Beinn an Lochain - 901m
Monday 18th June 2012

Weather/Conditions: Beautiful day! Great visibility and settled weather. Midge hell at Glen Croe crags - definitely a better day for hillwalking than rock climbing.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 5.5km / 750m / 3h
Accompanying: Alone

Beinn an Lochain had always curiously got away. It of course used to be a Munro, but now sits as a Corbett, and that probably had something to do with it. It is at least spared the motorway of a path had it been over 3000 feet.

All the better for it, it retains a slightly untouched quality. I'd never climbed it, and resolved to put that right. I parked up at a layby at the far end of Loch Restil, from where a path quietly snakes away to gain the immense flank of Beinn an Lochain. You could tally the days mileage on one hand, but for a wee mountain it's a big one.

I especially enjoyed the geology of this mountain. It's mica schist, the same stuff that made the Cobbler. Beinn an Lochain is a mountain of landslides and dramatically carved faces. It has the lumpiness of the hills of the area, yet it's stature is one of a higher mountain. The north face of Beinn an Lochain is a fascinating place - rock faces are carved clean, boulder fields trundle down into the coire... As you gain altitude on the ridge, the aspect of the rock formations change, you can see everything right up close. It would be nice to climb a route on the face some day.

Vistas opened up, the breeze picked up. I battered up the last bit of the hill, a pace on the go, and utterly joyful to be here. When I got to the top the ecstasy spilled out in laughter which suddenly turned to embarrassment when I realised there was a couple guys sitting there wondering why I'd arrived panting and giggling to myself. Oops.

Visibility was brilliant, it was almost a shame that there was no other linking hill to continue the high-level enjoyment. I spent some time on top. Views extended to pretty much any area of Scotland, it was one of those summer days of incredible visibility to match winter. Distant horizons had a rare clarity and I enjoyed picking out the hills and islands of the west coast of Scotland.

I pretty much flew down the ridge to the car, half walking, half jogging, maybe one third falling with style... One of the beauties about this day was in it's simplicity, a simple, inexplicable enjoyment from battering up and down a mountain. All new terrain, all fresh perspectives.

I had time in hand, so I walked down to Butterbridge then checked out a ruined building on the way back (see pictures). Later, I stopped by the Glen Croe crags and soloed Students Route (Severe) and Polythene Pam (HVS).

A brilliant day.


Beinn an Lochain 180° SE

Beinn an Lochain 180° NW
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 12.00pm Loch Restil parking
(1.12) 1.12pm Beinn an Lochain
(2.25) 2.25pm Loch Restil parking
(3.00) 3.00pm Loch Restil parking - again, after walk to Butterbridge and back

Written: 2015-04-13