Hill: Ben Buie
Date: Saturday 19th January 2013
Company: Myself and John
Distance: 7.7km, Ascent: 675m
We set off this morning to ascend Ben Buie. Instead of tackling Ben Buie via the standard approach from Lochbuie, we opted to undertake an ascent from the A849 to the North. I parked just off the road at the start of a track below Coire Clachach.
After walking 200m along the road, we climbed over a small fence to gain the start of the track leading towards ‘S Airde Beinn. The start of the track is next to the ruin.
Ruin at start of track towards ‘S Airde Beinn:
Finding a track leading all the way to the summit was a pleasant surprise.
John heading towards ‘S Airde Beinn:
‘S Airde Beinn:
‘S Airde Beinn and Lochan’s Airde Beinn (Crater Lake):
It didn’t take long to reach the summit of ‘S Airde Beinn.
‘S Airde Beinn is a fantastic viewpoint and a really interesting hill! This hill is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
More info from Scottish Natural Heritage:
“S’Airde Beinn SSSI represents the remnants of what was once the vent or central core of a volcano. This volcano was erupting lava during the Tertiary geological period around 60 million years ago, when Mull was a major volcanic centre. Molten rock or magma progressively built up in a reservoir, and then fed the erupting volcano. The erupting lava cooled rapidly on contact with the atmosphere, forming a very fine grained basalt. At some stage volcanic activity ceased and the magma remaining in the feeder pipe was trapped and therefore unable to reach the surface. The magma then cooled slowly in the chamber to form a course grained dolerite plug.
Differential erosion of the ancient volcanic environment during the last ice age has resulted in the more resistant plug forming a positive toposcopeic feature. This represents the largest and best known example of a Tertiary volcanic plug in western Scotland. The geological interest of the site has been enhanced by research which has found that as the molten rock cooled it produced heat that baked or altered the surrounding rock, a process known in geological terms as ‘thermal metamorphism’. This alteration produced new minerals including larnite, rankinite and wollastonite, all relatively rare in Scotland. The site is therefore of national interest both as an excellent example of a volcanic plug and due to the presence of uncommon minerals. Both feature are considered to be in favourable condition. The extent, composition and structure of the key rock features have been maintained. The site is easily and safely accessed via a stile and footpath from the main road.”
If you are ever visiting Tobermory and want a really easy hill-fix, an ascent of this hill is well worth the minimal effort required to reach the summit.
View from the summit of ‘S Airde Beinn:
At the summit of ‘S Airde Beinn, we decided to undertake a complete circuit of the volcanic vent, circuiting Crater Lake.
Circuiting the vent provides a few good viewpoints.
It was nice to look across to Rum, Eigg and Coll.
Rum Cuillin (zoom):
An Sgurr, Isle of Eigg (zoom):
Lochan’s Airde Beinn (Crater Lake):
Ben Nevis (zoom):
After circuiting the volcanic vent, we followed our in-bound track back to the
car. Two really enjoyable hills