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Three from Glen Falloch

Three from Glen Falloch


Postby Sabbathstevie » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:30 pm

Route description: An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin, near Crianlarich

Munros included on this walk: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin, Beinn Chabhair

Date walked: 25/08/2013

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 16.5 km

Ascent: 1570m

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Another sunny weekend and the absence of Becca (owing to work) and friends (owing to holidays) left me with little to do except hit the hills for what would only be my second solo outing (unless Maggie counts?) since my ascent of a frosted Beinn Challuim back in Easter. With the weather looking most favourable on the Sunday and in the central highlands, it didn’t take me too long to settle on this pair of munros just south of Crianlarich – now that Becca had finally gotten the bug, I was forbidden from doing any of the “amazing ones” without her, so these two seemed to fit the bill of being interesting enough to do in the sun (the really dull hills can wait until the colder weather makes them more exciting) but not so interesting that I’d be later punished when recounting my tale of the day’s efforts! :lol:


Glen Falloch three.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



While studying the route, I decided to lengthen it a little by including the awkwardly placed Beinn Chabhair to make it a round of three – the sanity bothering busyness of Edinburgh at festival time had weighed on me for the past few weeks and I urgently needed to maximise my time in the hills so an additional Munro would be welcomed mentally, if not physically. Plans made, Maggie and I were up at the crack of dawn on Sunday and away from Edinburgh while the rest of the city was just going to sleep after another weekend of festival revelry. I made decent progress up the M9 and beyond, finally becoming the first car to pull in to the little layby off the A82 at just before 07:30. 8)

I set off with purpose under blue skies, the morning sun was beginning to make itself known by burning off what little haze remained. Both the Met Office and MWIS had wrongly predicted low cloud and haze to persist until early afternoon so I was pleased with my early, glorious start, though I couldn’t quite believe that a sunny bank holiday weekend in this easily accessible part of the Highlands would remain this quiet for long.

After following the track until through the gate, I veered into the rough ground to my right and took a random, haphazard approach to my ascent up to the ridge of Twistin Hill. I was extremely impressed with Maggie, whose attitude on the hills improves with every walk – no longer did she dash madly back and forth but instead trotted into line behind or beside me – wisely pacing herself for the day to come and also completely obedient when I told her to ignore the all surrounding sheep. Brilliant! As the views began to open up across the other Crianlarich hills, then so did the sun begin to intensify and I realised I had foolishly left my sun cream in the car, though not before I’d applied a single layer...it would have to do! :roll:


Morning Sunshine.JPG
Morning Sunshine



After what proved to be a far more arduous ascent than I’d anticipated, I staggered up the last few steps to the knobbly summit of An Caisteal a little over two hours after setting off. After my usual Maggie summit shot (much better than a selfy of a bearded, ever reddening Stevie I can assure you), I sat for a short time enjoying the views and the solitude. Most impressive were the other Crianlarich hills – particularly the mighty peaks of Ben More and Stob Binnein which never fail to impress from any angle. We set off purposefully back on the path towards the bealach with Beinn A’Chroin, but turned off early to the right so as to avoid unnecessary distance/heigh loss when dropping to the bealach at the head of Coire a’Chuilinn. From here, the ascent of the north east face looked like steep, tough terrain which would sap much of my strength. That said, it was still early in the day and I was determined to turn this solo outing into something a little more challenging and so pressed on.


Crianlarich Mountains.JPG
Crianlarich Mountains


Maggie An Caisteal.JPG
Maggie An Caisteal



The descent to the bealach was tough as it was – a pathless and steep drop through long grass with hidden rocky patches. It was around that point that it struck me that I hadn’t seen any heather on any of these hills – just grass... is it only me that finds this unusual, or is it just because I haven’t spent too much time in this part of the country? I ditched my pack beside an easily identifiable mini-lochan at the bealach since I would be returning this way, and began the thigh burning steep ascent of Beinn Chabhair, weaving between the large rocky sections and sticking to the most direct route up the steep grass that I could s l o w l y plod my way up.


