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Ben Cruachan Saltire
by Bubba Ribeye » Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:01 am
Route description: Ben Cruachan and Stob Daimh
Munros included on this walk: Ben Cruachan, Stob Daimh
Date walked: 16/12/20142 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).
Andy and I headed off one bright , sunny morning to 'bag' Ben Cruachan(1126m) and Stob Daimh(998m)... one of the 'classic days out on the Scottish hills.
We were lucky to find a parking space right at the start of the walk just near the train station, grabbed our sacks and set off through the low under pass which takes you under the railway line and straight on to the steep track up toward the Cruachan Dam
It was a clear day and the views over Loch Awe and beyond were amazing
This was going to be day of adventure as we reached the dam, climbed a metal ladder and through a gate onto the dam itself ....I felt like a commando storming a strategic WWII objective or a 'walk on part' in the classic movie The Dam Busters.
We left the dam and followed a path up the west side of the reservoir and then took the second path up into Coire Dearg stopping off at the waterfall for a spot of early lunch in the warm sunshine.
The water fall plunged into a magical little splash pool and I was tempted to try a bit of 'wild swimming' at that point to cool down.
I took note to return to this spot sometime in the near future and we carried on up the steep section heading for the bealach at the foot of Ben Cruachan itself.
As we had left Glasgow early that day we were in no hurry and just took our time meandering up Coire Dearg stopping when we felt the need to have a drink and catch our breath whilst admiring the views back down to the Cruachan Dam.
It was very peaceful and a joy to listen to the silence, the kind of which you only find in the hills.
Tranquility at it's best and a place to find your 'inner peace' after a hectic week in the office.
Looking back down at Cruachan reservoir it reminded me of a scene from the James Bond movie 'You Only Live Twice' and I was expecting the calm, still waters of Cruachan below to suddenly start swirling and disappearing down a vast plug hole into the hollow mountain below to reveal a huge missile silo and the underground volcanic complex of Blofelds HQ.
Must be the high altitude causing hallucinations.
After a short while we reached the little lochan that sits quietly on the Bealach an Lochain between Ben Cruachan(1126) and Meal Cuanail (918).
We stopped for a few moments rest watching the tadpoles in the lochan and the other forms of pond life.
The wind was still, the sun was hot and it was just so peaceful.
It was turning into one of those days where you were just glad you had rolled out of bed and grabbed your boots.
After a while we grabbed our packs and set off, once again for the final stage of the ascent to the summit of Cruachan at 1126 metres.
The final section is guarded by a boulder field which requires a bit of concentration as you leap up the mountain from one huge boulder to the next.
It's always great fun 'boulder hopping' when ever you get the chance to do it on a walk.
Finally we reach the top of Cruachan and I add it to my list of 1000ers.
We stopped here for a well earned rest and some lunch with a celebratory drink and fly the flag at 3k.
The views were fantastic on such a clear day and I was able to pick out The Cobbler and the rest of the Arrochar Alps and get a birds eye view of Loch Etive and the surrounding hills.
The day just got better and better as we set of towards Stob Daimh via a clear ridge to the north -east and Drochaid Ghlas and the steep pull up to the Stob Daimh summit our second munro of the day.
The ridge walk offered up great views as we looked back to the summit of Cruachan itself.
The slight welcome breeze helped to keep the Saltire 'stiff and upright' as we bounced our way round the ridge towards Stob Daimh ....it must have looked a majestic site to see the 'colours of the 45' on the move across the mountains.
It was still flapping in the wind as we reached Stob Daimh where we stopped for a while to finish off the remnants of our lunch and take in the final views before starting the return journey back down to Cruachan Dam.
We passed over Stob Garbh(980m) and down to the Lairig Torran(730m), then down the grassy slope to the stream.
Then along the muddy path back to the dam and down to the car just before it got dark.
An excellent day out and impeccable timing.
Ben Cruachan is a fantastic hill and I will be back to do it again. It would make a good, clear day winter walk methinks.
by Sunset tripper » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:09 am
And a close up
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- Location: Inverness
by Bubba Ribeye » Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:08 am
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