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Lui Laoigh, Ben Laoigh Lui

Lui Laoigh, Ben Laoigh Lui


Postby PeteR » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:43 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chleibh, Ben Lui

Date walked: 26/06/2011

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It seems Lui and his palls are popular just now, with two excellent reports having been posted already this week http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13003 and http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13085. Well, just for the record here is my report from my visit at the weekend, giving the cloudy persective on Lui and his little pal :lol: :lol:

Despite the forecast for Sunday I had decided to head for Ben Lui and Beinn Chleibh and give these two a go. Arriving at the car park at Dalrigh it seemed mine was going to be the only car there that day. And I reckon I wasn't wrong there either.

With the forecast for the day in mind (well, it had been chucking down pretty much all the way there!) I decided to done full waterproof regalia from the off, and duly kitted up headed off along toward the cononish track. Arriving at the bridge over the small stream I met a group of women coming the other way, out for an early morning jog along the WHW. Must have been a shock for them - me a beardy baldy bloke in full waterproofs and them all tight licra shorts and t-shirts Not that I was paying them that much attention of course :lol: :lol:

The walk alongside the cononish was pretty good, even in the overcast, sometimes rainy, conditions. A group of walkers appeared out of the forest to the right (obviously coming direct from Tyndrum), but I was pressing on and left them behind me. Initial views of Lui didn't look promising, what you could see of it.
DSCF9195.JPG
First sight of Lui

As I got closer the rain may have gone, but the cloud was still about
DSCF9199.JPG
Shrouded in cloud

DSCF9207.JPG
Lui from the end of the landrover track

As I reached the end of the landrover track the cloud was still low and there was ther little matter of the allt an rund to cross. Not the same as the river lochy from the other approach, but still an opportunity for a dunkin' if i slipped. And I did ...... but not in the stream thankfully. Heading down off the landrover track a sneaky rock tricked me and sent me over, landing awkwardly on my right arm. While the arm was ok, it did unnerve me slightly, as I had read the path I was intending to take was exposed in places :shock: If I had slipped on a solitary poxy rock what would I be like in the mist surrounded by the stuff?

Still, I managed to cross the stream with no mishaps, and kept my feet dry :D And it was time to head up into coire gaothach, which had a nice, intimidating feel to it with the cloud trapped inside it :D There was a nice bit of water to walk beside on the way up into the coire
DSCF9217.JPG
allt coire ghaothaich

As I was starting to head up toward the coire, looking back I noticed what I imagine was the people I saw earlier coming to the end of the landrover track. Was I going to have company on the hills today I thought?

Apparently not ......... Perhaps it was the thought of crossing the stream. Or maybe the coire didn't look so inviting full of cloud. But after about five minutes they turned and headed back the way they had come. So it was me, all on my own, with the hills to myself.

Before I disappeared into the cloud I managed a view back down the cononish.
DSCF9218.JPG
View back the way I had come

Was this as good as it was going to get for me? Certainly the view into the coire didn't hold out much hope.
DSCF9220.JPG
Into the the coire

Actually, heading into the coire was good fun. The cloud was ebbing and flowing a bit, but wasn't showing any signs it might bugger off a bit and allow me any views at all.

True to form though, I missed the path that heads off left to find the gully up onto the north west arm of the hill. Instead I made a beeline for the point in the ridge that looked like it was where I should be heading. From the bottom it didn't look that steep (the mist must have been playing tricks on me). Half way up and a look down suggested it was b****y steeper than I had imagined :lol: With the cloud well and truly back in situ I couldn't see the coire floor, which made it feel even more dramatic.

Oh, and just as I was nearly at the top .......... I found the path I had failed to locate as I had headed into the coire :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
DSCF9223.JPG
The lost road!

So, now I'm on the ridge 8)

I'd read this could be steep and exposed in places. Well, I honestly didn't think it was exposed at all. It really was a fun little path to walk up. Never difficult. A few hand holds for sure, but all easy. I would have been more exposed if I had stripped off and finishe the walk in my birthday suit :shock: :lol: Not that I intended to do anything of the sort :shock:

Here's a few pictures of the route, up and down
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Start of the walk up the ridge

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And again

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The mountain path

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Lui in the mist

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Back down a way - a glimmer of hope?

Suddenly the cloud, which had persisted all morning was showing signs of losing its battle with the sun :D As I headed onto the noth west summit of Lui I blessed with some good fortune, and the low cloud started to fizzle out. I was in luck - with views starting to open up around me :D :D
DSCF9255.JPG
Lui summit from the north west top

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View toward Chleibh

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back along the cononish

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The summit

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Beinn a Chleibh from Lui

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The route up north west arm

Now, it may only have lasted 5 minutes. but oh, what a 5 minutes :D True, there was plenty of cloud about and I didn't have uninterupted views all round. But I had views from the summit of ben lui, and they weren't of mist :lol:

But all good things have to come to an end. After a short stop on the summit it was off to his little mate beinn a chleibh.

