Beinn a’Bhacaidh, Glen Albyn. Section 9B.
Height - 555 metres. Map – OS Landranger 34.
Climbed - 11 December 2011. Time taken - 3 hours.
Distance – 5.5 kilometres. Ascent – 390 metres.
Trip Report Details:
I travelled south on the B862 which is located on the east side of Loch Ness. Once beyond the hamlet of Whitebridge I drove along the tarred road that led to Knockie Lodge. At the south end of Loch Knockie I located the forest track which would take me to the foot of Beinn a’Bhacaidh. There was even space to park a couple of cars.
At the start of the track there was a locked gate with a stile at the side, but it was just as easy to walk round the small section of wooden fencing. The track, which had recently been improved, was followed passed a small hut, to the south end of Loch nan Lann. Here a new deer gate had been installed with a wicket gate at the side. Not far from this point I spotted another deer gate, which was unlocked, with a grassy track beyond. This track was not shown on my map but it headed in my intended direction so I decided to use it to reach Beinn a’Bhacaidh.
The grass was soon replaced by rock and stone as the track headed, steeply in places, up the side of the forest, an old stone dyke and the Allt na Ceardaich. A couple of short sharp barks were heard and I spotted roe deer disappearing into the forest. I was undecided at what point to leave the track as it made for reasonable walking. Red deer spotted me and were off up the hill but I stuck to the track. It passed an old gate in the deer fence and at this point degenerated into bog and became rather intermittent. However I continued the short distance to the bealach before commencing the ascent of Beinn a’Bhacaidh through long heather and some snow patches. There were a few crags to avoid as well as rocks, some of which had a covering of ice.
I had encountered some light rain on the ascent but as I approached the summit the cloud lowered and engulfed me. The summit cairn was located and I found some shelter from a cold wind to await the cloud lifting. Despite spending some time there the cloud did not clear which was disappointing as I think it would have been a good location for views up and down Loch Ness. I took a bearing east and descended over rough ground to rejoin the track then followed the upward route back to the car. On the descent I spotted a couple of feral goats but they ran off as I closed in on them.
Photos taken on walk.