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Some advice for anyone planning this brace of Corbetts

Some advice for anyone planning this brace of Corbetts

Postby 92and282now221 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:33 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Donich, The Brack

Date walked: 13/09/2015

Time taken: 6 hours

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This should be a pretty straight forward, if physically demanding, pair of Corbetts but care is needed at the end of the walk to find the right exit from the hillside and into the trees to pick up the FC track back to the start.

I attempted this route back at the end of June on a day of abysmal weather. That day, we parked in the Rest & Be Thankful car park and walked up the B828 for about 500m to the entrance of a Forestry Commission track, where there is plenty of space to park and save yourself the road walk, and avoid the crowds of gawping coach party tourists at the R&BT. So tip #1 - you don't need park at the R&BT!!

The hill path from the FC track up Ben Donich is clearly signposted so you can't go wrong. Its a good path, with surprisingly little sign of overuse or erosion. There is one very minor scramble en route to the summit trig point, but this would only deter the most infirm of walkers, who probably wouldn't have made it this far anyway!

In June the day was so poor I simply couldn't be bothered to climb another hill to see nothing but clag, so we returned back the way we came, most hacked off. I was determined to do the hills as a pair though, and returned on a day when the forecast seemed promising. The day turned out to be one of the best days I've ever had in the Arrochar hills, and I could actually see all the Munro summits I'd climbed in clag over the years...

Down the south east ridge of Ben Donich was simple enough, steep in places navigating around the many outcrops, found the mysterious cairn halfway down, it's pretty soggy at the watershed at the top of the Allt Coire Odhair where a pig wire fence has to be negotiated (easy for me, less so for the dog), then straight up The Brack. Relentlessly steep, a blisteringly hot day and sheltered from the breeze meant this was pretty tough going but the summit was reached surprisingly quickly, great views especially out towards Mull and east over The Cobbler.

Returned the same route back to the pig wire fence - this is where things went a bit screwy. We turned right and stayed on the south (Brack) side of the fence which drops north east down a steepening gully through bracken until it reaches the tree line. The fence then turns left (north west) and the trees look pretty impassable. We dropped down into them anyway and simply headed 'down' as best we could knowing that before too long we should hit the FC track that runs down the west side of Glen Croe from the R&BT to Ardgarten. We did eventually make it through the trees but it wasn't a lot of fun. Once on the track we turned left and headed back to the car, and after about half a mile came across a track heading back up towards the hillside marked 'Hill Access'. If you are climbing The Brack from the R&BT you'd come across this as easily as you come across the access sign for Ben Donich. However there must be a sensible route down the north face of The Brack to pick up the top of this path out of the tress somewhere north of the pig wire fence.

I'd really like to know from someone who's done this route what point on the eastertn slopes of Ben Donich you should be aiming for once you come down from The Brack to pick up the track into the forest. Suspect from the fence you turn half right and contour due north round the eastern edge of Ben Donich???

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Re: Some advice for anyone planning this brace of Corbetts

Postby malky_c » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:45 pm

Hard to say. I went up some of the route you tried to come down, and there is a good path through the trees (this isn't the one signposted 'hill access' that you mentioned, but another one further north). I left the path shortly after I cleared the trees and headed more directly for Ben Donich. However due to the amount of snow around it was hard to see the line of the path higher up anyway.

The route plotted on the map in my report shows the lower part of the path down to the forestry track at least.
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