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.

A long but very rewarding bagging session.

A long but very rewarding bagging session.


Postby martin.h » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:52 pm

Route description: Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chleibh, Beinn Dubhchraig, Ben Lui, Ben Oss

Date walked: 19/07/2016

Time taken: 11.5 hours

Distance: 26 km

Ascent: 1850m

2 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).

We had a cottage booked near Crianlarich for the week and were hoping for a bit of summer warmth and sunshine, well, that didn't quite work out, we spent the first couple of days confined to barracks due to persistant heavy rain so our planned visits to the Arrocher Alps were thwarted somewhat, we felt that a foursome would compensate for our inactivity.

I had initially looked at the W.H route descriptions for Ben Lui, Beinn a'Chleibh, Ben Oss and Beinn Dubhchraig as two separate days out until I started reading peoples walk reports where they were doing all four in one day, well, I thought, could we do that? it is a long day and most people are around the 10 to 11 hour mark and, I felt, a day with a good forecast would set the plan in action so the 19th of July with it's mind bogglingly good forecast was that day!

We were up fairly early, our little cottage was only 2 miles away from Dalrigh, the journey time was only a couple of minutes so we had a leisurely breakfast and aimed to set off walking by 9am.

The mountains were obscured by thick cloud as we headed towards Cononish so the view towards Ben Lui was a bit disappointing, we could see the cloud lifting to around 800m but no higher, would that lot burn off before we got there, lets hope so?

Image
Not looking too promising at the moment. Towards Cononish with Lui in the clouds behind.

At the green buildings the track continues straight ahead going slightly uphill then drops down to the Allt an Rund where we found all the rain had made it look interesting at the crossing point, well we looked for a narrower crossing upstream, found nothing suitable so went back to the crossing at the end of the track and decided to "test the water" as it were, even though there was a fair amount of water flowing we actually found a way over without getting wet feet so it wasn't as bad as it looked.

Once over the burn the path becomes pretty steep and remains so into Coire Gaothach. We headed on up and found the cairn and boulder arrow marking the start of the path taking you up to the ridge on Stob Garbh, it was around here where we walked into the clag so we saw nothing of the spectacular Coire Gaothach. Its a steep climb to gain the ridge and a warm one, the humidity of the day was getting to us, it was tiring, even in the cloud it was warm until we gained the ridge where a keen breeze was blowing, that cooled us down.

The climb to the summit from here is steady and on a clear day probably pretty spectacular, we reached the first cairn in no time at all, had a breather and set off for the main summit, we arrived at the summit 3.5 hrs after leaving the car so its quite a long walk in.

Image
Denise on the summit with default views :lol:

No views from the top which was a shame considering the forecast was predicting clear blue and sunshine by this time but at least it wasn't raining.

Image
:roll: :roll: :lol:

After a brief discussion we decided to go onto Beinn a'Chleibh and see what happened after that, we didn't fancy spending the day in clag and I'd read the way over to Ben Oss was a bit iffy for navigation in the clag and having left no note of our route with anybody we thought it a bit risky, especially with the contour around Lui being a bit of a tester on the ankles.

As we were heading into the bealach the clouds lifted off all but the highest summits, what a treat.

Image
Way down to the Bealach views.

By the time we'd arrived in the bealach, Oss was clear and as we were heading up Beinn a'Chleibh even Lui was clearing, if only we'd stayed up there half an hour longer......
At the summit the views were opening up nicely,

Image
Ben Cruachan from the summit of Beinn a'Chleibh.

Image
Ben Oss.

Image
Ben Lui.

Image
Denise on the summit of Beinn a'Chleibh.

Image
Towards the Arrocher Alps.

Image

Image
Looking N.W

Image

We could see roughly the height we'd need to be for our traverse around Lui so after a snack and a rest we set off back to the bealach and started to climb the slopes up Lui for about 150m then set off traversing. I was aiming for a big boulder which looked like a decent line, the going was easier than we thought it would be which was good for both pairs of ankles especially Denises as she has a plate in her left one due to a bad break some years ago.

