbed a man out tree cutting with one of these nifty machines that does everything. Strange time to be working, after 4pm on a Sunday in the Festive period, but hey- why not. Paused to let him fell a tree next to the track then returned to the car, which had a layer of ice inside the windscreen :shock: An uneventful journey home, although for being a very small and narrow road, the B839 is a very busy road. Another great mountain, my last Argyll Corbett, and the opportunity to return to this lovely area and nab the Grahams which we didn't have time - or, to be honest - energy for today.

Evening falls on Lochgoilhead
ImageP1050356 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050358 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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Re: It's A Beautiful Day - Beinn Bheula

Postby martin.h » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:45 pm

Its always a joy to read your reports Al and this ones no exception, fantastic photo's of a lovely part of Scotland.
Happy New Year to you and Alison.
Stay safe.
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Re: It's A Beautiful Day - Beinn Bheula

Postby bobble_hat_kenny » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:52 pm

What a spectacular day you got for that one :D ! Terrific photos - that one of the Cobbler is a cracker :clap: .
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Re: It's A Beautiful Day - Beinn Bheula

Postby Mountainlove » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:41 am

Great set of pictures and I had to laugh about your descent through the forest. I had to something similar once and it was no fun. :lol:
Wish you and Allison and Happy New Year and many more mountain adventures!!
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Re: It's A Beautiful Day - Beinn Bheula

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:44 am

Top drawer stuff once again from your good self & SK.
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Re: It's A Beautiful Day - Beinn Bheula

Postby gordon l » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:42 am

Enjoyed reading your report, particularly as I was on the hill yesterday and can certainly relate to your experience of descending through the trees. We started quite late, so we navigated down in the dark which was interesting. Beautiful place.
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Re: It's A Beautiful Day - Beinn Bheula

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:46 am

It certainly was a beautiful day! Great report, and wonderful pics. Though I was surprised you didn't try any stream wading.....

I had to smile at your forest adventures - I'll bet there's a good few of us have made similar "short-cuts"!!
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Re: It's A Beautiful Day - Beinn Bheula

Postby rockhopper » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:44 am

That looked good, wm - great day for it :thumbup: Can remember that forest well - went the opposite direction to you so got to it at the start and found it a bit tricky as well - looking back afterwards it may have been better to head straight up the edge of the forest (or down in your case) rather than try to go through it :roll: - cheers :)
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