Around Crianlarich – 23 Munros in 11 days

25 of the 31 Munros I had left to do were in the Southern Highlands, too far away from Inverness for day trips. After studying the map, Crianlarich seemed to be the perfect base from which they could all be accessed easily, and so I booked ten nights at the Youth Hostel. All I needed now was a spell of good weather!

Friday 03 August 2012:
Meall Corranaich + Meall a’ Choire Lèith (9.7 km, 732 m)

Saturday 04 August 2012:
Stob a’ Choire Odhair + Stob Ghabhar (16.4 km, 1167 m)

Sunday 05 August 2012:
Beinn Bhuidhe (12.3 km, 767 m)

Monday 06 August 2012:
Ben Lomond (11.6 km, 947 m)

Tuesday 07 August 2012:
Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime + Ben Vane (17.4 km, 1701 m)

Wednesday 08 August 2012:
Ben Vorlich + Stùc a’ Chroin (14.4 km, 1161 m)

Thursday 09 August 2012:
Beinn Eunaich, Beinn a’ Chochuill, Stob Diamh + Ben Cruachan (25 km, 2033 m)

Friday 10 August 2012:
Meall nan Tarmachan (12.4 km, 738 m)

Saturday 11 August 2012:
Beinn Dubhchraig, Ben Oss, Ben Lui + Beinn a’ Chleibh (22.1 km, 1622 m)

Sunday 12 August 2012:
Creag Mhòr + Beinn Sheasgarnaich (24.5 km, 1364 m)

Monday 13 August 2012:
Meall Ghaordaidh (9.4 km, 890 m)

Day 1, Friday 03 August 2012

Meall Corranaich + Meall a’ Choire Lèith

9.7 km/732 m/04:15 hrs

(Munros Nos. 252 + 253)

The forecast was for rain, and so I changed my plans for the first day: Instead of going via Fort William and doing Stob a’ Choire Odhair and Stob Ghabhar on my way to Crianlarich, I drove down the A9 via Pitlochry and climbed Meall Corranaich and Meall a’ Choire Lèith, two easy Munros W of the Ben Lawers group.

In spite of the forecast, it was sunny and warm when I started from the small car park near the N end of Lochan na Lairige.

Lochan na Lairige and Meall nan Tarmachan ridge.

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The terrain was a mixture of heather and bog, and soon I found a line of fenceposts that I could follow all the way to the summit of Meall Corranaich. I couldn’t believe how nice the weather was!

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By the time I reached the summit of Meall Corranaich, dark clouds had gathered over me and I expected the rain to start any minute, but a short while later it cleared again.

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It is a nice easy walk along grassy slopes towards the second Munro, and it took me exactly an hour between the two summits.

Looking back to Meall Corranaich.

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Meall a’ Choire Lèith summit cairn.

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From the wide summit plateau I descended in a SW direction, and soon found a faint path leading down the hill and back to the car park. A few hundred metres away from the road I saw heavy rain clouds approaching and decided to run – I made it back to the car just when the first raindrops fell!

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Day 2, Saturday 04 August 2012

Stob a’ Choire Odhair + Stob Ghabhar

16.4 km/1167 m/07:30 hrs

(Munros Nos. 254 + 255)

Shortly before 08:00 I started from the car park at Victoria Bridge, it was already very hot and the midges were out in force. I had been wondering why there was such a lot of traffic on the minor road to the Inveroran Hotel, and I had seen quite a few runners on the road as well.

When I approached Forest Lodge, I even got a round of applause by a group of supporters standing by the roadside, covered in midge nets :mrgreen: It turned out that the “Devil O’ the Highlands” race was taking place today, a 43 miles ultra marathon from Tyndrum to Fort William. I was really glad I didn’t have to run in this heat…

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I left the track running beside the Abhainn Shira at the Clashgour Hut and followed a good track N along the Allt Toaig. After fording a small subsidiary stream, a path zig-zags up the hillside to Stob a’ Choire Odhair.

From here I got a good view across to the Aonach Eagach, the rocky SE ridge of Stob Ghabhar.

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The views further SW to the Ben Cruachan hills were impressive as well.

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Stob a’ Choire Odhair summit with Stob Ghabhar in the background.

