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Best In The West
by Fudgie » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:46 pm
Route description: Ben Cruachan and Stob Daimh
Munros included on this walk: Ben Cruachan, Stob Daimh
Date walked: 05/07/2012
Time taken: 7 hours
Distance: 14.5 km
Ascent: 1500m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Eventually I arrived at the empty layby below the Falls of Cruachan train station and I was quickly through the station and on to the path. I was expecting to be bombarded with midgies but fortunately a slight breeze kept them at the bay and I got mysef out of the trees at great speed. At this point it was off with the jumper and on with the sun cream as the sun was really beating down on me but I wasn't complaining.
I was grateful to be out in the open and I got my first view of Ben Cruachan at this point and it reinforced what an effort it is to get to the top of it. I could really feel the sun on my back and I was starting to sweat as I was trying to keep up a good pace. Before I knew it I was up the ladder and on to the top of the dam.
After making a donation to the Oban Mountain Rescue I was on to the track and moving quickly round the side of the reservoir to the track which begins the next part of the ascent. The heat had me guzzling water frequently so I took the opportunity to fill up a bottle here before heading up the path which seemed to get steeper the further I got up. I had a ten minute break whilst I scoffed some pasta and took in the great view as well as the suns rays. I also surveyed the path ahead and the slightly covered top of Ben Cruachan.
My pace slowed a bit here and it felt like a never ending climb to the bealach and as I got close to it, I noticed people on the path behind me and they were first people I had seen all day. They were also the only folk I saw and I always seemed to be about half an hour at least ahead of them. Once on the bealach the wind picked up and it was back on with the jumper.
I couldn't believe that I had almost 300 metres to go at this point but I seemed to get a second wind and made good time up the boulders to the summit. The cloud was covering the top for a few minutes at at time but I sat enjoyed my lunch and the intermittent views in what had now become a stifling heat.
I descended on to the ridge pretty quickly although at times it was slow going over the boulders and before I knew it I was across the slabs and had dropped down the other side. The cloud was still over head but thankfully the rain had held off and I made short work of going over Drochaid Ghlas after pausing to look back up at Ben Cruachan.
I knew that I didn't have a great amount of height to gain to the summit of Stob Diamh but I was really feeling the heat at this point and my pace slowed until I saw the delightful sight of the summit cairn. There were good views to be had although the cloud did obscure the tops of some the Glencoe summits but not of the route I had just taken.
After some chocolate and a large amount of water, I set off on the descent and it didn't take me too long to lose a lot of the height. I stopped at a stream to fill up both my bottles of water and chance to take in the great view before following the path around the side of the reservoir.
Once on the track I picked up the pace and I was back into the trees and the stifling heat before I knew it. I was tiring by now and seeing the railway line was a welcome sight. I was relieved to reach the car and a change of clothes which I hastily changed into. All that was left was to suffer the drive home which was populated by those who have no idea of speed limits, those who don't know how to drive along that type of road and the bus driver at Balloch who almost wrote my car off because one lane wasn't enough for them. That aside I had a great day and I feel surprisingly fresh today.
by Alan S » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:38 pm
by Fudgie » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:41 pm
alan s wrote:Nice pics of one of my favourite munros
Cheers. Worth the effort to carry that camera up there.
by davedanson28 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:24 pm
by Fudgie » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:26 pm
davedanson28 wrote:Cracking report, your photo's are quality. This is my favourite Munro. The first up hill slog to the dam certainly gets the blood pumping!
Thanks Dave. Every time I looked back at Ben Cruachan I couldn't believe I had climbed it.
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