Image
Looking back to a'Chleibh from the traverse.

Image
Nasty angle.

We arrived on the shoulder of Ben Lui just above our boulder and was quite surprised to see how high above the bealach we were, we really could have started traversing from the bealach instead of travelling that 150m and still would have arrived slightly high in the bealach between Lui and Oss.

There are no paths out of this bealach that we could see so its a case of taking the best line towards Oss and try to stick with it, this I can imagine would be a bit perplexing in clag so we were glad the day had improved.

Image
A nice view of Lui on the way up to Ben Oss.


Its a long hard pull onto the summit of Ben Oss from this direction and I was concerned I'd bitten off more than I could chew, after a long slog the final ascent onto Ben Oss's summit is bouldery and a bit steep and it was a big relief when we saw the cairn at the top, once there we had a good long rest and look around.

We could see the Arrocher Alps, Ben Cruachan, the Bridge of Orchy munros The Black Mount, Ben More etc etc, but the one that really dominated was Ben Lui, what a magnificent mountain and now the sky was mostly blue and the sun was out, just bl@#dy fantastic.


Image
Denise on Ben Oss, Ben Lui behind.

Image
Views from the summit of Ben Oss
Image
Image
Image
Ben Lui again.

Our next objective, Beinn Dubhchraig, didn't look that far away, thank god!

Image
Beinn Dubchraig.

We set off for our final munro feeling fairly energetic guessing that once there all the uphill was over with, once over point 941m and in Bealach Bhidhe the climb up to the little lochans was the last really steep bit (well thats how it felt by now) and then it was a short stroll to the summit, ha!, no, my legs were like lead now and it seemed to take ages,

Image
Near the summit, legs like lead but not far to go.

but we got there well pleased with ourselves.

Image
Summit smiles, Lui and Oss behind showing the distance we've come, Poor Beinn a'Chleibh doesn't get a look in.

Now some summit views.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Image
A last look at Ben Oss and Ben Lui.

it was 6:30pm at the top so we didn't stay too long knowing the walk back to Dalrigh was a long 'un. From the summit we retraced down to the lochans and set off down hill from a large cairn in the bealach, there's another cairn lower down and from there a path can be seen running down beside the Allt Coire Dubhchraig.

This was tiring, steep and slippy in places but never hard to follow. Eventually the path enters the forest and this is where it gets interesting.
Through the forest the path gets very boggy indeed, maybe it was due to the recent wet weather but this was really hard work on tired legs, concentration was needed to prevent ending up waist deep in bog and this coupled with slippy tree roots made for an exausting time.
The lower foot bridge on the Allt Gleann Auchreoch near its split with the River Cononish is just two rails with no planks in place, we crossed it where it joins the River Cononish and did it with relative ease, it was about 10 inches deep but the rocks underneath are stable enough to allow a lively pace and we managed to get across with dry feet. Once across we headed for the railway following the path to a bridge crossing it, from there on its a track which leads to a bridge over the river and then becomes part of the West Highland Way back to Dalrigh.

We had a long and tiring day, but it was a good one, a route I'm glad we decided to do so it's thanks to those whose reports I'd read describing this route, its nice to have seeds planted and those seeds coming to fruition.
Last edited by martin.h on Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
martin.h
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 541
Munros:210   Corbetts:17
Grahams:10   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:149
Wainwrights:214   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 31, 2011
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Walk wish-list

Re: A long but very rewarding bagging session.

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:04 pm

This is a brilliant route, and I'm so glad you weren't clag-bound (beclug???) for it. Lui is really such an iconic mountain, and the views in all directions are absolutely brilliant! It would be really tragic to miss them! I had one of my best mountain days ever on this route in February. Great to see what it's like when it's changed its white attire for green.

I know what you mean about the Lui ascent: I was amazed at how long it took us - but it was so worth it!

PS I think you did more ascent than you think. You're absolutely right about the altitude of the bealach to BO, so if you went up 150m, then I think you did over 2000m :)
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2995
Munros:173   Corbetts:31
Hewitts:237
Wainwrights:100   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: A long but very rewarding bagging session.

