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Ben cruachan ridge

Ben cruachan ridge


Postby andrew11 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:38 pm

Route description: Ben Cruachan and Stob Daimh

Munros included on this walk: Ben Cruachan, Stob Daimh

Date walked: 19/09/2010

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 1300m

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This was to be my last day on the hills after a month staying in my caravan at Tyndrum. I thought Ben Cruachan would be a fitting conclusion to my visit. I was right! Coming down the A 85 I was suddenly confronted with a great view of the days challenge.
firstview.jpg
Looks like a big challenge and the weather seems to be improving!

After the hard slog up the steep path to the dam (I went through the low bridge under the railway before the station and went up the path on the right of the burn which I later discovered is much better than the path to its left).
When I got to the dam I saw 2 men working high up on it and asked if I could come up for a look. They were happy to show me. They were installing new hydraulic pumps to control the 2 gates which can stop the flow from the dam when the tunnels have to be emptied for maintenance. I was really pleased to gain an insight into the workings of the scheme and its vast scale.
indam.jpg
the tall pipe moves up and down to open and close the tunnel

Next having climbed up the ladder to the top of the dam (the steepest climb of the day!) I set out along the road following the west shore of the reservoir but soon decided I'd rather walk on grass than tarmac so struck up left onto the ridge to the top Meall Cuanail. From this ridge there were great views across to the ridge from Ben Cruachan to Stob Diamh. There was a tough looking step.
stop.jpg
how the ....... am I going to get over that?
fromcuanal.jpg
Cruachan and Dearg from Cuanal
From the top there is the steep drop of 80m to the Bealach an Lochain where there is a pretty wee lochan.
style.jpg
fence gone but stile still there!

From here Cruachan's summit was gained by cosiderable effort over a steep field of boulders and mist had dropped down (so no photo). As I was preoccupied with the difficult step on the ridge I forgot to go left to Stob Dearg!!! So with no waiting (I would have had the view from the summit if I had as the mist soon cleared) I set off to face the step. Turns out it's not as difficult as it looks but still tricky for someone as stiff and feart as me! Anyway there is a great jug handle hold which I was able to use with both hands to pull myself up at the start and after that it was fairly straight forward even for me! The ridge walk was GREAT with enjoyable scrambly bits and sensational views.
awedapple.jpg
the chaging light made for great views
bouldereast.jpg
rugged ridge with boulders
damandawe.jpg
from further round the ridge
movingwater.jpg
currents in the reservoir caused by water being used for generation. Seen from the ridge

Gale force winds had been forecast and there had been intermittent buffeting. But when I got to the top of Stob Diamh the sun came out and the wind died down and it was very pleasant. And as this would be my last munro for a while I stayed there for an hour soaking in the atmosphere getting enough of a fix to keep me going!! This allowed another walker to catch up with me and the two of us completed the walk in pleasant company. A great day out!
raven.jpg
A pair of ravens entertained me with their aeronaughtical skills
stone.jpg
one of the many great stones
tunnel.jpg
tunnel on the side of the reservoir adding water from where?
sign.jpg
adds to interest
oakandmoss.jpg
a brilliant tree (I wonder how old) seen on the way down on the wooded path by the falls (heard, not seen)
Last edited by andrew11 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:15 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby mountain coward » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:04 am

I'm really jealous you got to look round the dam tunnels! Don't remember that little lochan after Cunail and before Cruachan? Has it been raining that much up there? :D
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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby Milesy » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:20 am

Always wanted to get inside that dam I have to admit :D
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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby andrew11 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:18 pm

thanks guys for your comments. I'm sure the Lochan is always there. The bealach is called Bealach an Lochain!
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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby mountain coward » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:59 pm

I must have been stressing about the main climb then when we did it - it was mine and Richard's first Munro and I remember being very nervous all the way round!
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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby MacCookie » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:17 pm

andrew11 wrote:
tunnel.jpg


There's a huge network of tunnels under the Cruachan massif that collect water from various burns outwith the coire and channel them into the Cruachan Reservoir. The coire on it's own doesn't have a large enough catchment. If you look at the OS 1:25k map, you'll see the tunnels marked on it: http://www.multimap.com/s/lmG0b0jp

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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby Milesy » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:19 pm

mountain coward wrote:I must have been stressing about the main climb then when we did it - it was mine and Richard's first Munro and I remember being very nervous all the way round!


Same wee lochan I was pretending I was ice climbing on.

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3352
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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby andrew11 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:30 pm

MacCookie wrote:There's a huge network of tunnels


Thanks for the info Ewan. Checked out the map. Visited the power station and took the tour a few years ago. Well worth it!
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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby mountain coward » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:32 am

Milesy wrote:
mountain coward wrote:I must have been stressing about the main climb then when we did it - it was mine and Richard's first Munro and I remember being very nervous all the way round!


Same wee lochan I was pretending I was ice climbing on.

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3352


I can see I'm going to have to revisit it - seeing as we missed out Taynuilt Peak, I can go that way again I suppose...
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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby greigo66 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:12 am

Nice one like The stone the Crows pictures ...
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Re: Ben cruachan ridge

Postby aliceandrew » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:38 am

Four of us did this mountain a few years ago, the good photo's brought the memories of a good day back.Thanks.
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