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Fiarach meander

Fiarach meander

Postby mattmunro » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:04 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Fiarach

Date walked: 21/03/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 700m

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My only plan as such for today was to summit Fiarach; the rest of the route would take care of itself. I would just alight the train at Crianlarich and play it by ear. Conditions were overcast, so the pictures aren't the best.
From the station I took the well made path linking Crianlarich to the West Highland Way.
Link path to the WHW

After half a mile, I reached the WHW. What to do? I crossed the Way, heading W straight up the hillside alongside the forest boundary. Evidently this route is far more heavily used by deer than people. It was great to be away from the engineered paths and feel the landscape under my feet. While the bogs along here tested my patience, this ridge gave me the chance to view the Crianlarich Hills close at hand to my left; familiar summits.
Craw Knowe summit

From the undistinguished 465m summit of Craw Knowe (355241) I decided against heading for the 588m top nearly 2 miles to the WSW (looked to be a tedious plod to reach it), instead heading NW directly for Fiarach. Kept with the forest boundary, then the fence posts directly upslope to the summit plateau, the views of the Crianlarich hills behind me expanding as I climbed.
boggy col between Craw Knowe & Fiarach

Crianlarich Hills

Lochans on summit plateau


I took time to explore the many small lochans on the plateau, some of which have dried up. I meandered N to the charming mini summit ridge of Fiarach, perched incongruously 20m or so above the surrounding moor. The crags on the S side seem more akin to one of the Peak District gritstone edges.
Fiarach summit ridge

summit ridge

summit crags

Crianlarich Hills from summit

Close by, Beinn Dubhcraig had its head in the clouds, the dark shoulder of Ben Lui lurking menacingly behind it. The Tyndrum and Mamlorn Hills presented a brighter prospect; brighter still the Crianlarichs. The shore of Lochan Fiarach made a nice lunch spot.
Lochan Fiarach & Tyndrum Hills


Tyndrum Hills

Having spent close to 2 hours wandering the summit area, it was time to head down; I decided on exploring the waterfall and ruined shielings marked on the 1:25000 map on the eastern side of the hill;fingers crossed I'd be able to negotiate the forestry. Looking across from the ridge earlier in the day, it didn't look too bad. I entered the forest at 351257. A bit of limbo required at first, but then it was a straightforward task to follow the burn down to the attractive waterfall.
Burn through the forest

top of the waterfall


Beyond this are the remains of several shielings; not a bad setting for a summer house!
shieling and waterfall

After following a couple of forest breaks, it was a shock to suddenly hit the well-graded thoroughfare of the WHW. I met not a soul all day, not even here on the Way. Back at the junction at 376251, I had time to detour to the NNE down the track (confusingly signposted Bogle Glen; on the 1;250000, Bogle Glen is on the other side of the small col). The track reached the A82 just outside the village, from where it was a short walk back to the station. Turned out i had far more time than I thought, as I got the train times completely wrong, resulting in a 2 hr wait for the 19.30 train (the 17.30 only runs on Saturdays) ....doh!
Posts: 21
Munros:115   Corbetts:47
Grahams:67   Donalds:70
Sub 2000:36   Hewitts:298
Wainwrights:133   Islands:3
Joined: Sep 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow, originally Manchester

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