Beinn Dubh - 642m
Mid Hill - 657m

Saturday 18th October 2008

Weather/Conditions: Sun with showers between. A very photogenic day with rain, sun and rainbows around, although a strong wind on higher slopes. Up top the weather was vile, battling through winds blowing sharp hail into my face. The descent seemed unusually sunny though.
Accompanying: Solo

2008 has seen me do a lot of firsts for myself and this was certainly another one of them. The Luss Hills were always the hill I went past on the way to the bigger things, but I'd climbed nearly everything in the Arrochar area. So I went to Luss, and here, there are eight Grahams between Loch Long and Lomond for me to explore. I've somewhat "discovered the Luss Hills" now and hold a high opinion of them now. I had planned a circuit of Mid Hill around to Beinn Eich, taking in three or even four Grahams but this didn't happen. There were several contributing factors as to why I climbed one hill - between waking up and walking I hadn't eaten a thing (stupid of me...) and when climbing the side of Beinn Dubh I felt it. As a result I walked far slower and so would have no time for any other hills. Additionally, the walk from Beinn Dubh to Mid Hill was hard. The pictures won't show it, but hail like bullets are painful, and pair that with peat hags, cloud, numbingly high winds and you come to the realization that going on will not be pleasant. Not to mention climbing Doune Hill after Mid Hill would leave me walking into the hail. Some may enjoy such weather but I'll pass.

Mid Hill

Dad dropped me off in Luss - I bought extra food from the shop while heavy, cold rain was being swept around by high and squally winds. I got wet walking across the car park. As I started I was glad to find that this rain shower had passed and I walked across the road, looking for a way onto the bridge over the A82. Signs pointed to a primary school I think, but I felt this was the right way. I followed this track where I came to some steps and found my way onto the bridge. I passed a house and began walking up the road into Glen Luss. First problem - where to start? A path cut through thick bracken and I had no idea where to start, so the first 15-20 minutes of walking were comprised of fighting through shoulder high (or higher...) plants. It wasn't the easiest way to begin, but because I was now in sunlight, the views were sure good.

Glen Luss looked very idyllic, with natural trees, dotted white washed farmhouses and rolling hills. There's no plantations here and it's all the better for it. Loch Lomond was also very beautiful with the mixture of sunlight and showers over Conic Hill and the islands on the loch. The pictures show this better than I can explain! I spent a while trying to reach the path on the crest of the ridge and it was a relief when I finally got there. I headed upwards from here, feeling the effects of having no cereal in the morning - it leaves you feeling like you can't be arsed and I was in a mood to sit and soak in the views. However I went on, knowing I also wanted to climb something.

I wouldn't have guessed it beforehand, but the walk up Beinn Dubh turned into more of a slog than I'd thought it would be. However, the views were still excellent, and Ben Lomond, Beinn Uird, Beinn Bhreac and Conic Hill were laid out. It's one of my potential future plans to walk Balmaha to Rowardennan over these four mountains. I went on up the side of Beinn Dubh with screaming winds coming from the west. It was enough to push me off balance a couple of times although it wasn't as if I was on any exposed ridge.

I ended up on top of Beinn Dubh soon enough. I wasn't too bothered about that fact and didn't stop either. Some rain was falling and through the haze I could see the bases of The Cobbler and Beinn Narnain. A mountain revealed itself at one moment with an absolutely huge overhanging cliff. I identified it the hill as The Brack but I didn't realise that it had such extensive overhanging cliffs. These views were all nice, but the walk I was about to do wasn't. The rain was turning to hail, and the wind was still strong. It was a longer walk from Beinn Dubh to Mid Hill than I'd anticipated and it was all across peat hags, bog with hail being shot through the sky and stinging my face.

Still, I was in a good mood and I went onwards. The camera went away, because in these conditions I wasn't going to be taking any photographs. A last pull up the hill brought me to cairns, and as I walked, the second turned out to be the highest. I briefly brought the camera out, but I'd figured by this time that I wasn't going to be doing anymore hills today. Though now I was on Mid Hill, and was happy with this.

Descent and back to Luss

I wasn't sure of the best route to take down but a small path started leading down the SE arm which I decided I'd follow. A couple of hundred metres off the top, the sun came out again and it stayed that way. I stopped for a break but when I began the sun stayed around and it was a quick jaunt down the hillside to the bottom of Mid Hill. I passed through some fields where the path disappeared and climbed a gate. I was back at the road for a very easy and extremely enjoyable walk back through Glen Luss. I passed a couple of people as well as some cars, but it was mostly quiet.

I was back in Luss early where I took many photographs and a pan or two. Mum pulled up after not too long and from there we went straight home.


Loch Lomond from Beinn Dubh

Loch Lomond from Luss pier

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 8.40am Luss
(1.30) 10.10am Beinn Dubh
(2.00) 10.40am Mid Hill
(2.50) 11.30am Glen Luss
(3.50) 12.10pm Luss
Written: 2008-10-27