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The Hidden Loch and Beinn Chabhair

Saturday 9 December 2006

The weather forecast for the weekend was reasonable weather on Saturday – sunshine and showers – followed by strong south-westerly winds on Sunday bringing rain to all of Scotland.  Unsurprisingly we chose Saturday for a day trip to the hills from Edinburgh. 

Anna and I are steadily picking off all the hills accessible from the Crianlarich and Tyndrum area aided by the Google powered ‘Munro Map’ available through MunroMagic.com.  This web site gives routes (including GPS waypoints) to all the Munros and Corbetts.  A number of the routes are identical to those recommended by the SMC – up and down the same way.  The Pocket Mountains series of guidebooks sets out circular walks up all the Munros.  Some of the routes are therefore much more interesting.  With this in mind we decided to climb Beinn Chabhair with an approach via Meall Mor nan Eag and Lochan a’Chaisteil. 

 Anna on the ridge

We parked at The Drovers Inn Inverarnan and walked up the A82 road a short distance to Beinglas farm campsite.  Our route then went up a zigzag path by Ben Glas Burn before heading north-east to climb Meall Mor nan Eag and continue on to the secluded lochan. 

 Lochan a'Chaisteil

The ridge made for hard walking with many false tops and steep descents.  As we approached Meall nan Tarmachan we joined the main path up Beinn Chabhair followed the route recommended by the SMC guidebook.  The weather was a mix of blizzards, spindrift and hail with a bitter wind near the summit.  This meant we did not stop for the usual lunch break at the top but descended the ridge for a few hundred metres before finding a sheltered spot. 

We opted to follow the Ben Glas Burn back to the car as darkness was fast approaching.  By the time we got back to the car all light had gone.  Plans for a drink at the The Drovers Inn Inverarnan were abandoned as it was packed out with customers three deep at the bar.  Instead we drove to Lochearnhead and stopped at the Clachan Cottage Hotel for a drink and a meal before returning to Edinburgh.