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Binnean nan Gobhar by Loch Lomond
by StevieC » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:28 am
Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Binnean nan Gobhar
Date walked: 04/06/2016
Time taken: 4 hours
Distance: 12.2 km
Ascent: 679m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I didn't have the time to head for the Munros this weekend, but still felt like fitting in a hill, so in search of inspiration I went to my Hills Climbed map, selected All Hills and looked for the nearest one I hadn't done...which is how I ended up in the car park at Cashell by Loch Lomond, just a few miles past a heaving Balmaha; this place was tranquil by comparison. There's a £2 charge for parking (Honesty Box) and a visitor centre which I didn't check out.
There are two paths up and into the woods...a broad forestry track winds up the hill and a footpath that takes you through the mixed woodland. I decided to save the track for the descent, so headed for the path that begins behind the visitor centre. You're soon in amongst some nice woodland, especially at this time of year.
Path through the woods
After a bit of climbing the trees begin to thin out and the target for the day hoves into view...
Binnean nan Gobhar
...but don't forget to look behind you too, because the views of Loch Lomond just get better and better the higher you climb.
Loch Lomond from Cashell Wood
The path eventually joins up with the forestry track, and shortly after this a choice needs to be made...continue on the track through the forest for a bit longer, or strike out over the open moor. You could tell just by looking at it that the going was about to get rough, so I decided to stay on the track for a bit longer.
Left here to stay on the track
The track takes you into a conifer plantation. After a while it swings left to cross a stream, but shortly before this take a path that heads off to the right to climb out of the plantation and into the open moor. There are no paths, and the terrain is pretty difficult for walking (heather and long, tussocky grass mostly), so it's just a matter of picking a path and going for it. You can just see Binnean nan Gobhar poking its head above the line of hills in the foreground, so I just headed for the low point in these foreground hills and got my head down.
Out of the woods and into the moors
After stumbling across the uneven ground and a brief steep pull up into the hills proper, you get your first close up view of Binnean nan Gobhar...doesn't look much to be honest, but of course it excels as a view point.
Binnean nan Gobhar, south top
Loch Lomond from south top of Binnean nan Gobhar
This first top is not the summit unfortunately...look to the north for the true summit of the hill. I suppose you could go round the south top rather than over it, but I think you'd be missing out on a cracking viewpoint and in reality you don't save much doing this...from the south top there's a small bit of descent and then a short, sharp pull up to the summit of the hill.
Looking across to the summit of Binnean nan Gobhar
Stile over non-existent fence
The views of Loch Lomond aren't as good from here (because the south top is in the way), but there are nice views north with Ben Lomond dominating of course, even if visibility was a bit hazy.
Ben Lomond from summit of Binnean nan Gobhar
Had a quick bite to eat on the summit, and then decided to visit the neighbouring hill of Beinn Bhreac. It was only ten minutes away (albeit across some nasty looking peat bog) and it had a trig point, which are usually good view points. The peat was just about dry enough to support my weight, so that was a bonus, and in no time I was enjoying the view from the summit.
Loch Lomond from summit of Beinn Bhreac
Looking down on Conic Hill
Looking back at Binnean nan Gobhar, with Ben Lomond behind
From here it was just a matter of getting off the hill and across the rough ground as quickly as possible, so I headed back to the plantation track and this time followed it all the way back to the car park, about an hour to get back.
So in summary, some nice walking through the woods, but the open ground on the approach to the summit is not very walker friendly (and I imagine would be very boggy in normal circumstances). The views from the top are what make the walk worthwhile though.
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