The weather as I left East Kilbride promised a dreich day at best. A low cloud base and a night of constant rain served to dampen (aha ha ha) expectations. Despite that it was a quiet drive, with fewer cars on the road than I expected, meaning I pulled into the car park at the head of Loch Fyne an hour and a bit after leaving home.
Reading some other walk reports for this area could leave you less than enamoured, I however find this area truly breath-taking. Admittedly the initial approach past the hydro station and then the quarry is less than perfect, but once past these minor distractions the generous scenery lends itself to the camera, I still must invest in a decent one!
Once past the man-made disasters the walk along the River Fyne is a pleasant 5km or so to the old Bothy at Inverchorachan. As I had started up the glen the clouds had buried the heads of the surrounding hills which had the strange effect of deadening the natural sounds of the area, I found it very peaceful and kept expecting to see one of the old men of the hills striding down out of the clouds.
Just past the Bothy and before you reached the bridge over the tributary of the River Fyne itself, I took the track that leads up the ridge that follows the south bank of the burn. There are a couple of quite spectacular falls as you follow the ridge that deserve a few moments contemplation.
As I gained height the cloud level lifted revealing Meall An Fhudair across the glen, another future adventure! The route up was interesting with a couple of wee scrambles to overcome, the one just before you reach the conjoining of all the little tributaries could cause some consternation during the winter months, but as you continue on and the falls at the Alt na Faing are quite the sight.
The track pushes you to the east before striking North West to bring you out just above the falls with a cracking spot to look back down the route travelled. It was on this part of the climb that I meant a fellow traveller (see pictures) but the little fellow was intent on his own journey so I left him to crack on.
As I crested this section the weather started to close in again, hiding my final destination in a cloak of cloud. I navigated my way around the many pools and tarns that littered this section, carefully making my way across some of the rather claggier areas with care. I also had a disappointing surprise, a new road, servicing future wind turbines no doubt that I was to learn led here from just past the quarry. I am no anchor when it comes to reusable energy technology, but that did not prevent a moments dip of mood as I came across it. The remainder of the journey was done in a bit of a dour mood.
I crossed the road and continued my way up an almost vertical climb of around 100 or so meters onto the North South running ridge, with the Coir Dubh to the North and the ultimate destination of the peak of Beinn Bhuidhe to the South. My way to the peak was a rather calm if obscured affair, until I broached the top that is. As I approached the little cairn at the highest point the winds came screaming in from the East, with a mix of rain and hail to let you know just how welcome you are up here, the clouds then dropped yet again. I remained on the summit for maybe 5 minutes before surrendering to the weather and made my way down.
The return route was along the newly discovered road, which to be fair revealed a couple of spectacular water falls with a huge amount of water thundering down. Other than that it was a remarkably unremarkable route back to the car park.
The area still remains one of my favorites, but I don’t think I will climb Beinn Bhuidhe again, it just won’t have the same magic appeal for me. But it is still a nice climb for those who have yet to attempt it.
Photos to follow, once I have worked out the technical black magic!
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.