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Craghopping Cousins on Ben Donich

Craghopping Cousins on Ben Donich


Postby Chris Mac » Tue May 29, 2018 12:58 am

Route description: Ben Donich, via Rest and Be Thankful

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Donich

Date walked: 19/05/2018

Time taken: 4.01 hours

Distance: 10.6 km

Ascent: 885m

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Another weekend, another plan to head for the hills, this time it would be Ben Donich as I figured it would be an easy one for Y and also another Arrochar hill to climb for me having really enjoyed Cnoc Coinnich and The Brack a few months ago, albeit with limited views.

Plans then changed when Y did a big walk on friday in the south side, meaning she was knackered on Saturday so I chanced seeing if Iain was up for a walk and as luck would have it he was! :D Not only that he had to get home for 6pm so was looking for a quick win and something fairly close, Ben Donich ticked the boxes for him too, so a quick visit to his work and I was soon being chauffeured to Rest and be thankful in a lovely Subaru Impreza WRX, enjoying the view on the way on this rare occasion being a passenger! :clap:

With us leaving fairly late we arrived at the Ben Donich car park and it was pretty full...
ImageDSC_6990 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We managed to squeeze into a space then set off along the track to the turn off path up the hill:
ImageDSC_7002 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

After a brief ascent we turn left...
ImageDSC_7005 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

...then right again, Beinn an Lochain looking great on our right hand side:
ImageDSC_7007 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

On our left are Beinn Narnain and Ben Arthur:
ImageDSC_7013 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking down Glen Croe:
ImageDSC_7015 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Behind us Loch Restil, Rest and be thankful and Stob Coire Creagach were looking grand and the views would only get better as we continued up hill...
ImageDSC_7016 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The first part of the walk and ascent is probably the worst but the decent path makes progress fast:
ImageDSC_7019 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking down Gleann Mor to Cruach nam Mult:
ImageDSC_7020 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

One of my favourite mountains was looking glorious today and it was good to see the lush green of spring finally make an appearance:
ImageDSC_7023 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Loch Restil:
ImageDSC_7025 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Luibhean, i've only got 2 Arrochar Corbetts left to do and this is one of them, with Beinn Ime summit poking out to the right:
ImageDSC_7026 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As the path twists and turns up the south ridge of Ben Donich it's neighbour The Brack comes into view:
ImageDSC_7036 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We continue on and the landscape of the hill begins to get more varied as large boulders, caves and crevasses start to appear:
ImageDSC_7039 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A couple with their dogs that we never got to meet during the walk despite passing them, although the dogs did come and say hello to us when sitting down from the summit, possibly looking to scrounge some grub! :lol:
ImageDSC_7043 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain enjoying the view north now that Ben Oss and Beinn Dubhchraig are in view:
ImageDSC_7050 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Atop the first main hill the path levels off and heads towards the summit crags:
ImageDSC_7064 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Although it was a nice day the hill wasn't too busy, we only passed about another 8-10 walkers while joking that the path between the Cobbler and Narnain would be like Suchiehall Street today!

An easy flat section up ahead now, I was dying to see what the rock cleft that you have to scramble down was like, often mentioned in reports but I still had no idea of what was in store... that could well be it up ahead...
ImageDSC_7067 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

After a few teasing glimpses on the way up, Ben Lomond was now in view down Glen Croe, with the South Peak Arthur's Seat taking on a shark fin appearance from this angle. Iain was loving this different angle of his favourite hills:
ImageDSC_7074 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

In no time at all we were across the flat section:
ImageDSC_7081 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

