Date: Saturday/Sunday 14th/15th April 2012
Distance: 24km + 12.2km
Ascent: 1400m + 460m
An interesting looking weekend forecast – a mix of sunshine, snow and cold air. Looked good for a wild camp although the temperatures meant a bit more insulation than normal.
We’d started with a plan to walk from Dalmally to Bridge of Orchy with trains from and to Tyndrum, a bit more thought on the Thursday night saw us decide to go out and back from Victoria Bridge, giving an advantage of dropping the camping gear for a proportion of the walk.
Set off at a leisurely time in enjoyable sunshine. The sun has appreciable heat at this time of year – which in cold air means that perceived temperature can vary wildly depending on cloud and wind.
From Loch Dochard the track carries on being of reasonable quality most of the way through to Glen Kinglass. We dropped the camping stuff a bit off track at the high point above Coire Beithe and then carried on downhill into Glen Kinglass.
The bridge at NN 186 402 is in a state of disrepair, we simply walked across the river here. Of note is the presence of another bridge a short way downstream at about NN 185 398 – not sure how long this has been there.
The sun had been a bit absent for an hour or so but began to come out again as we followed the Glen Kinglass track. The river is a delight of occasional small waterfalls – must be impressive in spate too.
We dropped right down to Glenkinglass Lodge and used the bridge. As we were preparing to climb uphill a Red pickup truck drove up with the occupant saying hello. He mentioned there had been a lot of walkers tackling Meall Garbh from here recently and asked if there was a new book out! He headed off down the glen and we headed uphill.
We headed up between 2 forestry fences to pick up the to pick up the west bank of the Allt nan Clach Sgoilte to approach Meall Garbh via the grassy eastern flank.
An adult Golden Eagle was circling the summit for a while as we ascended before setting off south.
Sat and enjoyed the views awhile and then reversed route. Decided to cross the Allt Clach na Sgoilte and cross the river at the waterfall as the levels were low.
The clouds and snow showers were beginning to pulse through giving some interesting looking views.
Got to the summit of Beinn Suidhe and picked a campsite – plenty of options so we plonked the tent to the SW of the summit cairn to minimise the NE breeze.
The sunset was impaired by a modest amount of cloud – only a few patches of red cloud.
Another cold night – certainly a few degrees subzero but fairly toasty in the sleeping bags. Occasionally aware of nearby ptarmigan calls but there are worse neighbours to have.
Things had clouded from the NE so the sunshine of the morning had left us. Sat at the summit cairn and had some more to eat. We had planned on going over to Beinn Inverveigh but the absence of sunshine and the presence of camping packs persuaded us to turn for the car heading NNE down the ridge of Meall Tairbh with Loch Tulla to the fore:
Back at the car fairly sharp – quite a nice meander over these hills. Was enjoyable to fill in the gaps a bit in this little visited hinterland between Loch Etive and Glen Orchy. Great to get back to both Glen Kinglass and Beinn Suidhe.