Archive for the ‘beinn bhreac’ Tag

Showers – and – Sunshine!   17 comments

The Sunday didn’t start well with dark skies and regular heavy showers. We figured the further south we headed away from the bulk of the Southern Highlands would give a better chance of drier weather as well as knocking an hour off the journey home.

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We parked up in the village of Luss based on my plan to climb one of the Luss hills, Mid Hill, that seemed to fit the bill for a summit, not too high but with potential for good views. There was even a path marked, always a bonus in Scotland. It rained on and off during the protracted time we spent faffing around in the car park and on the first part of the walk. We did at least start to get some views over the island studded lower part of Loch Lomond.

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However it was still pretty damp and it looked like another day with waterproofs on.

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As we climbed it stopped raining and there was a little more brightness in the sky. Then as if by magic patches of blue appeared.

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They formed together into larger blue patches and then, miraculously, the sun came out.

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It was fiercely windy but we were happy and surprised just to see sunshine. The forecast wasn’t really promising any but it looked like the decision to head south was paying dividends.

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Even Ben Lomond appeared even though the main Southern Highlands still looked gloomy, dark and stormy.

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Our spirits soared and all was right with the world. The air was clear and the views stupendous. Ben and Loch Lomond make for very fetching views indeed, as do the rest of the Luss Hills range.

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It was a steep climb and very exposed to the wind but with the sun finally appearing we soared up towards the top.

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We were even lucky enough to find a sheltered patch of snow to sit in for lunch. Result.

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The steep ridge ended on the first top Beinn Dubh and onwards to the expansive plateau summit.

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The weather was way better than any of us expected and what had been looking like a bit of a washout weekend was transformed with a superb walk on a little known mountain.

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There are a couple of substantial corries, Coire na h Eanachen and Coire Carlaig that gave a bigger mountain feel.

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Views to Beinn Bhreac that we climbed a couple of trips back.

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Ben Lomond.

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The Trossachs.

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By the time we reached the high point we’d used up all our weather good fortune. We were blasted by a severe and very nasty snow and hail storm you can see approaching below.

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For fifteen minutes it was as nasty a spell as I’ve been out in for a while. We were all coated in icy wet snow and mad a very swift exit down the ridge above Glen Striddle.

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As quickly as the blizzard arrived, it stopped and blue skies came back although not for very long as the rest of the afternoon was punctuated by several short showers.

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We still had our couple of hours in the sunshine and sometimes when the weather in Scotland is in an unsettled phase you have to take that.

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All that was left was to walk/squelch down the ridge to the road and the walk back along Glen Luss to the cars.

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It was a longer day than I thought, over 7 miles and even though we only crested just over 600m, we had started pretty much from sea level and it felt like a proper mountain day with all the weather thrown at us.

In the end a weekend we all look back with fond memories. Sometimes just a couple of hours of sunshine is enough.

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Small but Challenging – Beinn Bhreac   13 comments

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The final day of our trip and more of the same in terms of weather. It’s a long way home on a Sunday afternoon so we were after a shorter day. Somewhere down by Loch Lomond would be on the way home as it were. After much scouring of maps I found the small hill of Beinn Bhreac that seemed to fit the bill. We toyed with the idea of an end to end traverse splitting the cars but decided that was too much hassle and a round trip from Glen Douglas was settled on.

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We’d hoped for a few coastal views and over Loch Lomond but it turned out to be the worst day of the trip. After the steep lower slopes we found a very handy large boulder that made a perfect first lunch stop

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The cloud was much lower today and we were enshrouded in mist most of the way to the top. There were some steep rocky steps that proved interesting with loose powdery snow covering frozen grass. I took no other photos on the way up until we reached the summit

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It was, as expected, brutally wild up on the top. In strong easterly winds even a smaller summit like this (681m) represents quite a challenge of technique, route finding and resilience.

