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The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe


Postby teaandpies » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:18 am

Route description: Beinn Dubh - Glen Striddle horseshoe, Luss

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Dubh, Beinn Eich, Doune Hill

Date walked: 24/02/2016

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 18.1 km

Ascent: 1472m

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The weather was looking pretty good for my days off and having started my walking a little earlier this year I've decided to try and turn all the red balloons between Glasgow and Arrochar blue this pretty much means walking Grahams & Sub 2000ers but that's fine with me, I'm not a hill snob. Having done Cruach Tairbeirt the previous week and the 2 Glen Douglas Grahams the week before that (see unpublished reports for pictures) I was now onto the Luss hills.

I left a sunny Glasgow behind and tried to keep my temper the best I could dealing with the morning traffic (I have a car now), rubbish music on Clyde 1 kept me company as I was going out alone again.

I had gotten to the roundabout that takes you to Balloch when it stared snowing :shock: This was in none of the weather forecasts I had looked up before my walk, it snowed form that point until I got to Luss then stopped. Obviously it had been going for a while as there was a covering of snow on the road that takes you up Glen Luss and I was starting to wonder what I was about to let myself in for but luckily, this was the only falling snow I'd have to deal with on the day.

I was parked up right a the start of the walk, I opened the car door only to be slapped in the face by the cold air, that woke me up :lol: I pulled on ma boots and set off wearing my jacket.

The path was obvious...
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The path up isn't that steep but it sure is a good leg stretcher and opens the lungs up nicely. I built up a heat already and I removed my jacket then turned around to be blessed with incredible views across Loch Lomond. My phone could never do the views and lighting justice.
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A bit further up.
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The views up ahead weren't the best but my intended 3rd target showed it's self, you don't look so harsh...
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Just follow the scar up.
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Stopped for a little rest, half expecting to see someone coming up the path, nope it was clear.
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Some sucker stuck their pole in the ground and this happened :lol:
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Once the slog was over I reached the first cairn.
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This isn't the highest point of the hill and there is still plenty of walking to be done to reach that point. I had read a few reports on this walk with most mentioning the boggy top but the ground was frozen, this made the going so much easier.
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As I pounded over the frozen ground I couldn't help but think about a walk I done last year up Beinn Chabhair and how I wished that the ground was frozen that day :lol: but oh well. I could just make out the top of the hill now.
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Cracking view into Glen Douglas.
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I visited all the cairns, I was really just following the previous few days foot prints.
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It was now time to turn off and make my way down into the glen between Beinn Dubh and Doune Hill. Out of all the footprints on Mid Hill only 1 set turned off to head for Doune Hill, a big walk nobody really fancies is what I thought to myself.
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I wasn't even down the hill yet but I was plotting my route up already. I had planned to follow the route Bobble_hat_Kenny had done his assent.
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I snapped a few shots on the way down the hill which at first wasn't so bad but then it gets ultra steep right near the bottom.
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STEEP
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I knew this assent was going to take me a while. I'm not hill fit and looking up to what needed climbing was a little disheartening to be honest. I decided to have a rest on a rock, eat a little for a boost.
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As I set off again I changed my plan, I chose to go and check out a rocky part of the hill to add a little interest to my walk so I crossed the burn and made straight for it. As I suspected, I found the going tough so I used the excuse of taking pictures to rest...lots of pictures :oops:

Beinn Bubh
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Glen Mollochan
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I found this barrel, can anybody tell me what it's for? There was a second one a bit further up as well.
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Looking over to Ben Lomond
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Another of Glen Mollochan
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Rocky bit
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Looking to the Bealach between Doune Hill and Beinn Eich.
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It was at the rocky bit that I picked up a set of footprints again, I couldn't believe somebody as daft as me choosing to walk up this way, could it have been the same person I thought to myself :think:

I actually got myself into a little bit of a pickle here, the boulders were large and difficult to move through especially because the gaps were filled with snow so you didn't know if it was solid ground or a deep drop for your leg. I took a little time to ensure my footing was set before shifting my weight, I didn't want to end up breaking a arm or a leg or my head.

