Uamh Bheag, Beinn nan Eun and Pals from Keltie Water

Grahams: Uamh Bheag
Donalds: Beinn nan Eun, Uamh Bheag

Date walked: 19/03/2018

Time taken: 6.75 hours

Distance: 27.4km

Ascent: 904m

With my Dunblane placement concluded, I had been watching the MET Office and MWIS religiously, as only one weekend out of the past eight has proved viable for some hillwalking. The Ochils seriously appealed, and I very much considered getting the Yetts o' Muckart bus from Stirling, ditching the 59 to Callander. I thought it best, however, to enjoy the more drab of the two choices and wait for a proper summer day for the big range. Only phone pictures today as my DSLR couldn't handle the exposure.

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I arrived just before Keltie Water and set off up the Dalvorich road. I passed a farmer in his 4x4 with a concerned look which didn't exactly fill me with confidence. Eventually reaching the split between the Wester and Easter Bracklinn farmhouse roads, I opted for Easter as 1. it didn't say 'no public access' and 2. was a slightly faster route. Not long after I found the obligatory 'no public access' for that one too. I passed by another farmer and his wife in their car, who, to my astonishment, both gave me a cheerful smile. Perhaps not as restricted as I had assumed.

Easter and Middle Bracklinn:
1 - Easter and Middle Bracklinn.jpg

I passed by a herd of cattle; the cow on the left, the calf on the right. Don't think I was that far off getting charged but I made it through. Just after the Middle Brackland farmhouse the sheep (who all seem to have huge horns around these parts) were particularly curious/startled too. The hills were in proper view not long after.

Meall Clachach and Uamh Bheag horizon:
2 - Meall Clachach and Uamh Beag Horizon.jpg

The farm track was a godsent as it seemingly never ended, and even when it did, there was a sturdy fence to join quickly afterwards. The snowline was hanging around the 330m mark, just before the track ended. I hadn't expected the snow to be so firm, and I was sliding all over the place for the rest of the day, clinging onto whichever fenceline wasn't eaten by the snow. I don't yet own a pair of crampons but today did make me consider an investment.

Slopes of Uamh Mhor:
3 - Slopes of Uamh Mhor.jpg

MC ascent:
4 - Meall Clachach Ascent.jpg

The ascent of Meall Clachach was the hardest part of the day - it was just under two hours from the bus to the summit.

Uamh Bheag from the Meall Clachach Summit:
5 - UB from MC Summit.jpg

Uamh Bheag has the easiest and most enjoyable ascent; the fence was hidden for a good portion of the time (I have never even come close to walking on snow this deep before) and the snowdrifts were enormous, some a good bit taller than me (although that's not much of an achievement!)

UB ascent:
6 - UB Ascent.jpg

Impressive drifts:
7 - Impressive Drifts.jpg

The summit was reached only 20 minutes after MC.

Bit chilly today pal?:
8 - Bit Chilly Today Pal.jpg

Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich:
9 - Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich.jpg

MC from UB:
12 - MC from UB.jpg

11 - Callander from Trig.jpg

Back of the Ochils:
10 - Back of the Ochils.jpg

Other reports had mentioned the distance of the trig point but it was much further away than I'd thought. I tried my first bit of 'bum-sliding' as it seems to be known but only got red and sore hands in the process! The snow here was the most solid.

13 - UB Trig.jpg

Down to Braes of Doune Wind Farm:
14 - Down to Braes of Doune WF.jpg

The descent here was also much more than expected (>150m) and was pretty steep. The fence was an absolute necessity at this point. I had bought one of those pasta-tub meals for lunch but found out there was no fork! Found a silent spot away from the wind and picked away at it, my left hand freezing afterwards!

Fence and Cairn:
15 - Fence and Cairn.jpg

Big drop to Beinn Odhar:
16 - Big Drop to BO.jpg

Over the infamous huge hag:
17 - Over the Huge Hag.jpg

I followed the fenceline up, but as it was almost entirely invisible for most of the way, I was a tad concerned about the snow depth. It turned out to be fine, although the huge hag was the deepest snow of the day (waist level). There were some footprints I followed almost to the Beinn Odhar top before they vanished. Spied around the summit area but to no real avail. The OS map notes a cairn but websites disagree; either way, not much of an exciting lump.

S a'C and BV from BO top:
19 - Sac and BV from BO.jpg

The way down to the base of Beinn Odhar and Beinn nan Eun had some monstrous hags and gullies; I imagine they would be horrendous without the snow.

One of the largest hags I spotted:
18 - One of the Largest Hags I Saw.jpg

After another quick tea break I once again easily followed somebody's footsteps to the BnE summit, conveniently with wooden marker post.

Beinn nan Eun summit:
20 - Summit BnE.jpg

BnE Drop and over to Glen Artney:
21 - BnE Drop and Glen Artney.jpg

I then began the walk to the nearest turbine of the wind farm, the path of which was to take me the whole way down to the road where I started. I was facing the sun now and was regretting not bringing sunglasses or a cap (neither of which I suit), but I was pleasantly warm and it was dead silent. Eventually manoeuvred my way over the gullies to the nearest machine.

Imposing energy (but also a great break from the sun!):
22 - Imposing Energy.jpg

I knew the walk down to the road was going to be long but I had seriously misunderestimated how long. It was two and a half hours but felt like an eon. Fortunately the path was easy going for most of the way.

One of two fuzzy caterpillar encounters of the day (unexpected?):
23 - The Second Caterpillar.jpg

After reaching the inverted T-junction, I headed west and took a shortcut through the sheepfields of Essmitchell. From there it was a stroll down to Milton of Cambus where I sneaked through a small forestry path, thinking the bus stops were also to the west.

The girls enjoying the sun - sorry for scaring you ladies!:
24 - The Girls Enjoying the Sun.jpg

Finally reaching the road, it was a 10 minute walk to the actual bus stop to the east, where I took a 50-minute rest and became aware of how sunburnt my face was before the embarrassing journey back to Glasgow.

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User avatar
Location: Inver/Gla/D&G
Occupation: Student
Activity: Wanderer
Camera: d7000/iPhone 6/35mm
Ideal day out: Bit lost & sunny

Munros: 1
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 11
Donalds: 37
Wainwrights: 1
Sub 2000: 29

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Joined: Dec 29, 2015
Last visited: Mar 23, 2018
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