Beinn nan Lus and a Glen Kinglass camp. May 2010.

Date: Saturday/Sunday 8th-9th May 2010
Distance: 22.6km +12km
Ascent: 1200m +400m

A reasonable forecast for the weekend, if a bit breezy on the tops. Was considering options for lower level camping – previous discussions about Glen Kinglass and its oak woods had piqued my interest.

The original plan had been to take the train from Taynuilt to Loch Awe and walk over Lairig Doirean to Meall Garbh, down to Glen Kinglass and then over Beinn nan Lus, camping in the glen before the Loch Etive walk-out.

For various reasons we couldn’t make the 0830 train so we decided on an out and back from Taynuilt to Beinn na Lus.

Parked at the Forestry commission car park at NN 027 319 – it is possible to drive about 1km further although signage asks you not to.

Lovely day – sunny and warm, with a cooling northerly breeze.

The track along Loch Etive was apparently a public road until the Forestry Commission bought the land for forestry and closed it. It’s in good nick and has great views – for cyclists this would be a dream. The views up Loch Etive to Trilleachan, Bidean and BEB are brilliant.

Mixed woods all the way along – birch, pine, oaks. Quite a lot of wildlife too. A red squirrel was a pleasant sighting here.

Blue skies and blue sea. The view to Beinn Duirinnis – fancy this one for its view along the 2 arms of Loch Etive.

Like the Kinloch Hour to Barrisdale track the road goes over a number of headlands so it accumulates ascent of about 400m along its length. It drops to Glen Noe, Inverliver and Ardmaddy. The area remains active despite the lack of public roads. There are fish farms and all 3 farms are active and inhabited.

Up Loch from N of Glen Noe:

Ben Cruachan looms over Glen Noe:

Gorse and views from Inverliver:

And approaching Ardmaddy:

Dropping to Ardmaddy means entering Glen Kinglass – with a beautiful forest of oaks and birch. The birch were vibrant green, the oaks darker with early leaves unfurling. Oak leaves:

Glen Kinglass woods:

We wandered slowly up the glen, stopping for a long lunch on some rocks at the footbridge NN 095 367.

About 200m west of here we noticed a little shack/hut – shelter for anglers I think. The riverside had a lovely flat grassy area here – perfect pitch in the absence of anglers. Left the tent and camp gear hidden near here and carried on to Beinn nan Lus.

Turned uphill at Narrachan Bothy. There are tracks through the mixed woods to the hillside.

Holly leaves and flowers:

The ascent follows the Allt Narrachan – steep but non-technical. The Allt deepens into a cleft towards the top but is crossed on easy ground at about 390m.

From here it’s an easy walk up slabby ground to the summit area.
Nearly stepped on a Golden Plover on the nest, she flew off erratically – had a quick peek:

Ben Cruachan dominates the view south:

The summit is a bit jumbly with a few lochans. Would have made an interesting pitch site.

Beinn Starav:

The views from the summit were interesting although a bit distant for good photos. Views to Bridge of Orchy/Tyndrum and Crianlarich hills.

Cold in the northerly breeze though.

Reversed route – marsh plant life coming out. Lousewort and ant:

Got back to the tent –noticed a lot of ticks around in the woods.

Thankfully the grassy patch was remarkably tick-free.

Cooked tea and sat out listening to the Cuckoos and watching the bats over the river. Sunset at 2115 now.

Woke at 0600 but it seemed a bit grey so went back to sleep til 0915.

Relaxed breakfast – the absence of midge is a blessed thing.

Set off at 1100 for a relaxed meander home. Glen Kinglass oakwoods.

Primroses:

Red Deer on the beach:

We’d seen lots of swallows and Sand Martins all the way along. Some of the Martins were lined up on the wires:

The view north leaving Ardmaddy:

Got a display of low flying from 4 turboprops skimming the loch – presumably some airshow thing as 2 of them had Soviet markings.

A slow wander back enjoying the spring flowers on show.

Wood Sorrel:

Sundews:

And the views – Ben Cruachan:

Beinn Duirinnish:

Have to say the 2 aspects of the walk – Loch Etive and Glen Kinglass were both a delight. The views from the Etive road in particular are stunning. Will consider a winter return to this.

Might do that walk over from Loch Awe sometime too.

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