Snowshoeing on Ben Dorain

Saturday was a busy day on Beinn Dorain. The sun was shining, it was warm and still and there was plenty of snow to have fun in. Among the folk enjoying the hills were hill runners, paragliders, walkers and me and my group doing a wee bit of snowshoeing.

It was great to see the paragilders flying around the summit. They set off from Bridge of Orchy about the same time as us with the big packs with their chute inside. They headed up to about 850m to a flat part of the ridge that leads up to Ben Dorain then took off into the thermals rising up from the Glen. Later, while having lunch on the summit, we saw them gliding around within 100m of the summit cairn.

Next in the pecking order of graceful travel on the mountain that day were perhaps the hill runners. We met a pair of hill runners, with their collie in tow, in the early afternon at the col. We had just got down from Beinn Dorain and were getting ready to head up to our second munro, Beinn an Dothaidh. Clad in lycra, light packs and hill running trainers they ran effortlessly up towards Beinn Dorain. About 30min later, whilst on munro top of Beinn an Dothaidh they’d caught up with us. We watched them run along the summit ridge to the north, heading off towards Beinn Achaladair and beyond.

Whilst snowshoing can’t claim to be as fast or graceful as hill running or paragilding, it is alot of fun. We took turns using the snowshoes, enjoying being able to explore the big satsturgi, wave-like drifts of snow formed by the wind. You get loads of grip with snowshoes and its big platform stops you sinking into or slipping on the snow.

On the way back down the hill it was warm and the snow was melting fast. With such warm temperatures forecast, it may have been my last winter day in the hills this year. I hope we will get another cold spell to prolong the winter fun a little longer.


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