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Munros in the Deep South, Part 2

Munros in the Deep South, Part 2


Postby Beaner001 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:35 pm

Route description: Beinn Bhuidhe, via Glen Fyne

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhuidhe

Date walked: 20/04/2015

Time taken: 6.35 hours

Distance: 20.3 km

Ascent: 990m

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Day two, after a decent night’s sleep I woke at 6am and lay for an hour. Once the dogs were fed I went and showered in the immaculate shower rooms and used the basic kitchen to heat water for my porridge.
photo.JPG
Lovely setting at the camping cabin the night before

photo 1.JPG
Closer look at our sleeping cabin, small but great value for £20 in my opinion. Great shower facilities and small basic kitchen to heat water, microwave, hot pans and do laundry etc.

Today’s mountain was to be even deeper into the south western reaches of the Munros, Beinn Bhuidhe is the most remote of the Arrocher Alps and really the reason for choosing it was it would save on a long drive to tackle on its own.
The speed boat scenes from the James Bond film: From Russia with love was filmed in Argyll. The idiots crashed their helicopter into one of the lochs when they were scouting the area back in 1963.

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I had been preparing myself for the long walk in, many people use a bike and I can see why now; I walked which ended up a good choice as you’ll see later. I parked in the area at the head of Loch Fyne and set off along the road to the Clachan power station, it stated on the sign that there were numerous working vehicles on the go so beware, although it did welcome walkers.
photo 2.JPG
Start of the road to the Clachan Power Station and the quarry

Therefore it was leashes again for the dogs and this was the way it would remain for much of the walk in as sheep and lambs were all over the place, plus I knew from other reports we’d pass some cattle at some point. You generally keep going in a straight line even when I reached the quarry I took the road that would mean the least contact with the workies.
photo 3.JPG
Great track for cycling

Once out of the quarry area you reach a gate after which the land resembled an area cows would frequent, heavy hoof prints in the churned up land. No cows though. I opened the gate and sat on the style at the other side to check the map to be sure I was taking the correct track. Once confirmed I set off, soon I reached the cows at the other end before another gate, they obviously are kept in the area between these two gates.
photo 4.JPG
Reaching the cows

I passed them with care as some calves were present, the dogs behaved well. Once the other side of the gate I realised I’d left my GPS on the style I’d sat on at the first gate. Feck!!, I had to pass by the cows and head all the way back for 10 minutes to get it then return all the way back to the gate. The legs were feeling ok at this point; the walk on the easy track seemed to break me in easier. It was once passed the gate that I came across a new build house which was not quite completed and a track that headed up towards Newton Hill on my left. I wondered where it was leading to going up that direction but carried on my merry way regardless. Before passing through another gate with a cattle grid I encountered my first humans of the day, a couple and their baby that were packing up their camp from the previous night. They had bikes with trailers so were maybe on a cycle tour; we said hello and I continued. The track then meets the tarmac road that the WH route suggests you take on the East bank of the River Fyne. We kept along this tarmac road which again would be ideal for cyclists. We were now deep into sheep country and lots of newly born lambs were sitting close to the side of the road with the umbilical cord still hanging down. I came across a pair of twins sitting nicely for a photo, their mother was keeping a beady eye on me!!
photo 5.JPG
Wee new borns

photo 6.JPG
One of a number of lovely wee houses along the track

I passed a couple more nice settlements and then reached a fork in the track, the right fork crossed back over the River Fyne and up the hill on the opposite bank so I stayed on the track passed some old farm type buildings.
photo 7.JPG
Kept to the left of the track here as the road branched right over a bridge and up towards another hydro type scheme on the opposite hillside

