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Corbett bagging: Short but steep Beinn Luibhean, Arrochar Alps

Written by Fiona

May 18 2021

I wonder if I would have felt a little cheated by the short walk to the summit of Beinn Luibhean in ordinary circumstances. Usually, I enjoy a longer outing and more of a chance to exercise, chat, take in the views and generally get away from my busy life. But, on the day chosen, the 6km out-and-back hike to the top of the 858m peak was perfect.

The forecast had not been hopeful one Saturday recently, except Ben and I spotted that the first half of the morning might not be so wet and stormy as the rest of the day.

We could see that it would be quite breezy – it turns out, it was very breezy – but we reckoned that the route was short enough to cope with the wind.

Like so many mountains in the Arrochar Alps, in the west of Scotland, Beinn Luibhean is steep and also rugged.

A path was fairly obvious to start with as we left the small parking area on the side of the Rest and be Thankful road. But within about half a kilometre, it was a case of simply heading up – and up.

The trods came and went – and sometimes, even though it was May, the route was covered in snow.

For most of the walk, we were buffeted by a strong side wind. The higher we climbed, the stronger it became until at higher altitude we struggled to stand upright.

But, as I said earlier, this is a short route. Almost before we could become frustrated with the wind and cold, we were at the top, taking a couple of photos, and then turning round to descend the same way.

Ben on the ascent.
Snow on the ground in May.
Sometimes there were trods, sometimes not!
The iconic Ben Arthur.

The views were fabulous despite the weather. Snow-topped mountains, including The Cobbler (Ben Arthur), Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime, offered a superb vista.

As we approached the start again, the rain became heavier and Ben and I agreed that the length of walk was just about perfect. It was short but it was steep and we had made the most of a short window of slightly-less-than-horrid weather.

Bagging Beinn Luibhean means I have ticked off all the Corbetts in the Arrochar Alps. This is timely, given that we have now moved to the Scottish Highlands!

Corbetts bagged: 50

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