Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Crianlarich Hills: Beinn Chabhair (244)

Walk date: 17/02/07
My Munro #'s: 99

Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Byn chav-aar - hill of the hawk - 933m

Duration - 11:00 - 17:45
Distance - 13km
Weather - dry with cloud at start, some clear sky. Moderately heavy snowfall near summit turning to broken cloud with fantastic sunlight on descent.
Team - with Sonia

A certain amount of free-styling on the upper slopes:
With daylight now extending to six in the evening and the sun even coming up before noon, it was deemed an appropriate time to take in the first Munro of 2007. I must apologise before we get under way for the lack of pictures, as having got out of the routine I forgot my camera! However, the Sonia remembered her film-camera, so I shall update this post once they're developed.
A 06:45 awakening saw us successfully leave Aberdeen at 08:00 and arrive at Beinglas Farm just before 11:00, although we almost didn't after the sharpest turn off a main road I have ever experienced, which then moved straight onto a rickety wooden bridge accompanied with the unnecessary sign, 'One vehicle at a time'.
Moving past the nice looking camper's facilities, including the West Highland Way wigwam-type accommodation huts, the obvious path moved steeply up the left side of Ben Glas Burn for the first kilometre before flattening out into the wide upper glen, where the path becomes more indistinct and, predictably, boggy.
Rounding the south side of the impressive crags of Ben Glas, the path starts to climb again, albeit at a more gentle pace as no one choice of path takes you along to Lochan Beinn Chabhair. Some climbing is then necessary to get up onto the north-western side of Beinn Chabhair itself. We started at a gentle incline before we realised a more direct approach was needed and climbed up steep grassy slopes freestyle to get to the base of the the northwestern ridge. However, there is a path that starts in a gully between two buttresses of Meall nan Tarmachan that we took on the way down, and so I would recommend finding this for ease of mind.
No matter how you get there, once on the northwestern ridge it all becomes straight forward as an easy-going and distinct path takes you winding towards the summit. On this part, we found ourselves in a wonderful snow storm, with huge flakes falling in abundance all around with a reflective Loch Lomond visible to the south seemingly hung in the middle of a sky of grey. Wonderful stuff.
At the summit, we didn't hang around, but started our descent quickly getting down off the ridge to walk back across the flats in some amazing evening sun that made us so glad to have gone to all the bother of getting up and out. The one downside was the return of Sonia's feet problems, which slowed down our final descent pace considerably. Nevermind, as we'd timed it fine and had plenty of daylight to make it back in. With a huge fish supper at Comrie and then a Black Sheep before bed when we got into Aberdeen at 22:00, this was a full and fantastic day. It was great to be back in the hills. Each to their own, but how can anyone not like this??

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Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Hope the feet recuperate Sonia! Can't wait to see some pics but it looks like a might fine journey you took there.

The favourite chippy then was it?

18 February 2007 at 19:00  
Blogger George Walks said...

Not the one in Cults, Aberdeen as we'd have only got to that one at 22:00!! Comrie is by Loch Earn, we still have two and a half hours of driving after munching on all that!!

18 February 2007 at 19:05  

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