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Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum


Postby Graeme D » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:12 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Challum

Date walked: 13/10/2013

Time taken: 4.8 hours

Distance: 11.6 km

Ascent: 905m

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A couple of weeks ago I had suggested to Debbie that we do Ben Challum. She had been keen to get back out and regain some hill fitness after being off the bigger hills for some time, and was looking for a 4-5 hour walk with not too long a drive from Perth.

Unlike myself, she has no pretensions of ever completing the Munros (or anything else for that matter), so numbers and targets really have little relevance. When I tried to explain to her where Ben Challum was, she looked at me as though it may as well be on the moon. "What's so special about it?" she had asked. I was forced to confess that to the best of my knowledge, there was nothing particularly special about it, especially if done from Strathfillan as planned.

In the end she had set her mind upon doing Ben Vorlich by Loch Earn that day, as it can be seen from various locations in Perth, including from our house. I had acquiesced in the interests of a simple life, even although I had done Vorlich at least once before (very possibly twice, although I cannot 100% guarantee that I was at the real summit on my first schoolboy ascent back in the late 80s) and had aborted a winter ascent a few years ago a short distance below the summit when my inexperienced walking partner got cold feet (metaphorically speaking, not literally).

So, a couple of weeks on and with my brother and his girlfriend lined up to provide childcare for the day, we decided to head out again and take advantage of a very favorable forecast. I again floated the idea of Ben Challum and this time Debbie agreed, although it was rather half-hearted agreement.

We dropped Ailsa off and cut over the back roads via Kinkell Bridge to pick up the A85 at Crieff. The rather negative comments about the merits of driving an hour and a half to climb an undistinguished hill that none of her friends would ever have heard of kept coming, but I kept batting them away. My main line of attack was the stunning views that we would get on a day such as this, but this simply got replies such as "We would have got good views going up Moncrieffe Hill as well!" Give me strength.........

We were parked in the busy lay-by just across the road from the Kirkton Farm road and away by 10.50 on the tarmac to the farm. After a couple of quick stops to check out the priory and the cemetery by the twin trees, we were across the railway and onto the very faint path through the ferns as it climbed alongside the deer fence. It was, as the literature advises, very boggy in places, especially higher up between about 500 and 650 metres.

We passed quite a few other walkers on the way up, and before too long the rise to the southern top was visible before us. It was only in the final approach to the first cairn on this top that I informed Debbie that this was not the true summit and that it would take a descent and further pull up onto the Munro summit, but she took the news in her stride when she saw the real summit ahead with the route clearly visible.

Despite the number of walkers behind us, we had the summit to ourselves for the entire 10 minutes or so that we lingered there. The wind was pretty fierce but the views were spectacular, with the panorama taking in the Ben Lui group, the hills of Loch Lomond and Arrochar, the Crianlarich Munros, the Loch Earn hills, everything around Glen Lochy and Glen Lyon, the Wall of Rannoch and the Nevis range beyond, and the hills of Glencoe and Glen Etive stretching away towards Cruachan.

On our descent we stopped in the shelter of some crags just below the South Top for lunch - a mountain first for me in the shape of left over pizza from the night before! Then it was a rapid descent back to the car, less to do with the ominous build up of cloud coming in from the south west and more to do with our desire to get back and relieve the babysitters.

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Information board on the road to Kirkton Farm

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St Fillan's Priory information board

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Cemetery with Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chuirn popping their heads up

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Great memories of two great walks from the railway crossing

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Looking back from the first stile

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Crianlarich Munros

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By now Ben Lui was really beginning to capture Debbie's attention!

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Stile number two

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Plane and vapour trail high over the Crianlarich Munros

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Loch Earn Munros now peeping out from behind the flanks of Ben More

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Chocolate biscuit break

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Not a cloud!

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Fiarach, Dubhcraig, Oss and Lui

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Three Auch Corbetts and three Wall of Rannoch Munros

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Ben Lui is a big beast!

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A better view of these hills now than from the information board at the bottom!

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The first cairn on the South Top

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South Top summit

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Ben Challum Munro summit from the South Top

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Beinn nan Imirean, Meal Glas and Sgiath Chuil

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Framed view of Ben More and Stob Binnein

ImageAcross the cleft onto the final ridge to the summit - Beinn Dorain dominating the backdrop

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On the final summit ridge

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Through the Beinn Chaorach-Cam Chreag high bealach from just below the summit

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Doubts blown away!

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Myself, Debbie and Lucy's rear end

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Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich from the summit

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Glen Lochay

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Hurray up and take it - it's baltic up here!

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Towards the Glen Etive hills

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Taking a picture of a picture being taken

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Cloud massing above the Crianlarich Munros

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Looking back from the descent through the swamp

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Crianlarich Munros, dark clouds and sunbeams


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Graeme D
 
Posts: 3494
Munros:220   Corbetts:103
Grahams:64   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Postby GillC » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:38 pm

Smashing report, you had a fab day for sure. :clap:
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GillC
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Re: Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Postby Jabber » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:10 pm

Great report. Never been up Challum in it's Summer/Autumn coat and I might now. This is one of my favourite winter walks if only to break in my axe and crampons before going up the tighter ridges. Great photos :clap:
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Jabber
Walker
 
Posts: 112
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Location: Bonhill

Re: Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Postby Graeme D » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:54 pm

GillC wrote:Smashing report, you had a fab day for sure. :clap:


Cheers Gill. Sure was a fab day, maybe the last fling of summer???? :?
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Graeme D
 
Posts: 3494
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Location: Perth

Re: Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Postby Graeme D » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:56 pm

Jabber wrote:Great report. Never been up Challum in it's Summer/Autumn coat and I might now. This is one of my favourite winter walks if only to break in my axe and crampons before going up the tighter ridges. Great photos :clap:


Thanks Jabber. Funny you say that, but Challum was one of those that I had left well alone for years, always intending to squeeze it in on a winter day sometime, but it fitted the bill perfectly for Sunday. :)
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Graeme D
 
Posts: 3494
Munros:220   Corbetts:103
Grahams:64   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
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Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:17 pm

Hi Graeme, I did this one in 1992, and cannot remember a thing about it, apart it was not the best of weather and we had no views. Great photos by the way and thanks for posting :D will be handy when I head off to do it again.
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The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3389
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Location: Carnoustie

Re: Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Postby jonny616 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:12 pm

Shame about your weather. Must have been a real chore in those conditions. We'll done for sticking with it.
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jonny616
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Re: Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Postby Morecambe Monkey » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:33 pm

Well you certainly got the weather for this one Graeme & what great views. Still got this to do,i've been putting it off for a winter wander when the bogs are frozen. Maybe sneak it in on the way home from the Kinlochleven meet if the conditions allow.
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Morecambe Monkey
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Re: Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Postby PeteR » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:03 pm

Very enjoyable report and great photos Graeme :clap:

I did this one in combination with a couple of Corbetts - Beinn Chaorach and Cam Chreag. Made for a great little circuit :D
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PeteR
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Re: Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum

Postby Sarah86 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:39 pm

Hard to beat a day like that, blue skies, sunshine and wonderful views.
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Sarah86
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