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Ben Lui

Ben Lui


Postby Driftwood » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:47 pm

Route description: Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh

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

Date walked: 28/05/2012

Time taken: 4.75 hours

Distance: 10.2 km

Ascent: 1070m

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Arrived at the carpark roughly 1pm, booted up and set off about 1:15. The day was hot, but with occasional clouds which held out the prospect of some shade. A path leads southwest from the carpark, alongside the river Lochy, to the crossing. After a dry spell, the river was low and simple to cross with the help of some stones, so I had no need to decide whether to remove my boots and wade. Then up the far bank and across the train line, over a fence and into the forest.

The woods did provide plenty of shade, but there was slope enough that I soon felt warm. The conifers were thick and so not much grew beneath them, though I did need to duck and weave my way around low branches at times. Soon the path met more sunlight and open air as it rose alongside a stream which splashed temptingly over small waterfalls. I paused a few times, in the shade, to take a drink and check my progress on the map. I crossed the stream to another path where a rope stretched across (though with no need to use it; once again, it was easy to step between dry rocks and stones).

The path climbed further, conveniently close to another stream, until I eventually reached the treeline. A deer fence divides the forestry from the nature reserve. The gate was leaning, rather than hinged, but easy enough to pass through and then leave closed again. The sunshine was a little hazier, with a few more clouds wandering by, which together with a breeze made the walking easier. I also had the encouragement of the corrie, Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh's crags ahead.

DSCF1377.JPG
Fionn Choiren and Ben Lui


I picked my way up through Fionn Choiren; the ground was slightly soft in spots, but without any trouble in the dry weather. The path was faint, but I could plainly see where to aim for above and so reached the steeper section climbing southwards to the bealach. There was some loose rock to the path there, but no trouble to ascend, especially since I was now in the shade.

I paused at the bealach to refuel, have a drink and decide between the hills. There were good views south and north, though I can't recognise the hills here as I've come to do those further east.

DSCF1384.JPG
South to the Arrochar Alps


It was easy enough to pick Ben Lui, at least to walk first. It rises three times as far from the bealach as Ben a Chleibh, but a path winds up the slope. This grows steeper getting to halfway up, zig-zagging with loose rock and larger stones, but opens out further prospects. Cruachan, to the west, looked fine above Loch Awe.

DSCF1386.JPG
Westwards from Ben Lui


The path tended towards the south top, but I headed straight for the mini-bealach on Ben Lui. This opened up the sight of the great eastern corrie, then up over an outcropping to the southern cairn. This was popular, though the group there before me had arrived more adventurously from the southern ridge.

DSCF1390.JPG
Ben Lui south cairn


I took in the views, as well as refreshment, before heading across to the northern top close at hand. This had its own enticing sights, including the drop into the corrie leading down towards Cononish.

DSCF1405.JPG
Coire Gaothach, Ben Lui


I've since checked the WalkHighlands route and regretted not reaching Ben Lui by the north ridge, some of which showed finely from this top.

DSCF1399.JPG
Ben Chuirn from Ben Lui


Having made fair time so far and having life in my legs, I decided to return to the bealach the way I'd come, then stroll up Beinn a'Chleibh. Its northeast crags looked dark and rugged from this direction, but the rest of the hill seemed more of a hillock from so far above. And, after quite a descent, the upwards path did prove easy enough. The clouds had blown onwards, bringing bright sunlight again, but with breeze enough to help me reach a second Munro (though this one only qualifies by about five feet about the three-thousand mark).

DSCF1413.JPG
Cruachan beyond Beinn a'Chleibh


From Beinn a'Chleibh, I retraced my steps to the bealach again, then back into Fionn Choiren. The steep section called for concentration, but my knees were holding up for the descent. Reaching the gate in the deer-fence, I decided to rehang it on its hinges. With a good deed done for the day, I followed the path down through the forest, grateful for what shade that gave. My legs were starting to complain a little, but there wasn't far to go, so I resisted the temptation of the streams for now.

I crossed the railway line, then the river, as before, then along the bank to the carpark by 6 pm. I gladly unbooted, emptied my canteen, took a few more snaps, then headed for a refreshing splash.

