Friday, 19 April 2013

Bheinn Bhuidhe

The waterfall above Inverchorachan
Highland calves in Glen Fynne

Summit looking south east to Ben Lomond and Arrochar Alps

View north east to Ben More and Stobbinnein

Stac a Churn, west of summit

Take the ramp to the far left below the hidden summit

Ascent:          1010m
Distance:        8km walk, 16km cycle
Time:             4hrs  19mins

m  Beinn Bhuidhe    946m      2hrs 27mins (including 29mins cycle)

At last a fine day after the rain and wind of the last couple of weeks. The nearest unclimbed munro was Beinn Bhuidhe at the head of Loch Fynne, a shy hill hiding behind a long ridge. There is a long trek of 8 kilometres along the private road before the climbing begins from Inverchorachan cottage, a derelict house at the end of the track. I had taken the bike to speed the trip and avoid the long walk in and out on the road. A new bar/cafe had appeared at the first farm but there was no sign of it being open, however it had opened by the time I was returning mid afternoon. Further along the road I became embroiled in a peloton of Highland cattle with half a dozen calves. Apart from this it was a pleasant cycle, climbing just 100 metres over the 8km.

I dumped the bike behind the cottage as I have done on three previous trips and began the steep climb up a well used path which follows the burn up to a large corrie which is capped by a spectacular waterfall at 500 metres. The climb has a couple of exposed sections over wet rock. I was a bit slow after a run the night before but I kept an even pace until the flatter sections at 650metres where I halted for a drink and some food and watched as a herd of deer dispersed. I had camped here late on a Friday evening after work on my last visit and climbed the hill first thing the next morning before going to Mull to climb Ben More and then spending the Sunday on Iona.

The snow of recent weeks was disappearing fast and I had to select a route to climb the last 200 metres to the long ridge of Beinn Bhuidhe. I chose the deep gulley on the right of the photo above and after a bit of scrambling up rocky sections I arrived at the long south west to north east ridge about a kilometre to the north east of the summit. The view from below is deceptive with the summit at the extreme left of the photo. The hill was more yellow than green as the name implies and today it had no other visitors. The views were clear in all directions and it was warm enough to sit in the sun and admire the panorama.

I tidied up the cairn before eating an orange, sending a photo to a friend and then returning via the ramp shown to the left of the photo. It was a more sensible route and the descent was made at a good pace. The going on the return was very boggy across the south east flank of the hill, alongside and then down the steep path. The cycle out was into a stiff breeze blowing up Loch Fynne but the afternoon sun was warm and sparkling on the river which was compensation enough. I was back at the car as planned for 3:30pm and home for 4:45pm despite the never ending road works on the Rest and Be Thankful and the heavy docile weekend traffic along Loch Lomond. 

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