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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Beinn an Dothaidh

Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby seamus0 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:49 pm

Route description: Beinn Dòrain and Beinn an Dòthaidh, Bridge of Orchy

Munros included on this walk: Beinn an Dòthaidh, Beinn Dòrain

Date walked: 28/12/2010

Time taken: 5.5 hours

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Finally, have got round to writing this up. Did this between xmas and new year. This was my first winter hill for a while, so was expecting to see some good crisp snow given the amount of recent snowfalls. However, I came up when the first thaw started to happen, so all the snow was starting to get all slushy. I was surprised to see bridge or orchy snow-free! It was still icy but didnt reach the first snowline till about 500m. The plan was to include Beinn Dorain also to follow the normal route, however due to over-indulgence of the beer/whiskey variety the night before, we didnt manage to start till 10am! Ah well...it was xmas! Tried to get a bed in the bunkhouse however the hotel informed me all their water was frozen....so plan B was to stay in killin.
so, simple route, start from Bridge of Orchy car park, walk to the station, go under the railway tracks, and follow the track which follows Allt Coire an Dothaidh.
Intended route

This is a steady, easy walk up to the coire. however the track was pretty slippy with all the ice around. UP on the coire there was some ice round.
anyone for ice climbing?

Walk to the bealach between Beinn Dorain, and Beinn an Dothaidh. Getting to this point was quite wet and slushy. from there its a matter of which hill you want to do first. We decided to do Beinn An Dothaidh, as we hadnt done it before. visibility was poor as we couldnt see either of the hills. so we took a bearing from the bealach to the top cairn at 1004m.
which way now?

The snow got a bit less slushy, but didnt need crampons.
Keeping to the rough bearing, once it started leveling off we used the steep decent of the north face as a hand rail to lead us to the cairn. Took about 3 hrs to get there (longer than expected) due to the slushy stuff, and bad visibility.

By this time it was just past 1pm. I had forgot my head tourch,so knew it was pointless going up Beinb Dorain. So just followed our steps back. Got back to the car for 3pm just as it was getting dark. I would recommend this walk as an intro to winter hill walking, as it gets you out, and there is minimal exposure providing you can read a map and compass! Its also achievable in 1/2 day (well 5-6 hrs with a hangover :-))
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby rockhopper » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:48 pm

Pity about the weather - I was up there only 8 days before you and was a lot luckier with the weather and views from the summits. As you say, at this time of year you'd probably need to start earlier than 10am to manage both in the snow. Best to wait for a day with good visibility for Beinn Dorain as it has great views :D
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby seamus0 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:25 pm

Yeah,I read your report...a bit more involved and with views! I was unlucky with the weather for my 2 days up there....but at least it stayed dry. The day I was leaving there were blue skies....thats the way it goes sometimes. Booking time off to do them mean you do them in whatever the weather, so its a good chance to practice the skills you wouldn't normally practice in clear days as long as you're not fussed on the routes.
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