Doubted but ultimately vindicated on Ben Challum
by 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: 905m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
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.
Information board on the road to Kirkton Farm
St Fillan's Priory information board
Cemetery with Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chuirn popping their heads up
Great memories of two great walks from the railway crossing
Looking back from the first stile
By now Ben Lui was really beginning to capture Debbie's attention!
Stile number two
Plane and vapour trail high over the Crianlarich Munros
Loch Earn Munros now peeping out from behind the flanks of Ben More
Chocolate biscuit break
Not a cloud!
Fiarach, Dubhcraig, Oss and Lui
Three Auch Corbetts and three Wall of Rannoch Munros
Ben Lui is a big beast!
A better view of these hills now than from the information board at the bottom!
The first cairn on the South Top
South Top summit
Ben Challum Munro summit from the South Top
Beinn nan Imirean, Meal Glas and Sgiath Chuil
Framed view of Ben More and Stob Binnein
Across the cleft onto the final ridge to the summit - Beinn Dorain dominating the backdrop
On the final summit ridge
Through the Beinn Chaorach-Cam Chreag high bealach from just below the summit
Doubts blown away!
Myself, Debbie and Lucy's rear end
Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich from the summit
Hurray up and take it - it's baltic up here!
Towards the Glen Etive hills
Taking a picture of a picture being taken
Cloud massing above the Crianlarich Munros
Looking back from the descent through the swamp
Crianlarich Munros, dark clouds and sunbeams
by GillC » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:38 pm
by Jabber » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:10 pm
by Graeme D » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:54 pm
GillC wrote:Smashing report, you had a fab day for sure.
Cheers Gill. Sure was a fab day, maybe the last fling of summer????
by 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
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.
by The Rodmiester » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:17 pm
by jonny616 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:12 pm
by Morecambe Monkey » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:33 pm
by PeteR » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:03 pm
I did this one in combination with a couple of Corbetts - Beinn Chaorach and Cam Chreag. Made for a great little circuit
by Sarah86 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:39 pm