Beinn Dorain & Beinn an Dothaidh

Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh

Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh are a great pair of hills. Beinn Dorain hoves right into view as you drive north on the A82 out of Tyndrum, it is a spectacular mountain – and it offers similarly spectacular views from its summit. So too does Beinn an Dothaidh, its twin to the north, looking out over the Black Mount and the vast expanse of the lonely Rannoch Moor.

The route of ascent begins from railway station at Bridge of Orchy, so this is perfectly convenient for those hillwalkers who are travelling by public transport. A path heads right up Coire an Dothaidh and is followed up to the col between Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh. To gain Beinn Dorain, turn south and follow the ridge up to the summit, but be aware that a false top must first be passed, take care particularly in poor visibility. The summit sits at a proud 1076m, and is the perfect place for a spot of lunch.

Then head north, back down to the col, and then continue north up grassy slopes, heading for the middle of three summits, which is the main summit of Beinn an Dothaidh, standing at 1004 metres. The views from this peak are especially great, with a real sense of the vastness and emptiness of the Rannoch Moor which the mountain drops right down onto, and the Black Mount across from you, with Loch Tulla down below.

To return to the train station at Bridge of Orchy, retrace your steps back down to the col, and once again carefully descend Coire an Dothaidh back down to the station.

Safety first

These mountains may not have the height of Alpine peaks, but you should not underestimate them or the very changeable weather they are subjected to.  It is not unheard of to have warm sunshine, rain, snow and fog all on the same day – even in the Summer!

You must be prepared for the terrain and for these weather changes.  You should only climb in sturdy hiking or climbing boots, and you must take waterproofs and emergency supplies.  Also take plenty of food and water – it is generally safe to drink from mountain streams, which are usually very clean, but you do so at your own risk.  A map, compass, and proficiency in their use, are a necessity.

Always check the mountain weather forecast before you head into the hills, and if it is winter or there has  been any snow falling or forecast, you should also check the avalanche forecast.  The area is served by an excellent mountain rescue team, but it is your responsibility to ensure you minimise the chances of an emergency which endangers their lives too.

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