What a great adventure we had today. We decided to do Ben Lui and Beinn Cheibh regardless of the weather as the outlook was constantly changing. Om the way up the weather was better then we expected, even as far as Crianlarich. However once we hit Tyndrum the mist was in and the rain was presistant but light.
We parked the car and carried our gators as we know we had the river Lochy to cross. We both thought it would be fairly quite crossing, as we had little rain for a while back home and the rain seemed to have just started.
Well we were bothvery wrong. It was knobbly knee competiton as we took our boots off and rolled up our trousers. Boad watches Bear Grylls and came up with the tip of tying your boots laces together and putting them over your neck.
Anyway the water was freezing, the stones where slippy and painful when you stepped on a sharp rock. Next time I’m bringing old shoes that are fit for the bin. Once across we did a limbo under the rail tracks. We kept out boots off and the metal grills are sore to walk on.
Anyway boots on and the rain came down in buckets. We put our water proofs on and started the walk to the next burn the Fionn Choire. Think the forest is in an area called Airigh Nan Cioch and you follow a well marked but very boggy path.
We looked out for the small cairn ( it is small) and took the path to the Fionn Choire . The rain made this route very slippy and the water in the river was coming down at a fair rate. The crossing area was deep and the crossing stones submerged.
However some kind soul has placed a strategically placed rope stretching across two trees and the burn. This was turning in to an army assault course and great fun, despite the wet weather and the very boggy ground.
What is impressive are the number of waterfalls and the amount of water running through the burn. The light was poor, it was raining and I did snap this. It’s not doing much justice the beauty of the forest and the falls and I would love to come back when it is drier.
Eventually you leave the forest and it is a relief +++. We could not see much due to the rain and mist, we had already decided to go for the bealach instead of heading east up Ben Lui. Glad we did actually as the ascent was fairly ok and nowhere as boggy as the forest. Just before you reach the bealach it is a bit steep but nothing to bad.
We headed up a steep climb towards Beinn Cheibh and this did not take long, 10 minutes . There were no views as the clouds where on top of us. Someone has left the shell of a clam, which must be some kind of calling card.
Up there somewhere is Beinn Cheibh.
After a short break we descended down towards the bealach and got the first glimpse of the Glen Orchy. It did not last long.
Ben Lui was next and after a quick but hard climb we reached the southeast summit. From here we looked into the mist covering Coire Gaothach. The mist added to the fear factor because you know the drop down was big and scary. There was still snow clinging to the Coire and it looked as if it was ready to slip and fall at anytime.
Anyway after a wee break and some damp sandwiches, off we went. The rain had changed in to sleet then hail and the wind was gusting around 40 miles an hour. Very stingy on the old face, these little lumps of horizontal ice balls.
We touched the northwest cairn and then took a slippy and wet scramble down some rocks. Thankfully these were far enough away from the corries edge,
We took the good path down till the grassy slopes and headed for the Airigh Nan Cioch forest. I met a couple of people from work and had a few minutes dark conversation about life and death.
Then back to the metal gate leading out of the forest and straight in to the bog. This time it seemed a bit better, the mist had cleared and we could see more of the available routes. There’s times when it is best to hug the trees to avoid putting your feet in to the knee+ deep bog. With Boab walking in front, I got a mouth full of pine needles as a branch he skipped past and bent on the way, pinged back and it me full on. Yeah what a great day.
The rope across the Fionn Choire came in handy again and we headed back toward the Lochy burn. Our boots and gators where covered in bog and much and so where our trousers. This time we kept the boots on going across the metal grid under the rail lines. The lochy burn was even deeper than going out. The trousers where rolled up but the boots stayed on. Over we went but with better grip and no sore feet. Within 5 minutes we were back at the car and changing our footwear.
We enjoyed the day, getting wet and covered in bog and mud, the slips and trips and soaking feet. The wading through the river, the rope crossings, the scary Corries and just the whole challenge of the day. Great fun.
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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.