And it was at this point that the Good Lord decided I was due a soaking :lol: And as if to make sure He turned the wind machine on too :lol: :lol: You'll now notice that between Lui and Chleibh there is a dramatic drop in the number of photos (as in, there aren't any :lol: ). That's because it was head down as I descended Lui and as I made my way up Chleibh. I was actually surprised how big the drop off Lui felt. Maybe it was the mist playing tricks on me (well, I couldn't see the saddle at all!) but it seemed to go on and on and on. Eventually made it to the saddle and headed upward to the summit of Chleibh, at which I arrived at no bother.

I would like to say that the views were magnificant ......... but here's the summit cairn :lol: :lol:
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Beinn a Chleibh

Didn't hang around, it was chucking it down. To be honest I was having a great time, despite the weather. I know Beinn a Chleibh gets overlooked compared to its illustrious neighbour, but the little path winding its way up to the summit is better than a few I have been on before. It was a shame, perhaps, I didn't get any views but no worries :) I was soon heading down and heading off down the river lochy route, with the plan to contour round to the bealach at the heads of the eas diamh and back via the allt an rund and the cononish path. Sounds easy enough, but I didn't want to make it easy for myself. I was convinced I was heading too far down the path (in the mist) and so took the decision to contour around the hill. Turns out I should have continued down the path a fair bit further :lol: I was a tad too high up and found myself picking my way down through some nice steep ground to get to the level ground I was after. Nice views though :D
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Contour route home

Once I eventually hit the level ground I had enjoyed a good yomp round from Chleibh. It had taken longer than I had expected and the trip back to the cononish was the same, taking longer than expected :lol: Had to laugh though......it was lovely boggy, tussocky ground. The stuff of nightmares for some, but I was thinking it was a good leg burner :lol: :lol:

Eventually made it back to the track and the walk back to the car.

All in all, a good day out. Sure the weather wasn't great, but there were views and the route in from Dalrigh is a great trek in. I'll defintely be back, hopefully with the sun on my back. It's also there as a winter route too :D 8)
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Re: Lui Laoigh, Ben Laoigh Lui

Postby monty » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:05 pm

Well done Pete, damn weather was awfull :lol: :lol:
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Re: Lui Laoigh, Ben Laoigh Lui

Postby Bay Bloke » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:02 pm

Well done, despite the weather you can tell you had a great day :D

My only fail to date was on Ben Lui and it was on a similar day to your own. I got to the start of the NE ridge, visiblilty was down to 10 yards so I made a call and crossed over to the NW ridge. Now this was fine until I hit a 'granny stopper' so, bearing in mind I hadn't met a single walker all day, I chickened out and headed back the long long route back to Dalrigh.

Gonna finish it this year for sure!!
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Re: Lui Laoigh, Ben Laoigh Lui

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:40 pm

Really loved your report Pete. Funny how it looks completely different depending on the weather!!! When you were walking along the track did you notice any obvious path that would take you up to Ben Oss? I'd like to avoid the forest bog trot that I had going up to Dubhcraigh.
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Re: Lui Laoigh, Ben Laoigh Lui

Postby PeteR » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:44 pm

Bay Bloke wrote:Well done, despite the weather you can tell you had a great day :D

My only fail to date was on Ben Lui and it was on a similar day to your own. I got to the start of the NE ridge, visiblilty was down to 10 yards so I made a call and crossed over to the NW ridge. Now this was fine until I hit a 'granny stopper' so, bearing in mind I hadn't met a single walker all day, I chickened out and headed back the long long route back to Dalrigh.

Gonna finish it this year for sure!!


Cheers Bay Bloke. You're right, I did have a great day :D You definitely need to finish Lui. It's a great hill, even in the weather I had. I was worried about the path up the north west arm, but was really ok and no real problems at all. I wish all hill paths were like that :D

pollyh33 wrote:Really loved your report Pete. Funny how it looks completely different depending on the weather!!! When you were walking along the track did you notice any obvious path that would take you up to Ben Oss? I'd like to avoid the forest bog trot that I had going up to Dubhcraigh.


Thanks polly33. On the Oss front I did the two hills back in the winter and went up the bog trot you seem to have enjoyed so much. I now measure the boggyness of paths on a Dubhcraigh scale :lol: When I came down off Oss I decended down Coire Buidhe. It was covered in snow, so if there was a path I wasn't aware of one. It was also quite steep at the top, but I reckon on ascent it would be ok, as it was really only the last few feet that seemed steep and there would be planty of hand holds. Brings you out onto Bealach Buidhe and the short trip up to the Oss summit. Took a picture of this area on my way back on Sunday. Looked very different covered in cloud, so you may not be too keen on this approach. The only alternative I know is the aformentioned bog trot
DSCF9295.JPG
My route off Oss
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Re: Lui Laoigh, Ben Laoigh Lui

Postby Paula Hubens » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:39 pm

PeteR wrote: Still, I managed to cross the stream with no mishaps, and kept my feet dry :D And it was time to head up into coire gaothach, which had a nice, intimidating feel to it with the cloud trapped inside it :D There was a nice bit of water to walk beside on the way up into the coire


Nice one Peter! There's definitely more water coming off the hills than two weeks ago! I agree, Coire Gaothach is quite special.
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