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Crag of the Raven, Crag of the Witch

Crag of the Raven, Crag of the Witch

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:13 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, Meall nan Tarmachan

Date walked: 07/09/2015

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 27 km

Ascent: 1924m

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"Someone" had decided to do a sponsored walk today, so I had the Public Holiday to myself - free choice. Tops it would be - my remaining southernmost 2. I had contemplated a walk that included Ghlas, Lawers, Meall a'Choire Leith, Meall Corranaich then onto Meall nan Tarmeachan, collecting Tops of Creag an Fhitich and Creag na Caillich. The forecast was good and I decided to get away as soon after 7 as I could manage - having only got home from a weekend in Knoydart at 9.30 the previous night I was a little on the tired side. I was also aware of some pain in my left knee which worried me a little - fortunately it didn't cause any difficulties today. Setting off at 7.15 it was misty overhead, but seemed sure to burn off as I drove up Lochlomondside. I stopped at Crianlarich to drop the top and enjoy the wind on my baldy head. True enough, as I pulled into the car park the last of the mist rose to reveal a gloriously sunny mountainscape.

Last mist rising
ImageP1100044 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100043 by Al, on Flickr

No-one else about except a man in a suit who had come to look for a building (demolished 5 years ago) which previously stood at the visitor centre. Beautiful conditions for walking - I set off at a moderate pace and was at the top of Beinn Ghlas in an hour. Lots of flying ants today across the whole mountain range. Nipped along to Lawers in another half hour and stood at the trig enjoying the view. The Ben looked as if she were floating on a sea of mist. Ahead of me the path continued along to the left. I initially thought Creag na Fhitich involved a considerable amount of ascent until I realised that the shapely peak I was looking at was An Stuc :wink: My target was a diminutive wart before An Stuc - it may be 1047m but against Lawers it looked nothing at all- surely one of the easiest Tops. I could see a raven perched on the cairn - clearly a well named peak. reached my target then decided to cheat a bit and contoured round the north side of Lawers rather than re-ascend it - perfectly easy going. Met up with the path that heads to the north of Beinn Ghlas, meaning I didn't need to re-ascend that either - on a roll!. I paused at the junction where the track splits and there's the option to head up Meall Corranaich. I swithered - what would it achieve- OK another 2 Munros but I was after Tops, and the route to Tarmachan coming off Meall a'Choire Leith would be over hillside, not path. To hell with it - I'd just continue along the track back to the car park and do Tarmachan straight.

ImageP1100047 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100048 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100049 by Al, on Flickr

The wee knobble of Creag nan Fhitich
ImageP1100051 by Al, on Flickr

Towards An Stuc
ImageP1100053 by Al, on Flickr

Round the side of Lawers
ImageP1100055 by Al, on Flickr

Pleased with my decision I trotted off along the path and was back at the car in 3 hours. It had filled up considerably in my absence. Set off on the path towards Tarmachan, lovely heather in bloom. Found my legs a little tired heading for the 923m Top which was populated with a mass of what appeared to be students out for the day. Didn't stop, just continued on for Tarmachan. I did feel slow going up the 100m or so to the summit, so made a point of having a second cup of coffee at the top. Revitalised I continued on along the ridge. I could see other folk ahead of me and caught them up at the top of Meall Garbh. The wee scrabbly bit comes next - I remember being really apprehensive about this when I did the hill first time round, and in the wet it would be a little tricky. However dry rock today, down in no time and on to Beinn nan Eachan. We'd headed down after this Top last time - today I'd continue to the end of the ridge and pop Creag nan Caillich in the bag. The summit cairn was a mere two stones, I sat and ate some crisps then tracked back a little and wend down into Great Gully, a bit wet underfoot. Joined a faint track which brought me out at the Quarry track - easy going after that back to the car park- feeling comfortable and fit, enjoying the warmth of the late afternoon sun on my skin.

ImageP1100059 by Al, on Flickr

Emperor Moth Caterpillar
ImageP1100060 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100062 by Al, on Flickr

Tarmachan summit, to Meall Garbh
ImageP1100065 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100066 by Al, on Flickr

Creag na Caillich in the distance
ImageP1100069 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100071 by Al, on Flickr

Eachan & Garbh
ImageP1100073 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100074 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100077 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the car I considered going for a pint, but instead just enjoyed a drive back down with the top down, reggae sounds on the cd. Twelve Tops to go now :D
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Re: Crag of the Raven, Crag of the Witch

Postby SecretSquirrel » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:34 am

Good use there of a free day! :D

I miss visiting pubs local to the hills for my post walk Ale. Since the drink drive limits changed I wouldn't even chance a half now. I always thought of it as my little contribution to the rural community for my time on the hills :wink: . I do still try to stop somewhere for a coffee on my way home ... but its not quite the same :lol:
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