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Three Marilyns from Balmaha

Three Marilyns from Balmaha

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:23 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Beinn Uird, Binnean nan Gobhar, Conic Hill

Date walked: 02/10/2016

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1160m

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A fine day forecast - what to do... get a few Munros to boost this year's pathetic tally? some more Simms? Or maybe - since I'm only 10 Marilyns off the 600 needed to enter the Marilyn Hall of Fame (Lower Division) I make progress towards that goal? Seemed a reasonable plan - I had a scout about on the computer and found 3 hills that would lend themselves to a fine walk and only as far away as Drymen. Another very foggy morning leaving the house but sunshine by the time I arrived at Balmaha - cold, mind - the car reading 3 degrees.

conic_3..gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The walk starts from the carpark, joining the WHW towards Conic Hill - a frequently talked about hill that I'd never visited. Progress was swift up the track, with a subsidiary track leading up to the right once alongside the hill. Scarves of mist trailed over the vista looking out over Loch Lomond. After crossing three undulating bumps I reached the summit cairn. From here, Maol Odhar fills the eye looking north, but my next target was Binnien nan Gobhar which is not really visible from here. I trudged off Conic Hill through heather, descended to Cross Burn and set off through the heather in a NW direction.

On the Way to Conic Hill
ImageDSC01890 by Al, on Flickr

The route to Binnien nan Gobhar
ImageDSC01892 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Lomond
ImageDSC01893 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01894 by Al, on Flickr

Conic Summit, looking South
ImageDSC01896 by Al, on Flickr

Maol Odhar
ImageDSC01897 by Al, on Flickr

Sometimes there were deer tracks to follow, at one point a faint boggy ATV track appeared, but mostly it was plodding through knee high heather. I managed to find a 4 foot deep hole with a stream at the bottom of it, secreted away under rushes, which I fell into and sat, as in a cold bath. So, now I've got wet feet (and bum) for the rest of the walk - although the warm sun made short work of the latter affliction. As I slowly gained height the heather became shorter and progress easier.

Towards Binnien nan Gobhar
ImageDSC01898 by Al, on Flickr

View back to Conic
ImageDSC01900 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01902 by Al, on Flickr

I made the top of The Vine then headed west across a deer fence to Stob a'Choin Dhubh. There's remains of an old deer fence - just the posts and a couple of stiles crossing nothing. Peat hags and boggy underfoot. Ahead of me I could see Beinn Bhreac, beyond that the true summit of Binnien nan Gobhar. Arriving at the trig point I met another fellow out collecting subs- Superstar_Tradesman as he is on this site. He'd come up from Cashel Farm and was intending to head over to Beinn Uird too, so we set off together, visiting the summit of Gobhar then dropping down the boggy ground to Clach an Iarunn where we found a wooden bridge crossing a stream, then set off up the gentle gradient to my last hill Beinn Uird. Over to the right lay Loch Ard and in the distance, Loch Vennacher.

Summit Stob a'Choin Dhubh looking to Beinn Bhreac/Gobhar
ImageDSC01903 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Bhreac summit
ImageDSC01904 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Gobhar
ImageDSC01905 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Uird
ImageDSC01906 by Al, on Flickr

View back to Binnien nan Gobhar
ImageDSC01907 by Al, on Flickr

Ben Lomond from summit Uird
ImageDSC01908 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01909 by Al, on Flickr

We stopped at the summit of Uird for lunch, the mighty bulk of Ben Lomond standing directly to the north. I was faintly tempted to keep on to climb the Ben as it was such a fine day but sanity prevailed. We had a discussion about the best route to descend by - the options were to head SW to Blairvockie Farm, or more southernly to the forest tracks of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park - one report describing that route commented on the "thrashing about" in the trees, which neither of us fancied. The descent was straightforward, a bit wet underfoot in places but not as boggy as I'd imagined. We reached the farm then onto the road, switching to the WHW at Sallochy. A lovely afternoon, the Loch playing host to all manner of water-pleasure seekers and a fair few walkers out on the Way. Reaching Cashel I took the offered lift back to Balmaha, with the vague idea that I'd have time to fit in something else before heading for home. Duncolm north of Old Kilpatrick was one I remembered as close by, but I had no map for it and a quick check on WH in the car suggested it was 15km - a bit much when I'd not arrive there before 3.30. I headed home instead having had a grand day on little hills.

ImageDSC01910 by Al, on Flickr
Posts: 2462
Munros:277   Corbetts:220
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Sub 2000:395   Hewitts:33
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Location: Greenock

Re: Three Marilyns from Balmaha

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:17 pm

I m going to have to look up SIMMS and Marylins and all the rest you do :wink:
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Mountain Walker
Posts: 1906
Munros:282   Corbetts:220
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Re: Three Marilyns from Balmaha

Postby superstar_tradesman » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:30 am

Thanks for the company, weaselmaster! It was a grand day out, and I got a nice view back to the hills from my afternoon coffee later :)
Mountain Walker
Posts: 126
Munros:170   Corbetts:31
Fionas:16   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:82   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 6, 2013
Location: Northeast Fife

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