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Ben Challum - Not As Wet As I Expected!

Ben Challum - Not As Wet As I Expected!


Postby Gordie12 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:13 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Challum

Date walked: 15/08/2015

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 13.2 km

Ascent: 1103m

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It feels like every time my journey to a hill involves driving on the A85 it guarantees me a clag bound day, the only exception to this rule in the last couple of years was Ben Vane. So last night I watched and listened to the various weather reports and changed my plans from a Corbett in the Cairngorms to a drive along the A85 to near Tyndrum as things looked promising.

I was parked up and walking by 8am, flat calm and overcast but no midgies :shock:

The first part of the walk to Kirkton Farm is familiar ground from the West Highland Way 2 years ago, the only difference this time was that whilst dull and overcast it wasn't absolutely heaving it down with torrential rain (my memories of the WHW are not good).

After the farm I left the WHW and took the grassy track which passes the cemetery (with the two fir trees in the middle of it) and heads on uphill to cross the railway line.

1.jpg
Looking towards Kirkton Farm


2.jpg
River Fillan


3.jpg
Kirkton Farm


4.jpg
The view back


5.jpg
Railway lines are like pules of logs - I have to get the camera out


6.jpg
Snap


I was watching for my right turn after the railway line, I probably followed the track for about 50 yards before looking over to the deer fence at the edge of the woods I think the WH report suggests heading over to. I started to walk in the direction of the fence but after only a few yards I saw a very feint grassy path heading more or less straight up the hill and decided to follow this path instead.

It's one of those paths you follow, then lose, then find again but in general it was fairly easy walking - not too steep and not really that wet.

7.jpg
Looking back


8.jpg
Short back and sides


9.jpg
Heading up


10.jpg
And up


11.jpg
Looking back again


12.jpg
Clag Alert


13.jpg


Eventually I reached a fence and after crossing it I knew I was back on the main track as it was far more eroded so it was a sharp left and time to follow the fence.

The climb up to the 997m point on the map seemed to be quite steep and it was back in to the A85 clag, the wind had picked up and it was surprisingly cold.

After the 997m point the feel of the hill changes completely from a wide open easy grassy ascent to a far narrower ridge with the cloud swirling round. It didn't take long to reach the top and I was surprised to see someone already at the cairn.

14.jpg
Narrower ridge


15.jpg
Summit


I was chatting to the guy at the summit but it was fairly cool so decided just to do a quick turnaround and head back down. It's August, but I confess I put some thin gloves on for part of the walk down - what a woose! I had company for the return walk as we were both leaving at the same time anyway.

16.jpg
Signs that the cloud could be breaking


17.jpg


18.jpg


Once down at the point where I joined the main route we decided to take my path down and it was an easy descent on a grassy track, not too steep or wet so for a change I was able to stay upright.

19.jpg
Surrounding hills finally come in to view


20.jpg


21.jpg


22.jpg
A lot brighter now back at the railway line


23.jpg


24.jpg
Still a few spaces available


Back on the West Highland Way there are a few more people about and back at the car the layby was now full.

From some of the reports I have read on this hill I wondered if I needed to take a snorkel with me but this really was OK. Maybe the normal route up Ben Challum is wet and muddy (the bits I saw looked pretty eroded) and I just got lucky spotting the grassy path but this was an awful lot better than expected.

Maybe one of these days I'll get a view from a hill top.
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Gordie12
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Re: Ben Challum - Not As Wet As I Expected!

Postby rockhopper » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:09 am

it's a nice walk and a central position for the view higher up - good to see you didn't find it too boggy - good one for winter as well especially if the bogs are frozen over - cheers :)
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Re: Ben Challum - Not As Wet As I Expected!

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:11 pm

rockhopper wrote:it's a nice walk and a central position for the view higher up - good to see you didn't find it too boggy - good one for winter as well especially if the bogs are frozen over - cheers :)



Hi RH - the sun broke out for a second on the summit but as soon as it appeared it was gone again and replaced by clag so I only caught a very very quick glimpse of the views.
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Gordie12
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Re: Ben Challum - Not As Wet As I Expected!

Postby jamesb63 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:48 pm

rockhopper wrote:it's a nice walk and a central position for the view higher up - good to see you didn't find it too boggy - good one for winter as well especially if the bogs are frozen over - cheers :)

This is one I am saving for a winters walk hopefully with some snow :D
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jamesb63
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Re: Ben Challum - Not As Wet As I Expected!

Postby Chris Mac » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:42 pm

Nice report and pics Gordie, a shame you never got much of a view!

jamesb63 wrote:This is one I am saving for a winters walk hopefully with some snow :D

That sounds good as the surrounding hills would look great with their winter coat on and you would avoid the bog problems. A final descent down the first section on a sledge would be a great finale... until you reach the railway! :lol:
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Chris Mac
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Re: Ben Challum - Not As Wet As I Expected!

Postby Rufus Smalls » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:06 pm

Nice report - it's a hill I hope to do soon...

Doesn't look like you're having much luck with the views :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum - Not As Wet As I Expected!

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:53 pm

Rufus Smalls wrote:Nice report - it's a hill I hope to do soon...

Doesn't look like you're having much luck with the views :lol: :lol:


It's not been a good spell Rufus but yesterday in Glencoe made up for all the clag bound days this year!!
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