Thursday, 22 May 2014

15th May – Ben Alder and Beinn Bheoil

Finally, after nearly nine months we got our hillwalking underway. We travelled up to Perth on Wednesday afternoon and we were up at 5.30 the following morning. We travelled up the A9 where we were witnessed a rather horrendous car accident. After making sure the driver was ok we continued on our journey.

We arrived at the start point at 8am sorted the bike out and started peddling after two and a half hours the track ran out so we started walking towards Benalder Cottage. We met two friendly lads who had rented the house for a few days fishing in this really remote area. We made our way up to the Bealach Breadbag and tackled the largest of the days hills Ben Alder first.

Joy at the cairn on Ben Alder

The summit of Ben Alder (far right in mist)

The massive Ben Alder
There was no path and so we picked our way up through the crags eventually reaching the plateau. The summit was still well over a mile away and there was a lot of lying snow. The wind was also howling and it was pretty cold as well. We arrived at the cairn and sat down in the shelter for something to eat and were joined by three Snow Bunting. We made out way back to the Bealach and climbed up the slopes of Beinn Bheoil, this wasn’t as big a hill and we arrived around 3.45pm. The views were stunning especially towards Ben Alder across the glen.

The summit of Beinn Bheoil with Ben Alder behind

Beinn Bheoil from Ben Alder
We now just had the little matter of about 20 miles to get back to the car. We arrived back at the cottage at 5.15pm then had 45 minutes of walking over saturated ground back to the bikes. Once on the bikes the majority of the distance back was gradually downhill and it was quite enjoyable especially the last four miles were we hardly had to pedal at all. After a mammoth day we got back to the car at 7.30pm relieved, tired and glad this one was out of the way.

We had seen quite a few birds as well, good numbers of Ptarmigan, 3 Snow Bunting, 2 Osprey, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover and lots of Common Sandpiper

As it was the first hill of the year I would have preferred something a little easier, but we have climbed all the easy hills now!

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