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The views across Rannoch Moor were stunning…

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When I could finally take my eyes off Rannoch Moor, I walked off the summit in a westerly direction and eventually found a path leading to the bealach between the two Munros. Apart from a scree-/boulderfield higher up, this path goes all the way up to Stob Ghabhar’s E ridge.

Crags below Stob Ghabhar’s summit.

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View along Coire Dhearbhadh with Stob a’ Choire Odhair on the right.

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It is more a walk than a scramble along the “Mini-Aonach Eagach”, but fun nonetheless.

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Beinn nan Aighenan and its neighbours, which I had visited only two weeks ago.

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Coirein Lochain.

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When I reached the summit of Stob Ghabhar, I could see an isolated rain shower over Rannoch Moor, but it was still sunny and hot everywhere else.

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From the summit, I followed the easy-angled SE ridge. Further down, there are some awkward rock steps beside a waterfall, but after that a good path leads back to the Allt Toaig.

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On the way back, I picked up two ladies who were walking along the road and gave them a lift from the Inveroran Hotel to Bridge of Orchy.

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Day 3, Sunday 05 August 2012

Beinn Bhuidhe

12.3 km/767 m/05:15 hrs

(Munro No. 256)

The standard route up Beinn Bhuidhe is via Glen Fyne, but I had heard that there is normally a herd of Highland Cattle around, so that was ruled out. The alternative would be the ascent from Glen Shira, the only problem is that the road up the glen is private. A few trip reports of walkers who had managed to drive up that road without problems had encouraged me to try the same, and to increase my chances of not being stopped by anyone, I chose to do this walk on a Sunday.

Past Arrochar, I suddenly thought I had taken a wrong turn somewhere because the landscape didn’t seem to match what I expected to see, but the scenery was impressive. I stopped in a lay-by to look at my road map, and realised that I had just passed the famous Rest and Be Thankful Pass 😳

At the entrance to Glen Shira I drove past the No Entry sign and up the glen to the bridge across the Brannie Burn where I parked at the side of the road. I didn’t see any other cars or people, and thankfully, the only gate on the way was open.

First I walked up a forest track, then along a fire break and through a large area of felled forestry. Eventually I arrived on a long broad ridge with many minor tops.

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Suddenly the clouds lowered, and when I finally arrived on a summit with a cairn on top, I thought at first that I had reached the summit. But when the clouds lifted for a few moments I realised that I was on Stac a’ Chùirn, and still had about 1.5 km to go…

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The actual summit was still in the clouds when I reached it.

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For the descent, I followed the path that comes up from Glen Fyne for a couple of hundred metres, but then I turned S down some very steep grass slopes with crags in between.

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During the descent, the clouds lifted, and looking back, I could see the summit now being clear – typical!!

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Near a dam across the Brannie Burn, I saw hundreds of butterflies swarming around – later at home I found out that they were “Scotch Argus” butterflies.

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I was a bit worried that the gate might be closed on my way back, but it was still open and again, I made it back along the road without seeing anyone else.

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Day 4, Monday 06 August 2012

Ben Lomond

11.6 km/947 m/05:30 hrs

(Munro No. 257)

After a long drive down to Rowardennan, I found one of the few free parking spaces right by the lochside (free because they belong to the Rowardennan Hotel). It was hot and windless, but overcast when I started walking on the “motorway” up Ben Lomond.

First view across Loch Lomond.

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Sheep with a head for heights on the crags of Coire a’ Bhàthaich.

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No views from the busy summit.

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Just when I left the summit and descended to the Bealach Buidhe, it started to rain.

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On the Ptarmigan ridge.

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Great views across Loch Lomond again on the way down, and it got even better when the rain stopped and the sun came out.

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I found the second half of the walk much more enjoyable, it is a lot more scenic and less busy than the standard route from the Visitor Centre. I would absolutely recommend the circular route via the Ptarmigan ridge!

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Day 5, Tuesday 07 August 2012

Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime + Ben Vane

17.4 km/1701 m/09:45 hrs

(Munros Nos. 258 – 260)

Again, it was already very hot when I started from the car park at Succoth at 08:15. A steep path leads through the forest, and when it emerges from the trees, The Cobbler comes into view on the left. There were a few clouds swirling around its summit, and Beinn Narnain was covered as well, but the clouds lifted while I was on my way up.

