Encouraged by Malky_c's description of pleasant going I thought I would tackle Creach Bheinn this way. I didn't imagine for a moment that I could include all three Grahams but two seemed possible. The weather was very warm and dry but rather hazy and things didn't start well when I failed initially to find the correct road to park on. However I got there eventually, set off, crossed the unexpected little gorge (see Malky's account) and plodded up Beinn Bhreac past a cairn that didn't seem to signify anything very much.
There seemed to be interminable ups and downs - maybe I should have been furthe R - but I eventually reached the summit with fine but hazy views across to Mull and Rum
Ben More stands up above all the other Mull hills
Rum beyond Ardgour
Beinn a Bheithir and the Ben Nevis range
I walked down to the 630m col and on up the ridge to Mam Hael the 726m Graham - recently renamed.
Beinn a Bheither and Ben Nevis from the rdge to Mam Hael
Looking across Loch Creran and Loch Linnhe from Mam Hael
Beinn Starav and the ridge leading towards Creach Bheinn
A wider view including Creach Bheinn summit
A col on the ridge
The walk up Creach Bheinn seemed very long and I was getting slightly worried as, for a couple of hours I hadn't found any water to top up my bottle. However just below the summit a large snow patch was melting to produce a babbling little stream. After that of course I found water all over the place
Looking down into Glen Etive
Cruachan again across Loch Etive
South to the Paps of Jura
I descended back to the col, traversed easily round below Mam Hael and climbed up to the 690m top of Beinn Molurgainn. Another good viewpoint
Looking down into Glen Etive: Creach Bheinn and Beinn Sgulaird are to the Left
A zoomed view: Beinn Fhionnlaidh is on the L in front of Bidean with the Buchaille Etive Beag on the R
Cruachan from Beinn Molurgainn
I headed down the broad ridge roughly SW, went through a gate in a deer fence, and headed down towards the Eas na Gearr. It was here that things started to go a bit pear-shaped I crossed the first stream easily, breezed over to the second and was confronted by a totally uncrossable gorge I remembered that Malky had mentioned a gorge but assumed it was further down, and I hadn't yet read the new SMC book on the Grahams. I pushed on upstream for a bit, but it looked as though I might have to go miles (with the benefit of hindsight another 100m might have been enough), whereas downstream I could see the gorge opened out; so I turned around, recrossed the first stream and followed a boggy track high above the river that eventually led to a new bridge across it with a bulldozed track on the far side. Surely this would lead to the road - or so you'd think! It clmbed steeply at first, meandered about, smashed brutally through a deer fence and then petered out in some featureless moorland with tracks going in all directions
I normally walk with a large scale Anquet printout in my pocket that I can read without glasses, and it looked as if I'd walked off the edge of it into limbo I also carry an OS map - in case - but the start/end of this walk are on the Oban map and I didn't have it. I really had no idea where I was I followed various tracks that just went in circles and then got out the compass and headed West: I would hit either the road below my car or cross my outward track. Pretty soon I could see the green hill of Na Maoilean and work out that surprisingly I was about 20 minutes North of the car. I got back in the gloaming at 9.00pm
The confusion remained until I started to write this report and took a close look at the 1:25k Walkhighland map and found it was totally different to the 1:50k Anquet.
On the Anquet, the riverside forest stops at an Easting of about 376, whereas on the Walkhighland it goes nearly 2Km further North: also the comparative size of the streams as indicated by the thickness/intensity of the blue lines are quite different. The new bridge of course is on neither. So in fact I hadn't walked off my map at all - rather I'd been just over 1km further N than I thought at a different stream junction. It all made sense I clearly need to read reports more closely, but then life would be very boring if everything went exactly to plan
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.