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Twin Peaks (without agent Cooper)

Twin Peaks (without agent Cooper)


Postby BlackPanther » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:19 pm

Route description: Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh, Bridge of Orchy

Munros included on this walk: Beinn an Dothaidh, Beinn Dorain

Date walked: 16/07/2017

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 15.4 km

Ascent: 1252m

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I'm still behind with my posts and catching up whenever I find a couple of hours to sit down and put a report together. This one might be considered boring for some, as it tells the story of Beinn Dorain & Beinn an Dothaidh, the Twin Peaks of Orchy, possibly one of the easier Munros. There's no walk-in and the route along the ridge is obvious enough, but sadly, the process of erosion has taken its toll on the path in Coire an Dothaidh.

This was the day before our Fisherfield trip and we were saving our energy for the big walk hence no attempt to do all four Orchy Munros, just the two easier ones, the other duo has to wait but weather allowed, they might still be climbed this year. As for the Twin Peaks of Orchy, they may not have the WOW factor of Gabhar & Odhair but the walk is not entirely boring. The climb up the corrie goes past some interesting rock formations and views from Beinn Dorain are superb (Dothaidh was obscured by cloud when we got there). So in the end, the Twin Peaks are worth a visit. Don't expect to meet agent Cooper, but there will certainly be other walkers - it's a busy duo.

Our route follows the standard approach to the Twins, starting from Bridge of Orchy, up Coire an Dothaidh and then a straightforward climb to both summits:

Track_BEINN DORAIN 16-07-17.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


There is a large free car park in Bridge of Orchy:
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Across the road, past the railway station and under the line - in 10 minutes after leaving the car we were out on the hillside and aiming for the corrie:
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It had rained heavily the day before so the lower reaches of the slopes were saturated. These hills are very popular due to easy access from the village, so the erosion is bad even just outside Bridge of Orchy:
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It's a shame to see slopes so profoundly affected by walkers creating paths :( In places, we were walking inside a ravine:
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The path improves higher up, less wet but more eroded stones:
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We were worried about crossing streams after a washout the day before, but surprisingly, they were hardly affected:
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The slope leading to the col at 744m:
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Coire and Dothaidh is a lovely spot and on a sunny day (or in winter) it would be even more interesting. Many little streams tumbling down the steep slopes:
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Sadly, as the slope steepened on the final ascent to the bealach, we encountered more badly eroded path :( Two steps up, one step down:
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The route goes past some fine large rocks:
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Views behind us have been mostly obscured by cloud so far, but as we reached the col, it began to clear:
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A large cairn on the bealach, very helpful in bad weather:
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We turned right (south) aiming for Beinn Dorain first. The initial climb is on steep-ish and very rocky path, but no real scrambling there. As cloud lifted slowly, we spotted the other branch of the path, climbing up Beinn an Dothaidh - our route for later:
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Rocky and slippery, but nothing too scary:
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Once up the steeper section, the rest of the climb is a formality. A well worn path leads up Am Fiaclach ridge to the first top, seen here. The true summit is about 400m further along the ridge:
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With weather improving, we were happy to lurk around a bit. No need to rush the to Munros, as we were definitely not adding Beinn Achaladair and Beinn a'Chreachain to the walk today. It was surprisingly cold as for late July, though I'm slowly getting used to wearing woolly hat in summer time :lol:
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Having said that, I don't mind it being cool as long as there are nice panoramas to admire:
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Looking NE to Beinn Mhanach, another still unclimbed Munro:
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The well worn path near the summit:
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The first top (Carn Sasunnaich) has a large cairn and I can imagine it might be confusing in misty conditions. So easy to assume this is the top! But the true summit lies a few hundred meters along the ridge, across a wee dip:
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Looking back to Carn Sasunnaich from near the true summit:
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Some sunny patches of weather over Stob Ghabhair, but the cloud didn't give up entirely:
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Sunny Glen Orchy:
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Soon we reached the summit, where we found remains of one of Lucy's edible relatives...
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...and enjoyed the breathtaking spectacle of "dancing cloud" around the summits of nearby mountains:
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Munro no. 213. for me, no. 53 for Lucy:
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Beinn a'Chreachain, Beinn Mhanach and Loch Lyon:
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Beinn a'Chasteill and Beinn Odhar - more hills to climb:
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Summit panoramas:
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We spent some time on the top of Beinn Dorain, enjoying the sunny spell as it lasted. Some more cloud was pushing in from the west and we doubted whether we'd get good views from the second Munro.
Somebody didn't make it...
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We left the summit eventually - weather was deteriorating fast now, cloud lowering on the mountain tops and wind picking up. We quickly descended to the col and began the climb up the other side. There is an obvious albeit quite eroded path. When I turned back at some point, the summit of Beinn Dorain was clouded over. We had been lucky!
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Up the slope:
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The path climbs into Coire Reidh which is quite boggy, some hopping around involved to reach dry ground on the final climb to the ridge. By now we entered the clag and couldn't see much but navigation was easy enough and soon we reached the ridge between the summit and the eastern top (993m), from there it was only a short walk to the cairn.
Munro no. 214. Tick-tack-tock!
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We waited on the summit for a few minutes as the cloud was thinning, but lost the patience and decided to traverse to the western top (989m). The cloud began to disperse and soon we got some views - not as extensive as on Dorain, but better than no views at all :wink:
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The summit of Beinn an Dothaidh from the western top:
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Beinn Achaladair revealed:
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Might not have been a perfect day weather-wise, bit Panther was more than pleased!
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Instead of dropping into the wet Coire Reidh, we continued along the ridge for a short distance (sketchy path) before returning to the main path near a small cairn. The rest of descent was straightforward. We didn't hurry too much on the final walk down the corrie, saving our knees for the big Fisherfield adventure. The sun has emerged again, if only for a short time, and brightened the world once more...
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Coire an Dothaidh from below:
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Well, the Twin Peaks didn't disappoint us. We never expected fireworks, but they are a decent pair of hills, even despite the path erosion. Which brings me to my final thought. Sometimes we complain and moan about pathless slopes and difficult navigation on remote hills, but I'd rather have my mountains wild than overwalked. Of course, the more popular hills (=most Munros) can't avoid the traffic and as a result - bad erosion of obvious routes, but maybe we should appreciate the untouched character of less known Corbetts and Grahams :D

