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Midweek retreat to Beinn an Lochain

Midweek retreat to Beinn an Lochain


Postby denfinella » Fri May 15, 2015 6:00 pm

Route description: Beinn an Lochain

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn an Lochain

Date walked: 14/05/2015

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 6 km

Ascent: 720m

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Endlessly packing and unpacking boxes isn't the most appealing part of moving house. On Thursday afternoon the good weather forecast tempted us away from the city and towards the Arrochar Alps. Overcast skies in Glasgow gave way to blue skies at Rest and be Thankful, from which Beinn an Lochain's jagged northeast ridge looked intimidating. It was windy but warm enough in the sunshine at the layby. The Easan Dubh waterfall made a nice spot for lunch before setting off uphill.

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From the road a few different paths lead northwest to the foot of the ridge. They're all a bit boggy. Almost all of the Arrochar Alps have interesting, craggy profiles, with Binnein an Fhidleir in the background no exception.

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After a few hundred metres, the start of the ridge marks the end of any significant bog, and also the end of any significant flattish section. Looking back, Glen Kinglas provides a constant beautiful backdrop all the way to the top. But to be honest we were spoilt for choice for views, in all directions.

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Loch Restil and the top of the A83 pass:

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Loch Fyne:

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On the lower section of ridge there a few very short scrambly sections. Hands were only needed once in ascent (and never on descent), but the dry rock helped. Further up, you can see further down the A83 into Glen Croe.

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After the 637m spot height and the short descent which follows, the ridge beyond looks fearsome, but the path ingeniously heads up ledges and shoulders with hardly any scrambling - the hardest part is already behind you. Looking back from about 750m:

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There's one final steep pull. The large diagonal snow patch was, fortunately, just to the left of the path, leaving the way up snow-free.

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Boulder perched on the north face:

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Binnein an Fhidleir and countless peaks beyond:

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Back down the ridge to Glen Kinglas:

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Airy path:

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Glen Croe:

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The path suddenly pops out right at the top. Thanks to clear air, the panorama was brilliant - Ben Nevis clearly still visible and very snowy, the Paps of Jura prominent, and a more close-up view of most of the Arrochar Alps to the south and east.

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Back by the ascent route, the ridge just as interesting on the way down.

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Beinn Ime from near the base of the ridge:

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denfinella
Walker
 
Posts: 1006
Munros:65   Corbetts:34
Grahams:21   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Midweek retreat to Beinn an Lochain

Postby litljortindan » Fri May 15, 2015 11:32 pm

Fine hill, very imposing from the roadside below. That route reminds me of the north ridge of Ben Stack.
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litljortindan
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Posts: 1724
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Re: Midweek retreat to Beinn an Lochain

Postby denfinella » Sat May 16, 2015 1:16 pm

Yes, it reminded me of Ben Stack too the other day, although I climbed Ben Stack from the southeast...
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denfinella
Walker
 
Posts: 1006
Munros:65   Corbetts:34
Grahams:21   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Midweek retreat to Beinn an Lochain

Postby jonny616 » Mon May 18, 2015 10:19 pm

Great hill. For a while my FB profile pic was that rock in you third last pick with me standing on it.
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jonny616
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