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Ben Cruachan by Citylink

Ben Cruachan by Citylink

Postby smalltounboy » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:26 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Cruachan

Date walked: 25/08/2013

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 9 km

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My plans to go walking on Arran on Sunday came grinding to a halt when my friend phoned late on Saturday evening to say something had came up and couldn't go, the weather reports had forecast that it was to be sunny with little or no wind, so not wanting to waste this hillwalking opportunity I quickly had a look on the Walkhighlands site to see where I could go, but in the back of my mind I knew I was only interested in one particular hill, I'd seen it from Beinn Dorain a month earlier........Ben Cruachan

I hate the long drive home after a day in the hills, especially when I'm knackered so I typed 'Falls of Cruachan' into my trusty 'Traveline Scotland' app to see what my options where, train services on a Sunday are useless but the citylink service seemed reasonable, so I booked my 'text ticket' and set my alarm.

I caught the 8:30am Oban bus at Buchanan St which dropped me off at Cruachan at 11am, I had 7½ hours till the last bus back so set off straight away, access is via the railway station path, but by the look of it more people head up the hill than use the station.

Railway bridge

I passed through the low bridge and headed up the path, the previous few weeks had been quite wet so the vegetation was quite thick, at times the path became quite hard to get through

Overgrown Path

The initial climb is pretty steep but with the advantage that you gain elevation quickly, within a short time the trees thin out and the view back to Loch Awe starts to open up

View back to Loch Awe

No I insist........after you

Once the treeline is passed the magnificent Cruachan Dam comes into view

Cruachan Dam

The dam is a fantastic feat of engineering, especially when you consider the complex which it is part of

Cruachan Dam close up

The route to Ben Cruachan follows the 4x4 track along the western shore of the loch, a small cairn indicates the point where you leave the track and start heading west up to Bealach an Lochan, the view to the west immediately open up as soon as you reach the bealach

View from Bealach an lochan

including a fine view of Ben More on the Isle of Mull

Ben More, Isle of Mull

From Bealach an Lochan, the route turns north to the top and becomes a semi-scramble

Route from Bealach an Lochan

The summit is soon reached, from here the best views of any Scottish mountain are before you,
Loch Awe

Arran to the south
Isle of Arran - 55 miles away

Jura to the South West
Isle of Jura - 49 miles away

Mull to the West
Isle of Mull - 34 Miles away

The ghostly outline of the Isle of Rum to the North West
Isle of Rum - 58 Miles away

The Ben to the North
The Ben - 26 Miles away

Summit Selfie_1024.jpg
Summit Selfie

After spending about an hour at the top chatting to fellow walkers I set of eastward along the ridge towards Stob Diamh
Stob Diamh

About halfway along the ridge I stopped of at Drochaid Ghlas, where one of the best views of Ben Cruachan can be found
Ben Cruachan 1126m

At this point I had a wee break I looked at the clock on my phone to my horror I saw 5:15, as the last bus was due to pass Falls of Cruachan at 6:45pm I immediately abandoned my traverse of the ridge to Stob Diamh and descended back down to the reservoir, breaking into a run I made it back down to the railway station in just over an hour and a quarter, I retrieved my phone from my rucksack to check the time again only to find that it was 16:30..........not 6:30pm!!!

I felt a complete and utter idiot for making such a stupid mistake, robbing me of my 10th munro, thankfully the bus driver let me on the bus 2 hours earlier than I had booked and I consoled myself on the long journey home knowing that despite its premature end I had had one of the finest hill walking days of the year.
Last edited by smalltounboy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Posts: 56
Munros:127   Corbetts:9
Grahams:4   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:1
Joined: Oct 4, 2012
Location: Ardrossan

Re: Ben Cruachan by Citylink

Postby davetherave » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:43 am

Haha, im very glad you shared that mammoth mistake with WH. Hahaha.

I have done those 2 munros but not the ridge, due to being insufficiently prepared in winter we had to turn back at Ben Cruachan. We did the other Munro as part of an alternative circuit.

Like yourself we will at some point be back to complete a full ridge traverse.
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Re: Ben Cruachan by Citylink

Postby Dave Hewitt » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:01 am

Nice hill and a lovely day to be out. That's Rum rather than Skye in your picture, though - Skye is much jaggier and from those parts only bits of it stick up through gaps in the Moidart hills.
See: http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas/GRW/CRUACHAN.GIF
I was on some of the Etive Munros that same day and was trying to work out whether the Uists or Harris could be seen, but it seemed to be a bit too hazy at that distance. Would be just to the left of Rum in your picture if so.
Dave Hewitt
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Joined: Apr 29, 2010

Re: Ben Cruachan by Citylink

Postby smalltounboy » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:22 pm

Thanks for the link, very interesting website, I have updated my post with the correctly identified island

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Posts: 56
Munros:127   Corbetts:9
Grahams:4   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:1
Joined: Oct 4, 2012
Location: Ardrossan

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