Hills: Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh and Beinn Donachain
Date: Friday 11th December 2009
Company: Just me
Time: 6Hrs 30Mins
I had been keeping Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh for a good day. Yesterday was a good day.
I parked near the bridge at the Eas Urchaidh (Falls of Orchy) where there is room for only a few cars. I set off walking just before sunrise.
Eas Urchaidh (Falls of Orchy):
Not long after I started walking up the track, I turned round to see the top of Ben Lui just starting to appear over the lower hills. The sunrise colours were awesome.
Ben Lui at sunrise:
A crescent moon was also visible.
Beinn Donachain and moon:
During the ascent through the forest, Ben Lui is definitely the sight to see. As height is gained more of Ben Lui comes into view.
Ben Oss and Ben Lui:
On reaching the marker post, I crossed the small footbridge and continued following a track up through the forest to eventually reach the stile over the deer fence.
Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh from track near end of the forest:
After crossing the stile, which was somewhat icy, I followed a faint path which ascends Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh up the right bank of a burn.
Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh:
The dip between Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh and Beinn Dhonachain looked cold. I can confirm from later crossing it that it was.
On stopping to take the next photo one minute I was standing the next I hit the deck. The joys of icy conditions.
Sun coming up between Ben Lui and Beinn a’Chleibh:
Two hours and 25 minutes after setting off and I reached the summit cairn of Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh.
Summit cairn of Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh:
Myself at summit with Cruachan hills in background:
The views over towards the Cruachan hills were pretty good, however, I thought the views might be even better from further along the ridge at the 730m top.
If doing Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh it is definitely worth heading out to the 730m top as it is a better viewpoint than the summit.
Looking back along ridge of Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh from 730m top:
Cruachan hills from 730m top:
Loch Awe from 730m top:
I returned back along the ridge 50m or so before heading down grassy slopes to the bealach between Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh and Beinn Dhonachain.
Looking back at descent from 730m top:
After reaching the bealach and crossing a small burn, I ascended to the long fence, which was visible from the top of Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh.
I decided to follow this fence towards the summit. There is no need to climb over the fence.
Follow the fence up Beinn Dhonachain:
Bridge of Orchy hills from Beinn Dhonachain:
The views across to Ben Lui are even better from Beinn Dhonachain than Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh.
Ben Lui from Beinn Dhonachain:
It took just over an hour to reach the summit from the bealach and the same to get back down. I visited the two small cairns while at the summit area.
Summit cairn of Beinn Dhonachain:
Bridge of Orchy hills from near summit of Beinn Dhonachain:
To get back to the car, I followed the fence back down Beinn Dhonachain as far as the stile which I had crossed earlier in the day. I then followed the forest track back down to the car parked at the Falls of Orchy.
... and if yesterday was a good day, today was a great day