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Cruach Ardrain Redemption

Cruach Ardrain Redemption


Postby teaandpies » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:12 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Tulaichean, Cruach Ardrain

Date walked: 16/09/2016

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 15.6 km

Ascent: 1279m

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It's almost been a full month since my last walk, life getting in the way of my hobby I suppose but unfortunately I don't have the luxury of ignoring my responsibilities...I wish I was a teenager again.

I'm not embarrassed to say money is tight at the moment and having done nearly every single walk alone this year the cost of covering petroleum is taking its toll not to mention the guilt I feel when using the household purse for filling up the motor to go pi*s about in the hills.

I turned my attention to a hill I'd been saving, Beinn Tulaichean. I had done Cruach Ardrain some years back, my second Munro if I recall in shocking conditions, ill equipped and no clue I tagged along with a friend, his sister and their father. I was wet before I even started climbing.
Many years later, and now having the other hills in the area it was finally time to return.

36 hours MWIS was predicting a 10% chance of a cloud free Munro out west and 30% inland and for it to rain consistently...oh well I thought. I did buy a waterproof jacket and those waterproof trousers for a reason.
The day of the walk, it's now saying it'll largely be dry all day but extensive clouds on the hills starting at 550...great.

It was my intention to climb these Munros from Glen Falloch and do both, I may as well make a day of it.

Things very nearly went horribly wrong before even getting to the hill. I almost smashed into another car, hands up, it would have been completely my fault.
A group of cars travelling along fairly close together as always ends up the case, we were approaching the Drovers Inn where there were a bunch of people just mooching around out front. This drew my attention (for some reason) and while I was looking a car 2 up from me was turning off for the Drovers car park so naturally everybody else was slowing down...I wasn't paying attention and as I looked back to the road driving instinct took over...the clutch and break were SLAMMED to the floor resulting in the car coming to a screeching halt. I don't really remember a geat amount of detail but I'm sure the audience at the front door of the Drovers can....needless to say I had a gotten a little fright and was feeling pretty bad.

I eventually reached the car park, there were a few other cars there already but I didn't concern myself with them, I just ready and got going.

At this point in the day the weather looked like it could go either way, there were clouds but not as bad as MWIS was predicting, even the sun light was getting through however I was expecting the worst.

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Sheba and some cloudy hills

The last time I was here I had to cross a boggy field to reach the railway underpass but now there's a fancy new path from the fence.

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That's new

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Head up there

On my previous visit to this bit we had crossed the burn early and made or way up the deer fence only to find a bridge exactly where you'd neex it to be for crossing the burn before heading up hill so armed with this experience I followed the road until a path cuts down to the left just shy of a new gate blocking the road.

To my amazement the bridge is still there but I wondered if I was better off jumping the river...it could be safer :lol:

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The bridge is still there

Once across the burn it an immediate steep assent on fairl wet ground but it's not the worst.

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The soggy slog

The worst bit over it's just a case of following the path, nothing challenging. The clouds were lifting fast and the views all around were improving.
I passed a couple of gentleman walking up, they were part of a larger group broken up over the hills.

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A wee Lochan

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I poped up over a wee rise to be meet with one of those ' suddenly it's there type of views'....

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A first decent look at Cruach Ardrain

There's a few nice features on this route to Cruach Ardrain, one in particular was of interest given a recent hot topic in the forum...

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http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=65977&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Even nature likes to balance stones :lol:

Déjà vu...

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Another wee Lochan

For each foot of hight I gained it felt like the clouds were lifting by 100, I was now looking forward to reaching the top :o

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Totally cloud free and looking awesome

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Looking to Beinn Dubhchraig

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Still cloud free...

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An Caisteal & Beinn a'Chroin

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Decent views

My memory of the path up the hill was a negative one, I recall it being a muddy wet narrow channel but it's pretty good, solid under foot.
It wasn't long before the relative easy path gave way to a final steep push to the marker cairn at a path junction.

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Left for Ardrain, right for Tulaichean

Time to decide which to do first...

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My first proper look at Beinn Tulaichean

I chose to do CA first and as I turned to go up Cruach Ardrain this happened :evil:

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Not cloud free :(

I felt the cloud rush by me, that unmistakable cool freshness was nice but with it came wind and now the jacket was on.

On the way to summit, my head was down not much to see here then. I was bitterly disappointed because the last time I was here I couldn't see 3 feet in front of me, now it's happening again...but just as I thought things couldn't get any worse I discovered that I hadn't summited the mountain properly on my last visit :shock:
I had been living a lie for all these years, unintentionally of course but none the less upsetting. Had my friend whom claimed to have done all the Munros intentionally lie to me? Or did he just forget that this wasn't the real summit? My conclusion, I think he had had enough of the terrible weather and just wanted to leave but I don't think I'll ever ask him.

I was pleased I had decided to summit CA again. After all these years of miss leading people or being mislead I have now done if for real.

I had a brief conversation with a couple of chaps at the summit, part of that larger group I mentioned earlier.

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I've been here before...

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but not here!

I descended back down the path through the cloud and popped out around about the marker cairn to see that Beinn Tulaichean was still cloud free. Excellent.

