Report on Beinn Luibhean
With a big crowd of club members heading over for the first of this years Arran weekends, I didn’t really expect a great turn out for our planned trip to Beinn Luibhean, indeed I didn’t expect any takers at all! So then I was pleasantly surprised when Irene said that Deidre (a new potential member) was thinking of joining us. Panic! What if it was thick cloud and we got her lost, she may never join up or pay her subs, what would I tell the committee?
As it turned out, we picked the best day of the weekend and despite the dreadful weather on Saturday I woke to find the sky clear with the promise of a great day on the hill.
We had arranged to meet Deidre at 10am by the Kinglas Water just beyond Loch Restil. Having driven up under almost cloudless skies it was a bit disappointing to find cloud on several of the tops, but as we sorted out the gear the cloud gradually started to lift and just before Deidre arrived, Beinn Ime cleared.
The planned route was to head straight up the north ridge of Beinn Luibhean as soon as we’d cleared the old forestry and with Nita leading, we quickly gained height on the steep hillside. The views across to Beinn an Lochain with its snow studded crags were great and as we got higher the views around just got better and better. After a while we gained the crest of the ridge and the angle eased a little. Higher still and we reached some big snow patches that were melting quite fast in the sun. At this point the ridge narrows just a wee bit and a gully leads all the way down to give views of Loch Restil in the glen below. A final haul and we were at the summit crag, the last few metres suddenly opening up extensive views across to the Cobbler and Beinn Narnain. It really was wonderful with blue skies and hills all around.
There were actually quite a few other walkers in the area including the dreaded school party, but by taking this more direct and path free route instead of the one described in the guide books, we saw no one on the way up. We descended by the more popular route, picking its way down the East Ridge to a bealach between Beinn Luibhean and Beinn Ime and then following a path back down the glen to the road.
For anyone who has walked the more popular of Arrochars hills but given Beinn Luibhean a miss, then have a re-think. Tackling it by this route makes for a very enjoyable if shortish day and probably gives some of the best views of Beinn an Lochain that you can get.
Photos: Keith Salmon
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