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After I had passed the Narnain Boulders, I decided to leave the path and climb straight up to the ridge between Beinn Narnain and Cruach nam Miseag. That would save me to go up and down Beinn Narnain the same way, and would make the route a bit more interesting.

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Nice views across Loch Long.

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After a short scrambling section, I reached the summit area of Beinn Narnain, which has got several rocky outcrops marked with cairns.

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The summit itself has got a trig point.

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I really would have liked to climb The Cobbler as well, but I knew I had a long day ahead of me as it was and I probably wouldn’t have had the energy to include another hill.

Besides, the three Munros were my main priority at the time – but I will definitely come back to climb this very interesting looking Corbett (hoping I’ll make it through the eye of the needle!).

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I descended to the Bealach a’ Mhaim and climbed up Beinn Ime.

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Loch Arklet and Loch Katrine in the distance.

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View back from the ascent, Beinn Narnain on the left and The Cobbler on the right.

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Beinn Ime summit cairn.

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View from the summit, Ben Lomond in the distance on the left.

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From the summit, I descended first N to Glas Bealach and then NE to Lag Uaine.

Ben Vane.

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Lovely glen leading to the Allt Coiregrogain.

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East flank of Beinn Ime.

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View along the knobbly N ridge of Ben Vane.

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After several false summits, I finally reached the summit of Ben Vane at 16:30.

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The views all around were fantastic, and I would have liked to stay for a while.

Ben Vorlich.

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But I knew I still had a long way back ahead of me, because my plan was to descend to the Allt Coiregrogain and then walk along Glen Loin to get back to my car.

So I left the summit in an easterly direction and found a good path winding its way down. Apart from a rocky section just below the summit the path is very good, just a little boggy further down.

Ben Vorlich above Loch Sloy.

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Looking back to Ben Vane.

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But when I reached the track down in the glen, I couldn’t get across to the forest track that leads into Glen Loin: Barbed wire, a jungle of bracken and a very dense forest seemed to make a crossing impossible.

So I walked E on the track until I got to a junction, and then followed another track to Inveruglas. There were lots of cows on each side of the track, but thankfully not on it…

When I reached the road, I tried to get a lift, but no chance. I walked a couple of hundred metres along the road to a camp site, hoping to get a telephone number of a taxi company from someone at reception, but they were closed already.

Apart from the fact that I was about 10 km away from my car, I didn’t think it would be safe to walk along the road because it is quite narrow and twisting, besides there was a lot of traffic and the cars were going very fast.

I waited for a long time at the entrance of the camp site, in the meantime the midges were all over me. Desperate, I stopped the first car that left the camp site, and almost begged the occupants for a lift. The occupants, an elderly couple, were a bit reluctant at first, but when I explained my situation, they let me into their (very nice + clean!) car 😳

And although they were on their way to have dinner at Tarbet, they drove all the way to Succoth and dropped me off at the car park. Words can’t express how grateful I was!

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Day 6, Wednesday 08 August 2012

Ben Vorlich + Stùc a’ Chroin

14.4 km/1161 m/07:00 hrs

(Munros Nos. 261 + 262)

Yet another hot day! I parked by the bridge near Ardvorlich house and was on my way just after 08:30. A good path leads along the Ardvorlich Burn and then up the N ridge of Ben Vorlich.

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Ben Vorlich N ridge.

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View back to Loch Earn.

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The summit trig point with Stùc a’ Chroin in the background.

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Stùc a’ Chroin from the start of the descent – a clear path leads down to Bealach an Dubh Choirein and to the foot of Stùc a’ Chroin’s N top.

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The steep path in the centre of the photo is the descent route from Stùc a’ Chroin.

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The ascent to Stùc a’ Chroin is an interesting scramble with various possibilities. Instead of going up directly, I used a path winding its way through the crags a bit further right (W), and the only difficulty on that route is a high rock step.

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Looking back to Ben Vorlich.

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Gleann an Dubh Choirein.

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Cairn (with a memorial plaque) on Stùc a’ Chroin’s N top, Ben Vorlich on the left.

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Between the N top and the summit I came across a herd of mountain goats – actually, I could smell them well before I saw them!