On our right Beinn an Lochain was now showing its rather ample backside! :lol: Ben Cruachan had also made an appearance on the left as had Ben Lui to the right of Binnein an Fhidhleir/Stob Coire Creagach:
ImageDSC_7083 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Already we were praising what a supreme viewpoint Ben Donich is:
ImageDSC_7092 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Heading up to the craggy section:
ImageDSC_7094 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Now things got interesting...
ImageDSC_7100 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Suddenly we find the path stopping at a ledge where the scrambling is required, superb!
ImageDSC_7101 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A side on view giving a better idea of the drop, but before we head down we decide to explore a bit...
ImageDSC_7102 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We discuss trying to get across to the big outcrop on the left shown here and see it is possible but decide it's too much effort for today's easy stroll and settle for a few photos instead:
ImageDSC_7109 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Which isn't exactly a bad consolation... :D
ImageDSC_7115 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking north from Ben Donich's cleft, wow!
ImageDSC_7116 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A group of people are heading our way so we continue on...
ImageDSC_7118 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

After a quick couple of moves we're easily down the scramble, I reckon Y might even be able to do this but the big fearty won't find out today, might need to try another time! :lol:
ImageDSC_7119 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back at the scramble from the bottom, it's not bad at all:
ImageDSC_7125 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We say hi to the group descending and head up the path as they start to scramble up:
ImageDSC_7131 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Heading up a bit further reveals even more grandeur with the view and I take one of my favourite shots of the day:
ImageDSC_7135 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

While discussing options during the ascent we have already settled on doing a loop and heading back down the west ridge to Glen Croe then back to the start so I go a bit photo crazy knowing we'll not be heading back down this way:
ImageDSC_7138 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I make no apologies for doing so when a scene like this is before me! :wink:
ImageDSC_7140 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Superb:
ImageDSC_7141 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

For a grandstand view of the other Arrochar Alps we decide that Ben Donich is probably the best viewpoint for them:
ImageDSC_7143 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The final section to the summit is now nice and easy going:
ImageDSC_7145 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn an Lochain again:
ImageDSC_7150 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

To the north west we can make out Ben Ledi and Ben Venue between Ben Lomond and Ben Arthur:
ImageDSC_7156 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Directly west are The Brack and Luss Grahams:
ImageDSC_7160 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

At last the Firth of Clyde comes into view to the south:
ImageDSC_7162 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

And Loch Fyne south west:
ImageDSC_7166 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We pass a few more people including a couple of older gents who we enjoy some banter with and a couple heading down from the summit. Everyone is taking the tourist route so far but not us, we'll be doing some craghopping and exploring down a different descent route!

Cnoc Coinnich now in view to the right of The Brack and Luss hills:
ImageDSC_7168 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Almost there, trig point in view...
ImageDSC_7173 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Made it, Arran peaks now visible directly south although it's still very hazy...
ImageDSC_7177 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Loch Goil down below:
ImageDSC_7178 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain at the summit with familiar hills behind to the north west:
ImageDSC_7207 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

And north east:
ImageDSC_7208 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Mhor, Beinn Bheula and Lochgoilhead:
ImageDSC_7213 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It was a bit breezy at the trig point so we found a large rock to shelter behind and picked the view south and west to enjoy while we ate:
ImageDSC_7214 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The Paps of Jura can just be made out in the distance:
ImageDSC_7215 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As we started tucking into the baguettes I made the night before, luckily I had my camera close by as I heard a rumble, looked south west and spotted a jet flying our way, alerted Iain and managed to snap a few pics:
ImageDSC_7218 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Not as bad as it looks... :lol:
ImageDSC_7222 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

With the plane gone it was back to enjoying our lunch and the view, Arran peaks to the south:
ImageDSC_7234 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Having the same prime viewpoint of it from Cnoc Coinnich and The Brack, Beinn Bheula keeps on intriguing me and i'm looking forward to exploring it's giant bulk and many tops:
ImageDSC_7236 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Visibility was improving and Mull's peaks were now easier to make out:
ImageDSC_7239 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Cruachan is another high on my to-do list:
ImageDSC_7240 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Of course it wouldn't be a walk with Iain if he didn't spot a large overhanging rock and make a bee-line for it! :crazy: :lol:
ImageDSC_7249 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Steady on!
ImageDSC_7252 20180519_145800 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Distant paps also more visible now:
ImageDSC_7277 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I walk over to Iain's overhang so he can take a few pics and as I do Beinn Bhuidhe and Beinn an Lochain come into view more:
ImageDSC_7279 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back at our lunch spot and jagged shelter rock:
ImageDSC_7281 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I'm looking forward to a first trip to Lochgoilhead at some point:
ImageDSC_7285 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We decide to set off and neither of us want to do an out and back, luckily i've plotted a route down the west ridge to Glen Croe, then back along the forestry track to the car park, Iain's well up for some exploring, let's go!

