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An Caisteal & Beinn a' Chroin

An Caisteal & Beinn a' Chroin

Postby DeeTC » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:10 pm

Route description: An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin, near Crianlarich

Munros included on this walk: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin

Date walked: 23/07/2011

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 1045m

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from the traditional starting point from the A82 layby 1 mile-ish before Crianlarich you can see Sron Gharbh the opening gambit on the way to An Caisteal & Ben a' Chroin.
1 from layby to sron gharhb.JPG
Hello Sron Gharbh! Ben a' Chroin 3rd summit peeks out in the SE (L)

taking the track under the west highland railway line opens up the Coire Earb which in this instance will be the exit off from Ben a' Chroin. Note that this is a bog slog and if considering going in this way be prepared fro 3 miles of toils as the ground gets very heavy- even on a good day that we had! :shock:
2 way in on track.JPG
nice and easy

Once past the gate we turned upwards, however I think in retrospect it would be better to start onto sron gharbh sooner.
3 leaving the path to sron gharbh.JPG
past the gate and turn right upwards. maybe an idea to go up sooner before the gate?
Views open up immediately back northwards to the Tyndrum hills and Ben Lui to the NW.

Looking south westwards on sron gharbh you take in the twin peaks of Ben Vorlich & Ben Vane which straddle the hidden loch sloy between them.
4 ben vorlich (r) & ben vane (L).JPG
Arrochar neighbours

Turning your head eastwards opens up some other Crianlarich neighbours.
5 stob glas from approach up sron gharbh.JPG
over eastwards towards Cruach Ardrain & stob glas and beyond to the hidden mighty Ben More & Stob Binnein

After gaining height with the direct ascent and on finding a worn path to the foot of sron gharb at 600m you'll see this minor peaks summit.
6 looking to sron gharbh summit.JPG
steep initial ascent over

Twistin Hill seems a very 2 dimensional description as not only does it twist but dips and rises as well as....well twist! :think:
7 looking from mid twistin Hill to An Caisteal summit.JPG
The roller coaster that is Twistin Hill. first full view of An Caisteal summit
The summit of An Caisteal fills the vista mid way through Twistin Hill and makes the approach on a good fine day very enjoyable. Twistin Hill deceives as it goes on longer than it looks as the dips for-shorten the track to the base of An Caisteal summit.
getting to the summit has one slight well... twist in it as a rock out crop 500 meters from the summit provides a technical scramble. Don't look left as a sheer drop may make you panic. it is possible to go right but quicker perhaps to take the direct approach?
An Caisteal summit on a clear day looking southwards to Ben Lomond
8 looking from An Caisteal summit southwards with ben Lomond to the right.jpg
Ben Lomond's broad shoulders!
looking down to the Bealach Buidhe is deceiving from this vantage point as the hidden corries cannot be seen or appreciated at this point.
10 view of the decent down to bealach buidhe.jpg
there's hidden steepness down there!

Its nice to meet some 'burds' when out and about
9 raven.JPG
yer no gettin a bit! NB my digital camera defaulted to its original date!
NB I changed battries in my camera which defaulted the date!

heading for the bealach is not a straight forward affair as some technical scrambles intertwine with a steep decent of some 100 meters or so.
11 steep and rocky descent to bealach.jpg
can be a bit treacherous so watch the footing.

The bealach offers an enclosed feeling as you contemplate the next 100 meters up to Ben a' Chroin
12 from the bealach buidhe back up to An Caisteal summit.jpg
looking back to An Caisteal summit from bealach
13 ascent from bealach buidhe up to Ben a' Chroin.jpg
going up time up this route which goes off to the right then switches back left to Ben a' Chroin
14 view from bealach buidhe over to Cruach Ardrain with ben More (L) and Stob Binnein as devil (R) horns.jpg
Looking eastwards over to the slightly higher Cruach Ardrain (1046)and the mighty 2 of Ben More (1174) and Stob Binnien (1165)
15 a tricky 7 foot scramble on ascent to ben a' Chroin from above.jpg
technical scramble 3/4 the way up to Ben a' Chroin which takes a bit of effort and maybe a helping hand?
there is one scramble on the ascent from Bealach Buidhe that once over is the last technical part of the day.
16 Ben Lomon from just below 1st summit of Ben a' Chroin.jpg
Ben Lomond southwards just before initial summiting of Ben a' Chroin

The initial summit of Ben a' Chroin opens up a 3 summit plateau stretching for 1.3 KMs. The final 3rd summit comes after a 50- 75 meter drop from the mid summit then back up. Its worth doing the 3rd but the middle summit is deceptively the real summit. Otherwise if stuck for time you can walk of to the left in the gully between mid and 3rd summit.
18 lochan with Stuc a' Chroin (Perthshire) to the left.jpg
Looking east wards on initial summiting of ben a' Chroin. Stuc a' Chroin popping round to say hi
19 An Caisteal from Ben a' Chroin mid summit.jpg
An Caisteal looks rugged and bulky
20 shark fin Stob Binnein over mid Ben a' Chroin summit.jpg
mid summit of Ben a' Chroin with the impressive Stob Binnein summit cutting a dorsal in the near distance. Ben More to the left

Coming off Ben a' Chroin's 3rd summit is straight forward and not taxing on the knees as it meanders well enough
22 looking back up to 3rd ben a' Chroin summit from half way down descent.JPG
Good descent with no issues
to combat the gradient. No real scrambles or issues all the way to the Coire Earb and Glen Falloch beyond at the end/ start of the walk.
21 walking off third Ben a' Chroin summit over to An Caisteal.JPG
down time now and An Caisteal is stealing the show

The Coire Earb is the glen between An Caisteal and Stob Glas and Cruach Ardrain with Ben a' Chroin crossing it and capping it off across its south east end. it is a bog slog even on the dry day we have. it's deceptively long and will drain any last energy you have. You'll be glad you didn't enter this way!The river falloch collects the minor burns water and you'll see it develop to a proper river as the bog slog goes on. You'll meander between bogs to find drier ground. Gators and water proof troosers are a good option to put on at this point!
23 bealach buidhe from bottom of descent onto coire earb.JPG
let the Bog slog begin!
24 on coire earb.JPG
....and go on

The look back towards Ben a' Chroin closing off the coire earb at the SE shows how dramatic and deceiving this munro is as it has no pinnacle and is a plateau.
25 Ben a' Chroin's 3 summits from coire earb end.JPG
The flattened plateau that is Ben a' Chroin

Overall a very enjoyable day on the hills in good weather. Probably my favourite day (I've written tis post after my Stob Binnein & Ben More day I've blogged that also)as the hills had the ridges of Twistin Hill and the wee technical scrambles and a couple of sheer drops to keep one on their booted toes.
17 over to An Caisteal from initial Ben a' Chroin summit.jpg
An Caisteal now becomes the western vista filler
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Re: An Caisteal & Beinn a' Chroin

Postby kev_russ » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:26 pm

Nice report and pics there :) Got my eye on these 2 for when there is decent weather
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