Total climbing: 980 m
Total Time: 07:04:23
Some interesting data
7 mile walk, 7h from 10.15 to 17.15 – average 1 mph
We left the cottage at around 10.00am and went to the Bridge of Orchy train station.
We took the underpass and headed due east to the Coire an Dòthaidh.
10.12 – Underpass at the Bridge of Orchy station
At 10.35am we crossed the Allt Coire an Dòthaidh.
When I least expected it, I tripped slightly and broke one of my poles. We shared the three poles for the rest of the day.
10.42 – The steep and rocky climb
We followed the rocky path. This was the easy part.
11.06 – Climbing at a good pace
For a while we climbed along the allt.
11.35 – The Allt Coire an Dòthaidh
Then we turned south and headed up some slabby slopes.
11.52 – Vertical drops
We had great views of Glen Orchy.
11.59 – Glen Orchy
We climbed the steep stony bit up to a cairn, 744m at NN325398 (map coordinates) on the Bealach.
Bealach /ˈbɛlax/ is a Gaelic word that means “narrow mountain pass”.
12.09 – Simon enjoying the view from the cairn
We stopped to look at the hills from the Bealach.
12.11 – The Bealach (narrow mountain pass)
We had lunch at 12.43pm, not quite the “official time”.
12.53 – Having lunch
We continued, and somehow took a slightly more westerly path than we intended. A path which was below the ridge.
13.24 – The wrong and narrow path
We picked our way round. It was quite hard work, but I loved the challenge and the views.
13.26 – Making our way through the rocks
We reached the summit of Beinn Dòrain just after 2.00pm.
14.07 – Maria conquering Beinn Dòrain *
We mooched around for a few minutes, waiting for the view to clear.
Patience always pays off, so we got great views of Glen Orchy.
14.10 – Glen Orchy through the cloud
Then we returned northwards along the main path on the ridge. That was what we intended to do on the way up.
We carried on and found Carn Sasunnaich. Sasunnaich means “English person” in Gaelic.
14.30 – Cairn on Carn Sasunnaich
We saw a pair of white ptarmigan (a medium-sized game bird in the grouse family).
14.35 – Two ptarmigan
The two birds went on the snow for camouflage when they saw us.
14.36 – Can you spot the two ptarmigan?
Eventually, we found the junction of the two paths.
14.45 – Just before the strong winds
The wind picked up and it became seriously strong. I couldn’t take any pictures for more than an hour.
We could hardly walk, and ended up holding on to the rocks and advancing very slowly.
To make it even more fun, it started to hail.
We struggled back to the Bealach, and at 16.05 we had a short break.
Then we proceeded down, retracing our steps. The ground was much wetter than what we’re used to in the Cairngorms and the east coast.
16.31 – Simon and sheep
Looking back at the Munro, you couldn’t guess just how treacherous it is.
16.50 – Beinn Dòrain, our Munro
All the way down we could see our beloved cottage getting closer and closer.
16.50 – Our cottage at the foot of the Munro
We got back to the cottage at about 17.20pm.
The temperature was pleasant all day. The sun came out now and then, and the cloud was forming and lifting constantly.
As usual, there was a rainbow to welcome us, but this time I didn’t get a picture of it.
We didn’t see anyone all day.
It was a wonderful experience. You could feel the power of nature. Our cottage was at the foot of the Munro, but it often felt like it was a world away.
I took all the photos with the Panasonic.
* Simon took this photo.