Beinn Duirinnis and Beinn Mheadhonach. March 2012

Date: Sat 31st March 2012
Distance: 15.5km
Ascent: 1200m

The area around Benderloch and Appin is a favourite of ours. The combination of long lochs, sea views and dramatic hills is an alluring one.

We’d previously combined the Grahams Beinn Bhreac and Beinn Molurgainn with the Corbett Creach Bheinn – a much-enjoyed walk. This left the much-anticipated combination of Beinn Duirinnis and Beinn Mheadhonach.

Parked up at a large parking area at the start of the right of way along the west shore of Loch Etive (NN 011 333).

The right of way weaves through the quarrying. Signage was mildly confusing but in essence a path cuts off left from the employee car park 100m in and then weaves around the works.

The old quarry is now disused – an interesting quartz band looks like a lightning strike.

One of the aspects of spring that always seems most welcome is the explosion of sound and scent. Winter trips can often be fairly well recorded in photos – spring is beyond the camera with a tableau of sound and smell.

The first few km were accompanied by the wierd calls of a fair number of Eider Ducks in Loch Etive:

Beautiful reflections across the narrows to Taynuilt:

And the gorse is way ahead of normal – the coconut scent of spring is welcome:

Escaped the quarry zone and ambled slowly along the lochside – warm in the sunshine. Glen Noe and an interesting approach to Beinn a Chochuill:

As you round the corner at Rubha na Creige the long views of Loch Etive up to the Glencoe hills is worth the day alone:

Across the loch:

We headed due west from just before the cottage at Craig – the first 100m is through some oak woods. This is fine in March but with dead ferns everwhere this would be harder in summer. Broke above the thin wood band to ascend the east ridge of Beinn Duirinnis:

Felt quite slow in the hot sun, increasing cool breeze with height restored our oomph.

Spotted these at about 450m height – pretty sure they’re bird pellets made up of crab shells. Not sure what from though:

Arrived at the summit and had a decent break – a cracking viewpoint, although the views of the lower loch Etive were a bit blocked by outlying areas to the W.

Ben Cruachan:

Swarms of wee flies were dancing around the cairn – not midge so fun to watch:

Connell Bridge and Ben More Mull:

Loch Etive:

Cruachan:

Morvern and Mull:

Headed off the summit NW and then turned NE. The forestry marked on the OS on Beinn Phlacaig doesn’t actually exist:

Descended to cross a gate at NN 020 353 at the Lairig Duirinnis and then ascended following the river to the bealach between Beinn Phlacaig and Beinn Mheadhonach.

Regained the loch views with the East ridge of Mheadhonach:

The ridge is a bit rocky and jumbly:

The summit is crowned with a large cairn:

Nice view of Cruachan:

Another great view to Morvern/Mull:

Jura to the south:

I was surprised to be able to identify quite a few of the Cowal Hills – our week earlier in the month had been educational.

Started being scolded by Golden Plovers from here. Getting the avian equivalent of dog’s abuse from these birds over kilometres of upland walking wasn’t missed.

Headed west off the summit over the 619m and 387m points with the view out along the foot of Loch Etive keeping the eye:

Beinn Duirinnis and the Taynuilt Peak behind:

The green fields of Blarcreen:

The hill drops steeply to the sea:

Dropped back down crossing a few farm gates to reach the road at Blarcreen Bridge. From there a 2.5km walk along the quiet road headed back to the car.

To be honest – if we’d simply sat on the loch side at Rubha Creige all day I’d have enjoyed it. The hills were great value too.

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