Beinn Bhuidhe on one hell of a wet day

Munros: Beinn Bhuidhe

Date walked: 02/10/2011

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 21km

Ascent: 1005m

I've been aware of Beinn Bhuidhe for a while. Ever since I started clibming munros I was aware of this one hill over to the west of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. I had read reports about the long long walk-in, it's a full ascent from not much more than sea level (~100m), and they had always put me off.

In recent weeks I've been out and about (posted about a walk of Meikle Bin not long ago) and was keen to keep up the momentum this weekend. I have recently got hold of a bike rack for my car, so Beinn Bhuidhe sprung to mind. Had read of people cycling to take the string out of the long walk-in and walk-out.
I had been keeping an eye on the weather all last week, trying to decide if Saturday or Sunday would be better.
Up until last night, it looked like Sunday between 7am and 1pm was going to be nice. Hardly any cloud, and no rain.
Great. Had made plans to set off from the house at 5.30am, arrive and cycle in about 7am, and start the walk itself at 7.30am. Would make the most of the weather.

Didn't go to plan.

Stepped out my house to set up the bike rack in the pitch black just after 5am and the rain was torrential. I was soaking before I even got out of my street.
The drive up the A82 was very very misty. The worst I've ever driven in. The weather forecast had changed to say it would be overcast, but didn't expect this.
Arrived on time though, around 7am. The dawn was just breaking so cycled off in the half-light. It was still very misty. Between that and the low light I saw none of the glen. Gave the highland cattle a hell of a fright through zipping past in the dark.
It was light rain at this point, but I pressed on. The rain veered between this light drizzle and fairly heavy all day. Never did it stop.
Arrived at the last gate where you leave the bike around 7.20, and it was 7.35 or so by the time I got my gear sorted and started off. Put my phone (GPS) in plastic to protect it.
I had totally misunderstood the location of the cottage, I didn't realise it was about 1k beyond the gate.
As I was walking along the cottage just appeared ominously through the mist.
Went through the gate, and took a sharp left up the hill. The bracken was soaking, legs instantly drenched.
I pressed on up the little glen. The stream was a torrent, the mud was unreal, and the rocks were very slippy. Some small scrambles over some big rocks and big steps. Each time I made it past one of these small obstacles I figured "that's the one I read about - that's not so bad"...then I reached the one everyone talks about.
I think in the dry, in the sun, this wouldn't be too bad, but today it was tough. Tossed my bag and pole over to the other side and managed to gingerly scramble across.
Eventually the cloud lifted a bit and I caught a glimpse of the waterfall and the back of the glen up which I was climbing. There were some looming shadows over the top of the glen of the hills beyond. It was about 8.30am by this point, and my ambitions of getting to the summit by 9.30 were fading.
This is a steep hill, was steeper than I thought it would be. By boots were now waterlogged, and every step became a chore.
I eventually make it over the back of the glen and onto the marshy plateau. There were lots of deer roaming around here, and in the distance they were making quite a racket!
This area was totally swimming. I didnt care about my feet at this point, they were a lost cause so ploughed through. This bit was a bit easier going, nowhere near as steep. I managed to stick to the path, but its very very easy to veer off it.
Next step is the craggs. I had read that were was a decent path up them - and that was true - but it was an active stream this morning. Took me ages to get up. I was knackered and it was pretty slippy. After getting to the top, I found my way to the summit ok. The path along the ridge is very good, but had absolutely no views at all. Arrived about an hour later than intended - 10.20am.

I didnt hang about long at the top. Was actually pretty nervous about getting down the steep sections so was keen to start off again. Wasn't looking forward to the way down at all. Always think going down is more dangerous than ascending. I made decent progress getting down however- I think the thought of new socks and trainers in the car spurred me on. Eventually got back to the bike at 12noon, and the cycle out was over in no time.

To add insult to injury as I was cycling out the sun finally broke through the cloud and all the mist started lifting.
Too little too late!

Quite a day. Was my first munro on my own, and that definitely made me much more aware of the care I had to take. I had assumed I'd bump into other people on the walk, but when I got back to the bike it was still the only one there, so was just me on there lonesome.
Given the conditions, I could understand why.
Very glad I completed it though.

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Comments: 6

Meikle Bin and the long way round

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Distance: 14.5km
Comments: 4
Views: 2317

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Comments: 1
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Activity: Mountain Walker
Mountain: Bidean Nam Bian
Place: Sutherland

Munros: 44

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Trips: 3
Distance: 35.5 km
Ascent: 1005m
Munros: 1
Sub2000s: 1

Joined: May 07, 2011
Last visited: Aug 23, 2019
Total posts: 11 | Search posts