A 3.00am start this morning for the long drive to Claonaig, to catch the ferry to Lochranza on the Isle of Arran. To break up the journey, and to give my legs a stretch, I decided to ascend two Sub2000ft Marilyns south of Oban.

For the ascent of Beinn Mhor, I parked in a small parking area directly opposite the start of the track.

Hill: Beinn Mhor
Date: Thursday 30th April 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 4.2km, Ascent: 245m
Time: 1Hr

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the outset of the walk, it was a beautiful day. After climbing over the gate, I followed the vehicle track past a small ruin and a large metal shed. On reaching the track junction beyond the shed, I took the left fork.

Looking towards Beinn Mhor from just beyond the start of track:

Beinn Mhor from ruin:

The excellent track made for fast progress.

I was literally walking in my friend John's footsteps today as John had ascended this hill the day previous and I could still see some of what was likely his muddy footprints.

Following the track to Beinn Mhor:

Just before the track high-point, I left the track to ascend a grassy slope. At the top of the grassy slope, I had to step over a low barbed-wire fence. Just beyond, I found another track. Had I ascended to the track highpoint, I reckon I would have found the start of this track and avoided the barbed-wire fence.

As I followed the track skirting round the side of Beinn Mhor, I got nice views across to the Isle of Mull and Ardgour.

View during the ascent of Beinn Mhor:

On reaching the summit, I stopped to take some photos. I then continued on a short distance to the cliff edge where I took some further photos.

View from the summit of Beinn Mhor:

View from the cliff edge a short distance beyond the summit:

In the distance, I could see another top that looked about the same height as the summit. I therefore visited this second high-point before returning back via the same route as used during my ascent.

Looking back to the summit from another top of similar height:

View during the descent of Beinn Mhor:

I got back to the car approximately one hour after setting off. One Marilyn done and it was still only 8.30.

Next I drove to Kilmartin for an ascent of Beinn Bhan. I parked in a car park opposite the Kilmartin Hotel.

Hill: Beinn Bhan
Date: Thursday 30th April 2015
Company: Myself (and John from summit onwards)
Distance: 5.1km, Ascent: 305m
Time: 1Hr 50Mins

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Beyond the gate, I walked past two bullocks which were too busy eating hay to pay any interest in myself.

On the track from Kilmartin leading towards Beinn Bhan:

Beyond the next gate, I could see numerous cattle standing on the track. As I progressed towards the cattle, they all moved off of the track and out of my way. This was a pleasant change from being followed or charged at!


Tree growing out of small building:

I followed the track to its end and then took to the hillside.

Ascending the track:

The initial ascent was a little steep but not difficult. On reaching the top of the first knoll, I could see numerous other knolls lying between myself and the summit. I ascended the two highest knolls en-route to the summit.

During the ascent, I tried phoning my friend John several times without success. The signal was poor. I knew John was also intending ascending this hill today.

On gaining height, I was really impressed with the views from this hill. I could see across to Arran, Jura and Mull.

Arran Corbetts (zoom):

Crinan with the Paps of Jura beyond (zoom):

Ben More on the Isle of Mull (zoom):

During the ascent, I had to climb over a dry-stane dyke with a fence on top.

Looking towards the summit of Beinn Bhan:

Looking back across the numerous knolls:

Approximately 200 metres distant from the summit, my phone started ringing. It was John asking where I was. Despite setting off walking 30 minutes after myself, John was already standing at the summit of Beinn Bhan! John had taken a much shorter route up the hill.

At the summit of Beinn Bhan:

Looking towards the Cruachan hills from the summit of Beinn Bhan:

I accompanied John back to his car, thus undertaking a traverse of the hill.

Descent from Beinn Bhan:

On reaching John's car, John gave me a lift back to my car and we subsequently drove to Claonaig to catch the ferry across to Arran.

Hill: Fionn Bhealach
Date: Thursday 30th April 2015
Company: Myself and John
Distance: 11.3km, Ascent: 500m
Time: 3Hrs 10Mins

We arrived at Claonaig with just over five minutes to spare before the next ferry was due. The ferry was very quiet with only two other cars and one pedestrian on board.

Calmac ferry crossing from Lochranza to Claonaig with Arran in background:

Calmac ferry crossing from Lochranza to Claonaig with Arran in background:

On reaching Lochranza, we parked at the Lochranza Youth Hostel and walked from there up Fionn Bhealach.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

As we walked along the road, we enjoyed the bright yellow colour and coconut fragrance of the broom.

Colourful broom in Lochranza:

Torr Nead an Eoin very much caught our intention during the initial walk. It looks a cracking wee hill.

Torr Nead an Eoin:

On reaching the footpath which leads to Laggan, we took this path and followed it to its high-point.

Track leading to Laggan:

Looking towards Fionn Bhealach from Laggan track:

During the ascent, the Caisteal Abhail ridge very much dominated the view.

Caisteal Abhail ridge including the Witches Step:

From the track high-point we crossed rough terrain to reach the 411m top.

Looking towards the 411m top of Fionn Bhealach:

View during ascent:

Ascending the 411m top of Fionn Bhealach:

Witches Step (zoom):

On reaching the 411m top, we continued on to the summit.

Looking towards the summit of Fionn Bhealach from the 411m top:

John ascending Fionn Bhealach:

Fionn Bhealach is not the most interesting of hills in itself, but it is a great viewpoint.

At the summit of Fionn Bhealach:

Before returning via approximately the same route, we visited a high-point approximately 100m beyond the summit.

View from highpoint circa 100m beyond the summit:

The ascent of the three Marilyns today takes my Marilyn count to 990. Only 10 to go to reach the Upper Hall.

Looking forward to a visit to the Holy Isle tomorrow.