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Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair


Postby Redrock » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:21 am

Route description: Beinn Achaladair and Beinn a'Chreachain

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chreachain, Beinn Achaladair

Date walked: 18/04/2011

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 20.7 km

Ascent: 1270m

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Having had quite a few short days out I felt it was time for a rather longer walk taking in a couple of Munros. It proved to be a rather longer day than I had anticipated in the end! I'd had my eye on Beinn a Chreachain and Beinn Acaladair ever since Mrs R and I had climbed Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh on a brillaint day in the autumn. Now it was time for us to tackle these other two Bridge of Orchy giants.

P1060034.JPG
Beinn Achaladair from Achallader farm


We set off to follow the Walkhighlands route from Achallader Farm heading northeast along The Water of Tulla.

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Crossing the Water of Tulla


We stayed on the track and made good time crossing the rickety bridge at Barravourich and were soon crossing back over the river by the footbridge about 2km up the road heading for the hills.

P1060042.JPG
The footbridge over the Water of Tulla


The ground was boggy and the path was poor until we had (almost) crawled :eh: under the railway. The walk up Allt Coire an Loachain was pleasant with the burn tumbling over layers of rock in stepped waterfalls and great views of Beinn Achaladair to the south-west.

P1060052.JPG
Allt Coire an Lochain


P1060049.JPG
Beinn Achaladair from the northeast - looking impressive


After a while we reached the corrie and crossed the burn heading southeast up the steepening ridge towards the northeast ridge of Beinn a' Chreachain.

P1060056.JPG
Stob Ghabhar and Meall a'Bhuiridih from Coire an Lochain


This proved to be one of the toughest parts of the day with rough ground and no path for most of the way. We did find a path higher up as we approached the ridge but we didn't see any sign of it lower down.

P1060061.JPG
A path at last! - Beinn a'Chreachain in the background


It was great to finally reach the ridge and Munro level and see the summit of our first Munro of the day shining in the sun above its rim of corniced snow. We could see two people up there with a dog but they were gone by the time we reached the summit.

P1060064.JPG
The ridge to Beinn a'Chreachain


Ascending the narrow ridge up to the summit was a delight, with great views of Lochan a'Chreachain to our right.

P1060068.JPG
Ascending the summit ridge


P1060065.JPG
Lochan a'Chreachain


Soon we were at the summit cairn taking in the view. This was literally the high point of our day at 1081 metres but with the weather still fine and with us feeling good it was the high point in every way! :D :D

P1060074.JPG
Summit cairn - Beinn a'Chreachain


But we had, of course, to move on and we made our way westwards off the summit dome - warily at first as the ground seemed to curve away very steeply in front of us. :eh:

P1060075.JPG
Over the edge and Beinn Achaladair


But soon we could see the slope ahead and we found our way through the rocky ground on useful paths and then to the grassy slopes below. The descent to the beallach and then the walk up onto Meall Buidhe was straightforward and soon we were descending down to 813 metres point where the climb onto the east ridge of Beinn Achaladair would begin.

P1060087.JPG
Beinn Achaladair from Meall Buidhe


I have to confess that from a distance the first part of that climb looked impossibly steep :problem: but I took confidence from the Walkhighlands description which said there was a path all the way - and there was! After some food and refreshments we headed off up the slope and were soon making height very quickly up the winding "goat path". It took different routes at times and there were a few bits of scrambling - but it was good fun and Mrs R did great for someone who hasn't always been that keen on scrambling. The great thing was we were soon 150 metres higher without it seeming that great an effort!

P1060089.JPG
A steep slope up!


The ridge beyond that was really more a wide slope up to the summit ridge and we were soon up there taking in the view. I wasn't as impressed with Beinn Achaladair's summit as with Beinn a Chreachain. It it a long hummochy ridge with a few high points along the way - but the view of Loch Tulla was great.

P1060099.JPG
From the summit of Beinn Achaladair


By now, however, the wind was rising and a heavy, almost thundery, rain shower was falling over Loch Tulla and we felt it was time to press on, heading down. :? The descent from Beinn Achaladair over the south summit and down to the beallach was straightforward and on a good path.

P1060109.JPG
South from Beinn Achaladair


I wish I could say the same about the route north beside the Allt Coire Achaladair. The path is heavily eroded and very boggy in places and progress was slow.

P1060114.JPG
The boggy path home!