DSCF1416.JPG
Fionn Choiren from Glen Lochy



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Driftwood
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Re: Ben Lui

Postby martinguthrie » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:31 am

Driftwood wrote:Arrived at the carpark roughly 1pm, booted up and set off about 1:15. The day was hot, but with occasional clouds which held out the prospect of some shade. A path leads southwest from the carpark, alongside the river Lochy, to the crossing. After a dry spell, the river was low and simple to cross with the help of some stones, so I had no need to decide whether to remove my boots and wade. Then up the far bank and across the train line, over a fence and into the forest.

The woods did provide plenty of shade, but there was slope enough that I soon felt warm. The conifers were thick and so not much grew beneath them, though I did need to duck and weave my way around low branches at times. Soon the path met more sunlight and open air as it rose alongside a stream which splashed temptingly over small waterfalls. I paused a few times, in the shade, to take a drink and check my progress on the map. I crossed the stream to another path where a rope stretched across (though with no need to use it; once again, it was easy to step between dry rocks and stones).

The path climbed further, conveniently close to another stream, until I eventually reached the treeline. A deer fence divides the forestry from the nature reserve. The gate was leaning, rather than hinged, but easy enough to pass through and then leave closed again. The sunshine was a little hazier, with a few more clouds wandering by, which together with a breeze made the walking easier. I also had the encouragement of the corrie, Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh's crags ahead.

DSCF1377.JPG


I picked my way up through Fionn Choiren; the ground was slightly soft in spots, but without any trouble in the dry weather. The path was faint, but I could plainly see where to aim for above and so reached the steeper section climbing southwards to the bealach. There was some loose rock to the path there, but no trouble to ascend, especially since I was now in the shade.

I paused at the bealach to refuel, have a drink and decide between the hills. There were good views south and north, though I can't recognise the hills here as I've come to do those further east.

DSCF1384.JPG


It was easy enough to pick Ben Lui, at least to walk first. It rises three times as far from the bealach as Ben a Chleibh, but a path winds up the slope. This grows steeper getting to halfway up, zig-zagging with loose rock and larger stones, but opens out further prospects. Cruachan, to the west, looked fine above Loch Awe.

DSCF1386.JPG


The path tended towards the south top, but I headed straight for the mini-bealach on Ben Lui. This opened up the sight of the great eastern corrie, then up over an outcropping to the southern cairn. This was popular, though the group there before me had arrived more adventurously from the southern ridge.

DSCF1390.JPG


I took in the views, as well as refreshment, before heading across to the northern top close at hand. This had its own enticing sights, including the drop into the corrie leading down towards Cononish.

DSCF1405.JPG


I've since checked the WalkHighlands route and regretted not reaching Ben Lui by the north ridge, some of which showed finely from this top.

DSCF1399.JPG


Having made fair time so far and having life in my legs, I decided to return to the bealach the way I'd come, then stroll up Beinn a'Chleibh. Its northeast crags looked dark and rugged from this direction, but the rest of the hill seemed more of a hillock from so far above. And, after quite a descent, the upwards path did prove easy enough. The clouds had blown onwards, bringing bright sunlight again, but with breeze enough to help me reach a second Munro (though this one only qualifies by about five feet about the three-thousand mark).

DSCF1413.JPG


From Beinn a'Chleibh, I retraced my steps to the bealach again, then back into Fionn Choiren. The steep section called for concentration, but my knees were holding up for the descent. Reaching the gate in the deer-fence, I decided to rehang it on its hinges. With a good deed done for the day, I followed the path down through the forest, grateful for what shade that gave. My legs were starting to complain a little, but there wasn't far to go, so I resisted the temptation of the streams for now.

I crossed the railway line, then the river, as before, then along the bank to the carpark by 6 pm. I gladly unbooted, emptied my canteen, took a few more snaps, then headed for a refreshing splash.

DSCF1416.JPG


our_route.gpx

Wish I had red your report before i tackled this hill on 30th Aug 2012. Knackard as when you reach the deer gate we headed straight for the summit of Lui and not the saddle between the munro's. Found it tough but will pay more attention to the reports before we tackle another munro.
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Re: Ben Lui

Postby dogplodder » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:48 am

Still to do these and enjoyed your report! :D
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