Hill: Stob Mhic Bheathain
Date: Thursday 2nd November 2017
Company: Just myself
Distance: 31km, Ascent: 1200m
Time: 9Hrs 5Mins

Last week, I took the opportunity to ascend one of my three remaining Grahams. I drove to Ardgour the evening previous parking up for the night next to Loch Linnhe. With a long walk planned for the following day, I set my alarm nice and early to maximise use of available light. I woke up about 90 minutes before sunrise, drove my van to the walk starting point, got suited and booted and set off walking towards Conaglen House.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Start of track leading to Conaglen House:

At the walk outset, it was dry but overcast. Hopefully the weather would improve to be as good as forecast.

Loch Linnhe from start of track:

On reaching Conaglen House, I skirted round it to reach the start of the vehicle track through Cona Glen.

Conaglen House:

Ignoring the initial blight of Rhododendron bushes, the subsequent oak woodland was lovely. It reminded me of the not too distant oakwood at Ariundle.

Beyond Conaglen House:

The excellent track made for fast progress albeit I was in no hurry. I had a circa 9 hour walk with 10 hours of available daylight.

Beautiful oakwoods:

As I progressed along the oak tree lined track, several red deer crossed the track a hundred metres or so ahead. They were well aware of my presence and didn't hang around to be photographed. The autumn colours were stunning.

Autumnal colours at Cona River:

After about an hour of walking, it was nice to look back to watch the sun rise.

Looking back to watch the sun rise:

The sun brought a warmth of colour to the autumnal shades of brown and yellow.

Sunlight illuminating the mountain tops:

Despite having already walked for over an hour my intended hill was still a long way off.

Sunlight bringing a warmth of colour to the glen:

Long early morning shadows:

By now the weather had improved to actually being much better than forecast. What a day to be out.

Looking along Cona Glen to still distant Stob Mhic Bheathain:

I eventually reached the private bothy at Corriarach. Shame it wasn't an open to the public bothy as I fancied a look inside.

Private locked bothy at Corriarach:

After circa 12km of walking along Cona Glen, I passed through a lovely section of glen with several Scot's Pine.

Scots Pine in stunning Cona Glen with Stob Mhic Bheathain in background:

At last I was approaching level with Stob Mhic Bheathain. The only thing preventing me from starting my ascent was a crossing of the Cona River.

Stob Mhic Bheathain:

I failed to find an easy crossing point to get across dry. On reaching the far side of the river my boots were full of water.

Crossing the Cona River:

Beyond the river the ground was very wet underfoot. However, as my feet were already as wet as could be this was not a problem. Highly recommend Smartwool socks which keep your feet warm and comfortable whether wet or dry.

It was nice to look down and back along the length of Cona Glen.

Looking down to Cona Glen during initial ascent of Stob Mhic Bheathain:

On reaching the ridge I ascended the steep grassy section before reaching the rockier higher section. Despite the rocks there was no need to put hand to rock.

Ascending the wide ridge leading to the 706m top of Stob Mhic Bheathain:

Cona Glen:

Ascending Stob Mhic Bheathain via the 706m top:

Cona Glen is a wonderful glen. Worth a walk even if not ascending any of its flanking hills.

Looking back:

On gaining height it was good to see the nearby Corbetts that I ascended back in 2011.

South Glenfinnan Corbetts:

Onto less steep ground:

I eventually reached the 706m top and from there made my way down to the col and then across to the summit.

Stob Mhic Bheathain from the 706m top:

As I made my way down to the col, I noticed my phone was almost out of power. I went to plug it into my charger but released I had forgot to take the cable. Doh! Viewranger would soon switch off and I could no longer take photos with my phone.

Descent to the col between 706m top and Stob Mhic Bheathain:

Following the fenceline up Stob Mhic Bheathain:

The view from the summit of Stob Mhic Bheathain was pretty-good. However, I could see a cairn in the distance on a knoll of almost the same height as the summit so I decided to visit it too. The views from this viewpoint cairn were even better.

At the summit of Stob Mhic Bheathain:

Ben Nevis was clear of cloud. What a day it would have been to be on the Ben.

At the easterly viewpoint cairn of Stob Mhic Bheathain:

View from viewpoint cairn:

Ben Nevis free of cloud (zoom):

As I made my way back from the viewpoint cairn to the summit cairn, I tripped over a rock and went for a tumble. My phone went flying but was ok. My camera did not come off so well. This brought an end to all photos for the day as my DSLR UV filter was smashed and stuck-on and my phone was now out of power.

The result of a wee tumble. No more pics:

I returned to the car via the same route. The 13km walk back out along Cona Glen felt really long. I got back to the car just after 16:00 having started walking at 07:00. A long day but one more Graham in the bag. Two of the toughest hills in Scotland now remaining to compleat - Meith Bheinn and An Stac. Will be saving them for an equally good forecast.