Then I slid awkwardly on wet slippery ground and pulled a muscle in my leg and that hurt! :shock: Progress was even slower after that! Eventually we arrived back at the car - the last car in the car park - with still some daylight to spare. It was a great day out but with injury time (both for me and for and old injury of Mrs R) it took us a lot longer than we had anticipated. The GPS said we had been on the move for 6 hours. Can we count that as our time? I don't remember being stopped for 4 hours of so - maybe we were going so slow it thought we were stationary! :lol: The injured muscle seems to be settling down a few days afterwards you'll be pleased to know (well I certainly am! :) ) 8)
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Redrock
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby gagfax » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:59 pm

Did these two munros on the Sunday and had some great weather, it took us longer than we thought it would and we hated the path down to the farm too.
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby monty » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:05 pm

Sounds like you had a good day out Redrock, untill hurting your leg of course. Sounds quite boggy so that can't have been much fun. Nice photos. :D
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby yokehead » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:20 pm

A great and very enjoyable report of these fine hills, thanks! :D

Redrock wrote:The great thing was we were soon 150 metres higher without it seeming that great an effort!

I maintain that a scramble/steeper terrain and variety in ascent seems to give a height gain much more easily than if slogging up a featureless (boring!) slope. Perhaps just because it's more enjoyable. 8)

As for your time, this was a day of long distance and a decent amount of ascent, nothing wrong with the time taken. Anyway, does the time taken really matter? The longer in the hills the greater the enjoyment, racing not required. Maybe your lost 4 hours were a time warp? :lol:

Hope you're both soon fighting fit for your next hills. :)
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby ChrisW » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:54 pm

Nice report and pics redrock - sorry about the leg, hope it's back to working order asap :D
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby Bod » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:27 pm

Eh Redrock, what a cracker! A long day by anyone's reckoning for April and a pity you've pinged a a wee muscle. Here's hoping you are fit a well very quickly. I'd felt a wee twinge in the knee a couple of weeks back, but working through it! Love the photos over the tops, the shot down to the Lochan and the bridges.... :)
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby Redrock » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:58 am

Thanks guys, I'm definitely thinking of planning my routes avoiding the boggy paths and heading for the scambles - it sounds like much more fun! :D But I don't know if it will protect me completely from the time warps, Yokehead. :lol: :lol: As for the bridges - I've seen some rickety bridges in my time, Bod, these were definitely up there with the best of them. :lol: But I have to say that bridges are always welcome, no matter how rickety they are (within reason :? ) when there's a raging burn to cross! 8)
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby Oldman » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:53 pm

Well done Mr and Mrs Redrock - Nice report and pics and clearly a most enjoyable walk apart from your pulled muscle. Who cares how long a walk takes as long as you enjoy it and get off the hill safely. I like to take my time to drink in the real beauty of our hills - the flora, the fauna, the scenery, the freedom etc. My only real fear in the hills is to sprain or twist an ankle or something especially when I'm a bit tired and facing two or three miles of descent - could make life a bit uncomfortable and not one bit enjoyable. Anyway hope you mend quickly and get back out on those hills.

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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby skuk007 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:00 pm

Yep, nice report redrock. Thankfully if you're going to have an injury it's on the last stretch to the car. Not fun at any time I know but could have put a real downer on the day had it been earlier on. Glad you're feeling better. :)
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby Redrock » Fri May 06, 2011 1:04 pm

Oldman wrote:Who cares how long a walk takes as long as you enjoy it and get off the hill safely. I like to take my time to drink in the real beauty of our hills - the flora, the fauna, the scenery, the freedom etc.


I totally agree with you, Oldman. There's a lot more to mountain walking than getting it over and done with quickly! There is so much to take in and enjoy whilst climbing to the summits (and descending). I have, from time to time, been passed by fast walkers panting furiously and pouring sweat on their way up the hill! I'd rather take it at my pace and enjoy the whole experience more! :D
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby jwramsay » Sat May 07, 2011 12:35 am

I totally agree, time is well down on my list when climbing these beauties. (although I do like to be "off the hill" before dusk!).
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Re: Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair

Postby rockhopper » Sat May 07, 2011 12:52 pm

Glad to hear you're on the mend - looks like you had a great day out though up to then. It's certainly a long walk in past Barravourich but you do get sight of what's to come :D Nice report and you do get some good views over to the Black Mount.
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