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Cruach Ardrain, not once, not twice, but thrice!
by JimboJim » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:15 pm
Route description: Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Tulaichean, Cruach Ardrain
Date walked: 10/12/2014
Time taken: 6.5 hours
Distance: 17.3 km
Ascent: 1400m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Anyway, I thought I'd take the ice axe and crampons, even though there wasn't much signs of the snow from the bottom. They're working on a mini hydro-electric project there, however the workers were very accommodating, to allow me pass by. In due course the track may improve and a new bridge be put across the River Falloch. I made quite good progress up to the "rickety old bridge," higher up river, but the going up to Grey Height, was quite tough. I had chosen to make my way more south towards the top, rather than stick by the fence up the forest. The old fella (that makes me young, right?) stuck by the fence. Experience wins again!
On the ridge from Grey Height, there is a reasonably good track, although there's a couple of spots where more care is needed, so don't let your concentration wander as the summit pinnacle and Ben More come into view. At one point the track nears perilously close to a steep fall on the NE side of Meall Dhamh and there was a tricky step down, made worse by a coating of ice. By this point, I could see the two owners of footprints, I was gradually catching up with.
The climb begins to steepen again but doesn't present much problem, though I was to find out this was the by-pass route, when returning from Beinn Tulaichean, whereas the more direct route up is harder to spot, as it branches off more to the north. I was just under the three hours to the top. Good views, but not great due to some cloud and a chill wind. The two English lads in front of me, were well tucked in to a shelter and to their grubbed, so I stopped for a natter and refreshment myself. Wasn't too long before my pursuer, Alistair (if I remember right), popped into view as well. Keen to keep up with the clock, I set off with him for Beinn Tulaichean. Path over to there quite easy to see and we passed several other pairs and a runner, making their way towards us. Only about three quarters of an hour to the top. Makes a bit of a mockery of some others which don't earn Munro status!?
Alistair was going to have his grub, so I made back for Cruach Ardrain. Took a few more photo's from there, then headed down on a more direct path - the one I should have come up. Unfortunately, slid and landed on botty a couple of times. Fortunately, Alistair not there to see! Near a big puddle at the bottom, I stopped for a drink and to my horror, couldn't see my axe. Damn, must have fallen off when I slipped. What to do? Ach, if I retrace my steps, I'll probably soon find it! Nah, all the way back near the top and no sign of it. Third time up here!
Ah well, back down to my rucksack, where I could see Alistair had arrived on the by-pass route, wondering where I'd got too? I was rather embarrassed to explain what had happened, but then totally embarrassed, as Alistair spotted my axe beneath my rucksack. What a wally, me! Anyway, I was glad I wasn't facing having to purchase a new one.
The route back was quite pleasant, chatting away, as we made it back to the lay-by before the mist came down. Took me about six and a half hours, if you excuse my detour back up the hill!
- Beinn a'Chroin.
- North to Orchy hills.
by JimboJim » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:23 pm
RTC wrote:Nice report, Jim. Looks like its starting to become icy on the higher tops. Glad you got your ice axe back. - Not like you to lose [and then find] things on the hills.
Ha, ha, thanks, Russell. I don't know what you mean, apart from the odd camera, walking pole, hat, etc. Maybe get a new one for Christmas, just in case?
All the best for the Festive Season!
by Big Jesper » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:37 pm
by jac the lassie » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:51 pm
Great pics as always glad u got/found ur axe, lol
by JimboJim » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:00 pm
Big Jesper wrote:Getting quite a reputation for losing things on the hill jimbo. You had another good day apart from the wee mishap. Only 3 to go now [ hills i mean, not days unill santa comes }. Looking forward to bagging many with you in 2015. BJ.
Aye, only one thing I cannae lose on mountains, but we'd better not go into that here! Amazing to think am sitting only three behind you now, but that;s how circumstances work out. Just itching to hit hills again. Might go tomorrow for a while, but don't think I can squeeze in Munro's. Fancy a few hours in snow at Arrochar?
jac the lassie wrote:Nice looking hills!
Great pics as always glad u got/found ur axe, lol
Thank you, Jac. I've no axe to grind at all the sniggers received. Serves me right! At least i am quite familiar with top of Cruach Ardrain, after only one trip. Wish things work out good for you and the hills in the new year and have a great Christmas, too. Hopefully, will manage to hook up for a trip sometime.
Merry Christmas everyone!