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Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?


Postby Gordie12 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:02 pm

Route description: Beinn Chabhair, from Inverarnan

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Chabhair

Date walked: 19/09/2015

Time taken: 5.3 hours

Distance: 15.5 km

Ascent: 1070m

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On Friday I had a great day in Glen Coe and on the drive over to Inverarnan it looked like 24 hrs later I would be in for more of the same with the likes of Ben More and pals all clear of cloud and blue sky everywhere. By the time I got to Inverarnan it was a bit grey with plenty cloud cover on the tops which seemed a bit odd when about 10 miles up the road I couldn't actually see any clouds but hopefully the clag will burn off before I get on to the higher slopes.

Looking over to the Beinglas Falls it looks like a steep start before reaching more open ground.

I behaved myself once over the bridge and took the field route round the side of Beinglas Campsite before finding the stile beyond the wigwams and starting the steep climb up through the woods.

1.jpg
Beinglas Campsite


2.jpg
Bridge by the main road


3.jpg
Looking down over The Drovers Inn


It was flat calm and humid and the climb was a bit sweaty but after climbing a couple of high stiles the climb started to level off. At one point (when nearly out of the woods) I took a path which headed directly over to the Ben Glas Burn and then followed within a few yards of the burn as it cleared the trees on to the open hill side.

4.jpg
1st view of the hill side with the woods now behind me


After about 100 yards the burn turned straight left and the path climbed up on to the heather bank and I noticed a wider track coming in from my left which would have cut the corner I had just negotiated.

The path reached a well made track which I stayed on for a full ten yards before taking a well trodden grassy path heading up the glen parallel with the burn. This section has a reputation for being very boggy and there is a lot of wet ground around. The well trodden grassy/mossy path is very wet and by and large the boggy bits can be negotiated with a bit of hopping and jumping.

5.jpg
Looking back


At one point I reached a patch of bog and was struggling to find a route round it so it was time to try out my long jump skills. Checked my run up - four paces at best. I could see a greenish patch of ground at the far side of the bog so this was where I would aim for. My short run up was decent but things started to go wrong when I planted my left foot and the anticipated spring didn't materialise, just a worrying squelch and the knowledge that things were going downhill rapidly. With no take off the result was inevitable and I fell well short of the target zone.

6.jpg
Yuck


My left leg disappeared down to my knee and I then lost my balance and fell over in to the mud. With wet trousers half way up my thighs and a constant squelching noise with every step I fired off some industrial language and headed on. Having had a fantastic day in Glen Coe the day before my mood has changed dramatically thanks to being covered in mud and I was finding the walk through the glen a bit drab and with low cloud all round I hope the clag lifts which in turn would lift the mood.

7.jpg
Small falls close to Lochan Beinn Chabhair


I missed the path that heads left before the lochan and only realised my error when the lochan came in to view. A short backtrack and a wander through the wet ground and I found the correct path and headed towards the climb that would take me up on to the ridge before the final walk along to the summit. As the path starts to climb it reaches drier ground and the climb up is straight forward.

8.jpg
Looking over to Lochan Beinn Chabhair


9.jpg
The climb away from the lochan on to the ridge


Once up on to the ridge it becomes obvious there is a lot more climbing to be done.

10.jpg


It's a surprisingly lumpy top and with the low cloud my view is always limited to the next top which can just be seen through the gloom. Each time I think I'm on the final climb another top appears which was becoming a bit dispiriting.

11.jpg


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And finally, I was at the top. Not sure if my legs were still feeling the efforts of the day before or if the wet ground in the glen had sapped my energy (probably a bit of both) but it felt like hard work to get to this point. The cloud cover was still low, I could see back along the ridge I had just walked along but beyond that there was nothing.

17.jpg
Looking back along the ridge


18.jpg
Down to Lochan Beinn Chabhair


It felt like the clag was close to lifting, the sun would come out for a few seconds before being snuffed out again. I hung around for about twenty minutes in the hope the clag would lift but eventually took the decision to head off and retrace my steps.

Some photos follow of the views when walking back along the ridge.

19.jpg


20.jpg


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24.jpg


I dropped down off the ridge, down to the lochan and on down the glen, still no sign of the sun coming out and there seemed to be a bit more cloud cover around, no threat of rain but not what I had expected.

25.jpg


26.jpg
One solitary little clump of heather in the damp grass


Once beyond the lochan I had a look at the junction where the path down from the ridge linked up with the main path through the glen and goes to the lochan. I think I could go back there 24 hrs later and even knowing the path was there, still not find it.

Arriving back at the point where I saw the path coming in from my left on the way up (just after the burn turned straight left) I took the wider path down through the heather and in to the woods. Where it linked up with where I went wrong, again I can see how this happened as on the climb it just looks like a large lump of rock rather than a continuation of the path.

27.jpg


All that was left now was a toe jarring drop down the steep path back to the campsite, on arrival I was a rebel and walked through the campsite rather than taking the detour round the field.

