Log 18 Aug 2013

SUNDAY 18 AUGUST 2013 NOT THE AONACH EAGACH

Drew, Fraser, Kevin, and Robert met in the carpark in Milngavie at 07:00. The plan was to meet Eunice and John in Glen Coe and climb the Aonach Eagach. However the weather gods had conspired against us, the forecast was for intermittent showers, cloud covered tops and windy conditions with gusts 50mph plus. After a very short discussion and a quick telephone call a unanimous decision was made to go for plan B.
Given the weather forecast "Hill of the Thunderbolt" may seem a strange choice but we agreed to meet in Ballachulish with our new objective being the impressive horseshoe of  Beinn A' Bheithir,  taking in SGORR DHONUILLl and SGORR DHEARG.

We parked at the Forestry Commission Gleann a Chaolais carpark in Glenachulish and set off at 09:30 along the forestry track taking the right hand spur towards Sgorr Dhonuill and made our way up the Glen through the trees and the odd intermittent shower. Exiting the trees the wind was certainly blowing but the forecast was for it to drop and for clouds to break up in the afternoon – the  second part turned out to be correct. We followed the faint path which  led to the foot of some scree which in turn gained the col about 1KM east of the summit. A pleasant walk over some grassy slopes led to the summit cairn.

Clouds started to breakup giving us occasional glimpses of the impressive 360 degree views, with many of the western isles visible. We followed the path along the edge of the impressive crags towards Sgorr Dhearg and the final steep walk to the summit.  Wind was gusting strongly on the final ascent and confirmed that Plan B had been the right choice.  After a short stop at the cairn and broken trig point we headed down the North ridge towards the bridge; a  great walk down the ridge with impressive views.  The hardest part of the day was the final few hundred feet of descent down steep heather covered slopes, young fir trees and badly cleared forestry ground to get back to the path which led to the car park. We arrived back at the car at 16:40.  


A most enjoyable day in the hills rounded off with traditional fermented refreshments in the Bridge of Orchy Hotel.
Report by Drew Crawford