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Them Bones, Them Holy Bones!

Them Bones, Them Holy Bones!


Postby ScottishLeaf » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:33 pm

Route description: Ben Challum, near Tyndrum

Munros included on this walk: Ben Challum

Date walked: 15/06/2013

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 11.5 km

Ascent: 910m

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After last weekend's epic tour of Sutherland and Ross-shire and an intrepid adventure to the Grey Corries planned for next weekend, I was looking for something relatively straight forward and close by to keep the legs in the groove, but give them a rest at the same time.
So when Rottiewalker suggested Ben Challum, it was a done deal.

So we set off for an Argyll hill that was formerly in Perthsire, but now lies mostly within Stirlingshire and arrived at the layby on the A82 just after 8:30am. After a quick check to make sure it was the right layby :lol: we departed about 8:45am, just as another two cars pulled up.

The first part of the walk is a pleasant stroll along a small part of the West Highland Way, over a nice wooden bridge, crossing the River Fillan.

Image

Image

The road soon leads up to Kirkton Farm and then skirts round the edge of it, before passing the 1200 year old ruins of St. Fillan's Priory.

Image

Saint Fillan was a prominent clergyman working to convert the heathen Picts in these parts in the 8th century. His holy relics are said to have given Robert The Bruce the guidance and devine intervention needed to defeat the English at Bannockburn, almost six hundred years later. His bones were kept in a silver reliquary and at King Robert's request were transported from Strath Fillan to Bannockburn on the eve of battle. However, the monks fearing that the bones would fall into evil English hands, brought only the silver box, leaving the bones behind in the priory. As Robert prayed, it's said that a noise was heard and that the reliquary sprung open and the bones rolled out, touching King Robert's sword and granting him St. Fillan's favour.
Sadly, the bones are lost now. However, his other relics (a quigrich, bell and healing stones,) lie in the National Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh and in a local museum near Killin.

Image

As you may expect having just passed a holy place, an old graveyard is soon passed on the right hand side.

Image

Then shortly after, a much newer one is passed over to the left, beneath two pine trees.

Image

The next obstacle is far less ancient, the West Highland Railway Line. There is an old rusting bridge over the line, just to the right of the track, with an old grassy path leading to it, but I didn't fancy the look of and we decided just to use the private level crossing.

Image

The clag was down and we had no views other than that of the hillside immediately in front of us, but we did get glimpse of Cruach Ardrain.

Image

As we crossed the railway, the WH highlands route almost immediately branches off from the main track and heads uphill over muddy ground. Not realisng this we continued on the path a little further and came across another path, that runs up the opposite bank of the small stream. This seemed much drier than the WH route, so we followed it up and up.
However, it seemed to be heading too much in a northerly direction, so we cut across the countryside and met the WH route just above the second stile, near a waterfall.

Image

From here route finding is simple, follow the fence.
The ground wasn't so much boggy as muddy and with the recent dry weather, only the top layer or so of soil was wet, so we made decent progress uphill.

Image

Image

We passed a few rocky knolls, and climbing over and down the other side of one, before the final steepish and rocky pull up to the south top. Near one of these rocky knolls, we noticed a path coming in from our left hand, which may have been the continuation of our original route over some rocky hillocks. But in the mist there was no way to see for sure.

Image

There's a big cairn just as the ridge is reached and then the south top is only a little further on, up an easy gradient.

Image

Image

Image

From the south top, you had to head west a little way, towards a tiny lochan, in order to dodge around the side of a gully that divides the south top from the ridge to main summit.

Image

The first part of the ridge is quite exciting as it's fairly narrow, but the drop to your right isn't very much.

Image

From here the ridge widens again and it's a straight forward walk over to the main summit, with only a short climb up a fairly low gradient slope to the big cairn at the top.

Image

Image

The cairn is a good one and it provides plenty of wee stoney seats to sit and enjoy the views... shame the views forgot to turn up!

Image

The clag may have been down, but up until this point all the waterproofs had done was fend off the mud lower down and there wasn't much wind, so we enjoyed our pieces and a chance to cool down at the summit. After about 20 minutes spent blethering to a couple from Glasgow, we headed back down the hill; this time following dead on the WH route.

Following this route meant crossing into an area of land that is being protected from the local wildlife, to allow plant regeneration. The stiles over the fences, were barely human friendly, never mind dog friendly and we had to man handle Bear to get her past. As we did so, we were caught in a shower of rain, but it didn't last long.

Image

As we neared the bottom we were finally given some views of the surrounding landscape, the best of these over towards Ben Lui.

Image

The Crianlarich hills, stil had their heads in the clouds, but at least we could see them now.