Soon I reached the gate where it asks bikes to be left.
photo 8.JPG
There is a metal bar to lock our bike up at this gate

photo 9.JPG
Nice wee bridge

The sign states that they are hoping for woodland regeneration, I fail to see how taking a bike through this fenced off woodland would harm its regeneration when you can only take the bike over the trail that already exists anyway. They also explained to keep the gate shut to deter sheep and deer from spoiling the regeneration, well I counted an awful lot of sheep in this area too and the dogs did not get off the lead till after we reached Inverchorachan. While still in the woodland I looked over to my right as the map indicated a waterfall called Eagles Fall, I think I saw it and it looked superb.
photo 10.JPG
Eagles Fall I think on the Allt na Lairige

photo 11.JPG
Reaching Inverchorachan

I had a rest at Inverchorachan then turned left through the gate to head up the left hand side of the gorge.
photo 12.JPG
The route up, sticking to the left of the gorge

I looked at the GPS and I was only at 104m, I still had an awful lot of ascent to go. The path sticks fairly close to the gorge and there are a couple of difficult steps to negotiate, the dogs scrambled up them but I was slightly concerned for coming down later in the day. Up ahead the ascent seemed to get steeper but it was a pleasant climb always looking ahead to the beautiful waterfall that commanded the view forward.
photo 13.JPG
Waterfall up ahead

The path ahead looks to get dodgy from below but once you reach those particular points they are not as bad, I traversed over a few snow patches and eventually reached the top of the waterfall section onto flatter terrain. I took a rest here and continued over till I met a newly formed track. This hard core track went up to below the North East top of Beinn Bhuidhe but I simply crossed it and continued over to the path at the other side which began another steep ascent up.
photo 14.JPG
Track heading North East for heavy machinery that I noticed on ascent

Once up the steeper bit you are faced with something to the wall in the series Game of Thrones but obviously not as steep. Geez have I to get up that? The path snaked up over rock and snow and again looked dodgy from below but once I started up it was not too bad, steep and a few snow sections but with a bit of perseverance I reached the top and the ridge West to the summit.
photo 15.JPG
The climb ahead onto the ridge leading to Beinn Bhuidhe

photo 16.JPG
Lochy trying to get in on my pic of the summit ridge to Beinn Bhuidhe

Here the gradient eased and it was a pleasant walk along to the summit where we had a lie down out of the slight wind and all had a snack. A raven hovered above scoping for leftovers.
photo 17.JPG
Summit dogs

Looking back down to that hard core track I wondered if it would go my way as it had obviously taken big heavy machinery up as the tyre prints were new and they had to go down somewhere. I’d make a decision once I got back to it as it was not on the map or the GPS. I reluctantly left the summit as I was not looking forward to the long walk back; I had however opted for my three season boots today which was a godsend as my feet were weary from yesterday’s walk in the winter boots. When I reached the steep descent down from the ridge I met a couple of guys, my first walkers of the day and they said they would definitely be following the track down instead of retracing the route up. That was me convinced, I decided I’d join the track and use it to head down. The surface was horrible as the mud had hardened and the tyre tread had made great big indentations in the track so it was not the most pleasant. It beat the steep descent back down the gully though and because I did not have a bike to collect I could cut a wee corner.
photo 18.JPG
Joined this track and that's me looking back to Beinn Bhuidhe ridge

I followed the track to a wee reservoir and took a left here to head back over Newton hill, in retrospect it have been easier to take the right track as it was much more gradual back down to the quarry.
photo 19.JPG
On Newton Hill looking back to head of Loch Fyne from track I followed down

I eventually met the new build house back on my outward track and walked back along passed the cows and back to the car reasonably quickly. I was pooped when I got back to the car and even the dogs could not be bothered eating anything, they had a huge drink though as did I. I was pleased I had managed to do two days on the trot with both being 20km, slowly I am building up for big days in the mountains this summer. I survived two days in the Deep South and in fact really enjoyed them, Beinn Bhuidhe has a great summit and a nice ridge to get to it, that more than makes up for the horrible walk in. Cheers
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Beaner001
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Re: Munros in the Deep South, Part 2

Postby martin.h » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:00 pm

Nice one Matt, this is one we've looked at for our next trip up in May, its one of those out of the way munros that could be saved for a nice long steady day in warm weather.
It seems there's a lot of unsightly workings going on in that part of Scotland, I can't help thinking its disturbing a fragile enviroment, I hope they know what they're doing.
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Re: Munros in the Deep South, Part 2

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:27 pm

Thanks for that - this was a hill I was going to save for another year, but what you say about the route doesn't make it sound too appealing - might be an idea to do it sooner rather than later. The cabins look a good base and the dogs seem very much at home. Sadly we're still leashed to the DIY so it will be a while before we're out again :thumbdown:
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Re: Munros in the Deep South, Part 2

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:27 pm

Aye could not understand the no bikes sign myself and plenty sheep in the "regen" area :?