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I visited both cairns on Stùc a’ Chroin, but I think this one is the summit.

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The dark clouds that had suddenly built up, disappeared within the next half hour. I found the small cairn that marks the start of the descent route, and made my way down the steep path I had seen earlier from the bealach.

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The path contours around Coire Fhuadaraich and becomes very boggy later on.

Looking back to Stùc a’ Chroin.

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On the way back I met another walker who was a bit disorientated and asked me for the way down to Ardvorlich House. We walked together for a while, but she walked a lot faster than me, and I soon lost sight of her.

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Day 7, Thursday 09 August 2012

Beinn Eunaich, Beinn a’ Chochuill, Stob Diamh + Ben Cruachan

25 km/2033 m/12:00 hrs

(Munros Nos. 263 – 266)

The day started off overcast, but quite warm. I drove past Dalmally, turned right at the junction with the B8077, and parked at the roadside just before the bridge across the Allt Mhoille. Thankfully, I made it through the grounds of Castle Farm without encountering any cows or bulls, and continued up a landrover track that leads along the W flank of Stob Maol.

From there I climbed up the steep hillside and then along the wide, grassy S ridge of Beinn Eunaich. This was a bit of a slog, but the views became better all the time:

The second target of the day, Beinn a’ Chochuill.

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The Corbett Beinn a’ Bhùiridh on the left, Stob Garbh on the right (in the cloud).

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Loch Awe.

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Beinn Eunaich summit.

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Then I descended to the bealach where I got a good view into Glen Kinglass (Glenkinglass Lodge in the centre)…

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… before the quick ascent to the second Munro of the day, Beinn a’ Chochuill.

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On my way down to the next bealach, the Lairig Noe, I tried to figure out the best route up Sron an Isean, but couldn’t see an obvious line of ascent.

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Closer up, the ascent still looked steep, but not as bad as it had seemed from the distance. After a lunch break on the bealach, I started climbing up.

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Winding my way up between the crags, I frequently stopped to catch my breath, and suddenly noticed a group of three walkers further down. The best ascent route seemed to be up this grassy gully, and near the top it was so steep that I was crawling on all fours to stop me from sliding down again.

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It was quite a relief to arrive on the ridge, around a couple of hundred metres E of Sron an Isean’s summit. The other group, three young people presumably in their twenties, was just a few minutes behind, and it turned out they didn’t even know where they were (they had seen me from the bealach and had followed me because they thought I knew the way…).

They didn’t really seem to know where they wanted to go, and decided after a brief discussion between them that they were going to turn back. As they didn’t have a proper map, I showed them the two safest routes down on my own map (Sron an Isean’s E ridge, or as an alternative I suggested they could come along with me to Stob Diamh, then continue to Stob Garbh, its S top and descend along its E ridge).

Sron an Isean’s E ridge.

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They didn’t want to come along, so I wished them luck and continued along the ridge over Sron an Isean to the third Munro of the day, Stob Diamh.

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I couldn’t see much of the route ahead, because the clouds had lowered in the meantime, but on the next bealach I was below cloud level and could see across to Bealach An Lochain, from where I would later start the descent.

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The Corbett Beinn a’ Bhùiridh.

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Cruachan Reservoir.

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Approaching Ben Cruachan, the summit was still in clouds.

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Near the summit I came across a sloping rock slab that might cause problems in wet conditions, but in dry weather it is possible to just walk over it (carefully).

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Unfortunately the summit of Ben Cruachan was still in the clouds when I reached it, so I got no views from what is supposed to be “a superb viewpoint”…

I would have liked to sit down and have another break at this point, but it was very warm and the air absolutely still, and within a few moments I was surrounded by midges and had no choice but to keep walking.

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The way down starts with a boulder field.

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On the way down to the bealach, the Munro Top Meall Cuanail ahead.

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Further down there was a light breeze, and I could finally take a break at the lochan on Bealach an Lochain, before I walked down the path in Coire Dearg and onto the track on the W side of the Reservoir.

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The dam with Beinn a’ Bhùiridh in the background.

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After I had crossed the dam, it took me another two hours of road walking to get back to my car, but it wasn’t too bad because after the reservoir service road I could walk on a pavement all the way along the A85, besides it was a nice and warm evening.

