Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
28th and 29th July 2007
Last weekend I headed down and across to the Bridge of Orchay on the Tyndrum Glencoe road. A short run down Glen Orchay got me to the start of a walk up Beinn Udlaidh and Beinn Bhreac-liath (don't worry I can't pronounce the names neither). It was a bit gray but with promise of maybe a little sunshine later, although it started to drizzle as I started walking. Everywhere was still pretty wet but it wasn't too noticeable as I started climbing. I soon gained the ridge and a seam of quartz that can be seen clearly from down by the road.
Quartzite ridge points to Bridge of Orchay
It was only as I gained height that I realised how strong the wind was, the waterfalls along the edge of Coire Daimh were going upwards instead of down.
Gravity defying waterfalls
I found a sheltered spot just off the summit and enjoyed the sandwiches I'd picked up in Aberfeldy (were I hadn't been able to resist hot sausage rolls and a coffee). After dropping down grassy slopes and a shortish climb I reached the long grassy top of Beinn Bhreac-liath to be greeted by some nice sunshine. It was a pleasant stroll along the top before heading down after a cup of tea and a biscuit. I then drove down Glen Orchay to Dalmally then through Lochawe and along the top of loch Awe and along the Brander pass to the campsite. After a shower and a campsite curry I nipped along the road for a pint before returning for an earlyish night, being a bit tired after the five o'clock start and planning the same time to rise on Sunday. The forecast had predicted the best of the weather in the morning with heavy showers in the afternoon, which turned out to be spot on. I was up and away from the campsite at six and began my walk up Ben Cruachan by half past. The path sneaks its way up through the trees from near the Cruachan power station visitor centre to emerge on the service road below the dam and reservoir. Walking along the west side of the reservoir and up the corrie on that side kept me out of the wind for most of the way up. Again it was a bit blowy on the main ridge although the strength did vary greatly in different places. The top seemed a bit misty as I covered that last couple of hundred feet but cleared as I arrived.
Stob Diamh down the ridge from Cruachan
I had plenty of sunshine as I moved around the skyline above the reservoir now some distance below.
It was only just after gaining the top of Stob Diamh around midday that the first rain arrived. One minute bright sunshine then grey mist and then darker clouds and cold rain. Another half an hour and I was stripping off the waterproofs again as the sun reappeared. This set the scene for the whole way down, repeating the dress undress cycle 3 more times. Back at the car I had a bit of a clean up and then set off home stopping again in Aberfeldy to refuel (me that is).
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