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When October was the new July on Beinn a'Bhuiridh

When October was the new July on Beinn a'Bhuiridh


Postby Graeme D » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:51 pm

Route description: Beinn a' Bhuiridh, near Loch Awe

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn a'Bhuiridh

Date walked: 15/10/2015

Time taken: 4.8 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 1040m

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I had spent the previous day on Beinn Mhic Chasgaig in Glen Etive having abandoned my original plan to head through Fort William into Glen Nevis to tackle the Aonachs. Time had been against me so I had pulled into Glen Etive to study alternative options and settled on the first Corbett along the glen. This had proved to be a fairly straightforward affair - http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=57562 - with the benefit that I finished nice and early and could therefore head off for a couple of relaxing pints in the Clachaig before finding somewhere to pitch up for the night, all still before darkness fully rolled in.

My original plan for the second day of my trip had been to tackle the nearby Munro/Cobett combination of Sgorr na h-Ulaidh and Meall Ligiche but I was not convinced that I would manage this without risking being late back to collect Ailsa from her gran in Dunblane as arranged. Furthermore, I contrived to sleep through my alarm by an hour or so and so when I did emerge, I did another quick rethink and settled on the Corbett of Beinn a' Bhuiridh near Dalmally.

I quickly packed up and headed back south through Glencoe and across Rannoch Moor, stopping for a couple of photo opportunities en route, turning right at Tyndrum and heading for Oban. I stopped at the car park and picnic area at Hill of Strone just before Dalmally and, now that the sun was up a bit and promising an entirely unseasonably sunny and warm day, had some porridge and coffee before continuing the short distance through Dalmally to the start point at the western end of the B8077 old military road through Stronmilchan.

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Stob Dearg waking up on Thursday morning from the Glen Etive road end

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Sron na Creise and Beinn Mhic Chasgaig

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Beinn Dorain from just north of Tyndrum

Beinn a' Bhuiridh had first come onto my radar back in March of 2010 when I did the classic Dalmally Horseshoe route above the Cruachan Reservoir - http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3783. That had been a brilliant late winter day with cloudless blue skies. There had been a definite hint of spring in the air that day, although the nip of winter was very much still in the air too, and the walking on the ridges and summit slopes had been like walking on polished glass. Crampons and axes were very much the order of the day. There had been the option to extend the route over the Corbett at the end of the day, but for various reasons I didn't go for it that day.

My next dalliance with Bhuiridh had come in October of 2012 when I celebrated four years on WH by doing the Munros of Beinn Eunaich and Beinn a' Chochuill - http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=26264. There had never been any question of tackling the Corbett that day although I again got decent views of it and a good part of the Dalmally Horseshoe route from two and a half years previously. That day, winter was just announcing its imminent arrival with the first dustings of snow on the higher slopes and a fierce biting wind that had me taking refuge in my emergency shelter on the summit of Beinn a' Chochuill. I had also had to resort to putting on the Keela Munro jacket that day, something I have rarely felt the urge or the need to do given the bulletproof nature of the thing and the fact that I have very rarely encountered conditions where I have felt it was merited.

And so to today, as coincidence would have it, almost exactly 3 years to the day since that blustery affair on Eunaich and Chochuill just across the way.

Another car pulled in just a minute or two after me and an older bloke got out. We exchanged comments about the lateness of summer this year and he asked whether I was doing the Horseshoe. I told him my plan was simply to do the Corbett, pointing at the Monadh Driseig ridge behind me. He gave me a look that suggested he thought I wasn't quite right in the head and jumped back into his car to study his map. I continued to get myself ready and a few minutes later he jumped out again and declared himself ready to tackle Stob Diamh, which clag on the ridge had deterred him from attempting a few weeks previously when he had gone up onto Cruachan from the Pass of Brander.

I bade him farewell and set off through the metal gate onto the track that leads below the pylons and around the bottom of the long ascent ridge over Monadh Driseig before disappearing into Coire Glas. I followed the track to what looked like pretty much the foot of the crest of the broad ridge before taking to the slopes.

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Beinn Eunaich from the start point near Drishaig

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Up Glen Strae towards Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh from beneath the pylons

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Beinn a' Chochuill dead ahead

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The long, extending arm of the Stob Diamh ridge

I couldn't believe the sort of day it was - a mere four days before my birthday and I couldn't recall ever celebrating my birthday in summer before! I did a quick mental calculation and reckoned that tomorrow we would be as close to December as we would be to August and yet here I was stripping right back to short sleeves. If I had had shorts with me, they would probably have been on too! The only drawback (apart from the bucket loads of sweat that were pouring out of me) was the swarm of Daddy Long Legs flies that seemed to be everywhere. They must have been fooled into thinking it was summer as well!