Trossachs mountains to enjoy on the way down:
ImageDSC_7294 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain can't resist another photo and who can blame him, we've already agreed that Ben Donich's view is a belter:
ImageDSC_7301 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We follow the path initially, to our right are the Luss Grahams, a superb viewpoint for the Arrochar Alps and great hills in their own right, i've still got a good few to climb:
ImageDSC_7305 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I point out Beinn Eich to Iain (pointy peak middle right) and say i'll need to get him up some of these hills which are also very convenient being less than an hour away for us both:
ImageDSC_7307 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The view north west:
ImageDSC_7310 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Cruachan's tasty looking ridge and neighbours:
ImageDSC_7311 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Bhuidhe, Beinn an Lochain, Stob Coire Creagach, Beinn a'Chliebh & Ben Lui:
ImageDSC_7313 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Chaluim in the distance:
ImageDSC_7315 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Ime, Stob Binnein, Ben Vorlich's south top, Beinn a'Choin, Stob a'Choin & Beinn Narnain, the only drawback with Ben Donich's view is that the bulk of the Arrochar hills next door blocks the view of the Crianlarich Munros:
ImageDSC_7317 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Narnain and the Cobbler, looking good from the south especially Arthur's Seat resembling a shark fin:
ImageDSC_7319 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Venue on the right and Ben Ledi straight ahead way in the distance, it's fair to say that conditions today are a vast improvement to those on Ben Ledi in February when we braved a blizzard for no views but enjoyed it just as much as today!
ImageDSC_7320 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Lomond:
ImageDSC_7322 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

South east is Cnoc Coinnich and the Clyde:
ImageDSC_7324 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Happy with the view from the large mound north west of Ben Donich's ample summit plateau, we head along the path a bit more before heading off and down the west ridge:
ImageDSC_7326 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The Brack to our right, I tell Iain he'll enjoy it as it's a good walk combined with Cnoc Coinnich:
ImageDSC_7335 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

One last shot of the Cononish Munro's before we lose more height:
ImageDSC_7337 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Look carefully at the different grass colours in this pic, our route took us to some crags but we ended up walking right to the edge of one, it was well camouflaged!
ImageDSC_7339 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We use the vantage point to spot the easiest route down and go for it:
ImageDSC_7340 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Easily done:
ImageDSC_7341 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Luckily it's not very boggy as we descend and with no path we follow my pre-plotted route. We're glad we went up the main ascent path, the rock cleft and view is brilliant and we're also glad we chose this route down, seems it would be a biot of a featureless slog up the way but it's a fun way to go down and the view is amazing:
ImageDSC_7353 20180519_153857 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Arthur:
ImageDSC_7354 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_7357 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cnoc Coinnich:
ImageDSC_7358 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back at the route down so far and the many crags dodged:
ImageDSC_7360 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Mountain man:
ImageDSC_7361 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking north, i'll never tire of Beinn an Lochain:
ImageDSC_7371 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We spot a large cairn on an even bigger flat rock as we start to veer left and take a direct route down more crags and towards the forestry path:
ImageDSC_7376 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It's just next to the 575 spot on the OS map:
ImageDSC_7381 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Another nice overhang:
ImageDSC_7389 20180519_154955 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_7390 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

From here we head down through the crags:
ImageDSC_7393 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking up Glen Croe:
ImageDSC_7400 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn an Lochain, the steep section in the middle is where Y had to give up last year unfortunately but what a cracking wee mountain, it's north east ridge is so much fun:
ImageDSC_7405 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Finding a way down:
ImageDSC_7410 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We spot a large gap we can head through:
ImageDSC_7413 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Getting there:
ImageDSC_7415 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

