Corbett number 7: Ben Donich

I completed my 7th Corbett, Ben Donich. This fantastic hill provides easy walking and a quick ascent with great views from the summit, perfect for anyone looking for a slightly shorter day’s walking.

[August 2016]

We began our walk from the forestry commission car park at the foot of the hill. This is reached by taking the A83 as far as the Rest and be Thankful, then turning off and following the road to Lochgoilhead for a few hundred metres. There is then a small car park on the left side of the road.

We arrived at the car park around 1050 and set off 10 minutes later. Conditions were near perfect for walking. It was warm and sunny, but with enough of a cool breeze to keep you comfortable while exerting. We followed the Gleann Mor forestry track for a very short while then turned south to follow the path signed “Hill Access to Ben Donich”.

Start of the Ben Donich Path
Beinn an Lochain from the path

The path is decent at this point and allows for easy walking. It then crosses what I assume is a deer fence by way of a gate. We continued our ascent and quickly reached Coire Culach, where we were met with a relaxing level section after our steep ascent.

By this point we were already at 660m due to the already high start point, but we weren’t complaining. The path remains level for little under half a kilometre, where we started ascending once again. This was again quite steep, but still quite easy going due to the good path. We passed a couple of walkers on their way back down the hill who seemed in an awful hurry for some reason.

Ben Donich summit

Before long, almost all of the height is gained. There is then a small scramble back down a few metres to cross a boulder field, but this wasn’t particularly difficult in good conditions with dry rocks. I would imagine this small area would become particularly hazardous in snowy conditions.

Ascending after the short scramble

We continued along the path, which by this point was almost level, and the summit soon came into view. Ben Donich has a large summit plateau, so nearly all of the height of the hill is gained while still around half a kilometre from the top.

We reached the trig point 1 hour 45mins after setting off, which was pretty good going including stops. We met an older foreign couple at the summit who asked us to take a photo of them at the trig point. They then found some seat-shaped rocks near the trig point and began eating their sandwiches, which made us particularly jealous considering our summit feast was some cereal bars and granola!

Trig point, the Arrochar Alps & Ben Lomond
Lochgoilhead & Loch Goil from the summit

We retraced our steps back off the summit to find a slightly more sheltered seat as the wind had started to pick up slightly. Before long, we found some comfy looking rocks, refueled and began our descent following exactly the same path as the way up.

The scramble section is slightly easier on the way down as it turns into a climb up rather than down, meaning you can actually see where your hands and feet are going. We continued down, stopping now and again to admire the awesome view and take some photos. We found ourselves back at Coire Culach after what seemed like only minutes and stopped once more to take in more water as it was still very warm.

Loch Restil & the path

We pushed on and found ourselves back at the car park only 3hrs 15mins after setting off. This was pretty good going considering we stopped often to take photos and keep ourselves hydrated. I’d definitely recommend Ben Donich to anyone looking for a slightly shorter day out, or if you feel really fit this can even be combined with the Brack according to Walkhighlands, but this seems like rather a long way for us normal folk!

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