Thursday, 17 October 2013

Ben Avon and Beinn a'Bhuird, Aug'13

I awoke to a much better day than yesterday (when we'd been up Beinn Bhrotain, Monadh Mor and the Devil's Point). Sun was glimpsing through the clouds and a gentle breeze blew through the campsite. Today we were heading to a couple of the more remote Munros in the area - Ben Avon and Beinn a'Bhuiridh.

Dave, Christine and myself met in the car-park at the end of the pubic road by Linn of Quoich. Gear ready, off on our bikes we head north-west on the fine track running by the Quoich Water. This is a lovely cycle, through some forest with heather bright in late summer purples. Some 6km further on, we reached the point where the track crosses the river, dismounted and locked the bikes. This is where we would return several hours later. On foot, we progressed eastwards through more forest, further on a couple of tents were trying their best to blend in with nature's greens and browns. The track comes to an abrupt end where a fine path (faint at first) takes over continuing through the wood, passing some impressive ant-hills on the way. Out of the wood, the path comes down to the river once more, where stepping stones appear to aid crossing. The sun was out, we were sheltered, so a fine place to stop for some food.

Dave likes his lists, Munros, Munro Tops, Corbetts and so on. Our intention was just to head for Ben Avon's summit - Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe, however Dave spotted two Munro Tops, sort of on route, with a slight detour. Christine wasn't fussed with these, so with fine weather all around, we hatched a plan, estimated some timings and Dave headed off in the direction of the minor top above Creag an Dail Mhor. Christine and I headed north on the path, which has been much improved of late. Up to the col (some weird and impressive rock structures), then onto Ben Avon's summit plateau, we could see Dave had reached the highest point - the volcanic tor, just infront of us - perfect timing ! The wind gusted around the rock, after scrambling onto the top, we sheltered and had some food while taking in the views.

Dave checked his Hill Lists app on his phone and found another top just over 1km detour from our intended route. Again weather was fine, so Dave headed off, giving himself around a 10 minute gap. Christine and I, returned to the col, then ambled over the grassy terrain towards Beinn a'Bhuiridh. My camera has a powerful zoom lens and we could pick out Dave on the summit of the Munro Top of Stob an t-Sluichd, he'd have to put a spurt on to catch us up ! He was around 5 minutes behind us when we reached the small and insignificant cairn on Beinn a'Bhuird's vast plateau. Wind was whipping up, so we chose to keep moving and head southwards. Of course, there's yet one more Munro Top and Dave headed off in the direction of its cairn.

The track heading down Beinn a'Bhuird's south-west shoulder has been removed and in its place a fine path has been constructed. This made for rapid progress back to the trees, where Dave caught Christine and myself up. To the bikes, it was a quick cycle back to the road.

More photos are on our Flickr site !