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And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...


Postby BlackPanther » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:54 pm

Route description: Beinn Trilleachan, Glen Etive

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Trilleachan

Date walked: 20/07/2017

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 11.4 km

Ascent: 952m

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Since we started our hill journey together, I've been patiently adding new Munros and Corbetts to my tally, trying to catch up with Kevin. 10 years ago, he was about 90 M's and 30 C's in front of me, but over the decade I managed to narrow the gap to just 4 M's and one Corbett :D Yet this single, illusive Corbett was teasing me... We visited many neighbouring hills and I had a good look at it from different angles, but it was always put off "for another day". Until I run out of patience and said enough is enough. We're climbing Beinn Trilleachan.
Kevin's memories from this hill were dim. He did it in cloudy conditions and didn't remember anything particularly difficult about the route. Well, it was over 20 years ago, but mountains don't change as quickly as people :wink: What's 20 years in hill's life? A blink of an eye.
Glen Coe mountains from Beinn Trilleachan, summer 1992:
1992c_0040.jpg

I was positively charged when we left home for the long drive down south to Glen Etive. It was only when we arrived at the car park at the end of the public road that I discovered the painful reality. We jumped out of the car, ready for adventure - and we were viciously attacked by the wee black army. The National Hungry Midge Day has arrived! :shock:
Kevin searched all pockets in his rucksack and realized that he had left the deet bottle at home. We were being sucked dry already and we had no repellent! :shock:
Kevin said he heard somewhere that bog myrtle deters midges, so we rubbed some of that into our faces and hands. Smells nice and fresh, but does b**er. The only solution was to keep moving and hope that higher up on the mountain we will find some breeze that might keep the wee vampires away.
Our route was the standard approach to Beinn Trilleachan, up the northern ridge. There's nothing technical about the climb, but a huge word of warning here. Expect BOG, BOG and even more BOG, plus a forest of bracken on the lower slopes :?
The descent route was a bit different from the suggested retrace-your-steps option, but we wanted to do some kind of circular and it was too wet and slippery to descend the steep eastern side of the hill.

Track_BEINN TRILLEACHAN 20-07-17.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Loch Etive from the car park:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 001.JPG

Initially, the route follows the edge of a plantation. WH walk description says "there is a wet path of sorts" and yes, we found a line we could follow, but calling it a path would be an overstatement. It was more like a muddy ditch :?
Looks benign from below:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 004.JPG

The muddy ditch continues and the higher we went, the worse it was :?
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 008.JPG

Higher up, we encountered some bracken. To begin with, it was knee high, but higher up we walked into 2m high forest, where millions of midges only waited for an opportunity to bite! With no repellent, we were resigned to hand waving and swearing...
More bog:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 015.JPG

Having climbed maybe 200m we were fed up with the boggy nightmare and decided to turn left up the steep slopes, even though we could see crags above us, but we hoped we could avoid them on the grass. It had rained all the previous night and the ground was waterlogged, but at least higher up we were free from bracken and midges didn't attack in such vast numbers.
The craggy bits can indeed be avoided:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 030.JPG

Panorama to the north - this is the most interesting view from Trilleachan:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 026.JPG

It was a slog. The ground was so saturated in places that I was worried I might leave my boots behind when taking a step! :lol: And this lovely sound: Gloomp! Gloomp! Squelch! :shock:
After another 200m of fighting the steep slopes, grabbing vegetation for balance and slipping on the saturated ground, we were exhausted. By now, we agreed that we didn't fancy returning this way and we would have to find an alternative route for descent.
Higher up, the acute angle eases a bit and going is less painful:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 032.JPG

On a dry day, there are many potential wee scrambles over large boulders, but we didn't fancy it in wet conditions:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 036.JPG

View north was getting even more interesting:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 039.JPG

Looking for a gap in the crags:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 043.JPG

The two shepherds:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 051.JPG

Weather was improving, cloud lifting and even some blue sky shone through:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 058.JPG

The long ridge of Beinn Sgulaird:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 060.JPG

Looking through a gap in the rocks down to Loch Etive and Ben Starav:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 068.JPG

The northern pano once again:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 072.JPG

When we arrived on flatter ground, the summit still seemed far away:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 074.JPG

