Another month has passed since my last Munro… admittedly I’ve been a bit lazy. With the weather forecast looking promising towards the end of August, I’m hoping to get a few done! To start off, I done Beinn Dorain & Beinn an Dothaidh up by Bridge of Orchy. What a day it was to bag another couple of Munros! It was absolutely roasting and I did struggle a little bit towards the end with the heat but I made it. Munro number 29 & 30 for me! Only 252 to go…
Beinn Dorain & Beinn an Dothaidh
Category – Munro(s)
Height – 1,076 metres (3,530 ft); Beinn Dorain & 1,004 metres (3,294 ft); Beinn an Dothaidh
Location – Bridge of Orchy
Difficulty Rating – 8.5/10
Approximate Timing – 6 – 8 hours
Pronunciation – Byn Doa-ran & Byn an Daw-ee
Beinn Dorain (hill of the otter or small stream) and Beinn an Dothaidh (hill of the scorching) are two of the five Bridge of Orchy Munros. The starting point is at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. Take the usual road to Crianlarich (follow the A84 from Stirling and through Callander, Strathyre and Loch Earnhead. Join the A85, passed the cut off for Killin and head along that road). You’ll pass by where you would park for Ben More & Stob Binnein. Pass through Crianlarich and join the A82, heading North through Tyndrum, passing the Dalrigh cut off you would have taken for Ben Oss & Beinn Dubhchraig. When you pass Tyndrum, stay right on the A82, don’t take the left to Oban, Ben Lui & Beinn a’Chleibh. After following the A82 for about 10 minutes, you’ll come to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. The parking is just to the left of the Hotel.
So from the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, you need to cross the road (with care) and head up the lane towards the train station. As you make your way up hill, stay right on the lane, don’t go left to the level crossing. Pass straight under the railway and through the gate marked with the West Highland Way thistle. On the other side, leave the West Highland Way and turn left, heading up towards the transmitter tower. At the tower, follow the trail to the left of the tower and the path should broaden. Stick to the broad path on the right hand side of the wee river. It’s a relatively nice climb through the moorland up towards the Bealach.
This is where the fun begins as the climb becomes more steep. Eventually you’ll reach the Bealach and you’ll be faced with a choice. Either head right and up to Beinn Dorain or left and up to Beinn an Dothaidh. I opted to tackle the longer walk first and took the right to Beinn Dorain. There’s quite a few twists and turns but follow the path until you reach another fork with the right taking you below both summits and coming from the back to the true summit of Beinn Dorain. The left takes you up to a false summit with a cairn named “the Englishman’s Cairn”. Apparently it’s named so to sort of mock the navigational skills of the English… Anyway continue past that and you’ll get to the true summit of Beinn Dorain.
Nicks Munro Challenge
On my way up Beinn Dorain, I came across a group of folk on their way back down. They asked if I had time to stop for a chat, which I did, any excuse for a break! Anyway once we got talking, the eldest of the group told me his name was Nick and he was doing a Munro challenge, little did I know that he had been in the news for it! Nick is doing all 282 Munros in 1,200 days or under… starting at the age of 80! How incredible is that!? His goal is raise awareness and donations for Alzheimer Scotland and the Royal Osteoporosis Society. If you want to read/ follow his story, or learn more about what he is doing, you can find him on Instagram @nicks.munro.challenge. What an inspiration!
Beinn an Dothaidh
Now that you’ve bagged Beinn Dorain, it’s time to crack on with Beinn an Dothaidh. Head back the route you came, all the way to the Bealach. On your way down, you’ll notice the trail leading up to Beinn an Dothaidh on the other side. Once you reach the Bealach and start climbing again, you’ll notice it starts off pretty rocky but before long you start to lose the path as it becomes boggy. More or less continue heading up hill, I kept an eye on what looked to be a well trodden bit of grass which turned out to be where the path re-started. If you can see it, then navigate your way through the bog and head up towards that.
Once you rejoin the path, you’ll climb to the Bealach between the true summit of Beinn an Dothaidh (on the left) and it’s more prominent Southern summit (on the right). If you want, tackle the last wee bit of the Southern summit and then head to the true summit where you are treated to a spectacular view overlooking Rannoch Moor and up towards Ben Nevis. You can then continue West on to the Western Summit where you can get another spectacular view before heading down gentle slopes to re-join the path you originally came up on. Alternatively, head back the way you came down to the Bealach and straight back to Bridge of Orchy. That’s you, another 2 in the bag! Well done.
The views from both are 100% worth the hike and I can understand why Beinn an Dothaidh is “the hill of the scorching”. The full way up, the back of my neck took the brunt of the sun and my forehead got it on the way down! Other than that though, it is a fairly enjoyable hike. I found it quite challenging both mentally and physically to do both but I’m not sure if that’s my lack of fitness or if it was the sun beating down. Not very often I get to the top of a mountain and meet a swarm of flies because there’s no wind! I have to say, I think the view from Beinn an Dothaidh is my favourite so far. Delighted to have done them both though, now to focus on the next one(s)!
As usual, there’s photos below but if you fancy something different, I’ve tried my hand at the vlogging carry on… check it out at Hiking Beinn Dorain & Beinn an Dothaidh.
Thanks for reading,