Just take the bikes through i say :wink:

Took me two attempts at this one , heavy snow in that coire like i ve never seen before and made it to 300m in three hours b4 turning back !

Well done in cracking the deep South :D
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Re: Munros in the Deep South, Part 2

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:06 am

martin.h wrote:Nice one Matt, this is one we've looked at for our next trip up in May, its one of those out of the way munros that could be saved for a nice long steady day in warm weather.
It seems there's a lot of unsightly workings going on in that part of Scotland, I can't help thinking its disturbing a fragile enviroment, I hope they know what they're doing.


Correct Marts this hill would suit those circumstances, it's quite a way off the beaten track :lol:
The more I think of it the more those horrible tracks ruined the sense of wilderness, really seems a big scar for what I can only imagine would be little reward..... :?:

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Thanks for that - this was a hill I was going to save for another year, but what you say about the route doesn't make it sound too appealing - might be an idea to do it sooner rather than later. The cabins look a good base and the dogs seem very much at home. Sadly we're still leashed to the DIY so it will be a while before we're out again :thumbdown:


Gads, DIY :(
Wait till the lambing season is done then go for it, my shoulders have just recovered from the dogs pulling due to time on leads. Hope you two are back out on the hills sooner rather than later :D

Collaciotach wrote:Aye could not understand the no bikes sign myself and plenty sheep in the "regen" area :?

Just take the bikes through i say :wink:

Took me two attempts at this one , heavy snow in that coire like i ve never seen before and made it to 300m in three hours b4 turning back !

Well done in cracking the deep South :D


Cheers Colla, I thought I'd read of the stupid sign about not taking bikes through and regeneration etc and couldn't remember where, it was your report :? :lol:
Bit of a bottleneck that gorge, it soon fill with snow right enough :shock:
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Re: Munros in the Deep South, Part 2

Postby Astronick » Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:52 pm

Nice report! I was up Beinn Bhuidhe the day before you and it occurred to me looking at that ugly new track winding its way three quarters of the way up the Munro, that it would probably be incorporated into guidebooks quite quickly as it provides a more gentle ascent from much further down Glen Fyne. It is however very nasty looking, constructed in the least sympathetic way possible, and the most dangerous part of the day was getting onto it down the vertical side of the cleft that has been bulldozed along :(

Anyway, I was surprised to see you had used it to descend. I thought about it for a few moments but this particularly interesting corner kinda put me off:

ImageIce Road Truckin by Nick Bramhall, on Flickr

I take it that it was actually ok?
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Re: Munros in the Deep South, Part 2

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:56 pm

Astronick wrote:Nice report! I was up Beinn Bhuidhe the day before you and it occurred to me looking at that ugly new track winding its way three quarters of the way up the Munro, that it would probably be incorporated into guidebooks quite quickly as it provides a more gentle ascent from much further down Glen Fyne. It is however very nasty looking, constructed in the least sympathetic way possible, and the most dangerous part of the day was getting onto it down the vertical side of the cleft that has been bulldozed along :(

Anyway, I was surprised to see you had used it to descend. I thought about it for a few moments but this particularly interesting corner kinda put me off:


I take it that it was actually ok?


Hi, Yes it was ok, I actually took a picture while on that corner looking at the snow but I've since deleted but the whole track was clear and snow had gathered in the corner only. Had I seen your view of it in advance I may have not bothered too. I actually cannot believe how ugly that scar is, it was not the easiest of walking in terms of the track texture as the big trucks had left huge imprints in the earth. Great on the knees though compared to going back down the gorge way.
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