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The (Munro) Boys are Back In Town - Pair of Crianlarich Tops

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:45 pm
by weaselmaster
So I've been on a Corbett voyage in recent months, but sometimes you miss the delights of rarefied air above 914m :D
Added to which, Sick Kid was stuck at work again, so I decided to take in Stob Garbh, a Top of Cruach Ardrain. Back up to Crianlarich for 8.30. It was a colder morning than yesterday, car registering -2 degrees at road level. Parked up at Benmore Farm and decided to use the track up past Ben More to access the hill - seemed a nicer route than trying to get there from Glen Falloch. Set off along past the farm, disturbing a number of sheep who trotted up the hill track ahead of me. Nice to have company :wink:

crian_tops.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Made it along the the "footbridge" which has seen better days - just as well Sick Kid wasn't with me, she'd have had one of her puleeries at the crossing. Then headed up roughly along the fence line, eyes constantly drawn to the pretty twosome of Ben More & Stobinien over to my left. Took the easiest line up to Stob Coire Bhuidhe, which was steep going. Snow was powdery and soft, rarely deep. Ben More looked great, a dome of mist clinging just above its top, the fearsome gully running down the West face of it. Got to the summit of Bhuidhe as the sun was gleaming from behind Stob Garbh - looking at the bumps and crags on this hill, it seems aptly named. Picked up the outline of a path under the snow that led up Stob Garbh, with Cruach Ardrain looking impressive over to its right. I could see the sunlit top of Ben Lui emerging from a sea of cloud inversion over to the west, soon to be joined by other summits poking through. Sat at the top of Stob Garbh enjoying the views with a coffee - a perfect wintery morning, hardly any breeze. A cracking hill this one, well worth doing on its own. The route up to the summit of Cruach Ardrain looked exciting from here too, though that wasn't on the agenda today.

Track from Benmore Farm, Stob Garbh up in the distance
ImageP1050190 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050193 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050197 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Route up along the tree line to the bealach
ImageP1050198 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050200 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Mist in the valley
ImageP1050202 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ben More with a cap of mist
ImageP1050208 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The twins
ImageP1050213 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stob Garbh
ImageP1050216 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050218 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Cruach Ardrain
ImageP1050223 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Path up to Stob Garbh
ImageP1050224 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ben Lui
ImageP1050225 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Falloch Hills
ImageP1050227 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beautiful Ben More
ImageP1050228 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back to Stob Coire Bhuidhe
ImageP1050229 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Crouching Lion - Cruach Ardrain
ImageP1050230 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stob Garbh
ImageP1050231 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit of Stob Garbh
ImageP1050234 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looks an exciting route up
ImageP1050235 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I had a think of what to do next. It was way too early to pack up and head home and I didn't have any time to be back by today. I had wondered about driving over to Killin and climbing Creag na Caillich but an alternative came to mind - Meall na Dige, my remaining Stobinien Top - would be a fair bit of a wander but would mean I could just head over from here with no need for a vehicle interlude. Let's go :D

ImageP1050237 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050238 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050239 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050243 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050244 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I retraced my steps down Beinn Garbh then headed down into Coire Buidhe, subverting the need to go back up over Stob Coire Bhuidhe. Disturbed a young deer who raced off down to the river. I got there somewhat more slowly and crossed just where the stream coming down from Bealach-eadar-dha-Beinn flows to join Benmore Burn. I'd been up this route before and knew what a steep slog it was, never mind after having ascended to almost 1000m already. It was slow going and the weather deteriorated, clag coming in and views disappearing. I was still roasted from my exertions. Got to the bealach and stopped for a bite to eat at around 12.30. No-one in sight - I'd thought the hills might be quite busy today, but other than one set of footprints climbing up Stobinien there was no sign of life.

Oh no - have to go up there!
ImageP1050245 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Towards summit Stobinien
ImageP1050247 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050249 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I set off up the Stob, pausing at around 1000m to put on the jaggy shoes -although the snow was still powdery there was a fair bit of ice on the rocks beneath. Slogged my way to the summit, with the sun glowing through the mist then began my walk over to Stob Coire an Lochain. A group of 3 or 4 folk had been out this way already, so left a trail in the snow. Just before the summit of SCaL I headed steeply down east over a snowy flank. I tried to keep as much as possible to the areas where the snow had been blown thin by the wind as there was the potential for avalanche from this aspect. The snow seemed stable however. Got down to a bealach at 890m and started to climb up again to the knobbly peak of Meall na Dige - unfortunately clag still prevented much in the way of views. Got to the cairn and paused for thought. I could go over Bealalch na Frithe and either contour round the north side of Ben More or make for the road through the forestry plantation but neither really appealed. Groaning, I did the sensible thing and set off back over Stobinien. :lol:

Follow the wall from the bealach to Meall na Dige
ImageP1050250 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit cairn, Meall na Dige
ImageP1050253 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Tired Weasel
ImageP1050254 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The 300m of re-ascent were painful and laborious but eventually I got to the cairn on Stobinien again. Yay - no more uphill! I kept my crampons for quite a while, as the path up to the bealach was coated with ice in many places. Made it back down to the track as the light was fading and got back to the car rather the worst for wear at about 4.15pm.

View over to Stob Garbh
ImageP1050255 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ben More
ImageP1050256 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050257 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050258 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050259 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Re: The (Munro) Boys are Back In Town - Pair of Crianlarich

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:03 pm
by gammy leg walker
Now that's what I call dedication to the cause :clap: :clap:

Re: The (Munro) Boys are Back In Town - Pair of Crianlarich

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:10 pm
by weaselmaster
It was one of theose days where it helped to be up early - nice views til late morning
Think I may be a wee bit sore tomorrow - expected the ascent to be higher than it was - think it was an effect of so much of the ascent being steep ascent

Re: The (Munro) Boys are Back In Town - Pair of Crianlarich

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:16 pm
by ere1
Hi Weaselmaster, nice pictures!!!!!!!!!!!