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A scorcher on Ben Challum

A scorcher on Ben Challum


Postby dogplodder » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:39 pm

Route description: Ben Challum, near Tyndrum

Munros included on this walk: Ben Challum

Date walked: 11/06/2015

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We drove over from Kenmore in good time then wasted about 20 minutes driving up and down the road between Crianlarich and Tyndrum trying to find the correct layby near the turning for Kirkton Farm. That was down to me being dozy and not seeing the sign when we passed it - although in my defence Kirkton Farm is only mentioned on about the third line down.

So we finally got going and walked up the Kirkton lane to a bridge over the River Fillan.

River Fillan from the bridge
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After crossing the bridge we followed the track to the farm and turned left just before it, briefly joining the West Highland Way where we met the only other folk we saw all day - a couple on holiday from the USA. Almost immediately after joining it we left the WHW for a track to the right, passing an old cemetery with two large trees.

Cemetery with two trees (and two sheep for good measure)
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Black-faced lamb
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Kirkton Farm
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Ben Lui coming into view
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This track leads to a level crossing over the railway line.

Railway crossing
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Once over the railway line we left the track for a very faint path uphill towards the deer fence.

Crossing from track to deer fence
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West Highland Way and Strathfillan Wigwams down below
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First stile to cross
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Kirkton Farm is doing an experimental regrowing of native woodland so is being careful about keeping sheep and deer out and if we saw any in the section between the high stiles we were asked to report it. We didn't see any.

Ben Challum gets quite a bad press for its soggy approach and we did get a taste of that with a few large muddy patches to be avoided but it wasn't as bad as I expected and we were thankful not to be climbing it after a spell of wet weather.

Muddy section (M's pic)
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It was hot work climbing so we had a few rest stops which was no hardship on a day like this as views opened up on every side.

Ben Lui hills
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Crianlarich hills
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We both enjoyed the cleft ridge at the south top with a little bit of rocky narrowness thrown in for interest.

Reaching the south top with true summit beyond
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Pool and pocket of snow at the cleft in the ridge
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Narrow rocky ridge from south top leading to the summit (M's pic)
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After the south top there's a slight descent before the final pull to the summit.

Approaching the summit
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Ben Challum summit looking east to Meall Glas (Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin on skyline)
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South to Crianlarich hills and south top
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North to Orchy hills and beyond
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For the descent we retraced our steps over the south top
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We hadn't finally decided what we'd do the next day but seeing Ben More and Stob Binnein looking so stunning clinched it - we were heading their way!

Ben More & Stob Binnein from Ben Challum
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Ben Challum as seen the next day from Benmore Glen
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Last edited by dogplodder on Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby Beaner001 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:56 pm

You got a fine day for it, that wee cleft you mentioned was full of snow when I did it in Feb, so that's what the fenced off bit of new woodland was for 8)
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Hi dogplodder

You certainly got a good day for this hill.

I'm hoping to get round to Ben Challum this year so it was good to read a report on it.
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby tweedledog » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:25 am

A good day there. Been meaning to do this for a while since it's near home. I notice you didn't have the dogs (unless they've become camera averse). Am I going to be able to get the whippet over those stiles? If they have a platform at the top I can generally manage it. But if they just go straight up and down it's a bit more of a problem.
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:13 am

Beaner001 wrote:You got a fine day for it, that wee cleft you mentioned was full of snow when I did it in Feb, so that's what the fenced off bit of new woodland was for 8)


I didn't have the mutts with me so don't remember if there was a dog space in the fence at the stiles. Tweedledog is asking about taking the whippet. How did your pair do - although I'm thinking springers might be easier to manhandle over a stile than a larger dog would be. 8)
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:18 am

Gordie12 wrote:Hi dogplodder

You certainly got a good day for this hill.

I'm hoping to get round to Ben Challum this year so it was good to read a report on it.


Hi Gordie

It's a great hill with more character than I expected...... but try to go after a dry spell. :wink:
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:25 am

tweedledog wrote:A good day there. Been meaning to do this for a while since it's near home. I notice you didn't have the dogs (unless they've become camera averse). Am I going to be able to get the whippet over those stiles? If they have a platform at the top I can generally manage it. But if they just go straight up and down it's a bit more of a problem.