I was happy to be past this part of the walk and now I was on the last little stretch to the summit. My thighs were burning and only some of the snow was frozen so I'd be walking on frozen snow then my leg would disappear into a deep drift but the next step would be fine, it felt very random.
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I skipped a visit to that top. Look through the gap and you can see the Crainlarich hills.
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A better view of the Crainlarich hills.
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Sorry about the squinty image, I couldn't see the phone screen because the sun was so bright 8)
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Finally the Trig point appeared and with it some incredible views across, well, the entire country really.
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Once I took plenty of trig snaps it was time to move on...one could say I was 'trigger happy' :roll:

Now I'm on the move again and I picked up those(?) footprints again and we are heading to Beinn Eich together.
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Looking towards the Clyde.
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Back at Doune Hill
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The Arrochar Alps
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Your next! But first I'll have another rest and another bite to eat. The sun was hiding behind the clouds, the air was nippy so the jacket went back on for the last part of the walk.
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As I started my way up the narrow Beinn Eich I was again struggling. My legs were finished, I was walking with no real strength. Once I hit the snow line I again picked up my mystery companions footprints. At first the stride was longer than mine as it had been the whole walk however his/hers stride shortened a sign that they were feeling tired now, like me. Plodding up the side of this hill head down placing my feet in the prints left by the other walker I was now starting to worry about the drive back into Glasgow during rush hour...I cleared these depressing thoughts but having a look at how far I had walked.

Looking back to Doune Hill
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I still have a long way to go.
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The wind had gotten up, sweeping the snow over the ridge.
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The path with the footprints leading to the summit.
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Beinn Eich summit.
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Although there are bigger hills in the area I felt like I could see the whole of Scotland from here.
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At the summit my 'walking buddies' footprints had gotten mixed in with other prints from people that must have walked up from Glen Douglas only to summit this one hill. 'We' all walked of the hill together, I had a chuckle or 2 at the expense of the poor person that had stepped into a snow drift and obviously fallen over then having to scramble out...whoever you(s) are thanks for making my lonely walk and decent not so lonely :lol:


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teaandpies
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby Petr Dakota » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:34 pm

Nice fresh walk with some good views and photos :clap:
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby Gordie12 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:58 pm

Must confess, I don't know these hills but that looked really good and I quite fancy doing this route - time to get the maps out!!!
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby teaandpies » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:07 pm

Petr Dakota wrote:Nice fresh walk with some good views and photos :clap:


Cheers. I appreciate a nice comment like this from someone like yourself :D
Gordie12 wrote:Must confess, I don't know these hills but that looked really good and I quite fancy doing this route - time to get the maps out!!!


I don't have any winter gear or skills so the smaller hills are getting me ready for the summer. They're fairly low hills but they all seem pretty steep around here. I've 3 more in the area to do and I think that might be a tougher walk...I'm hoping for similar conditions for it. A decent frost on the ground to help me avoid the boggy ground.
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby ancancha » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:11 pm

Nice fotaes :clap:
Looks like you had a good time on this one 8)
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby mountain thyme » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:57 am

Nice one. These hills are on my doorstep and i keep meaning to do them :)
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby teaandpies » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:28 pm

mountain thyme wrote:Nice one. These hills are on my doorstep and i keep meaning to do them :)


Get them done! :crazy:
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby rohan » Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:27 am

Brilliant, I now see why you called me your ghost walker on my TR. I hope my footsteps didn't take away from your day. Now if my 2 good samaritans hadn't picked up my mobile you would have found it on your walk. I can confirm also that I did take a tumble in the snow descending from Beinn Eich, I think I heard someone laughing...
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby roscoT » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:53 pm

Nice one! Did this route myself last year.

