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Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws

Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws


Postby Beaner001 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:42 pm

Route description: Ben Challum, near Tyndrum

Munros included on this walk: Ben Challum

Date walked: 14/02/2015

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 993m

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I was originally planning on a Corbett trip this weekend but Dave Webb (Spiderwebb) posted on Facebook that he was planning on Munros down in the Tyndrum area and to get in touch if anyone fancied it. I had been planning on meeting him for a while so I got in touch and the day was set. My wife was happy enough for me to go as long as I was home by early evening since it was Valentine ’s Day, the reason being the weather was better for Saturday as opposed to Sunday. Eric (electricfly), Shona and their pack of Springers were also going to meet us, which was great news as I had also wanted to walk with Eric for a while too. Dave threw in the idea of Challum and this suited me as I was not sure I wanted to go on an electricfly/Spiderwebb epic on our first meeting till I was a bit fitter. Plan was to meet in Crianlarich at 9am. A wee mention here, I was listening to the outdoor programme on Radio Scotland on the way down about level crossings and a couple of Avatar names I had recognised on WH were mentioned (Tinabonar & another which I think was smalltounboy??).

We met up did introductions and soon decided we’d rather park up in beside the farm at Auchtertyre as we were not happy about unloading all the dogs on the layby to start from the WH route off the A82. We drove down to the parking spot beside the farm and set off up the road towards the Strathfillan Wigwams.


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



We crossed a bridge and turned right along the bottom of the toilet buildings area and started along the farm walks section. My two dogs were pulling like buggery as there where sheep everywhere, Shona has Bracken (mum) & Teallach (son) and Eric’s two are Alfie (Dad) having done over 250 Munros and Tarsuinn (Son). Soon we arrived at the first of two graveyards where we turned left on the track where you meet the second graveyard with some nice Trees behind it.

photo 1.JPG
Looking towards the Crianlarich Hills, Priests Garden straight ahead

photo 2.JPG
Looking to second graveyard, you pass this with it on your left


The track them heads up to the Railway crossing after which the dogs were set free from their tethers. We cut over to the right to follow the fence uphill on soggy ground, I had read this could be quite boggy in spring/summer but it was not too bad for us.

photo 3.JPG
The route ahead after the railway crossing, following the fence

photo 4.JPG
Shona getting their pack to pose on a rock


After a steepish climb we reached the deer fence. There was a wee gap which was just big enough for Springer Spaniels size dogs to get through. We climbed up over the fence and continued up to the next style where the dogs again found a gap to get through.

photo 5.JPG
All 6 coming to the first deer fence

photo 6.JPG
And again


The snow was now getting to be quite deep in areas of drift so we negotiated our way ahead as best we could, often sinking in up to our groins.

photo 7.JPG
Still following the fence over undulating terrain


The sun looked like it was threatening to break through the clouds and we hoped we’d maybe get some views but nothing as yet. The other worry was Dave’s recent record of wind on Munro’s; would he get a break on this one?? Lol. We reached a point where we crossed a small fence and turned up to the right and followed the path which curves over to follow a fence which has all but collapsed in places, care was needed not to trip over the rusted wires which were half submerged in the snow.

photo 8.JPG
Path ahead into the clag and snow

photo 9.JPG
Me taking a pic of Eric taking a pic of Dave taking a pic of something :-)

photo 10.JPG
Looking over to the Valley below Beinn Chaorach

photo 11.JPG
Downhill section before the ascent up icy path


The route drops down here and then ascends again where we stopped for a sandwich break and the dogs got some treats. The views ahead were simply of fog so no great route description photos; hence most of my photos are of the dogs. We continued up and the path was quite icy in sections and then we came across a snow field which was steep, it was a tough pull up this section but we got through it in around 5 minutes and soon came across an old fence post which was clarted in ice turning it into a rather splendid feature.

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photo 12.JPG
Eric breaking trail on the first snow field

photo 13.JPG
Dave and Shona climbing up snow field

photo 14.JPG
Eric nearing top of snow field

photo 15.JPG
Ice forming on old fence post


We pushed on up to reach the South Top Cairn and then onwards to the ridge between that and actual summit. The ridge offered good walking as the snow was crisp to walk on but gave enough purchase that crampons were not needed. We reached the last section of ascent up to the summit, there were scattered rocks which were quite hard for us humans to pass over and dogs however cruised over this section.

photo 16.JPG
Tricky section before slope evens out before summit


The slope flattens as you reach the summit cairn where we spent ages taking photos of each other and the dogs. Would this be a record for Ben Challum at least, having 6 Springer Spaniels on the summit at one time?? The fog was way too thick to get any views whatsoever. I wonder if we were another hundred Metres higher if we’d have been above the fog as the forecast thought it be down around 1000m, we were at 1025m.

photo 17.JPG
Eric on summit cairn

photo 18.JPG
Dave the Springer Spaniel whisperer

photo 19.JPG
Shona giving out treats


We set off back the way we came, following our own foot prints was hard as the dogs were racing on ahead and when we reached it, it looked like a stampede of animals had been through!!

