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Picture of a mountain behind a loch Returning early from my day in the Trossachs on Ben A'an the previous day to get my camera cleaned turned out to be a good decision. While it was still fairly cloudy when I left Glasgow it cleared up when I arrived at Loch Lomond and I had a great view over to Ben Lomond.

But I had already been on Ben Lomond in 2003, my plan for this day was to complete some unfinished business when I didn't have enough time to reach the summit of Beinn an Lochain in December 2004.

I parked the car at Rest and be Thankful, changed into my walking boots and set out for Beinn an Lochain. I followed the same route as in 2004, walking up the southern flank into Gleann Mór. Soon I had great views over Glen Croe and the surrounding mountains.

Picture of a view over a mountain with some clouds on one flank Picture of a view over a glen with various mountains in the background
Picture of clouds moving in over the top of a hill When I was about half way up I thought I was going to be thwarted again: Clouds started to move in. First only over the top but soon the clouds started to come down. It didn't take long and the nice views I had enjoyed were gone and visibility was down to may 100m.

I decided to continue, hoping that the clouds would lift again. Despite the low clouds I was enjoying the walk, only the nice views were missing. Having gained enough height I crossed over towards Coire Leitire and turned east again to reach the southern peak of Beinn an Lochain (834m).

From here a quite clear path leads over to the real summit (901m, 13m short of Munro height), which I soon reached. Visibility was still very low unfortunately.

Picture of some grassy ground with fog behind it Picture of a cairn and trigpoint in the clouds
Picture of clouds breaking up and a loch coming into view Beinn an Lochain was originally included in Sir Hugh Munro's list of mountains over 3000ft, later surveys determined it to be short of the required height and it was removed from the list.

I spent a while at the summit, ate my lunch and had a look around while hoping that the clouds might lift again and present me with some nice views. No luck, at least that's what I thought and finally decided to leave again.

I had walked for may be 100m when I noticed it suddenly got brighter. Openings appeared in the clouds and suddenly I was able to make out Loch Fyne in the distance. I was in luck after all and finally my wish for some nice views was granted!

Picture of a panoramic view over a hazy landscape

With the clouds lifting the views improved dramatically. Initially it was still a bit hazy, but after a while the view became quite clear. Loch Fyne and the hills towards the south and west became visible, the view below is also available as a QuickTime VR panorama of the view south west from near the summit of Beinn an Lochain:

Picture of a panoramic view over a hilly landscape with a sea loch
Picture of a lochan with ice on itPicture of a crude tiny snowmanOn my way back I passed one of the tiny lochans Beinn an Lochain has its name from. There was ice on it, as to be expected for December.

I also managed to find a little bit of snow (there was more on some of the other mountains I could see, but not much on Beinn an Lochain) and built my own mini snowman. Even gave him a walking pole, he didn't want to come with me though.

A last view into Glen Kinglas with some mountains with more snow in the distance, then some dramatic light over Loch Long with the low sun behind the clouds. Late in the afternoon I arrived back at my car after a nice day out.

Picture of a view along a glen, snow covered mountains in the distance Picture of a view over hills and a loch
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