walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe


Postby ramblingsteve » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:52 am

Route description: Beinn Bhuidhe, via Glen Fyne

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhuidhe

Date walked: 30/09/2010

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 955m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Late on Thursday morning, at a loose end, I decided I had to get away from it all.
I grabbed my bag and boots and chucked my bike on the back of the car and took off towards Beinn Bhuidhe.
It is a walk I'd had one eye on for a while but was waiting until I got a new bike... and I really fancied going it alone for the 1st time on this one, since it is described as an isolated Munro I wanted the full experience of isolation... and was not disappointed.
On the drive up the skies got greyer the further north I got so I was expecting to get wet, however, when I arrived at the Glen Fyne car park the sun was out and the thermometer read 14 degrees... ideal, I thought.
I left the car at 1:30pm, slightly concerned about the number of daylight hours remaining. I took the road on the west bank of the river, past the power station and joined a land-rover track heading up the glen. I soon entered a small quarry, or gravel pit and wondered if I should be there but continued on full alert... It may have been lunch time but there was not a soul to be seen and I rolled on, rejoining the land-rover track through some gated fields before reaching the tarmac road where it crosses the river. I was enjoying my time alone in the wilderness and on a couple of occasions my bike almost rolled to a halt as I let my mind drift away, so I had to remind myself to keep pedaling, after all I was in a bit of a race against time.
DSC01952.JPG

DSC01953.JPG
View up the glen

I arrived at the point where I had to part with my bike at 2pm and was slightly surprised to find another bike... someone else was having as much fun as me :D
DSC01954.JPG
Bike Park

At this point I thought about getting caught in the dark on my own (My last outing a fortnight earlier ended in total darkness around 10.30pm after my brother twisted his knee in the Crianlarich hills) so I thought I should probably turn back if I hadn't reached the summit by 4:30.
The kilometre or so between the bike park and Inverchorachan was a gentle incline, initially through woodland and soon the eerie white cottage came into sight. (Cue banjo)
DSC01955.JPG

DSC01957.JPG

Outside the cottage I met a couple who were on their way back so I asked how long it might take to get to the summit from there... The guy reckoned it took them about an hour and a half, this gave me confidence and a pace to aim for (since this was my first solo adventure). I was also delighted to hear that there was a path all the way to the top and grateful for the advice to turn left when I reached the ridge :thumbup:
The initial climb up the gorge was quite steep but very nice with 1 particularly dodgy scramble to get the adrenaline pumping. About half way up I stopped for a drink and a look back the way I'd came, when I was suddenly under attack from some horrible flying tick-like creatures. :wtf: Dressed only in shorts and T-shirt and sweating too much to layer-up I kept going... these things were all over me, burrowing through my beard and arm hair on way to their salty snack. I was glad to have my hat on and spent the next 10 min or so slapping and clawing at myself trying not to be eaten alive...freaking out tbh :crazy: whilst tring to pay enough attention to where I was placing my feet. Maybe the wee munchers suffered from altitude sickness because they didn't follow me beyond the waterfall (about 450m I think) so I stopped briefly to take some pics.
DSC01958.JPG
Waterfall

DSC01959.JPG
Top of the gorge

Beyond the waterfall the ascent became more gradual but the path was very boggy in places and I found myself ankle deep a few times. I was just below cloud level at this point so unfortunately I couldn't see much of what lay ahead, but the views back were quite impressive.
DSC01965.JPG
Beyond the gorge

DSC01961.JPG

DSC01962.JPG

Although the cloud was rolling by overhead I was still comfortable enough to stay in my base layer and shorts. With about 200m left to climb I crossed a flat boggy section before the final ascent where I met my fellow cyclist on his way down. I think he was quite surprised to see me approach in shorts and T-shirt and warned me that it was quite unpleasant on the ridge. After another 100m or so the wind picked up so I chucked on my fleece before I was completely exposed. A small cairn marked the ridge where I turned left and followed a good path to the summit.
DSC01968.JPG
On the ridge

I was relieved to reach the summit around 4pm but disappointed to find it in the middle of a cloud. I was hungry by now and not too cold so I grabbed some rolls and a flask of soup from my bag and hung around at the summit, hoping for a break in the cloud. As I sat there in the cloud, using the summit cairn as a wind-break, I got that feeling of total isolation... fantastic! The sun poked through momentarily to the south and I could make out Loch Fyne and my finish point, which suddenly seemed very far away. I had achieved what I had set out to do... get away from it all and clear my mind, so I wasn't hanging around any longer than necessary.
DSC01974.JPG
View south from the summit

I decided to retrace my steps the entire way since I was confident of getting back to the car before dark that way. On my way back along the ridge I was treated to some attractive views as the cloud thinned and the sun got through.
DSC01979.JPG

DSC01980.JPG

DSC01981.JPG

DSC01982.JPG

DSC01983.JPG

As I approached the gorge the old faithful left knee began to let me know it was there and working hard under pressure on the descent. I had to slow the pace down... just what I needed as I entered blood sucking bug territory. Fortunately only a few of the wee beasties chanced their luck and I soon came upon the dodgy scrambling bit I wanted to avoid with a dodgy knee. I managed it fine on the way up so I went for it again rather than go back to find a way round it. It wasn't quite so easy on weary legs but I survived to tell the tale.
I was relieved when the cottage at Inverchorachan came back into sight, marking the end of my downhill struggle and couldn't wait to take the weight off and get on my bike.
DSC01984.JPG
The welcome flat track.

