Beinn Trilleachan: A Dog in a Bog

Beinn Trilleachan – 840m
Hill classification: Corbett
14th October 2008
Distance: 5.5 miles
Ascent: 1, 070m
Time taken: 5 hours
Weather: Dry and warm
Two Feet Four Paws: Anne and Molly

We left Helensburgh in the dark and completed the caravan crawl up Loch Lomondside accompanied by the rising sun and tantalising glimpses of clearing skies. However, it was all change at Auch – low cloud and drizzle, but ever the optimist I hoped it would clear by Glen Etive. It didn’t. We arrived at the head of Loch Etive after the two hour drive raring to go. The car park at Gualachulain was closed as there was major forestry clearance taking place but there were still plenty of places to park along the roadside near the edge of the forest.

Loch Etive. Well it might brighten up?

We parked the car at the edge of the forest and followed the path alongside the fence. This path is extremely wet and boggy, a total bogfest for the two-legged walker but absolute heaven for Molly who was filthy, wet and muddy and adorned with pieces of bracken and grass after a few minutes.

The bog begins

We followed the fence for a while and then the boggy path turned SW up the ridge. There was an assortment of deer tracks that helped progress up the ridge. I am not sure if it is just me, but whenever I am climbing up through horrible terrain I am always convinced that there is always a far better path just out of view. I still couldn’t find this mythical path so I continued up through the tussocks, bogs and hidden holes.

Stob Dubh and the Buachailles peep through the cloud
Ben Starav makes an appearance
A bottomless chasm on the way up to the 1st top

Once past Meall nan Gobhar the angle relented and the terrain improved with far more rock, much drier ground and traces of a path. Progress to the 767m top was easy along a granite pavement.

Easy walking
Molly. Mistress of all she surveys
Loch Etive glistens far below

From the 767m top there was a steep descent of 70m to the next col and thankfully traces of a path picked its way through the granite slabs.

Route finding was easier than it looks

From the col there is a possible descent route back to Loch Etive for those who do not value their knees.

The alternative knee crunching descent
Ben Starav is a steep slog from any direction
The view back from where we came
Arrival at the summit can only mean one thing. Lunch

As usual the mist rolled in just as we arrived at the cairn. Bang went our hopes of sweeping mountain panorama’s. This happens so often I am sure we are jinxed. We followed the route of ascent back down again and the clouds shifted a bit.

It’s a long way down

Throughout the day deer were roaring. This confuses Molly, she can hear them, she can smell them but she can’t see them.

Where are those pesky deer?
Loch Etive reflections

It was then back down through the bog fest to the car. One of the party enjoyed themselves on this bit. I will leave it to your imagination as too how much bog and mud were rolled or jumped in.

On arrival back at the car Loch Etive proved to be an ideal dog dunking facility for the filthy canine.

Doggie dunking

Well at least the weather hadn’t cleared up the moment we left the summit which made a nice change!

The cloud rolls in again

A thoroughly enjoyable hill, even though the driving took almost as long as the walk itself.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: