Our blog - Ben Lui and neighbours, Feb'17A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !
Ben Lui and neighbours18-19 February 2017
Two wild days on the mountains near Tyndrum. Emma and John were leading, here's a tale of the days ...
Wet sums up the day! It was a wet start at the car park in Glen Lochy, a wet river crossing, a wet climb and a wet descent. However, everyone enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining day on the hill from start to finish. After a quick dash across the River Lochy we were soon climbing up through the forest, with an entertaining burn crossing en route involving some slippery rocks and a rope slung between two trees. It was a relief to leave the boggy forest path behind and climb out into the corrie beneath Beinn a'Chleibh, although the crags were shrouded in mist. As we headed up onto the saddle it got gradually wetter, with the paths becoming streams as the snow rapidly melted in the rising temperatures.
After the group photos on the summit of a very misty Beinn a'Chleibh we made a hasty descent to the shelter of some rocks where we could eat our lunch, in the rain of course! The climb onto Ben Lui is long and by this point our waterproofs were struggling to keep us dry as the wind was now directing the rain at a more horizontal angle. At the summit we were rewarded with some glimpses down a very snowy Central Gully which gave an impression of just how impressive Ben Lui is - it really is one of the finest mountains in the Southern Highlands. We had a brief foray onto the north ridge before deciding that it would be a really unpleasant place to spend the next hour and instead we opted for a return down the snowy slopes that we had ascended.
The descent was made entertaining by Moss, our 4 legged companion, repeatedly sliding down the snow head first on her back, everyone else attempted to stay upright, but with the water logged ground, blustery winds and deep snow this wasn't always possible. It was a pleasure to reach the shelter of the forest for some refreshments before retracing our steps back to the earlier stream crossings which were now running somewhat higher than during the morning. John ended up getting wetter than intended in one of the streams and by the time we had waded under the railway bridge and crossed the knee deep River Lochy everyone was really happy to be off the hill after what was a very entertaining hill walk.
A more promising forecast for our second day had us leaving Tyndrum in the rain. However, by the time we were climbing up the lower slopes of Beinn Dubhcraig the rain eased and we were even rewarded with some views up the ridge. The wind was fairly strong as we approached the summit and the views had disappeared by the time we got to the top, but we were happy to be dry! We lunched on the saddle between the 2 Munro summits before heading over the Munro top which leads onto Beinn Oss. No views again, but it was our 4th Munro of the weekend in challenging conditions and everyone was very happy to be there.
The descent from just before the top was really enjoyable. It was quite steep initially, but we soon dropped out of the cloud and were rewarded with fine views of the glen, and the ridge dropped gradually downwards above an impressive ravine. We spotted a herd of deer sheltering in the corrie opposite and had glimpses of our ascent route through breaks in the cloud. The walk down the glen to the bridge was surprisingly quick and it wasn't long before we were making our way back towards Tyndrum on the forest track, where dry clothes and hot drinks awaited ending a successful weekend.
More photos by John and members of the group are here on Flickr.
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