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Beinn an Dothaidh

Wanderung · Argyll and Bute
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Trail Magazine
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m 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 8 6 4 2 km

On more than just a run to the summit and back while climbing its famous
neighbour, Peter Macfarlane fi nds the secret corners of Beinn an Dothaidh
9,8 km
1:32 h
905 hm
905 hm

day one 5.6km (3½ miles); day two 3.1km (2½ miles)
Total ascent day one 940m; day two negligible
Time day one 3 hours; day two 1½ hours; 
Start/finish Bridge of Orchy Hotel (NN297395)
Nearest town Tyndrum
Terrain road leads to easy track, which becomes rougher and rockier higher up; the descent is on very steep and rough terrain

I don’t need much of an excuse to head into the hills with a tent. Long ago, it passed from being a means to an end – a simple tool for getting me to the most remote peaks– to an atmospheric end in itself. Wild camping high in the mountains reveals another world, a landscape that changes when all the people go home. On long summer evenings the cool breeze over the ridge soothes hot toes and brows, while in winter the sun sinks in a blaze of colour as you rattle your stove to hurry it up, and cinch your down jacket ever tighter. Nor do you have to seek out the dramatic; a large part of wild camping is about taking your time and savouring the moment.

Any hillside can become the perfect place for setting up camp, however far from the road. Beinn an Dothaidh is a case in point. It suffers from having as a neighbour Beinn Dorain– a pin-up Munro that’s much easier to pronounce off the page. I’ve often wondered how many walkers on their way up from Bridge of Orchy have been asked about their plans and said “Er, Beinn Dorain” rather than risk it? (If you say “Ben an Dooee” you’re pretty close.) The usual route is up to the summit and back from the head of Coire an Dothaidh, but there’s so much more to this hill, and it’s the perfect place to camp. 


Accommodation Bridge of Orchy hotel – tel. (01838) 400208; Tyndrum and Strathfi llan have hotels, B&Bs, bunkhouse and campsites
Public transport bus services north and south on A82; Bridge of Orchy railway station is near the start of the route
Guidebook The Southern Highlands by D J Bennet, pb SMC
Tourist info Tyndrum – tel. 0845 225 512 

4263106 NN296395 Start from the large car park next to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel (don’t leave your car at the railway station), cross the A82 and follow the road up to the station. Pass under the tracks, up to a gate and take the track east onto the open hillside. 

4263261 NN300394 The track is easy to follow, and is now very eroded in places. The angle is easy and ground can be covered quickly. Keeping the river on your left, the track splits and meets again a few times as it climbs higher into Coire an Dothaidh in an attempt to miss out the boggy sections, but it doesn’t really work out so you’ll be picking your own way through to some degree, depending on conditions. Cross a burn originating high on Beinn Dorain, now rising to your right, after which the terrain becomes drier. Follow an increasingly rocky and steep path as it zigzags through craggy terrain and cliffs to bring you out onto the high bealach that joins Beinn an Dothaidh and Beinn Dorain. 

4263264 NN326398 A track winds through the lower rocky sections and takes you into the large, rather strange concave bowl that is Beinn an Dothaidh’s summit plateau. The track is good if a little wet in places, but keep a more northern bearing as the track slips away to the north-east towards the summit. Climb grassy slopes, again wet in places, to reach the easy-angled flat-topped rib that runs parallel to the road far below and which presents Beinn an Dothaidh’s familiar ’fortress wall‘ aspect to the world. 


4263266 NN326409 Camping here is easy, with plenty of flat spots and good ground. Set up camp, and now with the lightest of loads you can enjoy exploring the plateau. Follow the edge of the cliffs from the nearby 1000m top; huge buttresses and gullies that are a popular winter climbing venue fall away below. The summit is less than a kilometre away and beyond that a minor top with the best views of the day to the quiet flank of Beinn Dorain and the familiar pyramids of Ben More and Stob Binnein at Crianlarich.

4263804 NN333405 From this 993m minor top retrace your steps back to camp for fine views of the sun slipping into the Atlantic Ocean, the Black Mount, Glen Etive hills and what seems like half of Scotland. When leaving next day walk south from camp for a few hundred metres and turn right, descending grassy terrain.

4263815 NN322405 There are two minor water crossings to make as the slope levels out, and some traces of path here and there. Soon the terrain becomes much rockier, loose and very steep. There are still traces of a path, but take care. It’s a wonderful position, high above a wide, flat glen, and despite the proximity of the main road it still feels wild. 

4263828 NN312399 As the ground levels out, cross the river and pick up the outgoing track from your ascent route.
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Aktualisierung: 07.06.2011

Höchster Punkt
992 m
Tiefster Punkt
159 m


alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten


56.516869, -4.769180
56°31'00.7"N 4°46'09.0"W
30V 391143 6265010
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9,8 km
905 hm
905 hm


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