Monday, 27 April 2015

Beinn Bheag & Beinn Bhreac Liath - Glengarry Lodge Day 5

The forecast was finally for more settled weather, but after quite a bit of snowfall we didn't want to go too high. We opted to walk up a nearby Corbett Beinn Bhreac Liath from Tyndrum as it was familiar walking country as I'd been there a few years ago.

I couldn't remember where we had parked previously so we drove down the road to Tydrum and parked in the main carpark. We followed the road road to then cross over to reach a forest track. When I'd been there before there had been no gate through and we'd had to shimmy underneath, thankfully on this occasion a brand new gate had been put in. It had been a cold night and the water in the puddles had broken which Emma had fun picking up and breaking.

The way up through the forest onto the first hill Beinn Bheag is a steep one, we were walking on lovely fresh snow littered with deer tracks. There was also one other set of foot prints which looked a day or so old, they certainly made the ascent a lot easier!

We were treated to bright sunshine and stunning views and congratulated ourselves for wearing suncream. It didn't take us too long to get onto the top although the snow was quite deep in places.We ate some food before carrying on to our next destination.

As we made our way there our way on was barred by a short icy snow slope, we managed to get across using our axes so it's wasn't too bad. After this we had another easy slope & Emma wanted to try out her crampons so we stopped to put them on. For us the snow was still soft to really need them so it was more for practice for Emma.

When we reached the dip between the hills I was worried about how hard it would be to get onto the Corbett but there was actually much less snow on it and we made our way up mainly on the grass. We enjoyed being able to sit on the wind blown top as thankfully it wasn't chilly or windy for once! The top reminds me of some of the Snowdonian hills in particular the Carneddau with it's rocky plateau of a summit.

We did have some debate about how our walk should continue at this point as there were various options, as it was quit early in the day we decided to take the longest option which involved following the summit ridge a long then dropping down to the forest edge. There was quite a lot of snow still on this side so once we reached our descent route we spent the rest of the way sledging down the hill which was lots of fun. It also took some weight off my sore leg which had been causing me problems from before we went on holiday.

Our next challenge was how to reach the West Highland way as between us we had the road and the Allt King Glass river. Steve wanted to follow the road till we reached the river crossing point a good few miles away, I was against this idea as the A82 is a very busy road full of lorries and fast moving traffic. From the hill above I'd looked down and the river and thought we might be able to wade across or if not we could follow it on not too difficult ground. The ground was quite tussocky reaching the river but from there onwards not too hard going. When we reached a section where the water was quite low we decided to take our boots off and cross it - it was starting to get late in the day and we knew we would have an easier time of it on the West Highland Way. We weren't sure how Emma would react to the cold water so I crossed first to ditch my boots and bag, then returned to help her over. On my first crossing I managed to get my trousers wet, but the crossing with Emma went without hitch and she actually quite enjoyed it!

Once over another field of tussucks we were back onto the West Highland way which is a lovely route winding it's way around the hill sides. We were all a bit gutted when we had to climb back up onto the hill side itself at one stage as it was hard work at the end of the walk. It seemed to go on forever and we were very happy when we reached Tyndrum and the car! I think I should probably be a bit less ambitious with my route planning in the winter! (just over 11 miles and 900m of ascent!)

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