On reflection, this walk could never live up to the day before and with dull overcast conditions and a clag bound ridge (not to mention the close encounter with the bog) it felt like a bit of a slog with no views at the top to make up for it. On a good day with decent views I think the walk along the ridge would be really enjoyable and make up for the earlier trudge. Despite some of my comments, the walk between the end of the woods and the start of the climb up on to the ridge isn't as wet as I had been expecting.

And, by the time I was driving through Killin, the sun was out and it was a great afternoon :( :( :(
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Gordie12
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby roscoT » Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:01 pm

Great report, Gordie! Cheers

Think it was you I saw just as I was coming down, just below the summit ridge? I see you didn't get lucky at the top as we had hoped? I can tell you you saw a lot more than me on the way up anyway! I took a detour over to lochan a chasteil on the way down after the clag lifted, which was a bit lumpy with some thick vegetation, but drier than the boggy section down below.

Still, a nice wee morning out! :D
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:24 pm

Sympathies with the weather - we were on Conival the day you did Chabhair, a day that MWIS predicted 90% chance of cloud free munros and advised people to take lots of sun cream, and what did we get - Clagg - wall to wall :( :shock:

Still pondering the route for Chabhair, whether to go the way you did or to come in from Inverlochlarig, your route looks kind of wet :shock:
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby dogplodder » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:13 pm

Too bad you didn't get the views from the top! We liked the top third of this hill with its up and down winding ridge but the final drop down that steep loose path while under cleg assault wasn't pleasant to say the least. :twisted:
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby Silverhill » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:37 pm

Aw, sounds like a heavy day…, commiserations. :(
Beinn Chabhair is a rather nice hill. I (unknowingly) avoided the wet and boggy parts by dropping down into Coire a’ Chuillinn and then walked along the West Highland Way back to the car (at the start point for An Caisteal). A rather long walk and I missed the lovely lochans.
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:15 pm

roscoT wrote:Great report, Gordie! Cheers

Think it was you I saw just as I was coming down, just below the summit ridge? I see you didn't get lucky at the top as we had hoped? I can tell you you saw a lot more than me on the way up anyway! I took a detour over to lochan a chasteil on the way down after the clag lifted, which was a bit lumpy with some thick vegetation, but drier than the boggy section down below.

Still, a nice wee morning out! :D



Back in time for the football??
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:18 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Sympathies with the weather - we were on Conival the day you did Chabhair, a day that MWIS predicted 90% chance of cloud free munros and advised people to take lots of sun cream, and what did we get - Clagg - wall to wall :( :shock:

Still pondering the route for Chabhair, whether to go the way you did or to come in from Inverlochlarig, your route looks kind of wet :shock:


Sounds like a lot of us were caught out by the MWIS 90%.

Can't deny it, it's a damp one and the climb up out of the woods and back down again at the end felt tough.
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:21 pm

dogplodder wrote:Too bad you didn't get the views from the top! We liked the top third of this hill with its up and down winding ridge but the final drop down that steep loose path while under cleg assault wasn't pleasant to say the least. :twisted:


No clegs on Saturday dogplodder but in calm warm conditions in the sheltered woods there were a lot of beasties about, but at least they weren't of the biting variety.
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:29 pm

Silverhill wrote:Aw, sounds like a heavy day…, commiserations. :(
Beinn Chabhair is a rather nice hill. I (unknowingly) avoided the wet and boggy parts by dropping down into Coire a’ Chuillinn and then walked along the West Highland Way back to the car (at the start point for An Caisteal). A rather long walk and I missed the lovely lochans.


Hi Silverhill

I've worked my way west with the Crianlarich 7 over the last few weeks so with the first 6 covered in 3 trips this one was just sitting there asking to be walked. On reflection, might have been an idea to have added it on to my last visit and just extended the day.

It wasn't the worst walk in the world but on a drab day it was maybe a little dull (not helped by being in Glen Coe the day before in brilliant weather).
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby roscoT » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:24 pm

Gordie12 wrote:
Back in time for the football??


You betcha, with time to spare!

My last of the Crainlarich 7 too by the way, good to have them all ticked off!
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby SecretSquirrel » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:10 am

Unlucky with the weather. Beinn Chabhair is actually a great view point on a good day, but cloud seems to have been the dominant weather feature on most hills last Saturday.

I did this hill from Derrydaroch. It was a mostly off-piste walk along the Allt a'Chuillin before ascending onto the ridge. It was a dry walk and more importantly bog free. I'd highly recommend its as an alternative to the traditional Inverarnan approach.

You still got some good views and pictures. A bit of cloud adds some atmosphere and drama to the photos :D
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Re: Beinn Chabhair - Where Did The Sun Go?

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:32 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:Unlucky with the weather. Beinn Chabhair is actually a great view point on a good day, but cloud seems to have been the dominant weather feature on most hills last Saturday.

I did this hill from Derrydaroch. It was a mostly off-piste walk along the Allt a'Chuillin before ascending onto the ridge. It was a dry walk and more importantly bog free. I'd highly recommend its as an alternative to the traditional Inverarnan approach.

You still got some good views and pictures. A bit of cloud adds some atmosphere and drama to the photos :D


Thanks SecretSquirrel

I'll stick your route in the memory bank as I'd like to go back, try a different route, and maybe get to see the views from the top.
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