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Last updated: 15/10/10


Overnighter - Blackmount & Glen Etive
19 - 20 Jun 2010 (Sat-Sun)


Billed as The Blackmount/Glen Etive this years Overnighter was designed to allow access to innumerable hill groups. What follows is an account of an Overnight spent “bagging” and “bivvying” on The Bridge of Orchy Hills. The weather was terrific (the forecast all week had said it would be) and our route (over 4 Munros and 2 Tops) just about the right length to allow enjoyment rather than racing.

Total trip time was 17 hours – 4 hours 15 mins of which was spent at the bivvy site.

At 5.30pm on Saturday 19th June we said farewell to our colleagues on the mini-bus and wished them well for their overnighter. David Brown, Derek Beverley, Graeme Mcewen and Willie Robb intended a night high on the Orchy Hills with Beinn a’ Chreachain our first port of call. It was a glorious evening of sun and wind…

On the Auchallader road-end looking to Loch Tulla

The Allt Coire Achaladair

Beinn Achaladair

Crossing the Water of Tulla to gain the hill

The Bridge is rather old and “Shuggilie” and is the one marked as a footbridge at NN 353468 on the latest sheet 50 map. It was lovely in the old forest in amongst the old and new trees, flowers and wildlife… and it was a little cooler.

Beinn Achaladair from Crannach Woods

Today was a day for photos… we weren’t rushing as there were cameras pointing in all directions. We cut across the moor and then had to duck under an underpass which clearly had been built with “the little people of Rannoch Moor” in mind

David exiting the underpass

The Allt Coire an Lochain

Looking out over Rannoch Moor

Willie bailed out on the steepish pull up towards the Lochan and made for Gorton Bothy where he spent the night…

Making for the ridge (Lochan a’Creachain behind)

After a steep pull we gained the ridge

It was rather blowy on the top however and extra layers went on

Are we nearly there yet?

At 9.30pm we reached Beinn a’ Creachain and stopped for a bite to eat and a drink as we were all rather peckish…

Hello…yes…we’d like to order some pizzas…one ham and pineapple and one pepperoni with extra cheese…and 3 portions of garlic bread… how long will that be?

David waiting for the pizzas on Beinn a’Creachain

From here we made for Beinn Achalladair taking in the top of Meall Buidhe. The sun was getting low over towards Ben Nevis giving the most wonderful sunset and later still a marvellous “Alpenglow” lit up Beinn a’Creachain.


Alpenglow on Beinn a’ Creachain

My camera was struggling with the sunset but I’ll post the next photo anyway…

Sun going down Saturday 19th June 2010

Meall Buidhe in the moonlight

Sunset behind Ben Nevis

“The ridge with no midge”

We pressed on enjoying a night-time scramble on Beinn Achaladair.

On Beinn Achaladair

Beinn Achaladair

The Ben was as clear as a bell and all around us were hills and more hills… we bagged Beinn Achaladair and bivvied just off it’s top on a lovely grassy hollow with views out west over Loch Tulla, Loch Ba and Loch Laidon and East over Loch Lyon…

Sorting out our bivvy

“What a time they’re taking with those pizzas ! ! ! zzzzzz”

“I hope we get free coleslaw…zzzzzz”

We stopped walking at 11.30pm and got going again at 03.45am. There were some grumbles about what time it was…but it was getting light… and time to get moving again… I think we all got a little sleep.

Morning has broken…

Looking back to Beinn Creachain in the early morning

On the South Ridge of Beinn Achaladair

Beinn an Dothaidh from the East

To get to Beinn an Dothaidh from Beinn Achaladair one must loose a fair bit of height. It then involves a fair bit of leg work regaining the height lost… but of course it’s worth it…

Ascending Beinn an Dothaidh (The hill of scorching)

“Say Cheese”… not the best timed photo ever (on easterly top)

On easterly top

Beinn Dorain from Beinn an Dothaidh

Again there is a fair height loss if one wishes to climb Beinn Dorain from here…and we did. On the descent we spotted a bright orange thing just above the Coire an Dothaidh coll. There was some debate as to whether or not it was a tent or a bivvy bag. It turns out it was a bivvy bag as we startled the then just wakened occupant on our return from Dorain. He told of staying up late to watch the sun-set and then rise again a couple of hours later…

David on the path up Ben Dorain

We stopped for another break on the climb up Ben Dorain (The Hill of the Otter) and dumped our packs. This made progress then swift and easy which was just as well as we took to a contour path high up and had some really steep ground to negotiate to gain the ridge proper. The sun was well out now…and it was roasting again…

High up on Ben Dorain

Graeme on Ben Dorain

Ben Cruachain from Ben Dorain

Looking back to our start point from Ben Dorain

And that was most of our climbing over. We saw a few folk on our descent to the Hotel at Bridge of Orchy…but not many

Path off the summit of Ben Dorain (which is rather eroded)

Loch Tulla

Coire an Dothaidh

We gained the road at 10.30am and had around a 35 min wait for the 11.01 bus (which was late) Fiona C joined us here having had a good night and bivvy on some of the Auch Corbetts. She had seen no-one on her travels but had marvelled at the sighting of a “high level fox”…

Alighting at the White Corries we took the old road to The Kingshouse

The Boochill from the old road

The Kingshouse

I had to wait till 12.30 before I tasted my first pint (I was gasping ! ! !) It was real good though ! ! ! Lunch followed and by all the cleared plates it too was a rather good experience. It was a shame to have to leave The Kingshouse with its tame deer and chaffinches (which ate out of your hand). The place also was home to innumerable swallows chasing midgies on the breeze.

I'll let those on The Glen Etive Hills tell their own story. I look forward to it. Thanks Eilidh (and Ken) for all the organisation and driving on this one. It was a cracker :D

Group photo at the Kingshouse

Author - Derek Beverley
Photos - Derek Beverley