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Day 8, Friday 10 August 2012

Meall nan Tarmachan

12.4 km/738 m/06:15 hrs

(Munro No. 267)

From the car park at the former Ben Lawers Visitor Centre I followed the path W and then along the ridge that leads to the 923 m top SE of Meall nan Tarmachan. Clouds were swirling around the Munro itself, but I was hoping that they would lift just in time.

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The path up Meall nan Tarmachan’s E flank.

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Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas.

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The slight haze and the patchwork of shadows on the ground made the distant views look almost like a painting.

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Meall nan Tarmachan summit.

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Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas (zoomed).

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The Tarmachan Ridge, Meall Garbh on the left and Beinn nan Eachan on the right.

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A clear path leads all the way along the ridge.

The pointy top of Meall Garbh.

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Beinn nan Eachan.

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While I was figuring out how to get down the short scrambling section on the descent from Meall Garbh, I almost stepped on a Ptarmigan hiding between the rocks – now I understand where the ridge got its name from!

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Looking down the “scrambly bit”.

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View back to Meall Garbh.

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The scrambling section zoomed, apparently there is a bypass path (on the left of the photo). I didn’t see where this path starts on top of the ridge, but then again, I wasn’t looking for it.

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Creag na Caillich, the last top on the ridge – I gave it a miss, and descended from the last bealach before it (marked by a small cairn).

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The descent is on grassy, boggy ground and I didn’t bother taking a compass bearing to the disused quarry I was aiming for.

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Unfortunately, I descended a bit too far and suddenly saw the quarry above me… but after a short climb up I reached the track that took me all the way back to the car park.

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It was still so hot that my car felt like an oven and I had to leave all the doors open for a while before I could get in…

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Day 9, Saturday 11 August 2012

Beinn Dubhchraig, Ben Oss, Ben Lui + Beinn a’ Chleibh

22.1 km/1622 m/11:00 hrs

(Munros No. 268 – 271)

In the car park at Dalrigh I met a hillwalker from London with his dog, he was planning to do the same round as me, but in anti-clockwise direction, starting with Ben Lui. We agreed to walk to Cononish together, from there he would continue along the River Cononish, while I was going to cross the river and start with the climb up Beinn Dubhchraig.

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But while we were walking along the river, it looked as if the clouds over Beinn Dubhchraig were lifting whereas Ben Lui was still in the clouds, so he changed his mind and reversed his route, hoping he would get a view from the summit of Ben Lui later in the day.

So we both crossed the River Cononish and climbed up the steep hillside to Beinn Dubhchraig’s N ridge.

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I explained to my walking companion that I like to take my time on steep ascents and that he should just walk on instead of waiting for me. At first he did stop a few times to allow me to catch up, but I really didn’t feel like rushing just to keep up with him, and began to dawdle deliberately… eventually he seemed to get the message and disappeared out of sight.

Cononish farm with the Corbett Beinn Chuirn on the left.

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Ben Lui with its head in the clouds.

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Unfortunately, the cloud level was still down to about 800 metres when I arrived on the ridge.

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When I reached the lochan at the end of the ridge, I even found a path leading to Beinn Dubhchraig’s summit.

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After a short break I made my way back to the lochan and down to Bealach Buidhe, where I was below cloud level again.

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Loch Oss, with Lochan Shira in the distance on the right.

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Another path made progress easy, and soon I was at the summit of Ben Oss.

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The long pathless descent to the wide bealach between Ben Oss and Ben Lui seemed endless…

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Ben Lui, almost clear now.

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The wreckage of a small plane is just visible in the gully in the centre (zoomed).

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After an extended lunch break I continued up Ben Lui’s SE ridge which was now completely free of cloud!

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Looking back down the ridge and to the wide bealach.

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Now I could even see Beinn Dubhchraig and Ben Oss, my first two Munros of the day.

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On Ben Lui’s summit.

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Cononish Glen.

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Ben Lui summit.

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Within a few minutes I was down at the bealach, and half an hour later at Beinn a’ Chleibh’s summit (including another short break on the way up).

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Beinn a’ Chleibh summit.

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From the summit I walked a few hundred metres further SW to get a better view of the Ben Cruachan group.

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Ben Lui, seen from the descent to the bealach.