You've made a promising start to the year - this must be due to the car surely? What a difference it can make

Well done, great report and pictures :clap:
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby teaandpies » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:46 pm

rohan wrote:Brilliant, I now see why you called me your ghost walker on my TR. I hope my footsteps didn't take away from your day. Now if my 2 good samaritans hadn't picked up my mobile you would have found it on your walk. I can confirm also that I did take a tumble in the snow descending from Beinn Eich, I think I heard someone laughing...


If anything your footsteps helped me, kept me company but I was surprised to see them in the rocky bit on the hill. I wasn't the only person with bad judgment.

I wasn't lucky enough to get a lift down the road :?

roscoT wrote:Nice one! Did this route myself last year.

You've made a promising start to the year - this must be due to the car surely? What a difference it can make

Well done, great report and pictures :clap:


Cheers, I read the report, a few funny pictures if I recall :lol:

Yep, the car makes a huge difference. I'm just gonna nab all the wee hills around the town while the conditions on the big boys are keeping me off them. It's the last 3 Luss Grahams this week :thumbup:
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby litljortindan » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:32 pm

A good report describing the walk as you experienced it and interesting observations on the footprint spacing! Maybe it's a good thing to not be super fit and to keep that element of testing yourself as part of the entertainment. I mean if it was all effortless would it be so enjoyable?
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby rohan » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:25 pm

litljortindan wrote:A good report describing the walk as you experienced it and interesting observations on the footprint spacing! Maybe it's a good thing to not be super fit and to keep that element of testing yourself as part of the entertainment. I mean if it was all effortless would it be so enjoyable?


I can say (as the owner of the observed footprints) that whilst it was nearing the end of the day, I wasn't particularly tired but my footsteps always shorten on the uphill sections. Maybe psychologically I was down a tad having realised that I had lost my mobile (happy ending to that http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/blogs/rohan) , having to forego including Cruach an t-Sidhein in my walk and knowing also that a superb day was coming to an end all contributing to a slow down on my part.
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby litljortindan » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:13 pm

rohan wrote:
litljortindan wrote:A good report describing the walk as you experienced it and interesting observations on the footprint spacing! Maybe it's a good thing to not be super fit and to keep that element of testing yourself as part of the entertainment. I mean if it was all effortless would it be so enjoyable?


I can say (as the owner of the observed footprints) that whilst it was nearing the end of the day, I wasn't particularly tired but my footsteps always shorten on the uphill sections. Maybe psychologically I was down a tad having realised that I had lost my mobile (happy ending to that http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/blogs/rohan) , having to forego including Cruach an t-Sidhein in my walk and knowing also that a superb day was coming to an end all contributing to a slow down on my part.


Sorry, yes I'd be a bit distressed and slowing down too if I'd lost my phone.
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby teaandpies » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:37 pm

rohan wrote:
litljortindan wrote:A good report describing the walk as you experienced it and interesting observations on the footprint spacing! Maybe it's a good thing to not be super fit and to keep that element of testing yourself as part of the entertainment. I mean if it was all effortless would it be so enjoyable?


I can say (as the owner of the observed footprints) that whilst it was nearing the end of the day, I wasn't particularly tired but my footsteps always shorten on the uphill sections. Maybe psychologically I was down a tad having realised that I had lost my mobile (happy ending to that http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/blogs/rohan) , having to forego including Cruach an t-Sidhein in my walk and knowing also that a superb day was coming to an end all contributing to a slow down on my part.


Well, I just assumed it was tiredness as it was the only time I could match your stride....and there's me thinking I was the bush tucker man or something :lol:
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Re: The Glen Mollochan Horseshoe

Postby rohan » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:29 am

Well, I just assumed it was tiredness as it was the only time I could match your stride....and there's me thinking I was the bush tucker man or something


But look at your time, much quicker than mine and I didn't have the walk back down the road which would have taken me another hour so your pride is intact.
By the way your photos are great.
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