Ben Donich, The Brack and Cnoc Coinnich
Cnoc Coinnich (2016)
29 June 2018
Having spent 10 months in Kazakhstan, my body clock was still several hours ahead of BST, so rising early was not a problem. The cycle out from Abyssinia was a lot easier than the cycle in, the previous evening. The original plan was to drive to Lochgoilhead and take the bus to The Rest And Be Thankful. However, I decided to try my luck hitching a lift instead. .... My luck was in and the first vehicle stopped and took me up the Gleann Mor to the starting point of what was going to be rather a hard day, considering my level of fitness and the hot weather.
With the Rest And Be Thankful catering trailer open for business, it was a chance to buy some bottles of Lucozade to add an extra litre of fluids to the two litres in my water bladder. It was also an opportunity for a second breakfast - a bacon and brie sandwich with tea.
My focus on Corbetts means that I rarely find myself on a decent path, so the path up Ben Donich was quite a treat, passing up through conifers and past foxgloves.
Higher up, the route includes some mild scrambling including an easy downclimb. I was aware of a man catching me up - a potential bipod for my camera at the summit!
The connecting ridge to The Brack drops down to 384m which along with the fact that there are only faint traces of a path, means the quads have to work hard. Occasionally, I would pass a sizeable rock and lie down in the small amount of shade that it provided. These are usually used by sheep sheltering from storms, as evidenced by the wooly remains from their visit. Sheltering from the direct rays of the sun for just a couple of minutes can help to reduce the fatigue of walking in very hot (by Scottish standards) weather.
L to R Ben Donich - Beinn anLochan - Beinn Luibhean - Beinn Ime - The Cobbler - Beinn Narnain
The summit of The Brack.
The original plan had always been to leave a bike at Ardgarten, descend The Brack to join The Cowal Way and head for Ardgarten before cycling back to The Rest And Be Thankful. However, the promotion of Cnoc Coinnich from a Graham to a Corbett meant that there was yet more to do! Although tired, the additional 275m of ascent to the summit of Cnoc Coinnich did not seem so bad.
Rejoining, the Cowal Way, the route back to Lochgoilhead was marked by posts, making the descent both easy and pleasant. It did seem a rather long way though!
Once at Lochgoilhead, I had fish, chips and peas at the pub, washed down with a nice cold orange juice and lemonade. Before cycling back out to Abyssinia, I took a small detour to take a photo of the classic view of Beinn Ime from Butterbridge. Having eaten and rehydrated, the bike ride out tot he bothy was a lot easier than it had been the previous evening.