In my next story, I'm given the opportunity to appreciate the wilderness in the shape of bog, mud and 2m high bracken infested with millions of midges. And surprise-surprise: Kevin forgot to pack the repellent! :lol:
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BlackPanther
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Posts: 3195
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Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Twin Peaks (without agent Cooper)

Postby rockhopper » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:53 pm

Informative WR as ever - they might not be too challenging but they do make for a nice walk when you don't have too much time and the views are good from up high. They're also good for a winter's walk - provided there's not so much snow to make getting out the car park difficult :roll: - cheers :)
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Re: Twin Peaks (without agent Cooper)

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:37 am

rockhopper wrote:Informative WR as ever - they might not be too challenging but they do make for a nice walk when you don't have too much time and the views are good from up high. They're also good for a winter's walk - provided there's not so much snow to make getting out the car park difficult :roll: - cheers :)


The only reason we didn't save this duo for winter is the distance from home - 2.5 hours each way. Driving through Glen Coe in the dark, not our cup of tea... If we ever return to repeat them, we'll try avoiding that eroded path by climbing Beinn Dorain up the slopes along the small stream, straight to the wee lochan at 850m. Looks doable if steep. But first, Beinn Achaladair and Beinn a'Chreachain - probably the standard route, too. :D
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BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3195
Munros:260   Corbetts:163
Grahams:112   
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Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Twin Peaks (without agent Cooper)

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:57 am

Good stuff. They look much more interesting than I'd expected!


Did you have to torture poor Lucy by scaring her with the beheaded corpse of her cousin Shaun? :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink:
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Mal Grey
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Twin Peaks (without agent Cooper)

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:11 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Good stuff. They look much more interesting than I'd expected!

Did you have to torture poor Lucy by scaring her with the beheaded corpse of her cousin Shaun? :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink:


Thanks, Mal :D They are indeed better than one would imagine when studying the map...

Lucy is well past being afraid of bones - she witnessed us eating Shaun's roast leg often enough :lol: :lol:
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BlackPanther
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Posts: 3195
Munros:260   Corbetts:163
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Twin Peaks (without agent Cooper)

Postby dogplodder » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:38 pm

Feels a long time since we did these two so nice to be reminded. :D
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Re: Twin Peaks (without agent Cooper)

Postby LoveWalking » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:15 pm

Hoping to do these two soon and have been looking forward to reading this ever since you mentioned in one of your earlier reports that you'd done them. Thanks for finding the time to catch up and share :D
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