I think I noticed a gap in the fence a smallish dog could get through but can't be sure. Beaner was up with dogs recently so hopefully he can tell you. There was no platform at the top of this one - just the two ladder rungs. 8)

DSC_3073-large.JPG
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:39 pm

tweedledog wrote:A good day there. Been meaning to do this for a while since it's near home. I notice you didn't have the dogs (unless they've become camera averse).


Meant to say I didn't have the dogs with me and if I had they would have struggled with the heat. They're both 11 now and while they'd still want to come they suffer for it afterwards..... so I very reluctantly don't take them unless it's just a wee hill. :?
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby goth_angel » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:23 pm

Some stunning pics there.

Main reason I haven't done this one is that bloody stile. I am not that flexible due to an old back injury and it looks blooming awful. Would be fine if it had a platform but it doesn't!
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby tweedledog » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:52 pm

dogplodder wrote:
tweedledog wrote:A good day there. Been meaning to do this for a while since it's near home. I notice you didn't have the dogs (unless they've become camera averse).


Meant to say I didn't have the dogs with me and if I had they would have struggled with the heat. They're both 11 now and while they'd still want to come they suffer for it afterwards..... so I very reluctantly don't take them unless it's just a wee hill. :?


Yes I know that problem. The whippet is 10 and doesn't like the heat (to tell you the truth, nor do at 72!). Thanks for the information. I may give Challum a miss.
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:03 pm

tweedledog wrote:
dogplodder wrote:
tweedledog wrote:A good day there. Been meaning to do this for a while since it's near home. I notice you didn't have the dogs (unless they've become camera averse).


Meant to say I didn't have the dogs with me and if I had they would have struggled with the heat. They're both 11 now and while they'd still want to come they suffer for it afterwards..... so I very reluctantly don't take them unless it's just a wee hill. :?


Yes I know that problem. The whippet is 10 and doesn't like the heat (to tell you the truth, nor do at 72!). Thanks for the information. I may give Challum a miss.


Hi, we got 6 Springer Spaniels over the stiles no bother. If I recall correctly there was a small hole in the first one and the second I think we passed the dogs over that couldn't get through the gaps. My dogs tend to find a way through and being Springers they'll force themselves through :lol:

Here's a link to the report http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=49476

I wouldn't be put off, a whippet shouldn't weigh too much to heave over if you have to......hope this helps :D
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby tweedledog » Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:19 am

Thanks Beaner. My difficulty is that I generally walk alone so nobody to hand the whippet to at the top of the stile! With a platform I can, as it were, hand him to myself. He's no lightweight mind. A big whippet at 18 kilos! There are some other genes in there...
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:19 pm

Lovely report Kathleen, and smashing photos, I really like the ones of the Crainlarich hills! not surprised that you headed off for Stob B the next day :lol: :lol:

This one is on our radar to break the long journey from Dundee to Cromarty (well it is long if you go by the A82 :crazy: :crazy:) so I found it really useful, and appreciated the info about stiles and dogs, thanks Beaner and tweedledog.
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:31 am

goth_angel wrote:Some stunning pics there.

Main reason I haven't done this one is that bloody stile. I am not that flexible due to an old back injury and it looks blooming awful. Would be fine if it had a platform but it doesn't!


It wasn't too bad as space at top was wide enough to do a turn and come down the other side the right way round! The worst stiles I find are the ladder ones with supporting posts so high it's hard for arthritic hip joints to swing over! :?
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Re: A scorcher on Ben Challum

Postby dogplodder » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:07 am

tweedledog wrote:Thanks Beaner. My difficulty is that I generally walk alone so nobody to hand the whippet to at the top of the stile! With a platform I can, as it were, hand him to myself. He's no lightweight mind. A big whippet at 18 kilos! There are some other genes in there...


Plenty other hills that don't have whippet challenging stiles to cross. 8)
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