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An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog


Postby Frogwell » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:05 am

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

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

Date walked: 19/10/2011

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 14.8 km

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Another day of mainly non horrible weather? We are being spoiled. I had a few routes printed off but decided on Beinn a' Chroin and An Caisteal. Picking my potential hills late the night before, I actually had those hills and Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean on the list. If the weather had been better in the South I was going to go for Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean and better weather in the North meant Beinn a' Chroin and An Caisteal. For those of you familiar with these hills and the normal start points for their ascent will no doubt have come to the conclusion that I am capable of great stupidity. I was actually an hour or so into my walk when I realised the failing in my logic.

Still, no matter. I may not like it, but I've come to terms with my stupidity.

As per usual I was late, leaving the car at 11:45 just behind another couple with a bouncy quadruped. The late bit is usual, not the leaving behind a couple with a dog, that's new. I don't think it's significant though.

All fairly straightforward on the ascent, missed the turn off from the track, weather started acting up, walked myself right into bog field - just the standard stuff. I overtook the other couple once on the Twistin Hill and then had to stop to put on my waterproofs as there was a wall of dark misery approaching from behind. It was short lived but I kept the waterproofs on anyway as I was now above the snow line and the wind was pretty fierce, plus I could see more waves of misery approaching.

Once on the ridge the going is fairly easy, even in the snow, although I was surprised my how deep some of the drifts were - almost waist height in some places (no, I'm not 4 foot tall). I suspect I must have a less continental outlook on life than Polly, so cairn kissing was not going to happen. I gave it a more socially conservative nod and hello, took it's picture and then proceeded to bugger off.

The descent to the bealach was harder going than expected. I daresay it would have been all fine and dandy without the snow - but with the snow it's very slippery, difficult to navigate and turns out boulder fields are not the easiest in the snow. I'm not even sure I was supposed to be in a boulder field, but thankfully it was short lived. The footprints in the snow I'd been following disappeared at this point and I didn't see them again for the rest of the walk. I'm hoping that the creator of the footprints just decided to escape from the bealach, as opposed to . . well, the alternative.

The scramble up to Beinn a' Chroin would probably be a lot easier without snow and ice too.

I expected some nice views from the Beinn a' Chroin ridge, but as soon as I got to the top I saw a big wall of very thick looking weather bearing down fast. I just managed to get my camera put away before the first hail hit. And hit it did! Visibility dropped to maybe ten feet or so, the wind picked up to the point that standing upright was very difficult and I could feel the hail hitting quite hard even through my jacket. I hid behind a rock. I like to think of it less as a little scaredy school girl type hiding, but more a manly stepping back, assessing the situation and picking the perfect moment for attack type hiding. I chose to attack once it cleared up.

The other couple that I had overtaken had obviously decided to turn back after An Caisteal. Quite wise, I don't think a dog would have handled some of the bealach very well. Unless someone else came along much later, in the dark, I suspect I was the only muppet on Beinn a' Chroin all day.

From the summit I took the required piccies and then headed downwards as the sun did the same. I figured from the floor of the Glen I would be able to make good progress back to the car. How wrong I was! Non stop, totally unavoidable, hellish bog. My walking poled would sink up to a three feet in places. It was all I could do to avoid sinking for the most part. My boots held up admirably, but that was a very tough mile and half! I didn't enjoy that bit.

Anyway, I got back to the car shortly after 18:00, almost six and a half hours after I set off. Not the speediest trek ever, but given the snow and bog, not too bad I think.

Piccies from along the way:

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Frogwell
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby tony.cee » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:17 am

awesome pics
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby Del246 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:30 am

Great report, really enjoyed it ! And as usual your pics are stunning.
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:11 pm

Ah FW another great report and unrivalled photos - damn you and your artistic talents!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Well done for managing the scrambly bits in such adverse conditions, could have been tricky!

Would love to see photo of you cowering behind a rock. It would probably rival the one of me wrapped around a boulder near the top of Sron a Choire Ghairbh trying not to get blown over in a gale!

Blowing you a big one Europhilic style X
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby DougieB » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:30 pm

Fantastic pictures, what camera do you use? I'm hoping Santa brings me a new one.
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby tom_scott » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:38 pm

magic pics and report
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby fazerneil » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:32 pm

fantastic pics and great report creating plenty of chuckles
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby EwaMH » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:54 pm

Great report! Your photos are stunning..I did these in July and my photos would suggest I was somewhere else entirely! What camera do you use??
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby lesley22 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:39 pm

Fantastic photos!
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby 147cjl » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:27 pm

Pictures are great - do you sell prints?
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby warbietoo » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:33 pm

Great report and pictures. Thanks... :D
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby LeithySuburbs » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:29 pm

Cracking pics :D . Do I detect a filter?
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby b-illie » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:45 am

Woooaaah, doesn't that first snow make the hills look utterly amazing?? Must have been so worth all the effort!
I'm a little bit envious to say the truth... :shifty:
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby skuk007 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:02 pm

Excellent report Frogwell, and usual top notch pics.
The snow, blue skies, and orange/red/brown hills make a fabulous combination. Thanks for sharing. :)
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Re: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin - Bog, Snow, Bog

Postby Frogwell » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:49 am

Thanks for all the comments :)

pollyh33 wrote:Would love to see photo of you cowering behind a rock. It would probably rival the one of me wrapped around a boulder near the top of Sron a Choire Ghairbh trying not to get blown over in a gale!

One of the benefits of solo walking - no witnesses!

DougieB wrote:Fantastic pictures, what camera do you use? I'm hoping Santa brings me a new one.

A Nikon D90. Fantastic camera!

147cjl wrote:Pictures are great - do you sell prints?

I did put a little widget on my site the other day that allows people to buy pics from it. I think the prices in the UK and Europe are a bit on the pricy side though. Probably okay if you're in Americashire. If you wanted any of them I could upload them to Photobox. Their prices are less damaging and when I've used them in the past their quality seems pretty good.

LeithySuburbs wrote:Cracking pics :D . Do I detect a filter?

Two of them - polariser and ND grad on all but two of them. The polariser really did go to town making the sky a bit lurid in a couple of them - I was going to lighten that up a bit in photoshop but I lost motivation :)
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