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Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Sun on the Crianlarich 7


Postby Rufus Smalls » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:05 am

Munros included on this walk: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin, Beinn Chabhair, Beinn Tulaichean, Ben More, Cruach Ardrain, Stob Binnein

Date walked: 03/07/2015

Time taken: 15 hours

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Well, having booked a day off work some time ago, the plan was to enjoy a leisurely weekend in the hills above Crianlarich... I had 3 days, one tent and 7 Munros to get my teeth into... what could possible go wrong?

Hmm, the weather for a start. As I watched the forecast like a hawk during the week, it became apparent I'd only have a small window unless I wanted to get soaked or electrocuted. Friday = sun, 20 degrees. Saturday = heavy rain. Sunday = thunderstorms. That pretty much made the decision for me - I'd try and squeeze as many as possible into one day... could I do all 7? :crazy:

After only a couple of hours of kip I was on the early (0520 :lol: ) train north from Glasgow and by 0745 I was sweating and wheezing my way up the steep grass of Ben More. It was incredibly unpleasant at first due to the warm weather, midges and heavy clothing, but after rearranging my gear the temperature dropped nicely as I climbed and , whilst relentless, was a pretty straight-forward climb. Just go straight up until you reach a cairn! I reached the summit with a chap who was just doing More and Binnein, which sounded like a much more pleasant idea. I couldn't quite shake off the cloud on Ben More and after dumping my pack at the bealach it followed me up Binnein and had no view whatsoever. Still, I had the two big boys in the bag by mid-morning and the weather was due to brighten by lunch. If it was all like this, I thought I could be done in 12 hours... famous last words :lol:

Image
Company atop Ben More...

The descent from the bealach is not at all recommended... it was like walking down a gigantic Munro-sized sponge :lol: and that was compounded by some navigation "issues" :wink: trying to get a direct route between two bands of crags on the map. A couple of dead ends and the sun was beating down, which made it pretty tough going. By the time I eventually reached the bealach between Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean I was behind schedule and low on water. The sun really sapped my energy and 2.5 litres just wasn't going to be enough. This was going to be tough! Luckily, CA and BT are an easy pair, and it's amazing how psychologically it lifts you going from 2 down & 5 to go, to 4 down & 3 to go within half an hour. But the priority for the moment was to get water.

Image
Beinn Tulaichean
Image
Cruach Ardrain between Munros 1 and 2 of the day

This was probably the hardest part of the walk as you lose a lot of height between CA/BT and the next two, which are a long way away and over rough ground. I filled from a burn (couldn't see any sheep) and ploughed a direct line towards a ridge coming off Beinn a'Chroin. After what felt like forever I hit the ridge and found a path. I was pretty knackered by now and couldn't believe there was still 3 to go, but the psychological effects of soon picking off two in succession kept me positive. Beinn a'Chroin is a nice peak, and the path down to the bealach has a sting in the tail - it goes round the far side and down a scrambly bit that would probably be quite enjoyable... but not so with jelly legs and a heavy pack :lol: . I left my pack and clambered up An Caisteal. This was by far the highlight. The views were quite spectacular - on one side great views north to Ben Lui/Glencoe/Nevis, and on the right was the 5 I had just climbed basking in sunshine. Simply awesome! These two would probably make a great pair on their own - nice ridges and scrambly summits, but I had no time for thoughts like that as it was getting late and I still had to get up and over another hill :D

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North towards Nevis
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South towards Lomond

Once again it's a big drop down and a big climb up, and Beinn Chabhair from the east side looks impregnably steep. You've just got to put your hands on the grass and pull yourself up. I was feeling quite energetic until the final pull to the summit, which I reached at 8pm. I guzzled the last of my water and took the view in. Great views south to Lomond, Arrochar Alps and Arran. Now just the walk out... and this was hell :lol: . A seemingly interminable trudge along the ridge seemed to lose little height and I could feel my ankles rubbing in my boots. Once down at the lochan it gets no better, and I seemed to have deposited almost all of the path in my boots as I splashed through the bogs. As the sun began to set over the hills in the distance Inverarnan seemed to get no nearer and I started to worry I'd get there after dark and after the pub shut :shock: But soon after 10pm the path descended steeply to the village... and the campsite bar was open till midnight :D a couple of shandies and Irn Bru to top up the sugar and fluid and the next thing I knew the rain was hammering down on my tent, the campsite was nearly flooded and it was 10.30am. I think 2 hours of sleep, 7 Munros and 15 hours of walking the day before had taken its toll!

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Munros 1,2,4 and 6 from 7
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Looking north from Chabhair in the evening sunlight
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Just back in time

All in all a tough day but so rewarding. Cracking views and mostly blazing sunshine made it so worth it... and such a sweet feeling to know that they are all in the bag before the driving rain came down :lol: . Epic!

