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Beinn Mhanach and a Bothy Night

Beinn Mhanach and a Bothy Night


Postby jupe1407 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:10 am

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Mhanach

Date walked: 04/11/2016

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 30.1 km

Ascent: 1574m

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Not a report for the purists :lol:

Since acquiring a mountain bike in April, and having cycling recommended by my knee surgeon to slow my descent into decrepitude, I've been using it to access hills on a semi-regular basis this year, most recently using it to take off 15 miles of walking into Beinn a'Bhuird and Ben Avon. With a first-time trip to Gorton Bothy's annual November nonsense penned in for Saturday night, I fancied a reasonably straightforward bike/hike. The forecast binned my initial plan to tackle Mullach Clach a'Bhlair and Sgor Gaoith entirely by MTB, however I'd been considering getting the awkward outlier of Beinn Mhanach done, but didn't fancy the usual Auch Gleann/several river crossings approach. I also hate out-and-back routes with a passion :lol:

Having found a couple of reports on the route round Loch Lyon (The OS maps don't show that it's a fully tracked circuit) myself and regular walking/biking companion Rob arranged to meet at the Loch Lyon dam at 8am. Obviously I was late as usual and rocked up at 8:20am, and spent a further half hour faffing about getting ready, somehow still managing to forget my waterproof trousers. Anyway, on a lovely morning, we set off up the track to the north of the dam. Now, although my fitness has vastly improved over the last 3 months, picking up 100m of ascent in half a mile on a rough and stony track really wasn't as much fun as it sounded. However at the top of the ascent, we got a cracking view down the loch towards our target.

Image
Loch Lyon

The cycle to the base of Mhanach is a fairly uneventful affair. There's one river crossing which is easy (we cycled through it), but there are stepping stones if it's higher. We eventually arrived at the Allt a'Chuirn (the same start point after coming in from Auch Gleann). Bikes duly ditched we made off on foot, starting the ascent on the west side of the burn to aim for the bealach between Beinn a'Chuirn and Mhanach.

Image
Setting Off

There follows an approximate 420m ascent to the bealach, which is entirely on a steep, wet and grassy slope, which was tremendous fun. However a few stops for a look at the gorgeous views helped considerably.

Image
Towards Dorain


Surprisingly, and indeed pleasingly quickly, we made the bealach, and from there it's a simple stroll over rockier terrain to the summit cairn, from where we got some excellent views of the surrounding hills.

Image
Abhainn Ghlas through the cloud


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Back to Loch Lyon and our start point


After a few minutes on top, it got cold pretty quickly, so began what would be a wet and boggy descent. I couldn't be bothered with the route of ascent, so we more or less aimed to follow the east side of the fenceline down, which wasn't too bad. Got some cracking views too, or what I assume is Creag Mhor.

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Creag Mhor


And also down Auch Gleann back towards the A82.....

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Auch Gleann


I may have mentioned I hate out-and-backs :lol: So we returned over what I had thought would be a better track (it was tbf) and a fairly easy coast back down hill (it wasn't). In my haste in preparing this trip, I'd failed to factor in that this track on the south side of Loch Lyon picks up another couple of hundred metres of ascent :lol: However this was over a few miles, so not really a problem. Unlike the downpour which appeared 3 miles from the end. I eventually return to the car looking like I'd cycled through a shower with my clothes on. Less than keen on faffing around around changing clothes in a downpour, I just headed off to Glencoe with the heaters on full blast. The plan was to meet Mountainstar and the others at the Independent Hostel in Glencoe then head to Gorton Bothy sometime on Saturday afternoon.


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Not surprisingly, time was found for a couple of pints in the Clachaig with a few familiar faces which made for a great evening.

Not so great was being woken up by the fire alarm at 6:30am at the Hostel (by someone forgetting about their cooked bacon), an upsetting enough occurrence at the best of times, but thoroughly spirit crushing when you realise you've got a hangover after three pints of lager and a vodka & lemonade, a truly dismal state of affairs :? This was soon righted with a couple of bacon rolls (this time NOT setting an alarm off) and after a day of general inactivity, I decided to head into Gorton. The cycle into here is only 5 miles, but it's a pretty rough path and relatively hard work. Still, I was there first and got the fire on.

The next group arrived shortly afterwards and we sat outside watching a truly wonderful sunset.

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Sunset from Gorton


With everyone having arrived by 6:30ish, including Monty and his guitar and a roaring fire, we all had a great night, with Monty's excellent musical skills being backed up in interesting fashion by a young lad from Glasgow who tagged along and necked a bottle and a bit of whisky.

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Monty's musical skillz


The night seemed to pass in a blur (not caused by alcohol incidentally, in my case), and it was time to try and fail to catch up on last night's lost sleep. This wasn't helped by some quite tremendous snoring and someone spewing into their sleeping bag (not me). However I managed a couple of hours or so, before giving up and getting up after 8am, soon followed by everyone else. A quick tidy up of the bothy, and laugh at the expense of those worst afflicted by hangovers, and it was time to go. The bike out was superb fun and I was back at the car in something like 20 minutes.

A truly excellent weekend then, and a big thanks to Mountainstar (Alan) for organising it. :clap:
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jupe1407
Mountain Walker
 
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Re: Beinn Mhanach and a Bothy Night

Postby rockhopper » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:26 pm

Great way to spend the weekend - good result and a nice set of photos as usual. :thumbup:

jupe1407 wrote:Not a report for the purists :lol: ............The bike out was superb fun and I was back at the car in something like 20 minutes.

You'll get no complaints from me :wink: - cheers :)
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rockhopper
 
Posts: 6308
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Re: Beinn Mhanach and a Bothy Night

Postby jupe1407 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:20 pm

rockhopper wrote:Great way to spend the weekend - good result and a nice set of photos as usual. :thumbup:

jupe1407 wrote:Not a report for the purists :lol: ............The bike out was superb fun and I was back at the car in something like 20 minutes.

You'll get no complaints from me :wink: - cheers :)


Cheers RH

Having a MTB has made a huge difference, if only to aid recovery from my long standing knee problem. It does also open up longer and differing routes into some mountains. The best part of course is virtually freewheeling several miles back to the car :lol:
User avatar
jupe1407
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1259
Munros:230   Corbetts:15
Grahams:6   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: May 15, 2012
Location: Forfar

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