I really enjoyed my day out on my own and only wish we had a few summer months left this year to squeeze some more in. I might just need to invest in some proper winter gear and keep it up. :think:
Attachments
DSC01967.JPG
On the ridge
User avatar
ramblingsteve
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 62
Munros:46   Corbetts:6
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 15, 2010
Location: East Kilbride

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby mountain coward » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:10 am

Hmmm - this still looks a tricky hill to me - I'm assuming the other side of the gorge/waterfall is the easier side? It all looks a bit like Beinn a' Chroin which I've just done and wasn't keen on...

Thanks for the great detailed report and photos though - very helpful as I need to do this soon... :D
mountain coward
 

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby gaffr » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:20 am

I didn't have a bike with me when I went to this top, twenty or so years ago, but seem to recall going up one side of the river going up and returning on the other. Is the no biking rule applicable to both tracks?
User avatar
gaffr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1853
Munros:281   Corbetts:203
Grahams:33   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:11   Hewitts:25
Wainwrights:11   
Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Location: Highland.

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby ramblingsteve » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:57 pm

Thanks MC - I also did Beinn a' Chroin recently, tying it in with Beinn Chabhair and An Caisteal, starting at Derrydaroch. This was the one where my brother twisted his knee and we took forever to get back in the dark, so it wasn't too enjoyable for me either. From the summit of Beinn Chabhair we headed north to the col between An Caisteal and Beinn a' Chroin and tackled Chroin from the west... There was a big step to hoist yourself up which looked more of a challenge than it proved to be... The dodgy bit on Beinn Bhuidhe was a different ball game completely, more of a 'hang on and swing your leg round.' There are good cracks in the rock to grip on to and decent firm ground either side of the obstruction but don't look down or behind you :shock: It's straight down into the rocky gorge if it goes bad... There is a way around if you can be bothered or you could use the return route suggested on the website as your way up and down... I'd recommend the gorge though. :thumbup:
User avatar
ramblingsteve
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 62
Munros:46   Corbetts:6
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 15, 2010
Location: East Kilbride

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby ramblingsteve » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:06 pm

gaffr - You can take your bike about 6.5 - 7km up the glen. I believe you are free to decide whether you want to take the west bank past the power station or the tarmac road up the east bank past the brewery. Both routes meet at a bridge after about 5km, at which point you want to take the west bank for another km or 2 before you will need to get off your bike.
User avatar
ramblingsteve
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 62
Munros:46   Corbetts:6
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 15, 2010
Location: East Kilbride

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby mountain coward » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:59 am

I had a good read of the official walk description off here after I'd read your report as I'm planning to do this soon... I was pretty put off with all descriptions of the gorge track to be honest, unless I take the bypass suggested. But I was equally put off with the whole of the other route being pathless as I'm invariably up in the hills in total clag and it looks a very complicated mountain.

I know which bit you mean on Beinn a' Chroin - I found it okay as I have long legs and a good reach for the high foothold up on the right... it took a while for us to get Richard up it though. But I wasn't keen with the travelling along narrow rakes through massive crags with an even more massive drop into the mist below me. Having said that, I knew the ascent wasn't going to be my sort of thing so, being forewarned, found I could just get on with it and managed to not look down the drops (after noting they were approaching). So I didn't panic in the end - just swore a bit and was very relieved when I got up to the flat bit above! :D
mountain coward
 

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby JonnyMG » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:42 pm

Great story and description of the climb. My friends and I did this mountain today and did the exact same route. We also had some serious issues with those biting spider fly things, whatever they are, they were a real nuisance. And that scramble you mentioned was rather tricky but good fun!!
JonnyMG
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 6
Munros:14   Corbetts:1
Joined: Sep 29, 2010

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby Morag M » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:32 pm

Great report and pics, really enjoyed reading this, I'm thinking about doing this one next Tuesday if weather ok, thanks :D
looks good fun and really interesting.
User avatar
Morag M
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 56
Munros:118   Corbetts:4
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jun 6, 2010
Location: Glasgow

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby ramblingsteve » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:24 pm

Thanks for you comments guys...

MC - I don't think you will find this quite so intimidating as Chroin. I think maybe the sound of the water thrashing below you keeps you switched on and you're only really close to the edge at 1 or 2 points. If you can keep your nerve at the scramble you will have no problem at all with your long reach and big pins... well thats what I think... You will enjoy it 8)
User avatar
ramblingsteve
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 62
Munros:46   Corbetts:6
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 15, 2010
Location: East Kilbride

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby mountain coward » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:28 am

Well I'll let you know if I happen to try it on Thursday after the 'Arrochar Cave' meet... but on the other hand, I might leave it until I have my bike with me and preferably the ever-faithful get-me-up-the-scrambles Richard! I'll probably see what the weather's like - if it's clear I may just go for it on my own. I'll be sure to add to this post how I found it if I do.
mountain coward
 

Re: Feet and wheels recommended - Beinn Bhuidhe

Postby ramblingsteve » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:18 pm

Yeah, do that... be good to hear your verdict. :thumbup:

Oh, and enjoy your night in the caves. :?
User avatar
ramblingsteve
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 62
Munros:46   Corbetts:6
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 15, 2010
Location: East Kilbride

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Steve B and 56 guests