3 Hills at Bonawe. November 2010

Date: Sat 27th Nov 2010
Distance: 17km
Ascent: 1400m

We’ve been mulling over routes in the area west of Loch Etive for a while – certainly our trip to Glen Kinglass and Beinn nan Lus in May had us eyeing these hills with interest. A couple of wild-camp routes were considered and a wish to climb a couple of the local Marilyns needed to be factored in.

A weather opportunity came up and a day-walk duly selected.

A dark and snowy drive from Tyndrum took 90 minutes – one Tawny Owl spotted landing on a telegraph pole along the way.

Parked at the forestry track NM 980 382 on the B845. Lots of space here. Walk south 100m and simply climb the hill.

About 20 minutes has you on the ridge line, although our direct view of dawn was blocked by Beinn Mheadhonach, Ben Cruachan and clouds to the SE.

Mull was somewhat clouded although they did go a nice pink at dawn.

The deer grass takes the early light to give a warming look even if it is -6C.

Oban from climb:

A reasonable bimble up to the summit of Beinn Bhreac with its huge cairn. Quite a viewpoint for only about 90 mins walking.

Took a few minutes to have breakfast and enjoy the view in the biting breeze.

Some great views across Ardgour and NW to Corrhully.

Beinn a Bheithir:

Carried on NE and then E to climb to the 726m point.

Leaving the 726m point I hearg the noise of large wings to my right and caught a glimpse of an adult Golden Eagle taking off 5m away – must have been sitting up there as we approached. It glided off at high speed and was so no pics but the sense of scale even for such a short glimpse was amazing. 😯

From there a quick drop to Mam Hael – we had carried an ice axe and crampons but it was plain that they were superfluous so we dropped them here and headed up Creach Bheinn on a reasonably easy mixed terrain ascent.

The tracks of the little animals as always had us stopping and guessing.

Some icicles:

At the summit we donned insulating gear and took a break to enjoy the view.

Beinn Bhreac:

Across Loch Linnhe:

Across Loch Etive:

K snapping:

Towards Mull:

H snapping:

The Ben doffs its cap:

Reversed route to Mam Hael, picked up the gear and headed for Beinn Molurgainn – an easy-angled drop and re-climb.

Starav and Trilleachan:

Another great viewpoint here – an opportunity to inspect various hills for future routes.

Ben Starav:

Glen Kinglass:

Ben Cruachan:

H at summit:

From here we were aware that the day was drawing in so we followed the SW ridge over undulating terrain with a plan to cross Eas na Gearr and cross the nose N of the River Esragan to rejoin the road at the 157m mark.

Lochan on ridge:

H in lowering light:

The forestry marked on the map doesn’t exist yet although there are a few young birch. The terrain was much more tussocky than the rest of the day so progress slowed. We also crossed the river a tad too far south involving too steep a descent (aim for around NM 998 388).

No issues crossing the river and from there we simply crossed the hillside to regain the road at NM 985 368. 15 mins in the gathering dusk had us back at the car.

Foot of Etive:


Road conditions back to Tyndrum were good so we were having a meal and a pint at Paddy’s Bar in no time.

Great little corner – more to come from this area from us I hope.


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