[img]After last weekend epic tour of Sutherland and Ross-shire and an intrepid adventure to the Grey Corries planned for next weekend, I was looking for something relatively straight forward and close by to keep the legs in the groove, but give them a rest at the same time.
So when Rottiewalker suggested Ben Challum, it was a done deal.

So we set off for an Argyll hill that was formerly in Perthsire, but now lies mostly within Stirlingshire and arrived at the layby on the A82 just after 8:30am. After a quick check to make sure it was the right layby :lol: we departed about 8:45am, just as another two cars pulled up.

The first part of the walk is a pleasant stroll along a small part of the West Highland Way, over a nice wooden bridge, crossing the River Fillan.

Image

Image

The road soon leads up to Kirkton Farm and then skirts round the edge of it, before passing the 1200 year old ruins of St. Fillan's Priory.

Image

Saint Fillan was a prominent clergyman working to convert the heathen Picts in these parts in the 8th century. His holy relics are said to have given Robert The Bruce the guidance and devine intervention needed to defeat the English at Bannockburn, almost six hundred years later. His bones were kept in a silver reliquary and at King Robert's request were transported from Strath Fillan to Bannockburn on the eve of battle. However, the monks fearing that the bones would fall into evil English hands, brought only the silver box, leaving the bones behind in the priory. As Robert prayed, it's said that a noise was heard and that the reliquary sprung open and the bones rolled out, touching King Robert's sword and granting him St. Fillan's favour.
Sadly, the bones are lost now. However, his other relics (a quigrich, bell and healing stones,) lie in the National Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh and in a local museum near Killin.

Image

As you may expect having just passed a holy place, an old graveyard is soon passed on the right hand side.

Image

Then shortly after, a much newer one is passed over to the left, beneath two pine trees.

Image

The next obstacle is far less ancient, the West Highland Railway Line. There is an old rusting bridge over the line, just to the right of the track, with an old grassy path leading to it, but I didn't fancy the look of and we decided just to use the private level crossing.

Image

The clag was down and we had no views other than that of the hillside immediately in front of us, but we did get glimpse of Cruach Ardrain.

Image

As we crossed the railway, the WH highlands route almost immediately branches off from the main track and heads uphill over muddy ground. Not realisng this we continued on the path a little further and came across another path, that runs up the opposite bank of the small stream. This seemed much drier than the WH route, so we followed it up and up.
However, it seemed to be heading too much in a northerly direction, so we cut across the countryside and met the WH route just above the second stile, near a waterfall.

Image

From here route finding is simple, follow the fence.
The ground wasn't so much boggy as muddy and with the recent dry weather, only the top layer or so of soil was wet, so we made decent progress uphill.

Image

Image

We passed a few rocky knolls, and climbing over and down the other side of one, before the final steepish and rocky pull up to the south top. Near one of these rocky knolls, we noticed a path coming in from our left hand, which may have been the continuation of our original route over some rocky hillocks. But in the mist there was no way to see for sure.

Image

There's a big cairn just as the ridge is reached and then the south top is only a little further on, up an easy gradient.

Image

Image

Image

From the south top, you had to head west a little way, towards a tiny lochan, in order to dodge around the side of a gully that divides the south top from the ridge to main summit.

Image

The first part of the ridge is quite exciting as it's fairly narrow, but the drop to your right isn't very much.

Image

From here the ridge widens again and it's a straight forward walk over to the main summit, Stob Glas, with only a short climb up a fairly low gradient slope to the big cairn at the top.

Image

Image

The cairn is a good one and it provides plenty of wee stoney seats to sit and enjoy the views... shame the views forgot to turn up!

Image

The clag may have been down, but up until this point all the waterproofs had done was fend off the mud lower down and there wasn't much wind, so we enjoyed our pieces and a chance to cool down at the summit. After about 20 minutes spent blethering to a couple from Glasgow, we headed back down the hill; this time following dead on the WH route.

Following this route meant crossing into an area of land that is being protected from the local wildlife, to allow plant regeneration. The stiles over the fences, were barely human friendly, never mind dog friendly and we had to man handle Bear to get her past. As we did so, we were caught in a shower of rain, but it didn't last long.

Image

As we neared the bottom we were finally given some views of the surrounding landscape, the best of these over towards Ben Lui.

Image

The Crianlarich hills, stil had their heads in the clouds, but at least we could see them now.

Image

Then before we knew it we were over the railway and passing by trekkers the West Highland Way, before making it back to the car.

All in all an enjoyable, easier; and far less boggier day than expected day; dodging the worst of the forecast rain.
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ScottishLeaf
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Re: Them Bones, Them Holy Bones!

Postby quoman » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:58 pm

was the walk that good you wrote it twice :lol: :lol: nice one again scottishleaf.
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quoman
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Joined: Nov 14, 2011
Location: larbert

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