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Kirkton Glen with Creag an Tuirc and Lochan an Eireannaich

Kirkton Glen with Creag an Tuirc and Lochan an Eireannaich

Postby natubat » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:30 pm

Route description: Kirkton Glen, Balquhidder

Date walked: 21/11/2015

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 600m

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Cold but lovely day for a walk in Kirkton Glen. The single-track road from the A84 to Rob Roy's grave was icy and slippy in the morning – be warned!

We spent 20 minutes walking round the very interesting graveyard, and then started walking up the path that runs between the graveyard and a sheep pen (the dogs had to be put on leads for a bit).

The Kirkton Glen path is well-surfaced, but the first 500m or so is very steep. The detour to Creag an Tuirc takes about 10 minutes each way and is well worth it for the views over Loch Voil, though the path might be a bit steep and rough for people who are not in full fitness.
Loch Voil from Creag an Tuirc.JPG
Loch Voil from Creag an Tuirc

Once you retrace your steps back to the main Kirkton Glen path there is a moderate ascent to the top of the circuit, which took us about 45 minutes. We were planning to take the detour up to Lochan an Eireannaich, following the path to Glen Dochart at the top of the Kirkton Glen circuit. We spotted the Glen Dochart sign in the distance, apparently pointing left, and turned left down the wrong path. The sign actually points uphill, but from a distance it looks as if it's pointing left, honest!
We'd walked downhill for about 20 minutes when we stopped to take a compass bearing and realised we'd made a wrong turn. :shock: When we got back to the sign and saw the wee track heading uphill, it looked so obvious! :roll:

The Glen Dochart track is very steep and crosses a slippery stream – care was needed as there was a lot of soft snow and bits of ice at this level. After that there was a stile to cross which was a bit tricky with two dogs – and there were sheep grazing, so the leads had to come out again.

At one point the climb up to the pass got so steep I had to use hands as well as feet – it might be easier when there's less snow.
Looking up towards Glen Dochart pass.jpeg
Looking up towards the Glen Dochart path.

The climb took us about 25 mins and was well worth it. The crags that loom over the lochan are spectacular and there is a smaller rock known as Rob Roy's Putting Stone.
Crag and blue sky horizontal.jpeg

Crags above Lochan an Eireannaich.jpeg

Rob Roy's putting stone.jpeg
Rob Roy's Putting Stone

The view beyond the crags opens out to a breathtaking vista of Lochan an Eireannaich at about 600m elevation.
Lochan an Eireannaich gold.jpeg
Lochan an Eireannaich
Lochan an Eireannaich.jpeg

On the way back down we got excellent views over Kirkton Glen.
Looking back towards Kirkton Glen.jpeg

We completed the circuit by turning left once we got back to the Kirkton Glen path. The rest of the track was downhill and easy with lots of waterfalls and some interesting ice formations.
Pepper and ice.jpeg
Pepper, just before she broke the ice with her paw and got quite a shock.

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