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A Lui To Catch A Chleibh

A Lui To Catch A Chleibh

Postby old danensian » Mon May 27, 2013 10:21 pm

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

Date walked: 25/05/2013

Time taken: 6.3 hours

Distance: 26.5 km

Ascent: 1279m

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Beinn a Chleibh stubbornly remained unticked.

Four years previously I’d visited Dubhcraig, Oss and Lui from Dalrigh, but ducked out of including Beinn a Chleibh in what proved to be a long, hot day. I’m sure you remember those days, when summers did what they ought to do.

Anyway, direction was now my dilema. The approach from Glen Lochy was short and relatively direct, but few reports made it sound attractive. The alternative was from Dalrigh, dropping down from Ben Lui then traversing back to descend Coire Laiogh. The drawbacks were the interminable length of the Cononish glen and the apparently perverse logic of climbing the 28th highest Munro to settle my score with one that qualified as a Munro by barely two metres.

But, when you crane the neck and peer up at the spectacular crags below the summit, a chance to revisit Ben Lui is hard to turn down.

Ben Lui and the Cononish

My last acquaintance with the Cononish road was a walk out. It took over an hour and a half, footsore and weary at the end of a long day. It wasn’t an experience I was keen to repeat so the bike was in the back of the car for this trip. It was a surprisingly empty car park at Dalrigh for the Saturday of a Bank Holiday weekend.

End of the track: start of the walk

Past Cononish and the gold mine spoils, route finding was simple beyond the end of the track: just go up into Coire Gaothach. Despite my complacent assumption of simplicity I still managed to stray away from the path, lost in a metronomic daze of step after step after step.

Back on track and now working correctly towards the righthand flank of the corrie, the ridge line brought the expansive scene to the west into view across Glen Lochy and beyond. From there it was worth the short detour and amble to Stob Garbh itself before striking up the ridge to the top.

Ben Lui from Stob Garbh

I know an easier way to get up there

With enough interest to distract from any tiredness, and the prow of the summit still looming above, the final stages of the ridge passed in no time. To the main cairn, and then time to sit, chat and relish the position, and exchange experiences and expectations with others on the top.

Beinn a Chleibh, Loch Awe and the Cruachan range from Ben Lui

Snow-streaked slopes of the Ben punctured the horizon in one direction. The Cruachan group clustered to the south west, the Lomond hills in silhouette and a pair hills could just be discerned in the distant haze – Jura or Arran? Yes, it was well worth revisiting Ben Lui, but the main objective still lay ahead.

Ben Lui, a distant Bidean and the Ben

Dropping to the bealach I could only reiterate the question: why does Beinn a Chleibh have Munro status rather than being merely a shoulder to Ben Lui?

It took just fifteen minutes to climb to the top, a wide open space with a couple of cairns and a lochan giving foreground interest to the surroundings – where I managed to fall asleep in the sun.

Ben Lui from Beinn a Chleibh - time for a snooze

Loch Awe and the Cruachan range from Beinn a Chleibh

Some hills look good from any angle and Ben Lui is a classic example. I didn’t begrudge doing it for a second time on the way to claim Beinn a Chleibh. However, doing it twice in one day was going too far, so I was reassured by the traverse across Leacann Beinn Laoigh to the bealach between Ben Lui and Ben Oss. The vaguest of paths began from just above the bealach, petering out before it dropped down to where the Allt Coire Laoigh began to flow down its classic “U” shaped valley back to the Cononish.

Allt Coire Laoigh to Cononish

An apparently bleached Beinn Chuirn - and my bike's over there somewhere

Five hours from leaving the bike and then just another twenty five minutes back the car, and the day was over.

Three days out in one week – I might now be in brownie point deficit with the tolerant other half.
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old danensian
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Re: A Lui To Catch A Chleibh

Postby joekell » Mon May 27, 2013 10:39 pm

Great report I have my eye on these two working my way round from the Crianlarich hills great pics
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Re: A Lui To Catch A Chleibh

Postby mrssanta » Tue May 28, 2013 10:46 pm

good choice of route I think, we did these two from a camp at the end of the track and Oss ad Dubhchraig the follwoing day. Beinn a Chleibh might be undistinguished but the views over to Dalmally make it worth it!
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Re: A Lui To Catch A Chleibh

Postby Graeme D » Wed May 29, 2013 11:50 am

Nowt wrong with revisiting a quality Munro in order to nab an overgrown Corbett Nigel! :clap: As for the bike thing though - your soul will burn forever in the hellfires of eternal damnation for your impure earthbound actions! :lol:
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Re: A Lui To Catch A Chleibh

Postby Mountainlove » Wed May 29, 2013 2:29 pm

That sounds like a great day out! I agree with climbing Ben Lui again...it is a lovely mountain and I woudl not mind a return myself. Great picture of the Ptarmigan and the surrounding area :D
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