Chabhair.JPG
Beinn Chabhair


Maggie Beinn Chabair.JPG
Maggie Beinn Chabair



Tired but pleased, we both eventually made it to the summit of Beinn Chabhair and enjoyed the views across to Ben and loch Lomond. I remembered a (possibly) interesting fact about this area: that it represents the high watershed of Scotland’s east and west coasts – the streams and burns on the west and south-west faces of Beinn Chabhair will flow down through Loch Lomond and eventually into the Clyde, whereas those flowing from its east and north-east faces would flow down through lochs Voil and Lubnaig before entering Forth and exiting into the sea at Edinburgh. Strange to think that the water in a burn just a stone’s throw from another can eventually end so far from it!


Blue.JPG
Blue Pools




Back to the task in hand and I made a much descent back to the bealach, fuelled by the fact that I was now quite hungry and both mine and Maggie’s lunches were sitting in my pack! After stopping to eat under the shelter of a massive outcrop of boulders, we started the long and pretty painful by this point ascent back up to the bealach Buidhe. After what seemed like an eternity of hot, slow progress, we eventually reached the point 805m point where we could see over into Coire Earb and bumped into the first other person I’d seen all day – another Edinburger also escaping the festival! :lol:


Summit Pools.JPG
Mini-Lochans



From here, the slightly scrambly ascent up the steep and rocky south-west side of Beinn A’Chroinn was practically a joy – perhaps only because I once again had the easy going of a path! After what seemed like very little time, we were standing on the summit, admiring the number of reflective blue mini-lochans and the views over to distant hills.


Distant Hills.JPG
Distant Ben Vorlich, Stuc A'Chroin & Ben Ledi


Maggie Beinn A'Chroin.JPG
Maggie Beinn A'Chroin



The descent along the northern spur of Beinn A’Chroin took much longer than I thought, but even that was completely overshadowed by the misery of the incredibly boggy and soggy outward plod by the river Falloch, only made pleasant once the farm track was reached, ending a hot, strenuous but mostly enjoyable day, with another three blue balloons for me and Maggie to boot!


Lone Glen Tree.JPG
Lone Glen Tree


Walking out.JPG
The Walk Out
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Sabbathstevie
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Re: Three from Glen Falloch

Postby ChrisW » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:17 pm

Brilliant Stevie, the day is always so much better when you are the first car in the car park, don't know why but that is usually the case. Glad to hear Maggie now recognises the long walk she's in for and takes it easy at the start...though she'll be fed up on short walks now :lol: :lol:

Maggie still comes out top of the favourite photos list too, the shot on Beinn A'Chroin is another 'epic dog' shot :lol:

Great TR mate, enjoyed it :clap:
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Re: Three from Glen Falloch

Postby kev_russ » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:56 pm

Braw pics again Steve :) Did these 2 yesterday. The wind battered us but we got a good day with views. Think i'll save Beinn Chabhair for another day. I fancy a wild camp from Inverarnan up Lochan a' Chaisteil. Good effort mate !
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Re: Three from Glen Falloch

Postby Sabbathstevie » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:10 am

ChrisW wrote:Brilliant Stevie, the day is always so much better when you are the first car in the car park, don't know why but that is usually the case. Glad to hear Maggie now recognises the long walk she's in for and takes it easy at the start...though she'll be fed up on short walks now :lol: :lol:

Maggie still comes out top of the favourite photos list too, the shot on Beinn A'Chroin is another 'epic dog' shot :lol:

Great TR mate, enjoyed it :clap:


Cheers Chris! Aye, she's fair enjoying the hills now - I had worried before that it would all be a bit too much for such a wee Jack but she seems to handle it better than I do...

kev_russ wrote:Braw pics again Steve :) Did these 2 yesterday. The wind battered us but we got a good day with views. Think i'll save Beinn Chabhair for another day. I fancy a wild camp from Inverarnan up Lochan a' Chaisteil. Good effort mate !


Thanks Kev, Sounds like a plan for Beinn Chabhair to be honest - the descent/ascent/redescent/reascent to it was pretty soul destroying in the sun - i suspect its much nicer climbed on its own!
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Sabbathstevie
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Re: Three from Glen Falloch

Postby GillC » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:24 pm

Well done there,, I did these 3 but via a slightly different route,,leaving Derrydarroch and straight up chabhair, then over to a'Chroinn and finishing down Caisteal,,,problem was,,I had a 2 mile hike down the road to my car lol Still,,,a smashing day out,,,and we both got cracking days for it. :clap:
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Re: Three from Glen Falloch

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:50 am

Loved this report, expecially the photos. It really got the legs itching to get out there. Thanks.
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