Mar 17th, 2016
Again the misty morning cleared to dazzling sunshine by lunchtime today, and I decided to fulfil a long desired wish and climb Beinn Lochain (the one to the right of Beinn Bheula as you look across the loch from the village). Beinn Lochain is a Graham at 703m but is moderately challenging because there is quite a long walk in (particularly if you walk from our house to Lettermay which is over 2 miles in itself).
First I followed the Cowal way as far as the waterfalls near Beinn Bheula. The going was very uneven and wet, but at least it is a bit better signposted than it used to be. I had been going to try to access the mountain following a track from Walk Highlands which directed to Curra Lochan further up – but I spied a break in the forestry debris and decided to go that way instead. I intrepidly jumped across the burn, climbed over a fence and carefully picked my way over several hundred yards of wet ground to another fence.
Now I was on the mountain itself at about 350m and from here it was actually pretty easy. Beinn Lochain from this direction is steep and simple, with all the craggy bits over to the other side. I went straight up and it only took me about 45 minutes to get to the (tiny) cairn at the top. The view was fantastic, and really made me appreciate what a great wilderness we live in, as particularly to the north there was mountain after mountain, some snow topped, and no habitation or work of man to be seen.
At this point, I looked down, and was a bit concerned to see mist sweeping in at about 500m, obscuring Corra Lochan below. Although I had the GPS I was nervous as this was the first ‘real’ mountain I had ever done on my own. So although I would have liked to have stayed longer, I hurried back down. Looking back from the bottom, Lochain was still largely clear, but Bheula had disappeared into the clouds.
It seemed a long way back after the big climb, and I can tell you I was ready for some food when I got back. Now my feet are aching and I am going to have a nice hot bath.