walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Beinn a' Chrulaiste: A Small Hill with a Grand View

Beinn a' Chrulaiste: A Small Hill with a Grand View


Postby Jeremiah Johnson » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:24 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn a'Chrulaiste

Date walked: 27/02/2016

3 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).

The temperature hovered about freezing and large expanses of blue sky interspersed with occasional dappled cloud suggested the recent rare cold spell which Scotland had enjoyed would continue. I was heading for Glencoe for a short break at the Clachaig with family and decided to fit in a short climb before meeting the rest of the family that afternoon. I chose Beinn a’ Chrulaiste at the eastern end of Glencoe as it provides a short day and rewards with expansive views all around and particularly of the Buchaille Etive Mor, which lies across the glen.
As I drove north from Dunoon I caught sight of the Corbett Beinn Bheula on my right its higher snow covered slopes well below the cloud line. On my left various hues of green and brown falling from steep, forested western slopes were mirrored in the still waters of Loch Eck.

P1030348.JPG
The forested western slopes mirrored in waters of Loch Eck


P1030344.JPG
Looking down to the southern shore of Loch Eck


After a terrific drive north, with superb views of the various groups of hills, particularly Beinn Dubhchraig from the northern tip of Loch Lomond and a stunning view of Ben Lui, from south of Tyndrum I reached Glencoe, below an almost cloudless sky. Beinn a’ Chrulaiste can be climbed from Kingshouse or from Altnafeidh, further west. Despite the cold spell I wasn’t sure if the notoriously boggy route from Kingshouse would have been frozen sufficiently to make it an easy walk so decided to continue further on and ascend along the west ridge from Altnafeidh. It would have been naïve to think that on this clear, raw winter’s day, which had followed a series of storms which battered Scotland with wind and rain throughout January and February, the hills would have been quiet and the layby north of Altnafeidh was full and cars were parked in every possible space.

P1030353.JPG
Start of walk near Altnafeidh


I quickly prepared for my walk and in brilliant sunshine left Altnafeidh. A short distance beyond the wood I took to the slopes and made way towards the west ridge which rose steadily towards Beinn a’ Chrulaiste. For many the route from Altnafeidh is the preferred choice as it provides fantastic views north along the length of Glencoe, hemmed in on the south by the slopes of Buchaille Etive Beag and Bidean Nam Bian and to the north the slopes that will narrow to form the Aonach Eagach.

P1030366.JPG
View from west ridge down to the A82 sweeping into the heart of Glencoe


I continued up the slopes and gained height quickly moving from the heather covered lower slopes onto snow higher up. I enjoyed a stop for breath at the cairn which marks the minor top of Stob Beinn a’ Chrulaiste, enjoying the views which were now opening out in all directions. Beyond the top the wide snow covered ridge rose gently towards the summit, still out of view ahead.

Rested, I began to climb the snowy slopes. The lack of sustained periods of thaw / freeze on the hills this winter has resulted in deep and very soft snow which makes progress difficult and slow. As I struggled up the slope following the marks of a skier I thought Ski Mountaineering or snow shoes would be a much speedier and easier mode of moving over this terrain and might be something to consider for the future.

P1030375.JPG
Following the ski tracks


For the moment I plodded on across pristine snow, which sparkled like a million diamonds in the bright winter sun, towards the summit which I could see ahead below a near cloudless sky. Looking back I could see a walker moving up the slopes behind me.

P1030377.JPG
Approaching the summit


P1030378.JPG
The summit


P1030401.JPG
J J at the summit


I reached the summit trig point within a stone shelter, a short distance west of a stone cairn, and sat for a rest. A short time later another walker reached the summit carrying a massive rucksack. I spoke to Danny and learned he was a Paraglider planning to take off from the summit. While Danny checked his equipment and looked for the most suitable slope for his launch I laid my rucksack by the summit and wondered round the top taking in the expansive views which this fine mountain provides. South west, to the wide snow fields of Meall a Bhuirdh and craggy cliffs rising to Creise. South, beyond the vast expanse of Rannoch Moor the Bridge of Orchy hills, their steep northern slopes in shadow, lay, as a friend many years ago observed “like a herd of sleeping elephants”. To their left the rounded Mamlorn hills and Glen Lyon Hills led the eye to the distinctive pointed shape of Schiehallion.
North west, beyond the Buchaille Etive Beag, the snow covered slopes of the Bidean Nam Bian massif were caught by a bright winter sun highlighting the curves of ridges rising to the many tops this massive mountain holds. To the north, the flat topped Ben Nevis, its shapely ridge arcing gracefully to the more pointed, Carn Mor Dearg, dominated the Mamores. The sea of mountains continued east to the Grey Corries and the twin peaks of Stob Coire Easain and Stob a. Coire Mheadhoin and to Ben Alder separated by the gash of the Bealach Breabaig from its neighbour, Beinn Bheula. All magnificent under a deep covering of snow. But the finest view was across to the Buchaille Etive Mor, the ridges, buttresses and gullies which form the northern face falling steeply from the summit of Stob Dearg, in the cold, clear air, seemingly only a stone’s throw away.

