Height – 586 metres. Map – OS Landranger 56.
Climbed – 16 October 2011. Time taken – 3.5 hours.
Distance – 11 kilometres. Ascent – 595 metres.
Trip Report Details:
The Sub 2000 Marilyn, Binnean nan Gobhar is located to the north of Balmaha on the east side of Loch Lomond. I parked in the car park at the Native Forest Centre, Cashel, where there was an honesty box for the £2 parking fee.
I set off along a grassy path which soon joined a vehicle track that zigzagged uphill through the woodland. As height was gained there were ever improving views back to Loch Lomond. The ‘Queen’s View’, named after the Queen of the Netherlands who visited the area in the 1970’s, was eventually reached and just beyond that a large metal padlocked gate. At this time cloud covered Binnean nan Gobhar, Beinn Bhreac and Stob a’Choin Duibh.
The gate was crossed and the track followed as it descended slightly to a ‘T’ junction where I took the right fork. This led to, and along the top of the forest to a gap in the deer fence where a gate once existed. Beyond, underfoot conditions quickly deteriorated. Initially I followed All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) tracks but the ground was very soft and wet. I therefore opted to climb the rough hillside through long heather and reeds where hidden holes full of water and young trees added to my problems. One consolation was the cloud was lifting from the tops so at least I could see where I was headed.
Conditions were slightly better higher up although the gully I followed was still wet and had been used by an ATV. Once through this gully I headed for higher ground and the cairn marking the summit of Binnean nan Gobhar. From this summit I had views of Beinn Uird, another Sub 2000 Marilyn, the Munro, Ben Lomond and Beinn Dubh, a Sub 2000 Marilyn which I climbed in September.
I found some shelter from the wind for a coffee break before heading for the trig point on Beinn Bhreac. However the ground between these two tops was a massive peat bog so I had to work my way round this area before climbing to the summit of Beinn Bhreac. From here I headed for the gap in the deer fence searching out the driest and easiest route initially with some success but lower down I encountered the awkward vegetation and terrain experienced on the ascent route. In fact at times I thought it was even worse.
Near the gap I met a chap obviously out taking photographs and we discussed the wet and boggy terrain before parting company. I followed my ascent route back through the forest to the car park, passing several couples and family groups who were out for a stroll in the woods.