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Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was


Postby old danensian » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:50 pm

Route description: Beinn a'Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich

Date walked: 15/10/2012

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1256m

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It hit minus 3 as the road dropped from Tyndrum into Glen Lochay and everything was shrouded in mist by the time Dalmally was reached. There was no hint of hills above as the car was parked at the bridge over the Allt Mhoille, just the distant bleat of invisible sheep and the echoing clank of a steel gate being closed. The air was still and everything looked set for the inversion that conditions promised.

Eunaich-01.jpg
Early morning mists up Glen Lochay


Eunaich-02.jpg
There's hills in them there mists - at Castles Farm


The early morning mist was a blessing. It masked the relentlessly rising track as it disappeared upwards from Castles Farm. At least you could only see a few yards of the track immediately in front, rather than the dispiriting prospect of all the height and distance ahead as it snaked away. Sometimes ignorance is bliss – or at least less tiring.

After twenty minutes or so a large cairn emerged out of mist, marking the point at which the descent from Beinn Eunaich and Stob Maol meets the outward route. At this stage there was the suggestion of sun and the hint of blue above.

A few yards further and the path came out of the inversion and the day ahead was laid out against a perfectly clear blue sky. There are days when you just know that everything is going to fall into place: this was one of them.

Eunaich-03.jpg
Sron an Isean - as the path tops out of the mists


Once past another spectacular blue sight (a building site toilet), the bridge across the Allt Lairig Ianachain was soon reached and I began to look for signs of the path up to the right. 300 metres the guide suggests, but by the time I’d counted 350 steps and nothing had been encountered, I thought “sod it” and just struck off up the hillside. There may have been a cairn marking the route a little further on, but it wasn’t worth waiting for.

So began the only really tough part of the day, a forty five minute slog up the rib that falls from the summit ridge of Beinn Chochuill. One benefit of tackling steeper ground is that water flows off it quickly. As a result, it was easy to find a relatively dry way between damper patches of ground: quite an achievement for this year.

Eunaich-04.jpg
Small but perfectly formed - cairn marking the acces to the summit ridge of Beinn Chochuill


It may have been hard work, but the emerging views of Stob Diamh and Ben Cruachan occupied the mind and soon enough the skyline was broached and the views north burst into view. Fragments of hills and lochs were glimpsed between patches of mist that still hung around, but beyond Ben Starav it was difficult to tell if tops were clear and folks could be enjoying a similarly spectacular day. I’ll find out on WH later no doubt.

Eunaich-05.jpg
Looking back down to Loch Awe from eastern end of Beinn Chochuill


Eunaich-06.jpg
Summit ridge of Beinn Chochuill


With an easy amble across the final stretch of summit ridge, I was pleased to reach the top in just 2 hrs 10 min and not feeling too knackered either. Once stopped however, the chill could be felt in the breeze and it wasn’t a time to hang around once the obligatory photographs had been taken.

Eunaich-07.jpg
Ben Cruachan from top of Beinn Chochuill


Turning round, the remainder of the day wended its way in front of me, and stretched across to Beinn Eunaich. Those down in the valley and around Loch Awe were now getting a chance to see blue sky as the clouds below began to break up and drift across the tops.

Eunaich-08.jpg
Twisting route across to Beinn Eunaich


Although it’s a depressing drop to the bealach, the slope beyond is relatively gradual for most of the way. It only rears up in its rockier final couple of hundred feet when the large pile of stones appears offering plenty of opportunities to shelter and rest.

Eunaich-09.jpg
South to Loch Awe from summit of Beinn Eunaich


Eunaich-10.jpg
Looking back through the mists to Beinn Chochuill


After a half hour for lunch and absorbing the views down Kinglass, I worked out which bits of which hills I could still see, then began the descent towards Stob Maol and back down the steep slope to the work track.

Eunaich-11.jpg
That wasn't there this morning - view of Stob Diamh and Beinn Chochuill from Castles Farm


Five hours out and I was back at the car, walking past the farm and looking back to the view that wasn’t there in the morning. The weather was scheduled to be grotty for the next few days, so I was more than happy with what had been a surprisingly gentle day.
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby mrssanta » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:10 pm

Perfect!
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:17 pm

Loved these two when I did them - but didn't get your inversion. Very nice. :D
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby gordon l » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:43 pm

Some great pics there, especially the one of route towards eunaich. Nice wee pair for a quick walk.
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby Stretch » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:18 pm

Glorious, OD! I enjoyed these hills, but they would have been better with that inversion you saw!
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:42 pm

Stunning Nigel 8) . Loved these two as a winter walk a couple years ago :) .
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby Graeme D » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:46 pm

Brilliant. That takes me back ...... to yesterday! :lol: No debate about who got the better day for it though! :shock: Yours looked quite summery. Mine was pure winter! :crazy:
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby PeteR » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:03 pm

Stunning photos from two underated hills. Must have been great walking out of that mist to the sight of blue sky above :D
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby Paula Hubens » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:26 pm

Great report OD and stunning pictures 8)
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby Fudgie » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:52 am

I agree with Pete above about these two hills being under rated. I did them on a day where Chochuill was clear at the summit providing great views but by the time we reached the top of Eunaich the wind rain and cloud was giving us a battering. It was clear at a lower level for us so we could see the entire path and it didn't look bad at all.

We also just headed up the side of the hill as we couldn't see the cairn and it wasn't the hardest ascent I've done. You've taken some great pictures there on what looks like a great day out.
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:39 am

Very nice Clive, your photos are some of the best I've seen of these two hills.

Love your early morning ones best- must confess to having the theme from MASH running through my head when I saw them :lol: :lol:
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby GillC » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:52 am

Fantastic,,thats one on the radar... :clap:
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby monty » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:18 pm

Lovely views OD. Have you told G :lol: :lol:
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Re: Chochuill and Eunaich - sounds as good as it was

Postby old danensian » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:11 pm

Thanks everyone - and yes, it must have been galling for Graeme - but I liked his view from the little orange bubble.

But I must confess to being confused Polly - given the title for the MASH theme - it wasn't that bad!

OD / Nigel
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