Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bidein Bad na h-Iolaire (near Fort William)

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 22 November 2012
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith, David Boother, Wendy Boother, Joss Johnson
Accommodation - Laurel Bank Lodge, Fort William
Start Point - Laural Bank Lodge, Fort William (GR NN09418 73057)
Start Time - 11:25
Finish Point - Laural Bank Lodge, Fort William (GR NN09418 73057)
Finish Time - 16:40
Duration - 5hrs 16mins
Average pace - 1.47mph
Distance Walked - 7.73miles
Height Ascended - 702.37metres

Peaks visited
Marilyns (1216)
Bidein Bad na h-Iolaire (2)
Highland Five (771)
Bidein Bad na h-Iolaire (1)


Walk Summary
Clouds looking menacing after breakfast
Bonus walk today. General consensus last night was not to walk due to horrendous BBC weather forecast, predicting heavy rain for 12 hours from 3am, with torrential rain for 3 hours from 9am. So I took all walks down to explain walk options after breakfast, for the rest of week. Couldn't believe it when conversation was around what walk we would do today, then deciding on one walk that we could start from our B&B without using a bus or taxi.
Although the hill tops on on the other side of Loch Linnhe were shrouded in cloud and the sky looked heavy with rain, it was not raining that hard, nothing like forecast anyway.There were some heavy rain briefly as we set off but other than that the weather was dull with only a couple of brief showers before lunch that was all we had. What is more as the day progressed the cloud lifted from the hill tops, apart from the likes of Ben Nevis, so although it remained cloudy  we had some good views of the adjacent hills and distant mountains.
Highlights were coaxing Joss Johnson up her first Marilyn ever, in spite of her deep fear of heights. As well as Wendy Boother completing her first hill walk since recovering from severe fatigue.

Walk Description
1.) Turn left out of B&B on to Achintore Road, then quickly turn left again up Ashburn Lane.
Need to sort out waterproofs early on 
2.) At top of hill cross Grange Road and take footpath up steps to Lundavra Road past house with waterfall in garden.
Garden Waterfall
3.) Turn right on Lundavra Road heading out of Fort William.
4.) Cross the cattle grid on to the Old Military Road to Landavra. The path to to the left and Glen Nevis is where we return at the end of the walk.
5.) Carry on past the viewing point and Glengour to the next cattle grid.
Ben Nevis hidden in cloud from viewing point
6.) Stay on road and after 2 houses immediately on left count 4 fences on left up the hill to Blarmachfoldach. then 1 more fence on the left, a bridge then a gate before what will be the 6th fence up the hill preceded by a metal gate. Do not rely on finding phone box marked on map. IT HAS BEEN REMOVED.
Doire Bàn beyond cattle grid before
ldach. Two houses on left
just after cattle grid
7.) Go through the gate and head up the tongue of Bideinn Bad na h-lolaire.
Phone box shown on map in Blarmachfoldach
now removed so we start ascent at next farm.
Iron gate at bottom of hill to right of fence
8. ) Follow fence ignoring gate on right and over style at fence intersection. (We went through gate ½ way up and thought we would have to go back to get over stile on other side of fence, but found a gate about 50m to the right)
9.) Follow carefully track up tongue it is not always clear.
Gina leading the way.
We all know this is not the summit
10.) As the ground dips after the first false summit just after the 475m spot height look to the right and see the summit of Bideinn Bad na h-lolaire.
11.) The top is the last of the 3, so skirt around the first hill and do not be tempted up the front of the next hill like we were.
Steve explaining to Joss we are not going
up that. What I neglect to explain we are going up
the one she can not see (but the camera can)
12.) Instead stay to the left and head up the third hill to the summit cairn.
13.) From the cairn head back to the second hill descending in as steady a diagonal as you can.
14.) We could not find a well worn path and there is certainly not one marked on the map. Descend as best you can by trying to keep clear grass ahead of you until you reach the un-named loch.
15.) Skirt round the hill on the other side of the loch avoiding as best you can the boggy ground SE of the loch.
Avoid the boggy ground to the left and
east of un-named Loch. Also don't bother
climbing over hill, go round it to the left
16.) On the other side of the hill head as best as you can towards the path from Glen Nevis and Cow Hill. 17.) Try and keep sight of clear ground ahead and avoid following streams down hill, they will lead to a waterfall. Proceed cautiously where you cannot see clear ground as there are several crags on the right to avoid.
Head towards visible path between Glen
Nevis and F. William. Keep clear ground and
grass in sight ahead. Avoid sharp drops to the right
18.) Finally you will get to level ground followed by a small climb east of the path over fairly boggy ground. Head for the path avoiding getting wet feet as best you can.
19.) After hitting path, turn left and follow path to cattle grid at end of Lundavra road mentioned in 4. above.
Head back to B&B or start point following reverse route from point 3. above.

More Photographs
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