Inversion frenzy on Ben Lui Four from Dalrigh
by 2manyYorkies » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:55 pm
Route description: Ben Oss and Beinn Dubhchraig, near Tyndrum
Munros included on this walk: Beinn a' Chlèibh, Beinn Dubhchraig, Ben Lui, Ben Oss
Date walked: 02/10/2015
Time taken: 11 hours
Distance: 27.8 km
Ascent: 2147m9 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Nevertheless I managed to get away from Dalrigh at 8:15, heading down Glen Cononish for the long walk in, and the early views were promising...
Caledonian forest below Beinn Dubhchraig - some long hours before I'd be descending through there!
Getting better all the time...!
Ben Oss coming into the game (on left)
The real challenge was trying to take photographs without the puke green buildings of Cononish farm getting in the way ... must have been having a migraine when they chose that colour.
The track after Cononish farm leading up to Ben Lui. Started to feel really remote and alone here. After a boggy crossing of the burn, the path follows the Alt Coire Gaothaich burn, clearly seen going up left to right before coming over the lip of the Coire Gaothach.
Once into the Coire Gaothach, a decision needs to be made: carry on up the path to join the north-west ridge of Ben Lui high up
or clamber sweatily up grassy slope to the west to join the ridge lower down, and I took the second option...
The path from the coire joins the ridge along here, and then things get a bit more interesting ..
Back down the ridge:
The cloud was keeping to the western and southern slopes, I picked the right side to ascend. Great views all around...
Ben More, Stob Binnein, Beinn Dubhchraig, Ben Oss..
Ben Lui summit ... finally
Mr Plod from Plodsville on the annual Plodpast on St Plod's day ...
Back down to Coire Gaothach:
At the summit I met three lads from Liverpool who'd come up from the other side, and again on the descent off Beinn a'Chleibh, a busy day for me on this trip. Sadly, the cloud was high on the southern slopes and the descent into it off Lui was a bit depressing after three and a half hours of sunshine. The cloud layer was relatively thin, and the bealach, thousand feet below the summit of Lui, was free of mist.
Ascent to Beinn a'Chleib..
The summit of the second Munro was murky and deserted apart from a solitary raven ..
And now for the tricky bit... I hadn't been looking forward to the traverse of the southern slopes of Ben Lui. Pathless, angled and needing concentration to maintain a level contour and intact ankles...
Nestling underneath the cloud, the ground ahead was largely featureless and it was a good 35-40 minutes before I came out above the bealach between Bens Lui and Oss. But I came out into sunshine ...!!
Ascent to Ben Oss...
The traverse and ascent to Ben Oss were the low points of the day for me, not visually, just in terms of fatigue and self-doubt. It was also getting a bit nippy with a brisk wind, something I'd been fortunate to avoid most of the week. As well as that, the route was essentially pathless, certainly on the traverse, but also on the ascent of Ben Oss, vague tracks came and went, but nothing substantial and useful materialised. Eventually, below the summit of Ben Oss I took shelter, ate and rested for 20 minutes or so, and rose like a phoenix from the flames (if phoenix's thrive on the Boss's flapjack), refreshed and in much better mood.
The summit of Ben Oss was rapidly conquered and from then on the path was good.
Ben Lui from Ben Oss summit cairn:
East to Beinn Dubhchraig and Loch Oss down below...
The route ahead to Beinn Dubhchraig ...
From here on there was a decent path, a tad muddy in places, but a clear route down to the bealach, via a minor top, and then the last ascent to Beinn Dubhchraig.
Loch Oss and Loch Lomond in distance, from bealach...
And then. one of those moments of deep satisfaction at the end of a tough day, the gentle final ascent to the summit of Beinn Dubhchraig. The wind had dropped, pleasant sunshine warmed my back, I was roughly back on schedule to get down before sunset, all seemed good with the world.
The summit of Beinn Dubhchraig, looking back to Ben Oss
Tracking back 300-400 metre from the summit, a cairn marked the top of the descent path, with a much taller cairn a few yards further down the slope. The path follows the Allt Coire Dubhchraig burn, all the way down the hill, eventually through the beautiful Caledonian forest, before a crossing of the Allt Gleann Auchreoch river, easily forded. It's a relentless descent, a mixture of textures underfoot from decent path through mud and deeply unpleasant bog. None of it is that bad though, and the beauty of the forest and the waterfalls makes for a stunning end to the day, even in what was rapidly fading light.
Path down by the burn:
Through Caledonian forest, a long time from those early morning views...
Ben Challum peering through...
Once across the river - nice and low from the dry conditions, easily forded (just as well as all thats left of the bridge are two dodgy looking rails) - it's a straightforward path across the railway and back to the car park.
'Twas a big day for a little fella, but worth every step. Ben Lui has a very special place in my memory for it's lofty airiness, amidst those stunning inversions. Felt very fortunate and privileged.
by Collaciotach » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:07 pm
by tomyboy73 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:58 pm
by roscoT » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:12 pm
Was actually hoping to do this route myself as a crescendo to the season before the white stuff come in, fingers crossed we get another day like you had!
by grumpy old bagger » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:19 pm
I got as far as Beinn Dubhchraig the other day, and no further - really good to see pictures of what I should have been looking at!
by Alteknacker » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:14 am
by Jaxter » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:25 am
by litljortindan » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:22 pm
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