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Cruach Ardrain, not once, not twice, but thrice!

Cruach Ardrain, not once, not twice, but thrice!


Postby 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: 1400m

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Forecast looked reasonably hopeful for these two, though there had been some snow about. I was reasonably familiar with first part, having done neighbouring pair from the A82, a month or so ago. There was one fellow getting his gear ready, as I pulled in to the lay-by. Said he'd been up Cruach Ardrain many times and seemed happy to let me set off in front of him. Certainly looked an 'old hand' and I thought he'd probably be thinking. he'd either get a good laugh or, end up having to rescue me!
Cruach Ardrain 001_1024_768.JPG
Distant Cruach Ardrain from A82.

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!
Cruach Ardrain 009_1024_768.JPG
Top of Grey Height.
Cruach Ardrain 010_1024_768.JPG
Looking down on by-pass works at Crianlarich.
Cruach Ardrain 014_1024_768.JPG
Cruach Ardrain looking big, from ridge up.

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.
Cruach Ardrain 068_1024_768.JPG
Across Cruach Ardrain to Ben More.
Cruach Ardrain 026_1024_768.JPG
Final stretch to summit, Cruach Ardrain.
Cruach Ardrain 022_1024_768.JPG
Beinn Oss, Dubhcraig and Ben Lui keeking above.

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.
Cruach Ardrain 071_1024_768.JPG
Ridge down to Grey Height.
Cruach Ardrain 065_1024_768.JPG
Track to Beinn Tulaichean.
Cruach Ardrain 064_1024_768.JPG
Stob Binnein.
Cruach Ardrain 043_1024_768.JPG
Ben More & Stob Binnein.
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!?
Cruach Ardrain 045_1024_768.JPG
Cruach Ardrain from 'the other side,' (south).
Cruach Ardrain 040_1024_768.JPG
To Loch Voil and Balquidder.

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!
Cruach Ardrain 037_1024_768.JPG
Cruach Ardrain, down!
Cruach Ardrain 004_1024_768.JPG
An Caisteal.
Cruach Ardrain 007_1024_768.JPG
Crianlarich.
Cruach Ardrain 069_1024_768.JPG
Glenbruar Viaduct, Crianlarich.

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!
Attachments
Cruach Ardrain 062_1024_768.JPG
Cruach Ardrain 024_1024_768.JPG
Cruach Ardrain 019_1024_768.JPG
Cruach Ardrain 049_1024_768.JPG
Beinn a'Chroin.
Cruach Ardrain 021_1024_768.JPG
North to Orchy hills.
Last edited by JimboJim on Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JimboJim
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Re: Cruach Ardrain, not once, not twice, but thrice!

Postby 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. :wink:


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!
Jimmy
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Re: Cruach Ardrain, not once, not twice, but thrice!

Postby Big Jesper » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:37 pm

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.
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Re: Cruach Ardrain, not once, not twice, but thrice!

Postby jac the lassie » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:51 pm

Nice looking hills!
Great pics as always :clap: glad u got/found ur axe, lol :lol:
Jac :D
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Re: Cruach Ardrain, not once, not twice, but thrice!

Postby 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 :clap: glad u got/found ur axe, lol :lol:
Jac :D


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!

Jimmy
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