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First solo Munro- and the fine Scottish sunshine!

First solo Munro- and the fine Scottish sunshine!

Postby jdloki » Wed May 24, 2017 4:07 pm

Route description: Beinn a'Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chochuill

Date walked: 08/05/2017

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 1000m

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With reports of blazing sunshine, the opportunity to bunk off work (ahem, take some rapid leave) and head to the hills was too enticing. Having failed to persuade the OH that work was an unnecessary luxury, I decided to head off for my first solo expedition, on the general understanding that even I couldn't get lost when the visibility was about 100km in every direction. 8)

Loch Awe is pretty local for me, so I set off after a morning at work for an afternoon jaunt. Parking no problem near the bridge, then set off through the farm and up the landrover track through the Glen.


The landrover track is a bit of slog, but the skylarks were singing, the martins were swooping, and the lambs were frolicking/ regarding me with suspicion. I didn't come across another soul all day, which is maybe the advantage of a/going to lesser known hills, and b/ doing it on a work day.


I stopped for a lunchbreak just before turning off right to head up Beinn a'Chochuill, already feeling the effects of the sun a wee bit. There was very little breeze down that part of the glen due to the prevailing winds being stopped by the gurt big hill in front of me, so it was a bit like mountain climbing in the tropics.

Turning right up the track kept me occupied only briefly, until it was obvious I'd need to pick a spot to start actually getting up the damn mountain. The walk report mentions a "faint path". Let me tell you, you'd need to be Sherlock to pick this thing up from the bottom. Instead, I clambered up in a rather ungainly fashion, and starting heading up. :?

It is pretty unforgivingly steep from this point, until the top of the ridge, and my legs were rather unprepared for the battering they took. I'm sure if you are multi-mountain fit then it would be a mountain goat-like leap to the top, but for trudgers like me, it was fairly brutal in the heat (just wanted to mention it again) :wink: . I did manage to pick up the path about halfway up through luck rather than judgement, although it wasn't really necessary. Although following the tracks of those who had bravely squelched before me suggested that the dry conditions I was enjoying was probably unusual for this walk.

Once the ridge was reached, it was a rather nice ridge walk along to the summit of Beinn a'Chochuill without too much difficulty, and some wind picked up which for once was rather pleasing. The views from the summit were absolutely spectacular, and I would suggest would rival many a hill in Scotland.



The suggested route is to nip over to Beinn Eunaich, but on contemplating the amount of down-and-up that would involve, I decided to give it a miss on that occasion. The deciding factors were rather than I was running rather low of water (the first time this has ever happened to me), and there were some friends waiting for me to join them for a curry in the not-too-distant future. Instead then, I retraced my footsteps down the hill, which is always a bit less fun but unfortunately necessary. I did make a rather lovely discovery at the bottom, as I used the tried-and-tested method of getting over a steep bit by using my arse to pull me down, startling a nesting bird who was quietly contemplating existence before my behind came crashing into her world.

I did hang around a little further down the track, and the meadow pipit did return to the nest looking no flatter than when I'd first seen her.

The walk out of the glen seemed substantially longer than the way in, as is the way with these things. I always find gravel tracks are a testing way to end a walk on tired feet, but the dropping sun and soft colours made up for the pounding. I'm sure the walk overall could be done much quicker, but I was stopping frequently to enjoy the wildlife and the views, and why not indeed on a day like this.

May I also recommend that if you go ahead with the walk that you test out the newly opened Ben Cruachan Inn in Loch Awe village, which is a mere five minutes down the road. I have no association with the place, except that when I went in for a cold drink on my way home, the manager provided me with a gift of a rather fine piece of cake as a well done for completing the hill, and it was a splendid way to round off a cracking day. :D :clap: :D :clap:
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Joined: May 8, 2013

Re: First solo Munro- and the fine Scottish sunshine!

Postby Tom282 » Wed May 24, 2017 5:23 pm

Great report. I did both of them the day before you when it was fantastic weather with great views. Was slightly colder and windier when we did it, but luckily that gave some respite from the heat. The weather was amazing at the start of May, so I hope you enjoyed being out in it. Fingers crossed the weather is like that for the whole summer! :lol:
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Joined: Oct 14, 2015
Location: Scotland

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