Beinn an Lochain rises sharply above the Rest and Be Thankful, a few miles west of Arrochar in Argyll & Bute, and grants a short, tough but rewarding out and back walk.
It is a Corbett, a Scottish mountain between 2500-2999 feet but of all the Arrochar Alps, with perhaps the exception of The Cobbler, Beinn an Lochain has the most mountain character, with great crags, an airy ridge and several steep ascents; magnificent views emanate from her slopes and summit.
A fine walk begins from either of the 2 lay-bys on each side of the A83, 1.5km north of the Rest and Be Thankful on the wonderfully named Bealach an Easian Dubh (the Pass of the Black Water).
The Rest and Be Thankful sits at 244-metres above sea level, at the junction of the A83 and the B828, and is overlooked by the steep crags of Beinn an Lochain. Its name refers to the inscribed stone that was placed by soldiers when they completed the original military road in the mid-1700’s. Ever since it has provided a welcome break for drovers, travellers and cyclists who have taken the steep climb from either Loch Long or Butterbridge; Thomas Pennant, Boswell and Johnson and Dorothy and William Wordsworth are just some of those who have enjoyed the spectacle.
As height is gained when ascending Beinn an Lochain there are superb views of Binnein an Fhidhleir’s spiky ridge, Ben Ime’s conical outline, and northeast along the length of Glen Kinglas. Below is the Kinglas Water at Butterbridge, spanned by the wonderful old stone bridge, built as part of General Wade’s 18th century military road network.
The higher you climb the outlook north to Ben More, Ben Lui and Ben Oss is remarkable while Loch Restil lies directly below. Beinn an Lochain’s sharp profile rises above and a real sense of its mountain character can now be appreciated – it is a marvellous sight.
The path then follows a line to the left of steep crags up its eastern face to arrive at the summit cairn – the panorama extends to the Arrochar Alps and Ben Lomond, the Cruachan Massif, Glen Etive Hills and, on a clear day, Mull.