Postby martin.h » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:48 am

Alteknacker wrote:This is a brilliant route, and I'm so glad you weren't clag-bound (beclug???) for it. Lui is really such an iconic mountain, and the views in all directions are absolutely brilliant! It would be really tragic to miss them! I had one of my best mountain days ever on this route in February. Great to see what it's like when it's changed its white attire for green.

I know what you mean about the Lui ascent: I was amazed at how long it took us - but it was so worth it!

PS I think you did more ascent than you think. You're absolutely right about the altitude of the bealach to BO, so if you went up 150m, then I think you did over 2000m :)


Hi Alteknacker,
This is a good long day out, probably one of the longest we've had recently, I read your report and noted you took around 12 hrs in winter which is pretty good going in those conditions and your report was one of those that planted the seed, great photos btw.

re the 150m, my wording was a bit vague, :roll: we travelled about 150m from the bealach and started the traverse around NN259259, height gain was about 50m, apologies, I've worded it a bit better now. :D
User avatar
martin.h
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 541
Munros:210   Corbetts:17
Grahams:10   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:149
Wainwrights:214   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 31, 2011
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Walk wish-list

Re: A long but very rewarding bagging session.

Postby kmai1961 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:18 am

Nice report, Martin, and congratulations on reaching the halfway point -- it's all downhill (uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill, etc.) from here. :wink:

Ah, yes, the final few km, coming through the forest. To date for me, probably the boggiest I've been in. On the day, it was hot, humid, buggy, and I found myself knee deep in muck more than once. It sucked a fair amount of joy out of the end of what was otherwise a brilliant day / route. The river was deeper than 10inches when I crossed, and I didn't manage dry feet. It was kind of the final insult.

Too late, I read GillC's report about coming down Dubhchraig to the north, heading back toward Cononish, over a bridge, then re-picking up the outward-bound farm track, altogether avoiding the woods. (Bet you wish now you'd read it beforehand, too! :lol: )

Anyway, well done to you both!
kmai1961
Wanderer
 
Posts: 542
Munros:282   Corbetts:123
Grahams:54   Donalds:54
Sub 2000:28   Hewitts:25
Wainwrights:30   Islands:24
Joined: Aug 12, 2012
Location: nr Glasgow

Re: A long but very rewarding bagging session.

Postby martin.h » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:20 am

kmai1961 wrote:Nice report, Martin, and congratulations on reaching the halfway point -- it's all downhill (uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill, etc.) from here. :wink:

Ah, yes, the final few km, coming through the forest. To date for me, probably the boggiest I've been in. On the day, it was hot, humid, buggy, and I found myself knee deep in muck more than once. It sucked a fair amount of joy out of the end of what was otherwise a brilliant day / route. The river was deeper than 10inches when I crossed, and I didn't manage dry feet. It was kind of the final insult.

Too late, I read GillC's report about coming down Dubhchraig to the north, heading back toward Cononish, over a bridge, then re-picking up the outward-bound farm track, altogether avoiding the woods. (Bet you wish now you'd read it beforehand, too! :lol: )

Anyway, well done to you both!


Thank you Karen, we really enjoyed this route, its tiring but well worth it. Daft as it sounds I pointed out the bridge, GillC mentioned in her report, to Denise on the way to Lui, never thought to use it on the way down :roll: on reflection, it would have been so much easier, by the time we'd got to Dubhchraig I was on auto pilot and all I could think of was car, car, car and beer back at the cottage :lol:
User avatar
martin.h
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 541
Munros:210   Corbetts:17
Grahams:10   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:149
Wainwrights:214   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 31, 2011
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Walk wish-list

Re: A long but very rewarding bagging session.

Postby Jaxter » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:57 pm

Lui is a beauty isn't she? Glad you managed to get some views! 8) I had several run-ins with Lui but it was worth the perseverance in the end :D

You're brave going through the Dubh-bog! I've avoided it every time after reading the reports of it's sloshyness :lol:
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1365
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:61   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:87   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:26
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

2 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: No registered users and 35 guests