Not many reports in for Sunday?! Attempted Beinn Eunaich and Beinn a'Chochuill, as forecast was bearable for the early part of the day, with conditions worsening towards dusk. Set off at 6.30am full of expectation even though I wasn't feeling the greatest, as had been out for drinks the night before for the first time in a month. The journey wasn't the most comfortable and, on reaching Tyndrum, couldn't even face the breakfast counter!
Upon reaching Castles Farm Estate, the heavens opened and we remained in the van for the 10-15 minutes it took to relent. We kitted up meantime and were ready for the off as soon as the heaviest of the rain had passed. We headed off up the farm estate track, much as described in the WH route description initially (our plan was to tackle Eunaich first), through several gates and negotiating a very large herd of highland cattle. Soon after this encounter we stepped off the track on to the steep flanks of Stob Maol, zig-zagging our way up at no great pace. As soon as we gained height, the winds worsened. We got on to Stob Maol and stopped for 10 minutes to take on some food as we thought we might not get many more opportunities to do so. Still no snow at this point but, as soon as we set-off again, the wind got up even more and it started to hammer down with rain, hail, sleet and, occasionally, snow. The snow line was between 600-700m and, at just over 700 metres we were beginning to struggle to make any forward progress, stopping every few steps to brace ourselves against the wind. We decided at this point to forego Beinn a'Chochuill and continue to the summit of Beinn Eunaich, hatching the ice axes...just in case. However, in the time it took us to reach the 800m mark, it became clear that the wisest move would be to bale out. The wind was such at this stage that a couple of our party were put on their backsides and those that weren't were on their knees.
We set off back via the quickest, and probably steepest, route back to the track. Always disappointing not to reach your goal but, it was the sensible thing to do and these two live to fight another day. Fancy a long Summer's day from Cruachan, over Stob Diamh, on to Chochuill and Eunaich next time.
No pics I'm afraid, camera was well tucked away.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.