A cast of thousands (well a dozen or so) assembled for our winter gathering, this year held once again at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel and, as ever, superbly organised by Andy. On the Saturday, The Tower Captain and I decided to tackle the two hills which tower over the hotel to the East – Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh.
The route was extremely simple: follow the path beside the Allt Coire an Dothaidh into the slightly forbidding looking Coire an Dothaidh…
Turn right at the col for the long haul up to Beinn Dorain before returning to the col to nip up Beinn an Dothaidh via a circuit of Coire Reidh.
Looking down Glen Orchy.
Looking across Loch Tulla.
Towards the top of Corie an Dothaidh I was really surprised to see, emerging from the snow, the flowers of what I assume to be Purple Saxifrage, familiar to me from the limestone crags high on Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent.
We stopped for a while, behind a boulder near the top of the corrie, for a drink and a bite to eat.
Lochan on the ridge, unnamed on the OS map.
Beinn a Chuirn and Beinn Mhanach, with Beinn Sheasgarnaich behind TC.
Looking up to the steepest section of the climb on Beinn Dorain.
Looking back towards Beinn an Dothaidh.
Across Loch Tulla again. Ben Starav, Stob Coir an Albannaich and Stob Ghabhar.
Pano. Click on this, or other pictures, to view a larger image on flickr.
Looking south-west, Ben Oss and Ben Lui prominent.
The weather was pretty changeable and we had a few showers of snow, hail and rain, but on the whole that just added to the drama of the views.
The false summit of Carn Sasunnaich came as a surprise, in mist I can see that it would be very easy to be fooled by it.
I was feeling in particularly fine fettle along this section of ridge, like I was really in my element.
In fact, here I am, feeling very pleased with myself. The Tower Captain took the photo, I don’t think he’ll mind that I’ve used it.
Looking back along the ridge to Carn Sasunnaich.
Across Loch Tulla again – the weather coming in.
Looking toward Ben Oss and Ben Lui again.
Looking South from the top.
Ice formations on the slopes of Beinn an Dothaidh.
Looking back to Beinn Dorain.
I was hoping that Beinn an Dothaidh would give us superb views across the vast expanse of Rannoch Moor, but, by the time we had reached the top, the weather had closed in again and our views were a bit limited.
Looking down to Loch Tulla.
Large cornices and the summit of Beinn an Dothaidh.
The Tower Captain on the summit of Beinn an Dothaidh.
Looking towards the hills around Loch Lyon.
I’m not sure what kind of rocks the hills we climbed are composed of, but they seemed to glitter in the combination of damp and sunlight we had, with lots of silvers and golds on display. Eventually, it occurred to me to try to photograph them, but I only took one photo, which hasn’t really captured the effect very satisfactorily.
When we got back down to Coire and Dothaidh the snow had mostly melted and the late afternoon light put a completely different aspect on the views.
We sat by the same boulder as we had on the way up for one final rest stop…
…before returning to the pub for food, drink and a convivial evening with old friends.
Can’t be bad.