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The path down into Fionn Choirein leads around to the N side of Ben Lui and then enters the forest at a gate. Running along the Eas Daimh, it then turns into the boggiest “path” I have walked in a long time, besides it is totally overgrown in some places.

After fighting my way through some fallen trees on the path, I crossed the River Lochy easily and soon arrived at a walker’s car park.

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By now it was after 19:00 and I was about 13 km away from my car. I didn’t think it would be so difficult to get a lift, but after 40 minutes I still had no luck. Eventually a car heading towards Dalmally stopped, and I thanked the occupants but explained that I needed a lift in the opposite direction.

It was a young couple from Edinburgh on their way home from a holiday on the Isle of Tiree. They had wanted to give me a lift when they first drove past me, but had no space in their car because the back seat was packed with all their luggage. So they had stopped in a lay-by, re-packed the car and turned back to pick me up!

Sometimes I can’t believe how friendly and helpful people are 🙂 , we had a nice chat during the journey and then they dropped me off right beside my car in Dalrigh. Many thanks again!

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Day 10, Sunday 12 August 2012

Creag Mhòr + Beinn Sheasgarnaich

24.5 km/1364 m/09:30 hrs

(Munros No. 272 + 273)

Dark clouds were looming over Glen Lochay, but the weather was supposed to improve later in the day. From the car park E of Kenknock I walked past the farm (no cows around this time!), took a right turn at the junction and followed the road to the start of the upper track leading along Glen Lochay.

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Just before the Allt Bad a’ Mhàim I left the track, crossed the stream and headed towards the S end of Sròn nan Eun. Between the crags I could see a steep grassy gully that I used to climb up to the ridge.

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Glen Lochay.

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At this point, the weather did actually start to improve!

Coire Cheathaich with Stob nan Clach on the left.

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Creag Mhòr.

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Approaching the summit.

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View to Loch Lyon.

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Creag Mhòr summit cairn, with Beinn Sheasgarnaich behind.

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I descended into Coire an t-Sneachda in a wide circle to avoid some boulder fields.

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On the bealach, with Beinn Sheasgarnaich ahead.

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At the foot of Beinn Sheasgarnaich I met a group of walkers who were doing the round in the opposite direction. They had left one car at the junction near Kenknock and another one at the highest point of the road, and offered me a lift down later on in case they would return there at the same time as me. I found that very unlikely, but it was a nice offer nonetheless!

They also warned me of very strong winds at the top of Beinn Sheasgarnaich, which seemed hard to believe, considering the nice weather on this side of the hill.

Looking back to Creag Mhòr, the descent route on the right.

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Beinn Sheasgarnaich.

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When I reached the top of Stob an Fhir-Bhogha, I realised what the other walkers had meant – on my way to the summit, I was buffeted by the wind and was struggling to stay upright at times.

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View to Loch Lyon.

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I walked along the NE ridge for a few hundred metres until I reached some small lochans.

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From there I turned E and headed towards the Allt Tarsainn.

Looking back to the descent route.

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On the way I came across a rather unusual phenomenon – dry bogholes!

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The road in sight – at last.

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I walked past the car that the other group had dropped off, but they were nowhere to be seen, so I kept walking down the road. When I arrived at the junction near Kenknock, they were just coming along the lower track in Glen Lochay.

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Day 11, Monday 13 August 2012

Meall Ghaordaidh

9.4 km/890 m/04:15 hrs

(Munro No. 274)

This was the only day of my holiday with bad weather, besides I would say it was the least interesting hill, so I hardly took any photos.

It wasn’t too bad in the morning when I started from near Duncroisk in Glen Lochay. A large sign marks the start of the walk, and a path leads through some grassy fields that looked very much like pastures – I was (pleasantly) surprised that there seemed to be no cows around. But when I came to a gate leading to the open hillside… there they were! Outside the gate there was a large herd grazing, and there was no way I would walk past them.

So I stayed on this side of the fence and made a huge detour across streams, several walls and fences, and through a large area of tall bracken.

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After that I tried to walk along the “crest” of Meall Ghaordaidh’s SE ridge, which is very wide and seems like an endless grassy/boggy slope. At one point I saw another walker in the distance a bit further around to the N, but he quickly disappeared out of view.