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Much like yesterday you’d think this would make for a grim outing but we were all in our element. We thrived on the challenges and we were all sharing smiles again even on the summit with the wind blowing us around

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However we did agree that there was little point in making a circuit of the day and that returning the way we had come would be adventure enough

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The descent presented no problems and as we dropped down the wind abated and we were able to enjoy the walking in good company again

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Looking back to the summit and our route up, still shrouded in cloud

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Mandatory selfie

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The weather improved as we descended and we got some views of sorts. Not exactly expansive but you take what you can get on a day like this

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We returned to our lunch spot for a second bite

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Before the finally steep and slippery descent down to the cars and the long drive back south

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Only 4.5 miles and a couple of thousand feet of ascent but it felt much longer and tougher. That’s winter mountaineering!

Beinn Bhreac

Not the sunniest weekend I’ve ever had but still memorable for the conditions the challenge and the company. Already seems a long time ago and possibly a while to wait for more of the same as winter starts to draw to a close

Island in the Sun – Part 3   8 comments

Another day, another beautiful morning.

 

Low clouds clung to the ridges but everywhere else was deep blue. A chilly start with a brisk wind but it promised to be another memorable day and so it turned out

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

We decided on a more easy paced day and packed light for a stroll across the nearby hills of Beinn Bhreac and Beinn Tarsuinn. The views across to Cir Mhor drifting in and out of cloud were majestic

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

They may not look much on the map but an crisp clear day they were a delight. The lower slopes are layered with deep heather and boulders but picking a grassy route through them was easy, enlivened by regular rodent sightings. One on the top the grassy summits make for grand walking. A summit camp in settled weather would be superb if you can haul water up!

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

It was a chill wind but with judicious positioning and sitting (a skill I’m justly proud of) we managed to find shelter and soaked up the views. The west was especially inspiring and the long ridge of Beinn Bharrain, Mullach Buidhe, Beinn Bhreac and Meall nam Damh just ached for a route. A walk across those tops is high on my agenda

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

With time on our side and a glorious day we took in Beinn Tarsuinn as well. Rough ground again on the slopes but the summit again a broad expanse of soft grass

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

We got our long awaited view of the Paps of Jura into the bargain

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

We were also paid a visit by a low flying Hercules Transport. Alas I wasn’t quite quick enough to set up the camera with the best settings so this is the best I could do

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

After a long laze on the summit the underwear insects were active again and we headed off back to the tent for lunch

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

Down at the tent it was windy but after more sitting expertise involving well placed rucksacks and rocks a warm and sunny lunch was enjoyed. It took a huge effort to follow up on the plan to pack up and move to another site to shorten the walk out the next day

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

I’d spotted what looked like a cracking site the previous day a flat patch of grass on the hillside just before the col between Cir Mhor and Caisteal Abhail. It took no more than a hour to pack and wander up there and in deed it was a magnificent spot

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

Still a liitle damp although nothing like the previous site it had a small bank to perch on to cook and make tea. A great supply of fresh running water a couple of hundred yards away and views to die for. The best wild site I’ve found for a long while. I got a little carried away with the photos but the tableau was just so magnificent that it was hard not to

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

With camp set up and bellies full it was time for an evening stroll across the col.

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

The weather forecast was for a spell of windy and cloudy conditions. Whilst we lost the clear skies we gained something better in the form of an ever changing light show from the setting sun

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

It was absolutely amazing. Dark mountains and shafts of sunlight, first orange and then deep red played on the western islands. Jura in particular was enlivened by natures own firework display

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

We both wandered about in a kind of happy daze, lost in our own world yet sharing this display of wonder and pleased that we had this to ourselves and that we’d made the decision to move up high. I’m not sure if I’ve picked the best of the shots but all the photos are in the slideshow at the start of the post

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

It was sad to see the sun finally go down and the lights go out, especially knowing we were likely to be in for a rough night. A short day from a walking perspective but a fine one

4.5 Miles, 2,000 feet of ascent

4.5 Miles, 2,000 feet of ascent

Another amazing day to live long in the memory. I’m surely going to pay for this good fortune sometime 🙂

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