We took our time to get to the lower top (767m), admiring the views as we walked. All the pain and tears from the steep, boggy ascent were forgotten. Beinn Trilleachan is an excellent viewpoint (the lower top probably even better than the true summit), so we spent some time here, taking photos.
Might be a slog to get here, but it's well worth the reward!
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 104.JPG

Panorama east, looking down to Loch Etive and Ben Starav:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 095.JPG

Loch Etive and Glen Coe hills:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 089.JPG

Northern pano:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 084.JPG

View NW with Bidean nam Bian to the right - summit covered in cloud:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 101.JPG

The true summit lies on the opposite end of the ridge, across a small "dip":
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 107.JPG

Panther examining the rocks on the short descent to the "dip":
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 109.JPG

This short drop is very steep and rocky, but no real problems finding our way down - again we took time, making sure we didn't slip on the wet vegetation.
Ooops, looks steep! The descent route from the lower top and Loch Etive below:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 121.JPG

Panorama across to Ben Starav again. This hill is now growing on me, what a majestic mountain!
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 127.JPG

One more :angel: :angel:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 128.JPG

This steep gully is suggested as an optional route for descent, but in given conditions we didn't want to risk it. Far too wet and slippery!
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 130.JPG

From the "dip" it was easy 130m of ascent over grass and flat slabs to the summit cairn. Weather has settled: some high cloud, but mostly well above the summits. I'm only beginning to explore the southern Scotland and many shapes are still unfamiliar, but I felt very excited thinking about all these hills still to visit. Hopefully, I'll get my chance!
View north back to the lower top and the Glen Coe hills beyond:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 137.JPG

Loch Etive to the south:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 140.JPG

Beinn Sgulaird to the west:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 142.JPG

Corbett no. 127 for me, no. 49 for wee Lucy. And what's most important: I caught up with Kevin!
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 150.JPG

...and he is not very happy about it! :lol: :lol:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 155.JPG

Another group of hills I haven't touched yet - Cruachan & friends!
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 166.JPG

Fraochaidh and Ballachulish Twins:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 161.JPG

After resting on the summit for a while, we studied the map in search for an alternative descent. Dropping east to Loch Etive was a no-no due to conditions underfoot, so we decided to go west, into Coire Leacach. There is a small stream to follow and going is not too bad, much less steep than the other side:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 172.JPG

We aimed for Lochan na Saobhaidhe but when down to 400m, we started contouring around to eventually reach the boggy path by the forest. Going was relatively easy, if wet and squelchy:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 181.JPG

Had it been dry, we would have had some fun climbing the slabs on the western side of the hill, but it wasn't meant to be today:
2017-07-20 beinn trilleachan 186.JPG

We struggled through the final boggy section down to the road and jumped back in the car as quickly as we could - midges in the glen were still hungry and they didn't take hostages! :lol: :lol: :lol:
......
All in all, a good day up there, despite the wee b**ers and the bog. Maybe this Corbett is better tackled in winter/early spring, when the mud is frozen and the bracken still not in full bloom :roll:
........
I was a bit disappointed we didn't get to do any scrambling, but I got my share the next day. We visited a cracking Graham in Kintail area, where my husband suddenly decided to give me a few scrambling lessons... Report to follow.
Last edited by BlackPanther on Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BlackPanther
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby Mal Grey » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:59 pm

Bogtastic!

I have multiple bottles of repellent lurking around the car and various bags, to avoid forgetting it. Which I still managed to do when canoeing a couple of weeks ago...
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby Jaxter » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:34 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I've admired this hill for a while and looking forward to it. Think I'll save it for a dry day and a scramble though :D Good intel :thumbup:
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby Graeme D » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:19 pm

Jaxter wrote::lol: :lol: :lol:

I've admired this hill for a while and looking forward to it. Think I'll save it for a dry day and a scramble though :D Good intel :thumbup:


Likewise!
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby Alteknacker » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:48 pm

Graeme D wrote:
Jaxter wrote::lol: :lol: :lol:

I've admired this hill for a while and looking forward to it. Think I'll save it for a dry day and a scramble though :D Good intel :thumbup:


Likewise!


Seconded!

I remember that boggy path well from the walk back from Sgulaird! Perhaps not quite so bad at the end of a day, rather than the beginning....

You got some excellent pics though :clap: :clap:
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:42 am

Thanks for all comments :D

Yes, it's better to wait for a dry period and have some fun on the rocks/slabs. It's a hill full of character and on a good day views are second to none.