Image
Weather forecast in the Drovers - time to get out of here!
Rufus Smalls
 
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Re: Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Postby Petr Dakota » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:37 am

Good effort to do all of them in one route ! :clap: :clap: :clap:
The weather forecast motivated you well to reduce your 3 planned days in to one big day to avoid the oncoming rain and all the wetness :lol: :clap: :lol:
Also good experience for you - 2.5 l of drink is definitely not enough, especially for that long day with a lot of ascent :shock: :wink:
Well done and I guess that the drink at the campsite tasted well :lol: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Postby jamesb63 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:41 am

Great report and some nice pics :clap: :clap:
it is nice to see what they look like from the top , :lol: I done all these
earlier in the year and saw noting except clag and rain :lol: :lol:
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Re: Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Postby Borderhugh » Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:42 am

Respect. I ran out of steam on number 5.
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Re: Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Postby Rufus Smalls » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:01 pm

Petr Dakota wrote:Good effort to do all of them in one route ! :clap: :clap: :clap:
The weather forecast motivated you well to reduce your 3 planned days in to one big day to avoid the oncoming rain and all the wetness :lol: :clap: :lol:
Also good experience for you - 2.5 l of drink is definitely not enough, especially for that long day with a lot of ascent :shock: :wink:
Well done and I guess that the drink at the campsite tasted well :lol: :clap: :clap:


Thanks Petr, and yes, you're right, it did taste amazing. I had an extra litre of water from the burn but I do get nervous if sheep are around and there were some over on the other side of Cruach Ardrain... but no ill effects :lol:

jamesb63 wrote:Great report and some nice pics :clap: :clap:
it is nice to see what they look like from the top , :lol: I done all these
earlier in the year and saw noting except clag and rain :lol: :lol:


Thanjs & shame you didn't get the views, they're really excellent - really feels like the Highlands open up to the North with the long views over the lower ground to the south :D I had cloud on More & Binnein though, which should have been the two best views at 1100 odd metres...

Borderhugh wrote:Respect. I ran out of steam on number 5.


I think I would have too if I did it the other way round and saved the big two till last :lol:
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Re: Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Postby basscadet » Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:18 pm

Rufus Smalls wrote:
I think I would have too if I did it the other way round and saved the big two till last :lol:


Thats exactly what happened to me :lol: The lure of the pub was just too strong..
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Re: Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:18 pm

Thankfully Rufus you are a quicker walker than report writer :lol: :lol: :lol:

That really was some going, I've been back to do Beinn Tulaichean & Cruach Ardrain from Inverlochlarig and the climb up BT felt as steep as Ben More but without a path. I came off the bealach between the two hills telling myself it was easier than the one we faced that day between BM & SB when I lost my balance and did a bum slide through a bog.

Brilliant report and photos but if I can just point out one error in your report - I reached the summit of BM before you (that said I was only doing two and not carrying all the gear you had with you) :lol: :lol: :lol:

Maybe see you again when you are on another marathon some time in the future.
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Re: Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Postby spiderwebb » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:13 pm

That's some shift there, well done superb effort, my kind of walk...I think...jeez did I just say that :lol:

Note to oneself re the water intake as I've been falling short on that one too and it must have an effect on the body, even without realising it.
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Re: Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:59 pm

Some cracking pics there - I did the same route in August last year (WR published), and there was no rain, but some cloud and not the excellent sunshine you had. The summits of both BM and Bidean were clag-bound when I got there :( .

I must say, I didn't have the same emotions as you looking down from Bidean and evaluating the ascent on the other side - it looked - and was - exhausting! I would say the big down/ups are a real characteristic of this route.

I can't imagine what the bog after the lochan was like after a long period of rain - it was pretty bad when I did it, and, if I recall correctly, the weather hadn't been particularly wet.

A great route though, eh?
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Re: Sun on the Crianlarich 7

Postby Rufus Smalls » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:51 am

Gordie12 wrote:Thankfully Rufus you are a quicker walker than report writer :lol: :lol: :lol:

That really was some going, I've been back to do Beinn Tulaichean & Cruach Ardrain from Inverlochlarig and the climb up BT felt as steep as Ben More but without a path. I came off the bealach between the two hills telling myself it was easier than the one we faced that day between BM & SB when I lost my balance and did a bum slide through a bog.

Brilliant report and photos but if I can just point out one error in your report - I reached the summit of BM before you (that said I was only doing two and not carrying all the gear you had with you) :lol: :lol: :lol:

Maybe see you again when you are on another marathon some time in the future.


Thanks Gordie and hopefully see you again soon. Hope you enjoyed BT & CA. You're right that you reached the top before me but after a busy month and then working out how to post a report on here one tends to forget the finer details :lol:

spiderwebb wrote:That's some shift there, well done superb effort, my kind of walk...I think...jeez did I just say that :lol:

Note to oneself re the water intake as I've been falling short on that one too and it must have an effect on the body, even without realising it.


Thanks - you should try it some time - it is a tough but great day out

Alteknacker wrote:Some cracking pics there - I did the same route in August last year (WR published), and there was no rain, but some cloud and not the excellent sunshine you had. The summits of both BM and Bidean were clag-bound when I got there :( .

I must say, I didn't have the same emotions as you looking down from Bidean and evaluating the ascent on the other side - it looked - and was - exhausting! I would say the big down/ups are a real characteristic of this route.

I can't imagine what the bog after the lochan was like after a long period of rain - it was pretty bad when I did it, and, if I recall correctly, the weather hadn't been particularly wet.

A great route though, eh?


Yep, big ups and downs and they were all relentlessly steep and mostly pathless. But it's nice that six of the hills come in pairs so it's quite rewarding - big grind up to the bealach, then pick up two summits quickly. Especially Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean - not sure how BT counts as a separate Munro :lol: .

Agreed that it sure is a great walk - but only when done this way round. Getting soaked in the bog at the start and having to climb the two biggest hills at the end must be awful!
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