1008 m. |
Translation: Red hill
Pronuncation: byn jerrack
A tramp along long land rover tracks on a warm day in early June was on the agenda. Beinn Dearg from Blair Atholl was the goal of the hike. We had left our cosy and comfortable cottage in Laggan for good and had headed south on the A9 to Blair Atholl where we parked our car in the hikers’ parking at Old Bridge of Tilt – not without having recceed the road to Old Blair beforehand and having found no place to leave the car. So up the private road to Old Blair we walked and soon entered the forest following the track high above the left bank of the Banvie Burn. We were overtaken by a couple of people giving their horses some exercise shortly before the track left behind the trees for good. It was quite warm and there was no protection from the sunshine anymore for hours on end. Frank and I sweated profusely and made good progress on the land rover track leading to the Lady March Cairn. From there the tramp on the track continued gaining metre after metre in altitude. Then the terrain levelled out before we lost 50-70 metres before reaching the bothy at the Allt Sheicheanchan.
A rougher track led along the right bank of this burn to an altitude of about 600-650 metres. Where the track crossed the burn and took a sharp turn right we picked up the path climbing the south slopes of Beinn Dearg’s outlier Meall Dubh nan Dearcag and leading to more level terrain on the whale back of the mountain. We struck a more or less direct line from there to the gravel-strewn and stony summit of Beinn Dearg which was nicely visible a mile ahead. On the way to the summit we walked over another intermediate grassy/heathery bump and met a few other walkers with whom some words on the perfect conditions of this marvellous day were exchanged. Soon we rested at the summit cairn and enjoyed the views. A cool wind was blowing at the cairn so we did not rest longer than a quarter of an hour. Then, with some reluctance – partly because the day was so good, partly because the way back would be long and partly because this was the last tour in spring 2014 – we retraced our steps over the broad ridge, down the path to the land rover track. Once we had reached the track we took a break for eating our sandwiches and drank big gulps of water from our bottles.
Then Frank and I headed up the steep land rover track and followed it to the broad col between Beinn a’Chait and the minor bump of Carn Dearg Mor. On and on went this very easy track which follows the Allt Slanaidh on its way towards Glen Tilt. After roughly ninety minutes since the break we reached the edge of the forest above Glen Tilt. Through a gate in the tree fence we continued our walk in the lovely shade provided by the pine tree plantation. Soon sounds of shooting could be heard and we inferred from the map that we were nearing the shooting range in Glen Tilt. It was the 6th of June 2014 – exactly 70 years after D-Day – and the local rifle club was having a celebrative competition to mark the anniversary. Thank god that today they weren’t looking for Germans to hunt down :-). We passed the rifle range and then picked up the shady path leading down to Glen Tilt where it joined the road down the glen to the parking in Old Bridge of Tilt. There we un-booted our steaming feet and enjoyed resting our legs.
After a chat with another hiker whom we had met on the mountain we then threw our stuff into the car, rolled down the windows and drove off to Pitlochry and the shower waiting for us at the B&B. 30 kilometres, most of it on land rover track, for one Munro is quite a tall order. But it was fun and a great effort for a final day. Very good!
Max elevation: 1029 m
Min elevation: 179 m
Total climbing: 1001 m
Total descent: -999 m
Total Time: 07:07:01
Description This is a high isolated mountain in the hinterland of the Forest of Atholl whose summit might best be described as a great heap of stones and boulders. It is a long way from the nearest point on any public road, so the approach to the foot of Beinn Dearg is likely to need more time and effort than the ascent itself, and the use of a bicycle on the tracks leading towards the hill may be very useful.One possible route starts from Old Blair and goes by the track up Glen Banvie and the Allt an t-Seapail to reach the bothy beside the Allt Sheicheachan. It is also possible to reach this bothy by cycling up Glen Bruar. From the bothy follow a stalker's path north-east onto the south ridge of Beinn Dearg and go up this over patches of red scree that obviously give the hill its name.