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Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby andrewdoggett » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:16 pm

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

Date walked: 14/04/2012

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 28.9 km

Ascent: 1943m

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I've been saving these puppies... Today was supposed to be the nine Fannaichs to see in the 200 in some style but my walking partner Scraggles was off colour, and I didn't fancy the long walk back along the road... So a re-plan... I've lost count of the number of times I've driven north through Tyndrum with a wistful look at Ben Lui... Finally, the day had arrived when I get up close and personal :)

Ben Lui 001.jpg
First sight of the main target... Gorgeous :)

In not very long I'm at the end of the track; the mining not as disfiguring as I'd expected from other peoples comments... The initial ascent is easy up a good path with pre made steps in the grass and it's not too steep so I'm going up at a decent lick of speed...

Ben Lui 002.jpg
The end of the track... And the start of the main ascent...

From the corrie a cairn marks the point where it's decision time; I've been umming and ahhing all the way up; do I go left, do I go right... I fancy right is the slightly easier route of the two so I take this one heading right early to make the most of the ridge...

Ben Lui 003.jpg
Above the snow line on the ridge...

The going up to the ridge is steeper but nothing uncomfortable... And I'm now above the snow line...

Ben Lui 004.jpg
Looking back along the ridge...

The last bit is reasonably steep and I'm first on the hill from this direction taking on the fresh snow which is thigh deep... It's strength sapping stuff and a fall here wouldn't be good news so I'm thankful it's finished when I top out on the summit plateau...

Ben Lui 005.jpg
Looking down the steep bit; thigh deep in fresh snow this bit of the climb; tiring work...

It's a short traverse across to the summit of Ben Lui and the views are gorgeous; though the weather has closed in a little from the blue skies at the off... Ahh well; it still looks good :)

Ben Lui 006.jpg
The couple following me top out giving scale to this summit shot...

I meet a friendly chap on the summit of Ben Lui and he kindly obliges me with a summit shot; I don't normally record them, but I figure I will on this hill; it's a special one :)

Ben Lui 007.jpg
Me on the summit of Ben Lui...

It's cold and I'm conscious I've a decent walk ahead of me so I move on making fairly rapid work of the descent and subsequent ascent of Beinn a'Chleibh... It's still tiring going; the snow is deep and your weight takes you through the crust so you're constantly wondering how far your foot will sink!

Ben Lui 008.jpg
On route to Beinn a'Chleibh

At the summit of Beinn a'Chleibh and I traverse along all of the mini tops, don't need to be getting wrong one, though I'm fairly sure the first one is the highest...

Ben Lui 009.jpg
Looking back at Ben Lui and the sun is back out :)

I don't enjoy the kilometre or so traverse contouring Ben Lui and almost wish I'd climbed back up the thing... I've taken a knock to my left ankle and the constant slope is about the worse angle for whatever injury I've sustained... Nevermind, head down; get on with it...

Ben Lui 010.jpg
Looking up Ben Lui as I complete the contour bit...

The views open out and I'm thinking I've been a touch lucky with the weather; the forecast has been spot on; just a few flurries and not too much wind :)

Ben Lui 011.jpg
Gorgeous views...

It's a long and tiring climb up Ben Oss in the snow conditions; still a crusty surface with deep snow underneath but I'm finally there, and thinking that's the real hard work done... Looking back at Ben Lui and he's looking pretty majestic...

Ben Lui 012.jpg
Finally; the summit of Ben Oss...

The ascent route I've taken up Ben Lui looks pretty steep from here I'm thinking... What a hill though... I fancy I'll be back... :)

Ben Lui 013.jpg
Looking back at the ascent route of Ben Lui...

The final ascent is pretty straightforward, and the snow flattened down more by walkers that have gone before; so it's the easiest climb of the lot... Looking back provides a good memory of the ground covered...

Ben Lui 014.jpg
Nearly done with the ascent for the day; looking back from the final climb...

I carry straight on for the descent in preference to turning round and following the ridge down... The views to the Crianlarich hills are gorgeous, and in not very long I'm below the snow line finally :)

Ben Lui 015.jpg
The Crianlarich Hills on the descent...

As I amble back to the car through the forest; Beinn Dorain comes into view from a wooden bridge... As a kid my family holidays were on the Isle of Skye; driving up from Cornwall; and it was always this hill that marked the beginning of Scotland proper for me... It's unmistakeable; even here from further away...

Ben Lui 016.jpg
A rarely seen view of the iconic Beinn Dorain...

And that's it; I almost get a sub eight hour time which for this walk in these conditions is not too shabby I'm thinking... In good conditions (summer) I reckon it's doable in 6 hours ha ha...

2012 - 04 - 14 - Ben Lui.jpg
The Stats...

2012 - 04 - 14 - Ben Lui.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Re: Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby Paula Hubens » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:35 pm

Nice round Andrew, and swift as well! This brings back good memories. :D
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Re: Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby Fudgie » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:03 pm

Thats a fair old walk and well done for getting through it. It's amazing how much the good weather can spur you on.
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Re: Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby JFMurray » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:53 am

Nice photos

It was probably at least some of my tracks you followed (back, for me) up to Dubhchraig. I bagged Dubhchraig and Oss today from Dalrigh (having done the other two many years ago) and met two guys going for the whole set of four - one of whom is probably who indulged you with a summit photo on Lui. I had a great 'jog' down Dubhchraig right down to the river crossing. Was great to see the summits clear!
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Re: Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby monty » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:47 am

nice report Andrew. cracking photos. Sounds like a tough walk in the snow. :D

Re: Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby mrssanta » Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:07 pm

great stuff. we took 2 days for this and camped at the foot of Ben Lui
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Re: Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby dooterbang » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:02 am

shame you didnt get to do the Fannichs...that would have been class.

Nice route this.

did this in summer with a group and it took forever - i had a break of 30mins at each summit :shock:

what now for numero 200?
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Re: Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:00 pm

Good going to do the 4 in the snow! Ben Lui looks amazing from Ben Oss...Its a lovely area...lets hope for some good weekends coming up!!!
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Re: Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby jonny616 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:36 pm

Great report Andrew. Took me three goes to do all of these :lol:
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Re: Banging out the The Ben Lui Four in the Snow...

Postby Bod » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:10 am

Yes Andrew, great effort, some fine pictures and enjoyed the read very much. Ben Lui has always stuck out for me too :D :D :D
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