Beinn a'Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich to Start 2014

Route: Beinn a' Chochuill & Beinn Eunaich

Munros: Beinn a' Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich

Date walked: 11/03/2014

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 13.5km

I suspect my 2014 so far is not unlike many other people who have not seen a whole lot of hill time. The few decent weather windows we have had, have, rather annoyingly, been booked with other less thrilling activities, like work or parenting. The best I'd managed in January and February was to ambush a trio of Grahams near Amulree. Not to say that wasn't enjoyable though, a few hours stomping up and down on a Graham keeps the boots grubby and is normally a few hours well spent. I needed something a bit bigger though, just not so big that it couldn't be done inside a short winters day.

It didn't take me long to get my gear ready and get out the door when a Tuesday appeared outside bearing sunshine. The fifty mile drive to Dalmally saw not a single cloud in the sky and every single hill, big and small, absolutely cloud and clag free. That changed as soon as I came round the long corner the other side of Dalmally and saw the two hills I'd picked to conquer - both of which were shrouded in low cloud. Literally nothing anywhere else but on these two hills. The weather gods had clearly improved their accuracy quite considerably since my last Munro outing. However, I had maps, routes and designs for these hills so I squared my jaw and psyched myself to do battle with said weather gods.

I parked the car on the roadside at the start of the walk, got booted and suited, strapped on my rucksack and ice axe and grabbed a walking pole for each hand. I then put the walking poles away, unstrapped my rucksack and ice axe, got back in the car and drove the mile or so back to the correct start of the walk. This diversionary tactic clearly worked as the clag was shifting quite rapidly by this time. I daresay the weather gods won't fall for such a simple ruse next time, but I set off with a certain air of smugness on this occasion.

The walk round these two Munros is very straightforward with no technical difficulty to be found. I was surprised at how little snow there was, and I didn't need crampons, spikes or the axe at all. There was still quite significant cornicing, although for the most part these were beginning to visibly crack away. The whole round was completed in a little over five hours, complete with a not insubstantial amount of doodling and dawdling. The weather gods had tried their best to regroup their forces and trap me in the clag, but by and large failed, succeeding only in adding a little atmosphere from time to time.

I was back on the ground with plenty of time so drive round to Kilchurn castle, whip out the camping stove and burn my mouth on an overcooked dinner as the sun went down over Loch awe.








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User avatar
Location: Hills above Comrie, Perthshire
Occupation: Computery stuff
Interests: Walking (no, really), photography, motorbiking, microlight flying
Activity: Hill Bagger
Gear: My right leg
Camera: Nikon D90
Ambition: To have ambition

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