Easter Sunday stroll up Glen Strae

Corbetts: Beinn Mhic-Mhonaidh

Date walked: 01/04/2018

It's been a while since I last climbed anything as big as a Corbett - the ens of October 2017 was the last time I'd managed such a feat, having focussed much attention on sub 2000s more recently. For my first Corbett of 2018 I chose the reclusive Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh. Walkhighlands rather unkindly describes the hill as an "undistinguished ridge". I'd say it's a big lump, albeit a rather enjoyable big lump :lol: As a stand-alone lump it also provides exceptional views of the more popular hills that surround it on all sides.

My approach would be via Glen Strae, rather than the walkhighlands suggested route from Glen Orchy. While Glen Strae might be a longer route I personally think it provides an interesting route for this hill.

ImageP1010165 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Plenty of space for a few cars at the entrance, without risk of blocking access

ImageP1010166 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
My target - get used to the view, as it dominates the approach

The walk in along the glen must be something like 4 or 5 miles to the bridge over the River Strae. It's pretty easy walking, with only one climb of any sort up to the high point of the route in. Before then there were a couple of herds of highland cattle to deal with. I was cautious with both given the number of young calves about. Navigated my way through both unscathed.

ImageP1010174 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Looking like a nice day ahead

ImageP1010180 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1010183 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Herd #1

ImageP1010187 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1010188 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Herd #2

ImageP1010199 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

Rather than ford the river I chose to continue along the track the sort distance to the nice bridge.

ImageP1010211 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

To this point the walk had been easy, but things were about to change as the "fun" really began.........the climb on to the hill and then up to the summit ridge :shock: I found it really quite very steep :lol:

So in my world that means........slow :lol:

Initially headed up toward the deer fence, which became my companion for the initial section of the climb up An Sgriodan.

ImageP1010214 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Have fence, will follow

ImageP1010221 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
About this point I left the relative comfort of the fence and headed over more open hillside on to the ridge

ImageP1010226 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
It was still steep :lol:

Arriving at the ridge gave a brief moment of respite before the serious final climb commenced

ImageP1010229 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
What I call relief :lol:

The views now strted to open up for me, making all of the effort worth while :D

ImageP1010230 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Back to Loch Awe

ImageP1010231 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Steep view down to Glen Strae

Met this chap on the climb up :D

ImageP1010234 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1010237 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
The only way is up........slowly

ImageP1010242 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
The magnificent Ben Lui

ImageP1010245 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Loch Awe opening up nicely

ImageP1010247 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Kilchurn Castle

ImageP1010253 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
From Lui to Cruachan

Still going up.....

ImageP1010255 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

Once the climb was over there was some immediate gratification to my right, with Lui and others showing off with their covering of snow

ImageP1010260 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1010272 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
An attempt at a 360 degree as I hit the ridge

It's still a good three quarters of a mile to the summit itself, but oh so much easier now the climbing was over :lol:

The ridge and summit is a great viewpoint. From the Cruachan hills, then to the Starav group and th hills of the Black Mount. Then there are the distant hills across the empty expance of Rannoch Moor leading the eye to the Orchy hills and then the Lui hills (with the Crianlarich and Killin hills in the mix too). Finally back to Loch Awe and I suspect a hazy Paps of Jura in the distance 8)

ImageP1010274 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1010279 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1010290 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1010296 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

I had originally planned to do a circuit from the summit, taking in the sub 2000 of Beinn a Chuirn, but a combination of taking too long to get to the summit and the fact that the route looked boring compared to what I was enjoying resulted in me changing my mind and instead choosing to retrace my steps back down the ridge and enjoying the views of as long as possible.

ImageP1010307 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Resembling a Killer Whale

ImageP1010320 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Zoom to Ben Lui

Fair to say i was much quicker down than I was up :lol: Decided to ford the river this time (got wet feet for my troubles as it was just a little bit deeper than I had expected :lol: )

ImageP1010334 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Approaching the river crossing

From here it was just a case of head down and getting back to the car as quickly as my now sore feet would allow. The cattle were disbursed, so no worries with worrying the mothers. Turned out as just under 13.5 miles from car to car. All in all a really enjoyable, if tough, day on to a superb viewpoint for the more illustrious hills around about :D

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Location: North Ayrshire
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Pub: Lewes Arms, East Sussex
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