Ben Lui – Conish the Gold Mine and the Eas Anie waterfall and the ice climber alert !

The classic 4 Munro’s

I have been watching on BBC Scotland “Gold Town “ is about the mining for Gold near Tyndrum and the Gold mine near Conish Farm just below Ben Lui . The mine is actually on Beinn Chuirn 880 metres and is a Corbett. This area was previously mined for lead in the past and many of the open mines are seen from the A82.

I got to know the area well and MR Burton who owns the farm below Ben Lui has helped us on many occasions. He let us drive up the Glen and always spoke to us. It’s a great wander on some superb hills.

The Wessex overnighting on Ben Lui ! another tale.

There have been some huge call outs here in the past with the local Killin Mountain Rescue Team. I have done the classic 4 Munros Ben Lui, Ben Oss, Ben Dubhcraig and Beinn a Chleibh. These are great hills and so enjoyable.

I have also climbed in the Corrie the Classic Central Gully is a favourite and we climbed many other snow and ice routes in the huge Coire. There is also has an aircraft crash here we visited often. In the Corrie are the remains of Lockheed Hudson Mk.III bomber, Serial Number T9432 (ZS-B) of 233 Sqn Royal Air Force, which was based with Coastal Command at Aldergrove, Northern Ireland. The plane crashed into Ben Lui near Tyndrum on 15 April 1941, sadly killing all four crew members on board. The aircraft struck the southeast side of the mountain in poor weather, close to the snow-covered summit then ploughed its way into a narrow gully and simultaneously disintegrated. Pilot Douglas Eric Green, his Co-pilot Fredrick Victor Norman Lown, and crew of Leonard Alfred Aylott and Wilfred Alan Rooks all perished.

I was also on a huge search for a Jaguar aircraft that crashed. On the 27 November 1979 a Jaguar aircraft crashed in the Ben Lui area. It was heading in a two ship formation for Bridge of Orchy, intending to turn west at the main glen towards Oban on the coast. Suddenly the cloud came down, and the leader told the No 2 to abort and pull up; this he did. However, on pulling out of the top of the cloud, he could not see his leader and could make no radio contact. More information is on my blog . That was a huge learning curve for me and I wanted to become a Team Leader after that incident. I was the Full time Deputy Team leader then at Valley in North Wales we were flown up to assist.

There is a waterfall near the Gold mine that I have been lucky enough to climb a few times in the past. This information was on UKC climbing forum. It is a great ice climb in winter.

Eas Anie Grade 4 50m, 3 pitches. Classic water ice giving perfect protection.
The lower gully is easy. The upper left hand section provides the crux with two good long pitches. The easier right hand finish can offer ice flutings and an ice cave.

Eas Anie Willie Mac on the last pitch 2004.

August 2020. There is a sign on the last track gate, which you would miss out if you followed the signpost to Eas Anie. This says that the Cononish Gold Mine will refrain from blasting within 300m of the route when it is in condition and being climbed. So probably a good idea to give them a call before setting off. 01838 400 306.

12 Feb update There is now a box with a switch at the top gate just below the gulley and above the mine. This is the Ice Climber Alert for the mine office. Switch it on when you go up, and last one down switches it off. DonNOT walk into the Gold Mine area

The BBC Scotland program is a great insight into the balance of the National park the Mine owners (Scottish Gold) and the locals to the project. It’s a great series you should be able to get it on “Gold Town “ on BBC Scotland. It was great to see Mr Burton and his wife and hearing their views. I loved seeing the hills and the area again. Great memories comments and views welcome?

Ben Lui from a painting by Terry Moore

And as always there are the Corbet’s in the area!

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Articles, Friends, Health, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Other hills Grahams & Donalds, People, Recomended books and Guides, SAR, Scottish winter climbing., SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering, Views Political?, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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