Having climbed Ben More & Stob Binnein 3 weeks ago it was time to head back for Cruach Ardrain & Beinn Tulaichean. I've got this theory that if my journey involves travelling along the A85 I'm guaranteed clag, hopefully today would be different.
I started from the car park at Inverlochlarig, flat calm and a few midgies about but not too bad. I was in the company of a guy I met in the car park and we had a good chat for ten minutes before I left the track and headed towards BT.
After leaving the main track beyond the farm I followed a narrow path towards what looked like a small power station and then just above it I picked up a wide track which started to gain height towards BT.
I possibly took the track about 100 yds further up the glen than I should have but the opportunity to gain a bit of height on firm ground was just too tempting. When I did leave the track there were no real surprises after the last few weeks weather, it was juicy. I found myself climbing but also contouring back to my left as I tried to find the best route up which would keep the feet drier for longer whilst avoiding the rocky outcrops.
This feels like hard work, no path, wet slippy grass and a fairly steep ascent make for hard work with little in the way of a breeze to keep me cool.
For the first part of the climb all that could be seen was the slope directly ahead of me then suddenly the view opened up albeit a murky one.
By now the rain was on but it wasn't cold so no reason to go with waterproofs as the forecast was for showers so hopefully I would dry out quickly when the shower passes over.
The summit pic has Cruach Ardrain in the background and with the clouds shrouding it, it looks quite intimidating (at this stage).
Nothing to be seen from the top of BT so I just headed on down to the bealach and on towards Cruach Ardrain. As I dropped down and CA came in to view it suddenly didn't look like much of a climb at all (surprising how partial cloud cover can alter perception).
The climb from the bealach to the top of Cruach Ardrain is actually very easy but my legs felt quite tired and I was a bit slower than I should have been.
Again with no views to be had it was a quick turnaround and once off the top there were decent breaks in the cloud as I headed back towards the bealach.
When I was on the bealach heading for Cruach Ardrain I spotted the start of the path that would take me down to the glen to my east so I just headed for the path and started the descent.
The slope down to the glen floor was really wet but it didn't feel as tough as 3 weeks ago when coming of Stob Binnein. All was going well, probably a bit of complacency was setting in then suddenly when trying to plant my left foot I just took off. I probably travelled about 15yards on my bum through long very wet grass and mud before coming to a halt within about a yard of a very startled frog that was just staring at me. Everything was soaked, my back, legs, rucksack, the lot.
Having got completely soaked and covered in mud, things improved, the rain started hammering down which actually was a positive as it helped to clean me up and make me more presentable to any passing walkers (turned out there weren't any).
Back at the car four and a half hours after setting off I managed to find a bath towel to cover the seat for the drive home. Strangely, I really enjoyed todays little outing.
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