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Hitting the sunset jackpot on the Glen Orchy hills

Hitting the sunset jackpot on the Glen Orchy hills


Postby malky_c » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:38 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Bhreac-liath, Beinn Udlaidh

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn na Sroine

Date walked: 04/11/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1260m

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Corbetts: Beinn Bhreac-liath, Beinn Udlaidh.
Grahams: Beinn na Sroine.
Date: 04/11/2018.
Distance: 18km.
Ascent: 1260m.
Time taken: 7 hours, 5 minutes.
Weather: High winds dropping, cold and increasing sunshine.

Link to part 1

Having walked back out from Gorton to the carpark at Tulla Cottage, we were headed for Glen Orchy. As usual, a bit of mutual planning here - I pointed out that there was a Graham - Beinn na Sroine attached to our intended hills by a convenient ridge. Jackie was unsure about it, then spotted the sunset potential over Loch Awe from the summit, so was easily swayed. As we had 2 cars, we decided to leave one further down the glen and start walking from the usual point of Invergaunan, cutting out any re-tracing of steps, road walking (or making a 2 day trip of it like I did last time).


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We finally started walking at 10:40am - a bit later than intended, but with enough time to get around the route in time for sunset on Beinn na Sroine I thought.

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River Orchy at Invergaunan

The walk up to the start of the ascent onto Beinn Bhreac-liath follows a quad-bike track but it is a bit damp and squishy. Before too long we had cleared the lower slopes and were onto better ground.

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Sunshine on Beinn Udlaidh

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Looking back to Beinn Donachain

Jackie wasn't feeling her best but it didn't seem to slow her down. It did however make the ascent more peaceful than normal :wink: .

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Ascending Beinn Bhreac-liath

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Quartz vein on Beinn Udlaidh

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Loch Tulla

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Towards Cruachan

Finally we were on the summit ridge, although still some way from the highest point itself. The wind at this point was strong enough to be quite annoying, although it wasn't pushing us about too much. Jackie was contemplating maybe shortening the walk at this point and missing Beinn na Sroine out if she didn't feel any better on Beinn Udlaidh. Fortunately it was my car at the far end of the walk, so completing the route was still an option for me if she decided to do this.

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Summit ridge of Beinn Bhreac-liath

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Beinn Dhorain

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Beinn a Chaisteal and Beinn Odhar

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Beinn Dhorain and Beinn a Chaisteal

On the descent towards Beinn Udlaidh, we spotted another figure coming in our direction on the col. Wouldn't it be odd if it was someone we knew, we pondered. Funnily enough it was - we both knew Sue would be in the general Southern Highlands area this weekend, but hadn't expected to bump into her here :) . Then another figure about 20 minutes behind, which turned out to be Hugh (who had had to cancel his appearance at Gorton at the last minute) - who says you never meet anyone you know on the hills!

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Beinn Udlaidh

On the ascent of Beinn Udlaidh we found ourselves out of the wind for a bit - the perfect opportunity for lunch. Then onto the summit, which was still less windy than earlier (and now devoid of all the mast junk that was there last time I visited - cheers Past My Sell By Date for chasing up the authorities about that 8) ).

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Crianlarich hills

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Glen Lochy and Lochan na Bi

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Loch Tulla from Beinn Udhaidh

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Beinn Dhorain from the summit of Beinn Udlaidh

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Loch Awe

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Glen Lochy and Beinn Buidhe

Great views onto the surrounding hills, and some decent sunshine now, so Jackie decided she would carry on to Beinn na Sroine. We descended towards the forestry plantation that crosses this ridge and managed to spot the fire breaks that we needed to follow to get through it unscathed. I had messed this up previously, and note that no-one else has written a report joining these hills up - and here I was a second time :lol: .

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Beinn na Sroine from Beinn Udlaidh

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Ben Lui

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Crianlarich hills and Beinn Chuirn

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Back to Beinn Udlaidh

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On the ridge to Beinn na Sroine

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Beinn Chuirn and Ben Lui

The key is to enter the clearing on the ridge created by a dogleg in the forest boundary, then follow a fire break (which contains a faint quad bike track) out of the left-hand corner of it. While this is obvious from higher up, it becomes quite hard to see as you approach.

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Looking back after entering the forest

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Forest ride

The route through the forestry is swampy in places but straightforward enough, and we were soon ascending towards Beinn na Sroine. As sunset was due to be around 4:30 pm, we were a bit early, so we whiled away 20 minutes in the lee of the hill before going to the summit. Glen Lochy, Glen Orchy, Ben Lui and the surrounding summits were all looking great in the late afternoon light.

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Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh

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Almost through the forest

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Ben Lui

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Across to Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh

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Ben Lui

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Glen Lochy

There was still a bit of hanging around on Beinn na Sroine, during which it got a bit chilly, so we had to add extra layers. Ever capable at normal tasks, Jackie managed to get tangled up in her gloves (and not for the first time either) :lol: .

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Glen Orchy from Beinn na Sroine

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Sun beginning to go down over Loch Awe

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Extreme man-leg

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Needs help with simple tasks...

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Beinn Buidhe

Although this wouldn't rate as the best sunset ever seen, it was pretty damn good, and worth the wait. A great position overlooking Loch Awe and Ben Cruachan too (not that Ben Cruachan ever fully cleared from the cloud). As there was a bit of ridge to go before hitting our track at the edge of the forest, we started descending as soon as we could see that the sun was going to disappear into a bank of cloud, still able to enjoy the views westwards on the walk. Once gone, there was some great reflected light on the clouds above, which in turn reflected in Loch Awe. A great end to the day 8) .

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Sun dropping lower and lower over Loch Awe

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Last light before we drop into the forest

It wasn't completely over yet though. A couple of peat hags and a faint path took us to the edge of the woods, where we were pleased to pick up a very well surfaced track (way better than it had looked from my parking spot at the foot) which dropped us steeply into Glen Orchy.

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Almost back at the car

Soon we found the reason for the track discrepancy - it was intersected by a brand-new forestry track not on any maps. We tried turning right, but it ended shortly after. Left looked as if it would cut over to the Oban road, which was no use, so a little bit of exploring in the verge and broken up trees at the side found us the continuation of the original track - here much boggier and less-used. This led us nicely back to the car in a few minutes.

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Descent through the forest

A quick drive up the glen took us back to Jackie's car from where we headed home in opposite directions. Another great weekend, with the best made of some potentially awful weather 8) .
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malky_c
 
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Re: Hitting the sunset jackpot on the Glen Orchy hills

Postby Alteknacker » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:54 pm

Some excellent pics there Malky - a good call to brave the threatened poor weather.

I'm a bit horrified to see you in long troos though... :D
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Alteknacker
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Re: Hitting the sunset jackpot on the Glen Orchy hills

Postby past my sell by date » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:06 pm

Thanks for the acknowledgement Malky - it's nice to make a difference - even a small one. The "authorities" were actually equally appalled by Graeme D's photo (that I sent) and issued clean-up instructions pdq :lol: Sadly it was the forestry commission who had to do it rather than the original perpetrators.
past my sell by date
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Re: Hitting the sunset jackpot on the Glen Orchy hills

Postby Jaxter » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:03 pm

Always enjoy someone taking the **** out of me :lol: :lol: Thanks for yet another fab weekend 8)
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