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You're next

The path to Tulaichean was a little longer than it looked, steeper too and pretty wet in places...I'll have to walk back up this :roll:

I bumped in another walker on the path here and had a brief conversation about the path and clouds, typical 'I've just met you on a hill chat'...you know what I mean.

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A tad wet in places

Apart from the fairly strong wind which MWIS said shouldn't be as strong as it was the weather weather was great. Great views, a little hazzy maybe but that's not a complaint!

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Ben More & Stob Binnein

A short steep pull brings you up onto the summit of BT, here I passed another 4 walkers, 2 couples. Plenty of folk out today!
There's a wee cairn but the highlight is definitely the views. It's a cracking vantage point...how awesome does Stob a' Choin look? I was a little bit impressed to say the least.
I spent a bit longer here on the summit taking a few snaps here there and everywhere :lol:

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Beinn Tulaichean's summit

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Cracking views from here

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Looking to the bigger neighbours...

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and back to Cruach Ardrain

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Looking east

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An Caisteal & Beinn a'Chroin

As you can see CA was now cloud free again :roll: I had decided that I would revisit it's summit again because I'm likely to not walk these hills for a very very long time if ever again and take advantage of the decent weather but first things first I guess I better eat something. I wasn't really hungry but better try to eat. Does anybody else struggle to eat on the hills?

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The view from my lunch rock

After a bite to eat I was feeling pretty strong and decided that I would definitely revisit the summit of Cruach Ardrain to sample it's cloudless views. I started up back up the path which I thought was gonna be murder to climb but wasn't that bad. I bumped into the lone walker again, again we spoke about how she got a cloud free summit, the other hills in the area etc etc. She seemed like a really nice lady.
Soon after her the othet 2 couples passed by and before I knew ot I was back at the marker cairn. THEN THIS HAPPENED :roll: :crazy: :shock: :(

I couldn't believe it, just couldn't believe it. I took it as a sign. Why bother making my way to the summit again for nothing. It was time to leave.

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Cruach Ardrain back in clag again!

I followed the path down for as far as I could then turned off to head straight down to the glen floor.

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The decent

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A passing shower

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Cloud free!!!!!!

The walk along the glen floor was as crap as I remembered it. Wet, boggy ground with awkward burns to cross and general uneven ground...can't wait to reach the road.
Here I bumped into the walking groups I spoke about earlier. They were all there bar 2 that had went on to do Beinn a'Chroin and An Caisteal. I would later see them coming off the hill further on.

I was pleased to reach the dam and the road, walking was easy going from here on, a simple case of making my way back to the car.

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That's new...

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A final look up the glen

Considering how awful the weather forecast had been form MWIS on the days leading up to my walk the day turned out much better than expected. Honestly, I know meteorology is not a perfect science but 5 days prior to my walk the Met Office weather report for Carinlarich was pretty much spot on. If MWIS was to disappear I'm not sure it would make a difference to me at all.

The drive back to Glasgow was completely uneventful I'm pleased to report :thumbup:


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teaandpies
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Re: Cruach Ardrain Redemption

Postby Backpacker » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:43 pm

I almost made the same mistake on CA, it was only after seeing a darker object in the fog ahead that I double checked the map :lol: :lol:
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Re: Cruach Ardrain Redemption

Postby teaandpies » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:52 pm

Backpacker wrote:I almost made the same mistake on CA, it was only after seeing a darker object in the fog ahead that I double checked the map :lol: :lol:


Makes me wonder now how many people may have done similar things on this and other hills in poor conditions.
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Re: Cruach Ardrain Redemption

Postby dogplodder » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:19 pm

When I did these two they were both clag bound. At least you got one in the clear! :D
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Re: Cruach Ardrain Redemption

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:00 pm

First things first, your car is named after my Cat's favourite cat food???

Did these two from Loch Voil and really enjoyed the day - two good hills.

Doing a different couple of hills I remember coming out of that glen at the end and expecting (from what I had read) that it was going to be really wet but it wasn't as bad as I imagined. The dam was under construction when I was there last year - good to see the finished article.

A bit of cloud around but you still got some great photos.
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Re: Cruach Ardrain Redemption

Postby teaandpies » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:30 pm

dogplodder wrote:When I did these two they were both clag bound. At least you got one in the clear! :D


I shouldn't really moan but that's 3 times I tried to visit the summit of CA without a view...I mean come on!

Gordie12 wrote:First things first, your car is named after my Cat's favourite cat food???

Did these two from Loch Voil and really enjoyed the day - two good hills.

Doing a different couple of hills I remember coming out of that glen at the end and expecting (from what I had read) that it was going to be really wet but it wasn't as bad as I imagined. The dam was under construction when I was there last year - good to see the finished article.

A bit of cloud around but you still got some great photos.


It's nowhere near as bad as Chabhair that's for sure but there's been a bit of rain around so obviously it effects ground conditions.
I was expecting the dam to be bigger for some reason...proper huge just a bit bigger.

The car was named because the colour puts me in mind of middle eastern queens. My Disneyfied image of electric blue eye shadow or blue silk dresses :lol:
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