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Bloody freezing! Beinn an Lochain Summit Camp

Bloody freezing! Beinn an Lochain Summit Camp


Postby malky_c » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:04 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn an Lochain

Grahams included on this walk: Stob an Eas

Date walked: 22/09/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 1290m

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Corbetts: Beinn an Lochain
Grahams: Stob an Eas
Date: 22 and 23/09/2018.
Distance: 15 km.
Ascent: 1290 m.
Time: 7 hours over 2 days.
Weather: Cool with occasional showers - sunny in between.

The plan this weekend was a bothy trip somewhere. I had suggested either Abyssinia or Mark Cottage as they were both conveniently close to Glasgow. It was most definitely my turn to do the longer distance travelling, and I hadn't been walking in the Arrochar area for a couple of years. The traffic down the A82 on Saturday morning was still in holiday mode, with roadworks adding to the fun, and by the time I arrived at the Rest and be Thankful, not only had I not managed a quick Marilyn on the way down, but I was also 15 minutes late :roll: .

The usual upping of the daftness stakes occurred - we spread some maps out and before long, Jackie suggested that the weather for tonight looked better than it had all week, and maybe we should do a summit camp instead? Well why not - if I had been on my own, I would probably have struggled to work up the enthusiasm, but we seem to have a habit of encouraging each other towards more stupid ideas :lol: .

Beinn an Lochain was the obvious target, and I had a route on it I had been keen to do since my last trip down here, so we went for that - driving down to Butterbridge and abandoning cars there. After an initial mudbath and a short trek along the verge of the rather busy A83, we picked up the much quieter old main road - still tarmacked, but with no access for vehicles. Although there had been a brief heavy shower at the carpark, it rapidly cleared up again into a pleasant autumn afternoon.


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Looking up Glen Kinglas along the old road

There are probably a couple of ways onto Stob an Eas from this side, but my memory of the area is that long grass and tussocks are pretty much unavoidable, so it didn't make much odds which route we took. We opted to cross the Kinglas Water on the A815 bridge, dogleg a very short distance back east on a forestry track, then hit the slopes where they looked relatively clear of felling. It was probably as good a way as any, but also a bit of a jungle! I'm sure I heard some interesting language on this bit :lol:

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Jackie just thought the first section of ascent was amazing

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Glen Kinglas and Beinn Ime

Higher up, the going was a little easier, but the ground was still completely saturated, not really improving until we hit the summit ridge of Stob an Eas. Although a short shower passed over on the summit, it soon cleared away giving spectacular views down Loch Fyne, into Cowal and over to the Paps of Jura. This view had been hinted at on my last visit, so it was nice to see it in reasonable conditions :) .

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Cairndow and Loch Fyne

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Cruachan from Stob an Eas

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Loch Fyne and west to Jura

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Loch Fyne

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Loch Goil from Stob an Eas

Pleasant though the scenery was, it was pretty cold for September, and we didn't hang around long. We had the intervening summit of Beinn an t-Seilich to cross over before the final assult on Beinn an Lochain. The weather was a bit greyer here so we didn't bother diverting to the southern summit (which probably has better views down Loch Goil). There were traces of a path at first, but they disappeared as soon as they would have been useful, and we wound our way down through steep outcrops.

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Across Beinn Lochain to Beinn Bheula

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Down Glen Goil

The descent off Beinn an t-Seilich was similar, but even longer, leaving us with a steep 400m climb up onto Beinn an Lochain. At this point neither of us were feeling that great - the dregs of a cold catching up with me here. Still, the ascent had to be done. Fortunately the evening sun popped out higher up, turning everything golden, and there was some great rock scenery to look at. This is probably the least interesting flank of Beinn an Lochain, but it is still reasonably imposing.

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Crags on Beinn an Lochain

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NE towards Crianlarich

As we approached the summit, the light was at its best. We briefly toyed with pitching on a ledge immediately below the summit cairn, but it seemed a little small and exposed, so we descended to the little col between the two main summits. Unusually for a col, it didn't seem too breezy, and the forecast didn't show the wind picking up overnight. We went with it. Putting the tents up was bloody freezing!

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Binnein an Fhidhleir from Beinn an Lochain

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Last light on Glen Kinglas

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Sunset over Inveraray

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Beinn Ime from Beinn an Lochain

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Summit crags of Beinn an Lochain

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Ben Cruachan across Binnein an Fhidhleir

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Near the summit of Beinn an Lochain

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Upper Glen Kinglas

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Beinn an Lochain summit

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Down Glencroe - Cobbler and Ben Lomond behind

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Brack and Ben Donich

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Ben Donich

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Jackie on Beinn an Lochain

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Glencroe

We had a quick wander around to make the most of the light, then back to the tents for dinner and warmer clothes. It was only 8:30pm, but the light had largely gone and the temperature didn't really encourage sitting about. But it seemed far too early to go to bed, so we took another stroll around the summit area. There was a bit of thin cloud sitting just under the ridge on the Glencroe side, which made things interesting and mysterious. We hung around watching cars go through the traffic lights set up on the A83, and suddenly it was approaching 10pm. Definitely time for bed now!

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Bit early for Christmas, but here's Santa Claus

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Last light

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Campsite

Jackie informed me that she'd remembered a large bottle of suncream just in case...definitely worth photographic evidence for mocking later on. Turned out to be a great photo :shock: .

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Yikes!

I actually warmed up pretty quickly in the tent, and as promised the wind didn't ever amount to much. Unfortunately the ground wasn't flat, and I woke up periodically to drag myself back up from the bottom of the tent!

We were unsure whether to expect snow the following morning, but in the event there wasn't any - it was just damn cold! We dismantled the tents without breakfast, and were about to set off down when we sensed a thinning in the clouds. So it was back onto one of the summits to wait for a view...

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Not many views from the summit the next morning

The view didn't quite come, but once we started descending, we ended up between layers of cloud looking down onto a lower inversion over Loch Fyne. Beautiful 8) . The cloud also cleared more on the ridge, and looking back up to the summit was pretty impressive.

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Cloud breaking up on the descent

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Back up the NE ridge

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Summit crags

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NE ridge of Beinn an Lochain

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Towards the head of Loch Fyne

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Last look up the NE ridge

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Brack and Loch Restil

To avoid the final squelch back to the cars, we got onto the verge of the A83 again, finally finishing at around 10:30am. While not the best summit camp ever, it had been pretty enjoyable and there had been enough good weather to make it worthwhile.

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Beinn an Lochain from Butterbridge

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User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5787
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:243   Hewitts:256
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Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: Bloody freezing! Beinn an Lochain Summit Camp

Postby onsen » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:06 pm

Looking so desolate, so wild, so beautiful...Some great shots there malkey_c. :thumbup:
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onsen
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
Location: The Great Southern Land, Australia

Re: Bloody freezing! Beinn an Lochain Summit Camp

Postby kevsbald » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:22 pm

Some lovely shots there Malky.
Was it factor 50 SPF?! :crazy:
User avatar
kevsbald
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2142
Munros:259   Corbetts:114
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Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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