What we just came down, we're making a habit of this on our walks! :D
ImageDSC_7417 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain's route takes him out a bit further down:
ImageDSC_7419 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I'm on the steeper side of the hill and walk around higher up:
ImageDSC_7424 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

This way isn't getting any easier so I drop down:
ImageDSC_7426 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain and the Alps:
ImageDSC_7431 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Having caught up, we're admiring the view (again!) when I spot a skull behind Iain which he picks up:
ImageDSC_7435 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

From the size and obvious carnivorous fangs I guess at it being a fox skull:
ImageDSC_7439 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Jaw bone assembled, a search would later reveal it was indeed a fox skull:
ImageDSC_7443 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Just one final bit of hill to descend to the forestry now, we enjoy a full south face view of Ben Arthur:
ImageDSC_7446 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Glen Croe down below:
ImageDSC_7447 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking north again over to Ben Donich's north ridge which we ascended:
ImageDSC_7449 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Post walk, Iain and I definitely recommend this route over an out and back! :)
ImageDSC_7453 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As we come around the hillside The Brack and path up comes into view along with two tiny people making their way down:
ImageDSC_7455 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We cross the fence and head down the path to the forestry track:
ImageDSC_7464 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We enjoy a good forestry walk, especially with peaks coming in and out of view:
ImageDSC_7473 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It's even better when you find a surprise clearing in the trees, picnic bench, bench and front row seat for the mountains! :clap:
ImageDSC_7480 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Most impressive and worth checking out:
ImageDSC_7484 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Towards Ardgartan:
ImageDSC_7485 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

After a brief break we're soon heading along the track again:
ImageDSC_7489 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_7499 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Stob Coire Creagach:
ImageDSC_7510 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn an Lochain:
ImageDSC_7513 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_7520 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Rest and be thankful over the mound, Stob Coire Creagach behind, one of only 2 Arrochar Corbetts left to do now:
ImageDSC_7522 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Luibhean is the other:
ImageDSC_7524 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We've now looped back around to the start of the walk, Ben Donich to the south again:
ImageDSC_7525 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Past the logs and back to the car:
ImageDSC_7527 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

So that was us, the walk and hill had more than lived up to our requirements for the day and provided a cracking adventure on a new hill but with views of the familiar hills we've climbed all around us along with plenty of others that await some exploring.

The drive home to the South of Glasgow saw us making more plans to team up again at the end of the month where we'll likely tackle some bigger beasts and routes and see what fun we can find then! Final verdict, Ben Doncih is brilliant and doesn't quite deserve to be the 82 most popular Corbett on WH, the walk is very enjoyable and the views first class, recommended. :D :D
Last edited by Chris Mac on Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Chris Mac
 
Posts: 821
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Joined: Sep 11, 2014

Re: Craghopping Cousins on Ben Donich

Postby iainwatson » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:11 am

:clap:
Excellent report of a grand day out and your pictures are awesome!
The hill certainly exceeded my expectations and it's such a good view point!
Great weather,fab views and brilliant company :thumbup:
Looking forward to our next adventure :D
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iainwatson
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Location: glasgow

Re: Craghopping Cousins on Ben Donich

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:33 pm

Good result - didn't know you were cousins :crazy: Quite a few hills up that way which make for nice walks esp when time is tight - cheers :)
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rockhopper
 
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Craghopping Cousins on Ben Donich

Postby Chris Mac » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:52 am

Thanks Rockhopper, yeah my Mum is to blame for us both now being hillwalkers, we should be getting out again on Saturday for a big day out this time! :D

Yeah the Arrochar Alps keep surprising us, we didn't expect the view from Ben Donich to be so good but it was superb and a fun hill to explore, another to add to the favourite hills list despite being popular, close and an easy walk.
User avatar
Chris Mac
 
Posts: 821
Munros:36   Corbetts:21
Grahams:9   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:48   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Sep 11, 2014

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