P1030394.JPG
The Buchaille Etive Mor


I returned to the summit for a drink of coffee and a sandwich. From there I watched Danny run down the east ridge of the hill, take that leap of faith, and launch himself off the mountain and rise to the sky before gliding in the breeze towards Meall a’ Bhuiridh. Unfortunately, my camera battery lost charge, an unforgiveable schoolboy error and I was unable to photograph this amazing scene. I later learned Danny managed to climb to approximately 1690 metres, 759 metres above his take off height. Paragliding as extreme as any mountain sport may not appeal to all but there is no doubt for practitioners it must be a joy to glide high enjoying an Eagle’s eye view of Scotland’s magnificent mountains. On this glorious winter’s day it is unlikely any one enjoyed a better view of the “Big Buchal” than the view Danny enjoyed that day.
Jeremiah Johnson
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 65
Munros:156   Corbetts:46
Grahams:21   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jun 2, 2015

Re: Beinn a' Chrulaiste: A Small Hill with a Grand View

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:04 pm

Nice one Martin , love the summit pose JJ photograph, superb. Lovely hill with views to die for, see you soon at Crainlariach
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Walker
 
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Beinn a' Chrulaiste: A Small Hill with a Grand View

Postby litljortindan » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:31 pm

Certainly some great views there, one for me to remember to visit.
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1928
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Beinn a' Chrulaiste: A Small Hill with a Grand View

Postby Jeremiah Johnson » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:15 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Nice one Martin , love the summit pose JJ photograph, superb. Lovely hill with views to die for, see you soon at Crainlariach

Thanks Rod. Great wee hill with fantastic views. Looking forward to Crianlarich.
Jeremiah Johnson
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 65
Munros:156   Corbetts:46
Grahams:21   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jun 2, 2015

Re: Beinn a' Chrulaiste: A Small Hill with a Grand View

Postby Jeremiah Johnson » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:17 pm

litljortindan wrote:Certainly some great views there, one for me to remember to visit.

Thanks. Yes a great little Corbett and well worth a visit. Pick a good day for the views, particularly over to the Buchaille Etive Mor.
Jeremiah Johnson
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 65
Munros:156   Corbetts:46
Grahams:21   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jun 2, 2015

Re: Beinn a' Chrulaiste: A Small Hill with a Grand View

Postby rockhopper » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:59 pm

This is one of these hills which provides a good advert for walking corbetts as the views are superb - even better in winter as your photos demonstrate the snowy white contrast - great day to pick for it - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6692
Munros:282   Corbetts:218
Grahams:64   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Beinn a' Chrulaiste: A Small Hill with a Grand View

Postby tibo » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:07 pm

Looks like a lovely walk. :clap:

Inspired to do this after seeing some beautiful photos recently by a photographer called Neill Barr, check out his photos of the Glencoe valley view. I note its supposed to be boggy, was the bog frozen and easy to walk on? did you walk in ordinary walking boots or did you need additional crampons?
User avatar
tibo
Bird-watcher
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Sep 15, 2014

Re: Beinn a' Chrulaiste: A Small Hill with a Grand View

Postby Jeremiah Johnson » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:20 pm

tibo wrote:Looks like a lovely walk. :clap:

Inspired to do this after seeing some beautiful photos recently by a photographer called Neill Barr, check out his photos of the Glencoe valley view. I note its supposed to be boggy, was the bog frozen and easy to walk on? did you walk in ordinary walking boots or did you need additional crampons?

Yes it is a lovely walk made excellent by the views the hill offers, particularly across to the Buchaille Etive Mor. I checkedout Neill Barr's site......stunning photos!! I wore winter boots but did not need to use ice axe or wear crampons on this day.
Jeremiah Johnson
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 65
Munros:156   Corbetts:46
Grahams:21   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jun 2, 2015

3 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Gingermetallurgist, Justdrums, Peter Long, roykemp and 76 guests