Well, we knew that the alarm clock would be going off at 3am, but it's still hard prising yourself out of bed, even on a summer Saturday! We left home at 4am, two cups of tea better off, ready for the 250 mile drive north. It felt great though be eating breakfast at Inverarnan campsite just before 9am! A gorgeously warm morning as we finally parked the car in the layby on the A82 opposite Keilator farm. The cow field, because of the hot spell was baked dry, so that was a good start as that field is usually bloody awful. So we were on the Land Rover track within minutes, crossing the river and rising up above the river Falloch until we reached the plantation away to our left. Then we dropped down to cross it and head up the grassy slope towards Grey Height. The hot weather was already beginning to take it's toll, the sun beating down, but hats were on and creams were applied. Once on the ridge we now had a clear path which carried us higher up through the rocks and on towards our next objective Meall Dhamh. This area is quite intricate and has a series of rocky knolls, before reaching the tiny cairn at 814m. It also has some large slabs, a good resting spot, and a good place to take on water. Cruach Ardrain loomed large in front of us and we descended down to it's base. We climbed upwards on a diagonal path, more a steep grassy slope really with large boot imprints which carried us unerringly to a cross path on the south east ridge. Here we turned left and climbed still further to reach the summit dome. A small dip was all that separated us from the true summit at 1046m. A gentle breeze was perfect to take the heat out of the sun as this was the ideal lunch spot. The route back down towards Beinn Tulaichean was in no doubt as we could see in all directions for miles. Ben More and Stob Binnein seemed very close. We descended down to the bealach and made the easy ascent up to the summit of Beinn Tulaichean. (How did it get to be a Munro?)
There were lots of fellow walkers up here and we exchanged conversation for a short while before retracing our steps down to the bealach. Because of the clear conditions we decided to explore a little and rather than re ascend to the south east ridge, we traversed across on the grassy slopes down towards Coire Dubh, but it became a bit awkward, so we circumvented the ridge and re joined it lower down on our upward path, close to Meall Dhamh once more. With hindsight we should have descended down the grassy slope back to Coire Earb, just to add a bit of variety, but the feet were getting weary so we opted to retrace our steps back over Meall Dhamh and Grey Height to the river Falloch where the boots came off for a cooling dip. Once back at the car, we drove the short distance to Beinglas farm, pitched the tent, had a shower and enjoyed a good night of beer, food and music, before heading home after breakfast the following morning.
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