Higher up, I entered the cloud and it suddenly became very windy. I found traces of a path, but it was winding its way through crags, and each time I thought I was near the top, it turned out to be a false summit. Following a compass bearing I had taken when the visibility had deteriorated, I even ended up scrambling up some rather steep sections.

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In the meantime it had started to rain, and the wind was almost blowing me over. But eventually I reached the summit shelter, inside I could make out the red hood of the walker I had seen earlier, he had arrived a few minutes before me and was having his lunch break.

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I sat down in the shelter as well, but I didn’t feel like having a proper break in this weather, I just wanted to get off the summit as quickly as possible. We agreed that it was safer in these conditions to walk back together (my main concern were the cows :oops:), so we started descending, aided by a GPS (my walking companion) and a compass bearing (me).

After a while we found the main path which was much clearer than the one I had been using on the way up, and we made quick progress down the hillside. The rain and the wind soon stopped, and when we were below cloud level, it felt much warmer again.

Hazy view of Glen Lochay.

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When we approached the cows, it became clear that even my walking companion wasn’t totally comfortable around them, and although we tried to keep a safe distance from them, it wasn’t easy as they were spread out all over the place. We were both relieved when we reached the gate!

My fellow walker had been dropped off in the morning by his girlfriend who then spent the day in Killin, and as we finished the walk earlier than planned, I had offered to give him a lift to Killin. But when we arrived back at the road, his girlfriend was already waiting to pick him up.

After a lunch break in my car, I started the long drive home. This had been a very successful holiday, I managed to climb 23 of the 25 Munros I had planned (the missing ones were Ben Vorlich/Loch Lomond and Ben Chonzie). My plan didn’t quite work out because I had thought I could combine some of the shorter walks in one day (Ben Vorlich and Ben Lomond, for example). But in the end I was glad to have some shorter days in between the long ones, because I had not included a full rest day.

I was extremely lucky with the weather, during the 11 days I had about two hours of rain (on Ben Lomond and Meall Ghaordaidh), apart from that it was sunny and warm, sometimes even hot, every day. Interestingly, almost every day MWIS had predicted showers or even thunderstorms, and none of them happened.

If I had been at home, I might not have gone out at all after checking the forecast, but as I was on holiday anyway, I just did, hoping for the best. It only goes to show that MWIS is far too pessimistic a lot of the time 😉

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10 thoughts on “Around Crianlarich – 23 Munros in 11 days

  1. I didn’t think that there had been so many good days last summer!
    I think I also pay too much attention to the MWIS forecast at times. Glad you managed such great weather on what looks like a bit of an epic bagging trip. You must have felt super fit after all those days in the hills ;-).
    Excellent photos again.
    So did you manage to compleat your round last year or have you just a handful remaining for this year?
    Best of luck with the remainder (if any left),
    Paul

    • Many thanks,

      I’ve only got one Munro left to do (the InPin), but I will have to wait until summer (I had finished the rest of them mid-October and at that time it was too late already).

      • Very funny… 😆

        I wish I had left an easy one for my last, because then I would have finished them by now. It was all the logistics that seemed so complicated (I’m going to need a guide, a day off work and good weather – all at the same time!), and instead of dealing with this I tried to get all the other ones “out of the way” in the meantime. It also seemed a very appropriate Munro to celebrate my first round with 🙂

        But I was really gutted when I was told in October that it was too late in the year now and I would have to wait until summer!

        Which Munro have you got in mind for your compleation?

      • Sorry, I must have missed your trip report of Ben More, thanks for the link (when I looked at your blog, I didn’t go that far back in your archive) 😳

        Well done for finishing and especially doing so on Ben More in winter! I did that one last October, also the full round via Beinn Fhada and A’ Chioch, but I wouldn’t have liked the scrambly bits in the snow!

    • Thanks a lot!

      Those poor legs have been a bit lazy recently (my last backpacking trip was in October…), it’s high time for some Challenge training!!

      Have you started the training yet? 😉

  2. I’m off to nip along the South Downs Way in March, and then the annual PreWalkDaunder in the Lakes in April, which, it has to be said, mainly exercises the drinking arm. The toughest preparation is the long walk along the platform in Euston to board the sleep train on the Wednesday before the Challenge.
    🙂

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