photo 20.JPG
Eric leading back along ridge between two summits, thick clag


We reached the South top again and continued on, every section looked new to me and I could not remember passing certain landmarks on the way up but it was my mind playing tricks due to the snow. We descended the slippy section of path and reached the wee fence we went over on the ascent. We decided to try and take a shortcut following a path West towards the farm after this instead of the fence line down and this turned out a bad idea as we ended up in the middle of the woodland regeneration area and had to pass 6 Springers over the 7 foot deer fence. This was hard work, then we had to do the same at the bottom of the area to get out of the fenced off saplings area. Luckily I never had to be the unlucky one that was straddling the top of the fence passing the dogs from either side, Eric and Dave did the necessary. Once over the last section we followed a faint track that took us back to the outward route just before the railway crossing.

photo 21.JPG
Back out of the clag and heading towards the farm, Crianlarich hills in distance


My dogs were on their leashes as the section leading to the railway had sheep, Eric and Shona’s dogs behaved impeccably as Eric was playing a game of who wants the ball which kept every dogs attention on him and not the sheep, I need to try and train mine to play that game.

photo 22.JPG
Back at the level crossing


Once over the railway it was a case of follow the track back to the cars. We went back to the Tyndrum Inn for a drink, courtesy of Dave, Cheers, and then I left to start the long journey home. Great day with great company, dogs all behaved impeccably and the only bad point was there were a few Mountain Rescue vehicles went shooting by the Tyndrum Inn and when I was passing the layby beside the farm at foot of Ben More there was one truck as well as police, hope no-one was hurt…
I look forward to walking with Dave, Eric, Shona and the pack again as I had a great day.
Cheers.
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Beaner001
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Re: Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws

Postby Sarah86 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:32 pm

Great report, the spaniels looked to be enjoying themselves. It is amazing what difference being up high makes, looks really cold but the dogs look like they didn't mind at all.
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Re: Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:47 pm

Jeezo that's some team :clap: :clap: :clap:

Lovely dogs indeed :D
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Re: Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:54 pm

Beautiful pack of dogs - their humans looked to be having a good time too :clap: :clap:
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Re: Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws

Postby electricfly » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:47 pm

...ahem! The shortcut was a good idea, climbing into and then out of the regeneration area with six dugs when we could have walked round the side wasn't so clever! :lol:

Funny though that the "deer-free" regeneration area was the only place we stumbled upon a deer! :roll:

Excellent account of the day's proceedings Matthew. I'm amazed you managed to get so many pics of all six pooches together.

Hopefully we'll get another outing again soon. :D
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Re: Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:20 am

Sarah86 wrote:Great report, the spaniels looked to be enjoying themselves. It is amazing what difference being up high makes, looks really cold but the dogs look like they didn't mind at all.


Thanks Sarah, The dogs had great fun, they were a hundred mph everywhere so they never really had a chance to cool down :lol:

Collaciotach wrote:Jeezo that's some team :clap: :clap: :clap:

Lovely dogs indeed :D

Cheers Colla, it was a fine outing indeed :D

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Beautiful pack of dogs - their humans looked to be having a good time too :clap: :clap:


The human company was excellent, the dogs got on great and seeing them having so much fun made it for me, made the ascent pass quickly anyway :lol: :lol:

electricfly wrote:...ahem! The shortcut was a good idea, climbing into and then out of the regeneration area with six dugs when we could have walked round the side wasn't so clever! :lol:

Funny though that the "deer-free" regeneration area was the only place we stumbled upon a deer! :roll:

Excellent account of the day's proceedings Matthew. I'm amazed you managed to get so many pics of all six pooches together.

Hopefully we'll get another outing again soon. :D


Lol yeah that's what it was Eric :lol:
I just snapped away like a madman, heaps of photos were just brown and white blurs :lol: :lol:
Defo be in touch re a return leg, be great to meet up again pal :D
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Beaner001
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Re: Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws

Postby dogplodder » Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:42 pm

As I often do I skipped through to see the pics (before going back to read it) and thought I was having a bad case of blurry vision at that one of several Springers on a rock. :shock: Rather worrying until I realised you were out with more than your usual two! :lol:
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Re: Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:54 am

Talking about titles :wink: Looks like you NINE had good fun especially the SIX with tails :lol: :lol: Pity about no views from the summit, next time!I hope to be coming up your way sometime this year to bag a few of your NE Corbetts etc, beware.
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Re: Valentine's with a Spider, a Fly and 24 paws

Postby Beaner001 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:04 pm

dogplodder wrote:As I often do I skipped through to see the pics (before going back to read it) and thought I was having a bad case of blurry vision at that one of several Springers on a rock. :shock: Rather worrying until I realised you were out with more than your usual two! :lol:


Yeah I do the same, it was hard work trying to get pictures of them, I ended up with a couple of hundred but had to delete 75% as they were just white blurs :lol:

The Rodmiester wrote:Talking about titles :wink: Looks like you NINE had good fun especially the SIX with tails :lol: :lol: Pity about no views from the summit, next time!I hope to be coming up your way sometime this year to bag a few of your NE Corbetts etc, beware.


Give me a shout when your coming up this way Rod, I've still to do all the Corbetts you have to do in the NE and if you fancy some company I'd be glad to join you :D
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