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Each way leads to Stuc A Chroin

Each way leads to Stuc A Chroin


Postby DonnyW » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:01 am

Route description: Beinn Each from Loch Lubnaig

Munros included on this walk: Stuc a'Chroin

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Each

Date walked: 27/03/2010

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 3950m

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With the clocks moving forward today into BTS, Saturday 27th was the last day of winter. I though back over the last six months and was pleased with what I had accomplished. I had survived the recession and lived through another winter. I am now looking forward to better weather and better times ahead.

The only “niggle” that bothered me from my winter expeditions this year was a failed attempt to get to the summit of Stuc a Chroin. Perhaps some of you may remember from that walk report that I started getting muscle cramps on my knee as I scaled the north buttress of Stuc a Chroin after approaching it from Ben Vorlich. Snow conditions were perfect but my fitness level was not so I decided to leave it for another day.

I felt that as it was the last day of winter, it was time to rectify that abortive attempt and gain the summit one way or another. Yup..I can be a stubborn old git… but then.. are not all people who push themselves to get to the top of their mountains ?

I knew the snow was receding fast so I wasn’t too troubled about summiting by the north buttress, in fact having read on the forum about summiting from Beinn Each, I decided that was how I was going to attempt it.

It was a funny day, the weather was unsettled and it unsettled me too. The route is full of ups and downs and so was my moods. It covered 9 miles of tough walking and total assent is almost 4000ft. It’s a long walk for an old timer.

I hadn’t been walking for a couple of weekends, so when I started the walk to the top of Beinn Each I though I had become very unfit. Then I realised I was climbing rapidly. It’s a very steep path right from the word go. Once through the forest section and on the open hillside, I stopped to take my jacket off and took this photo. It was lovely seeing colours again after the white of winter.

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I soon put my jacket back on as the wind started to gust. This photo is looking over to Ben Ledi. The clouds were starting to thicken and close in.

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The route to the summit of Beinn Each is a lovely “airy” path that winds along the top of the many crags that make up the Corbett. It was quite exhilarating traversing that part of the path as the wind was now trying to blow me over

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Once past the “airy” part of the path, the rest of the route flattened towards the summit of Beinn Each. Because of the low cloud and poor visibility , I wasn’t to taken with the views from the top but I guess they could be a lot better in good weather. This view is looking up Glen Ample towards Loch Earn

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However, looking north east, gave a good view of the rocky route to the summit of Stuc A Chroin. I have marked the route in red in this photo. Before reaching the ridge there is a very steep descent of the top of Beinn Each. It was a bit slippery as the ground was still frozen hard but Ice axe and crampons would have been useless. In fact I intentionally didn’t bring the axe although I carried crampons in case of finding hard packed snow blocking my way.

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Half way along the ridge there are some delightful crags to clamber over. The path goes up an easy chimney, I went up a harder “crack”, just for the experience but it was only about 15ft in height. The views of Stuc A Chroin made a lovely backdrop.

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This photo is taken looking back along the ridge towards the summit of Beinn Each. I have shown the route in red. Although its very steep coming down Beinn Each.. the path is good and traverses along the top of the crags as it twist and turns ever downwards. I guess that part is the crux of the walk and its not difficult.

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Yeah …the sun came out for a fleeting moment..showing the rest of the route to the top of Stuc a Chroin

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There are still a few boggy holes even on such a rocky ridge as this

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It was at this point, I wondered if it was a mistake not bringing the axe..but I could see various ways to the top by clambering the rocky ridges to the top of Stuc A Chroin

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This photo is taken from around half way up Stuc and gives a nice view of the rocky ridge with Beinn Each at the far end. Just beyond is another squall coming in fast. The wind had been gusting hard all the way round the ridge. Just as well I’m no lightweight or I could have been blown along :-D

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Just as I was nearing the top of a rocky route to the summit I was confronted by a steep climb of frozen ice and snow. It was only about seventy yards wide and had a few foot steps cut in it but I decided to put on the crampons to cross it. Why take a risk, especially as I walk alone and had not seen a single person all day.

The wind seemed to strengthen and flurries of snow flew past as I clambered onto the summit. I kept the crampons on and walked on the snow parts but I felt as if they were like swimming flippers as I plodded along. They were not needed on the top.

The mist had descended as I reached the top but cleared a couple of times to let me get one or two photos.

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This is the view I wanted to see during my last walk report when I was defeated by a weak knee. Looking from the summit of Stuc a Chroin towards Ben Vorlich.

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I descended the way the forum route suggests but went too far down before crossing at the top of the forest. It was very hard going and I came across a deep gorge that would have been difficult to cross. At this point the deer fence had been broken so I nipped through the hole and down a forest ride to the land rover track. It was a long slog back to the car.

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I loved the rocky ridge and the climb to the summit of Stuc a Chroin but would recommend returning by the same route rather than go the way I did. However a perfect day would be to have transport at either end and include Ben Vorlich in the route with the walk ending at Loch Earn..that would be a classic journey in my opinion.
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DonnyW
 
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Re: Each way leads to Stuc A Chroin

Postby rspat » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:36 am

Good report.

DonnyW wrote:However a perfect day would be to have transport at either end and include Ben Vorlich in the route with the walk ending at Loch Earn..that would be a classic journey in my opinion.


Agreed - I did Vorlich, Stuc a'Chroin and Beinn Each from Ardvorlich earlier in the winter - a good trip but the walk out through Glen Ample and back along the road was purgatory.
rspat
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 60
Munros:282   Corbetts:24
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Joined: Sep 15, 2009

Re: Each way leads to Stuc A Chroin

Postby mountain coward » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:42 pm

Great report and some lovely photos there - thanks for all the detailed photos as I'm thinking of doing Stuc a' Chroin that way - I can then decide whether or not I want to do the buttressy-climb from Vorlich when I do it. Sounds like a hard day though!
mountain coward
 

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