Beinn Dorain and its 4 neighbours
Area: Loch Rannoch to Glen Lyon
Munros: Beinn Dorain, Beinn a Chreachain, Beinn Achaladair, Beinn an Dothaidh, Beinn Mhanach
Time: 8 hours 5 mins
My munros of choice today were the 5 munros above the Bridge of Orchy. I hadn’t walked a munro for three weeks due to being ill and wasn’t sure if I would manage these but I had done two good training runs last week so I decided to go for it. So up at 0450 and out the door at 0520. I arrived at the station car park in the eraly twilight of dawn at 0705 and set off walking at 0710.
I walked under the railway, up the steps and then crossed the WHW, taking the path past the information board to the left of the trasmitter. The path climbs the hillside for 2.5km to the Beallach at 744m. The lower sections of the route is eroded over a large area probably due to the normally boggy conditions forcing walkers to seek dryer routes up the hillside. (This is good evidence of the need for a dedicated path like we have on other popular routes. Contary to my previous opinion of leaving things wild hahaha. So you can teach an old dog new tricks hahaha). After working hard I was soon at the beallach and I headed south up the ridge towards Beinn Dorain. The summit is approximately 2.5km from here and I had intended to stay on top of the ridge all the way, however after 1.5km the path I was on headed around the side of the hill dropping slightly but generally staying at around the 1000m contour. I rechecked the map but because the path was well used I decided to continue and it took me all the way round to the back of Beinn Dorain, with some great views down to the A82 and beyond, and then up to the summit. I must have been half asleep because in the back of my mind the reports I had read said you had to head to the second summit. So I continued onto the second summit 400m away. As I was walking along I was confused because the A82 was on my left hahaha. I then realised where I was and stopped at the large cairn on Carn Sasunnaich. After some eats and photos I headed on my way.
I now have to head North East over Meall Garbh and head at a run down the valley for 2.5km to cross the river Allt Coire a Ghabhalach. I stop near the river and look back up the the beallach at 744 and see a lone figure on the beallach. This was a young lady mountain marathon runner that I was to meet later. She was on her way To Beinn Dorain. I head North East East for 1km in a gentle traversing climb to 650m. Beinn Chuirn looks impressive standing alone and there is an excellent path heading up the valley 200m below me. I then head North East for a further 1km. I am trying to keep level with the beallach ahead to minimise height loss. I now head East for a further 2.3km climbing the North slope of Beinn Churn to the beallach and then up the gentle slope to the summit of Beinn Mhanach. The sun is shining, there is no wind and it feels exceedingly tranquill. Excellent.
I now head back the way I came running down towards the gate at the beallach, (I met two guys here that had a good climb up the South West face of Beinn Chuirn), but heading off towards the lower beallach at the head of Gleann Cailliche and arrive there after 2km. I head North up the valley keeping East of Garbh Mheall for 1.5km to the path below Beinn Achaladair. Its now only 2.5km over MeallBuidhe and onto Beinn a Chreachain. I met a guy from Shropshire at the summit. So after a good break I was on my way running down the slopes heading back towards Meall Buidhe. Just before Meall Buidhe I met the mountain runner. Would you believe she was doing the same route as me. She had set off at 0800 and by my reckoning she had kept pace with me so far. I said I would see her in the hotel and continued on my journey. Its now only 1.5km to the summit of Beinn Achaladair but there is quite a steep climb up to it. I meet other walkers out enjoying the sunshine and carefully descending the steep slope but there is a good path. I am quite tired now but its only 4.5km to the summit of the last munro.
So I jog a fair bit of the journey to the beallach above Coire Daingean and have a rest before ascending the steepish grassy slopes for 1km to the summit of Beinn an Dothaidh. I look behind me from about halfway up and I can see the young lady about 2km away running down the hillside and as I got to the top she was approaching the beallach. She is good but my ascents are over so I am not sure she will catch up hahaha. Its now downhill for the short 3.5km back to the car. The descent from this summit is not exactly clear so I make my own way down to the beallach at 744m jogging most of the way back to the car.
After cleaning and changing I enjoy a nice soup and drink in the hotel. A while later the young lady turns up and being the gentleman I treat her to a nice drink.
Another great day in the hills.