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Beginning of the ascent ridge onto Monadh Driseig with the summit of Beinn a' Bhuiridh in the distance

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Stob Garbh, Stob Diamh and Sron an Isean across Coire Glas and Coire Chreachainn

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Back down to the north eastern end of Loch Awe and along Strath Orchy beyond Dalmally - Ben Lui dominating the skyline

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The Glen Lochy hills from a bit higher up

I sweated onwards and upwards, cursing my failure to bring sunglasses with me, until I reached an area strewn with large erratics, where I stopped and mucked about with the camera for a while.

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Beinn Eunaich and the Glen Strae hills from the erratic field on Monadh Driseig

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Cochuill and Eunaich

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Stob Diamh

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Time to set the timer and climb up on a big chunk of rock

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And now time to launch oneself off the big chunk of rock

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Caught mid air

Then it was on over Monadh Driseig before a short drop down into a rough, gully riven area before the final pull along the edge of the northern cliffs up onto the summit of Beinn a' Bhuiridh.

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Chochuill and Eunaich across a good old mountain bog/mini lochan - take your pick!

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Glen Lochy hills again (zoomed)

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Dropping down before the final ascent towards the summit of Beinn a' Bhuiridh - Cruachan peeking out in the background

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Beinn Eunaich from one of the wide gullies on the drop off Monadh Driseig

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The cliffs of the north face of Beinn a' Bhuiridh plunging into Coire Glas - Cruachan gaining in prominence in the background

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Beinn Eunaich through one of the clefts in the cliff face

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Back down the full length of the ascent ridge from just below the summit

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The Dalmally Horseshoe, from Ben Cruachan across Drochaid Glas to Stob Diamh

I could see from the map that the summit was shown to be at the western end of the broad summit ridge yet the cairn at the eastern end looked to be both higher and more substantial. I dropped my pack and wandered across to the far end of the plateau, passing what appeared to be the true summit marked by a small cairn. Looking back, the eastern cairn still looked higher, but hey ho, who am I to argue with the Ordnance Survey?

I carried on a bit further to get views down to the Cruachan Reservoir, with the Hollow Mountain of Ben Cruachan beyond. It wasn't until a few days later that a FB post alerted me to the fact that today had actually been the 50th anniversary of the official opening of the power station within the mountain and the dam by some German immigrant and her Greek husband. Happy Birthday dear Cruachan, Happy Birthday to you!

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Loch Awe from the eastern summit

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Cruachan

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Back towards the eastern cairn en route to the high point at the western end of the summit plateau

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Cruachan Reservoir and the Hollow Mountain - 50 years old today

After returning to the eastern summit for a spot of lunch, I descended in a more direct line towards Drishaig, skirting around and below a series of crags above Kilchurn Castle before emerging at the pylon line a kilometre or so from the car.

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Back at the more substantial looking eastern cairn

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Descending south east from Monadh Driseig towards the end of Loch Awe and Drishaig

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Kilchurn Castle

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Beinn na Sroine, Ben Lui and Beinn a'Cleibh


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User avatar
Graeme D
 
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Re: When October was the new July on Beinn a'Bhuiridh

Postby Sgurr » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:55 pm

How many times did you have to leap off that boulder before getting the "Caught in mid-air shot?

Like the title. Seem to remember that July was the new October in many parts of Scotland.
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Sgurr
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Re: When October was the new July on Beinn a'Bhuiridh

Postby Graeme D » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:01 am

Sgurr wrote:How many times did you have to leap off that boulder before getting the "Caught in mid-air shot?

Like the title. Seem to remember that July was the new October in many parts of Scotland.


Indeed! :lol: Cheers. Yes, I had to make several failed attempts before the camera caught me apparently defying gravity. The beauty of digital photography though eh!!!??? :crazy:
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Graeme D
 
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Re: When October was the new July on Beinn a'Bhuiridh

Postby ChrisW » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:40 pm

Damn that's spectacular weather for this time of year Graeme and you certainly took advantage of it with those pics, they are all lovely shots but the ones around the erratics are really nice :clap: as for the repeated attempts to make the rock jump pic....it makes you look disgustingly healthy :lol:
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ChrisW
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Re: When October was the new July on Beinn a'Bhuiridh

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:40 pm

Had to smile at the thought of someone watching from afar and wondering what was going on when you were doing your jumping off rock photo! :shifty:
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