Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Druim na h-Earba

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 18 January 2012
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith
Accommodation - Laurel Bank Lodge, Fort William
Start Point - Laurel Bank Lodge, Fort William (GR NN09418 73057)
Start Time - 13:25
Finish Point - Laurel Bank Lodge, Fort William (GR NN09418 73057)
Finish Time - 16:30
Duration - 3hrs 05mins
Average pace - 1.47mph
Distance Walked - 4.54miles
Height Ascended - 391.3metres

Peaks visited
Marilyns (1216)
Druim na h-Earba (1)

Walk Summary
One of 3 minor Marilyns well within walking distance of our lodgings at Laurel Bank Lodge. A more significant peak slightly further east on the other side of Glen Nevis could also fit in to the 2nd and 3rd description but definitely not the 1st.
Apart from this being our very first walk, "up hill" or "down glen" in Scotland this was a very special walk for me. It was Gina's first hill walk without fear of aggravating symptoms of here long term back injury incurred nearly 3 years earlier, so although it is only small in ascent & distance it is significant in so many other ways.. I really am hoping we will look back on this walk when our Munro count is well and truly up and running and say "... who would have thought it possible."
A very decent alternative walk of about 10 miles for anyone wanting a more challenging walk which would include Bidean Bad na h-lolaire is also an option  However, I deliberately planned this as a short walk, with an easy return to the start point if there were any signs of re-occurrence of symptoms. Leaving Bidean Bad na h-lolaire for a later walk to enjoy and share with friends on a later trip.

Walk Description
1.) Turn right on to Achintore Road towards Fort William out of drive at Laural Bank Lodge B&B.
2.)  Take the first right on to Ashburn Lane and at the top of the hill look for the footpath sign on the other side of Grange Road. Do not turn right in to Grange Terrace as we did.
3.) Cross Grange Road and head up the footpath up the steps and pass the bungalow on the left with the waterfall in the garden until you reach Lundavra Road.
4.) Turn right and follow Lundavra Road up the gentle hill heading out of Fort William.
5.) At the cattle grid continue along Lundavra road until you reach the viewing point and picnic area on your left.
6.) Opposite the viewing area take the footpath to the left of the fence and follow it up hill.
7.) This footpath basically follows the easiest route up the ridge to Druim na h-Earba trig point.
8.) The top is slightly to the south east of the trig point.
9.) To make this a circular walk we continued past the trig point and headed down hill.
10.) When you reach the fence do not cross to the other side but turn right and head down hill. The going is easier this side of the fence.
11.) As you get level with Leacavoichten look fopr a route to your left to cut off the corner and reach the fence to the north of Abhainn Bheag. We had planned to cross Abhainn Bheag and join the Lundavra Road but the crossing was too awkward.
12.) As it turned out the route we ended up taking along the fence was probably best anyway.
13.) We joined the Lundavra road at the road bridge over Abhainn Bheag and turned left following the road to the viewing point and picnic area.
14.) From here head home on the reverse route of 4.) - 1.) above.

More Photographs
Druim na h-Earba trig point towards Fort William
Click on photograph to view slide-show

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