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Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)


Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:26 pm

Route description: Ben Cruachan and Stob Daimh

Munros included on this walk: Ben Cruachan, Stob Daimh

Date walked: 11/07/2014

Time taken: 7.3 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1380m

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Another little gathering arranged via WH :clap:
This was my 2nd attempt at the "circuit" after wimping out on my last effort for a variety of reasons (excuses) :lol:
So when the suggestion to tackle Cruachan was made I volunteered to partake, my partners for the day were Karen & Cat who I walked with before, but they had never met. To slightly complicate matters Cat was moving from Dundee back to Fife and would have very limited internet access, so I acted as a go-between.
Cat had kindly volunteered to be the chauffeur for the day & I had arranged with Karen that we would meet her at Crianlarich :wink: Sharing the one car would make parking in the layby at the start a wee bit easier, as it turned out we had the whole layby to ourselves when we arrived :lol:
We arrived in the layby at the tiny train station & set off in good spirits at 9am, the sun was out & hardly a cloud in the sky, no breeze either. I knew that was going to be a problem as the flying eating machines would be looking for their breakfast, so I splashed on the 'skin so soft' on top of the factor 30 & off we set :lol:
Up the steps, under the railway line & then into the jungle :roll: The wooded area up towards the dam was a real battle & the girls kindly let me lead the way to catch any insects, I would have been better armed with a machette rather than walking poles, the bracken had really shot up since my last visit 6 weeks ago & the path was only just visible :lol:
It was with great relief that we reached the area just below the dam, out of breath because if we had stopped we may have been devoured & the heat was really sapping our energy :lol:

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The steps prior to entering the jungle

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First brief stop in a slight clearing in the jungle, Loch Awe looking magnificent

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Loch Awe

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Gives you an idea how steep the initial climb is

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Cat scaling the ladder up Cruachan Dam


After climbing the ladder up Cruachan Dam we joined the track that runs along side Loch Cruachan, we followed the track until we reached a small cairn indicating the point to turn left & start going up :lol:

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Looking back towards the dam before the ascent begins


It was during the climb that the clouds appeared & a slight breeze developed, both were welcome, however the downside was the summit of Cruachan now had it's own little weather system :(
For some reason (probably me stopping to take a photo) Cat was leading us upwards, however in her enthusiasm she either wasn't paying attention or deliberately stepped in a hole - that was full of lovely muddy water :o
After suffering the water sploshing round in her boot for a few minutes, we decided to stop so she could empty her boot & wring as much water out her dirty sock :lol:

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A wrinkly dirty foot


The climb up to the summit of Cruachan seemed far easier than 6 weeks ago :shock: We reached the summit in 3 hours :lol:

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Loch Cruachan with Loch Awe 1000ft below

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Summit photo, took 2 attempts to get the poses correct

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Unfortunately the views from the summit were a bit restricted due to low cloud, so after a very brief discussion as to whether we should wait a few minutes to see if the cloud would lifted, we decided to move on :wink:

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The first obstacle - the slabs, Karen & I took the bypass path, whereas Cat having taken bravery pills ventured across the slabs

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The way ahead

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The way ahead to Stob Diamh

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Loch Cruachan from on high

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Loch Awe stretching out


The walk across the ridge to Stob Diamh was fairly straight forward, a few scrambly bits & descending on scree, we reached the summit after a couple of hours 8)

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Summit photo, getting the hang of the posing after the 10 second dash

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Looking across to Dalmally

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Some interesting cloud performances

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Clouds forming


The clouds were now gathering to the east & the west both the photos illustrate the fact 8)

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Cat stumbled across this wee frog

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The way down


The navigation along paths had been almost perfect all day, but we all knew that was too good to last & so it proved :lol: The descent down to the dam was fairly straight forward, even though the path down was intermittent, when the path disappeared we just kept heading down & as if by magic the path re-appeared :o
Once we reached the dam the sky seemed to clear & the temperature increased significantly, we knew this was going to be a problem as the descent through the jungle was next on the agenda :lol:
When we reached the undergrowth it seemed to get even hotter & was warmer than sitting in a sauna :roll:

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Cat appearing out of the jungle

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Karen appearing

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Cat through the lower trees


We eventually made it to back to the car, tired & perspiring profusely :lol:
The next port of call was the 'Real Food Cafe' in Tyndrum for well earned fish suppers, my first visit & I have to say the fish were certainly on the large side & easily devoured :lol:
Another great day out on fantastic hills with great company :lol: Next stop for me the western Cairngorms on Friday on the way up to Nethy Bridge - bring it on :wink:
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby PeteR » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:48 pm

Some nice photos Martin :D

These two are great hills and despite a bit of clag rolling in you got some great views.

You should have done the slabs though........they're really not as bad as they might look. Even I've done them.........twice :lol:
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:05 pm

Looks like you had a good day FF - the lower slopes look like tick country.
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby Fudgie » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:19 pm

PeteR wrote:Some nice photos Martin :D

These two are great hills and despite a bit of clag rolling in you got some great views.

You should have done the slabs though........they're really not as bad as they might look. Even I've done them.........twice :lol:


I would agree, the slabs were great fun :lol:

I think I did these in September a couple of years ago and it was suffocatingly hot. The bracken was the same as you had it :shock:
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby cmarcol » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:06 pm

The slabs were fine. It was a shame you couldn't hear me shouting back to say that at the time.

That photo of me wringing out my wet socks is not the most flattering of photos ha ha! The muddy hole survived the pole poke test! Oh well! :lol:

Looking forward to the next one already!

(Internet returns on Tuesday YIPEE! Stealing Asdas ha ha)
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby jepsonscotland » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:46 pm

Great day out. :D
Fantastic photos. :clap:
A great job on the ridge for you! :lol:
Chris
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:36 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Looks like you had a good day FF - the lower slopes look like tick country.


That's why I was FORCED to lead the way, us men are expendable :lol:
I was armed with my poles so the tics decided not to assault me :lol: I would have been better armed with my hedge trimmer :lol:
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby rockhopper » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:04 pm

nice one, FF - did look an enjoyable walk despite the water in boot episode - cheers :)
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:52 am

Hi Martin your fairly knocking off those munros ! Nice photographs there, there was not a thing as digital cameras when I did this round so my photographs were few and far between, forgotten many sections of the route, so thanks for posting. Enjoy the Cairngorms, fingers crossed for good weather for you and the rest of the WH squad at the weekend, I cannot make it, other commitments.
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby railton22 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:38 am

We've been inside Ben Cruachan but never on top of it. Great report and piccies. Loving the "jungle" bit :lol:
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby simon-b » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:50 pm

Hi Martin, hopefully the tick twister I've ordered will arrive before I try this route! Another great set of photos, so keep them coming.
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:19 pm

good stuff :clap: :clap:

Grand hill Cruachan
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:24 pm

Great report and photos - love that green at this time of year. Sound like you all had fun despite the wet boot!
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:36 pm

Great report and some stunning pics - loved the ones of the cloud antics - the human antic were pretty impressive too :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Cruachan take 2 (ladies)

Postby kmai1961 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:20 am

Och, aye (in my best -- non-existent -- Scottish accent :lol: ), it was another crackin' day. Thanks, Martin, for writing yet another grand WR (one of these days, he's gonna make me do it), and thanks to both you and Cat for entertaining companionship.

I fully expected to find ticks everywhere on me after hacking through the bracken -- and did more than one thorough check -- but surprisingly (and happily) found none.
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