We used to keep a spare bottle of repellent in the car, but it got emptied :lol: :lol: We learned the lesson though, last Saturday when the wee army attacked us in Sutherland, we were well prepared. Still didn't avoid a few bites, but nowhere near as bad as on Trilleachan... Clegs are pretty vicious this year as well, especially in forested areas. And we found our first ked - guess where - in Ked Forest!
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby Sgurr » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:36 pm

Great feeling when you actually catch up your other half...I imagine. I was 50 behind when he finished the Munros, 7 when he finished the Corbetts, 2 when he finished the Grahams, and now I am 6 behind on the Marilyns with no hope of catching up until we go back to Wales in October, and 3 on the Donalds, which I imagine he will finish before me since he has medical problems and I don't, so we are always trying to do things before his knee gives out or whatever.
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby PeteR » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:23 pm

Despite the bog it is a great hill, with great views - Starav in particular :D

I descended down one of the gullies. Not sure which one now, but it was very steep, very very steep in places. Arrived at some slabs that were very wet and slimy, making for a rather undignified scene as I navigated my way through them. I still remember the ache in my legs for days after that descent though :shock:
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby dogplodder » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:21 pm

Glen Etive in August with no midge repellent sounds a bit grim but glad to see you still had a good day. :wink:
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:10 pm

dogplodder wrote:Glen Etive in August with no midge repellent sounds a bit grim but glad to see you still had a good day. :wink:

I was worried, after the mild winter we had, midges would be really bad, but this was one of very few walks they have actually attacked us in large numbers. Maybe the worst is yet to come :lol: It was an enjoyable day despite the wee black army :D

PeteR wrote:I descended down one of the gullies. Not sure which one now, but it was very steep, very very steep in places. Arrived at some slabs that were very wet and slimy, making for a rather undignified scene as I navigated my way through them. I still remember the ache in my legs for days after that descent though :shock:

I had seen a few reports suggesting the eastern gullies as optional descent, but to be honest, my knees are not as good as they used to be and I prefer to avoid ultra steep slopes if possible. Plus in wet conditions it would be near suicidal.
I had to cut down the amount of jogging I do due to knee aches, I simply don't want to overwork them. One of the charms of getting old I guess :lol:

Sgurr wrote:Great feeling when you actually catch up your other half...I imagine. I was 50 behind when he finished the Munros, 7 when he finished the Corbetts, 2 when he finished the Grahams, and now I am 6 behind on the Marilyns with no hope of catching up until we go back to Wales in October, and 3 on the Donalds, which I imagine he will finish before me since he has medical problems and I don't, so we are always trying to do things before his knee gives out or whatever.


I'm still 4 behind Kevin on Munros, one of the "fantastic 4" is Ben Lomond which I don't really fancy... Might leave it for later :lol: He's also 1 in front on Grahams but the Graham between us is a local Cannich hill which I've been saving for winter conditions. We had no winter this year so it's still standing, but given some snow it will most likely be climbed before Christmas.
As I mentioned earlier, despite being a few years younger I'm the one with knee problems, so maybe Kevin is just politely waiting for me :lol: We would love to compleat M's together, the local Strathfarrar four look like good final hills, but that may still change. We might finish on Ladhar Bheinn - if we ever get around to that one :lol:
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby jmarkb » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:18 pm

BlackPanther wrote:one of the "fantastic 4" is Ben Lomond which I don't really fancy.


If you don't fancy the crowds on the normal route, do it from the east via Comer farm and the NE ridge. Opportunity for a bonus Graham (Cruinn a' Bheinn) on the return!
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby malky_c » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:19 pm

On one of the first visits to Scotland I remember as a kid (must've been about 1993), my dad decided we would go for a walk down the side of Loch Etive from the end of the road. It was disgustingly wet and boggy, and to be honest that has been my experience of just about every visit to the glen since. I don't mind though as it's worth it, and Beinn Trilleachan is probably one of the best hills down there :) .

Oh, and I'd second jmarkb's advice for Ben Lomond - you won't see anyone until the summit! Ben Lomond is actually a great hill - just a little busy.
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Re: And 2017 Bog Of The Year award goes to...

Postby Mountainlove » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:29 pm

And there was me looking forward to this hill. Haha. :lol: Good effort guys specially with million of midges to fight off at the same time. Lovely set of photos! It just makes me realize that I can't wait to head back to Glen Etive...such a cracking place.
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