This month’s munro of the month is Beinn an Dothaidh (only just made it in time for March)
Height: 1004m (3294 ft)
Location: Bridge of Orchy
Name meaning: Hill of the scorching
Map used: I used Ultramap Trossachs North. To find out more about Harvey Maps click here
No matter how many hills I climb Beinn an Dothaidh will always have a place in my heart. The main reason for this is that it was the first place I ever saw a cloud inversion.
I parked near the railway station and got out to put my boots on. This was about 07:00 and this is when I discovered that this is also when the midgies get up.
The path took me under the railway bridge and then crossed over a part of the West Highland Way
From there I started my ascent which takes you up between Beinn an Dothaidh and Beinn Dorain. I was chased up the first 300m of the hill be the midgies. They are an absolute pain in the arse, and everywhere else they find, but they are a good motivator to move quickly on the hill.
Looking up I could see nothing but cloud covering down to at least the last 100m meaning I couldn’t see the top of the hills.
Just before reaching the cloud line at Coire an Dothaidh, perched just on the edge of the coire was a tent. What an amazing place to wild camp. Residents still sleeping I pushed on up and into the cloud. This is when the route splits to either do Beinn Dorain to the south or Beinn an Dothaidh to the north. I chose to do Beinn an Dothaidh first so headed north through the cloud.
As I neared the top I was aware the cloud was becoming brighter and brighter. Just before reaching the top my head popped up like I was ascending a ladder into the attic. My head quite literally popped up through the cloud and into the blazing sunshine. On reaching the top I stopped, absolutely gobsmacked and, not afraid to admit, with a slight tear in my eye. I have always wanted to see an inversion but never had. Wow, wow and more wow. The cloudy carpet was so white and fluffy it was almost like I could bounce across to Ben Nevis in the distance.
This was a day I was never going to forget. Whilst I sometimes enjoy having my own company, this was a day I wish I had been with other people so we could enjoy this moment together.
The photo is me at the top of Beinn an Dothaidh with Ben Nevis peaking through the cloud in the background.
From there I headed off the peak and onto the other hills……………..