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.

The Cruachan Horseshoe

The Cruachan Horseshoe


Postby jdmoore » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:35 pm

Route description: Ben Cruachan and Stob Daimh

Munros included on this walk: Ben Cruachan, Stob Daimh

Date walked: 26/09/2010

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1376m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

I had wanted to bag Ben Cruachan for a while after recommendations from several friends. I'm really glad I saved it for a day with near perfect walking weather - it was sunny with only a few clouds and the air was clear and crisp with good visibility.

My wife and I set off early and arrived at the Falls of Cruachan train station at about 8am. We were the second car to park in the little layby off the main road and were pleased to get a space so easily. The plan was to climb Ben Cruachan then decide at the summit whether to do the full horseshoe (in truth I was eager to do it all having seen the forecast for the day!). :D

The path on the first section of the walk was quite overgrown but straightforward to follow. We stopped on several occasions to take photos of beautiful Loch Awe behind us.

SDC10721.jpg
Loch Awe

We eventually reached the dam and climbed up the step ladder to the top. The views of the reservoir and Coire Cruachan were great from here.

SDC10730.jpg
Dam wall

SDC10735.jpg
Reservoir and Coire Cruachan

SDC10736.jpg
On top of the dam

The walk on the track around the west side of the reservoir was very pleasant indeed, but we eventually reached the end and started to head up towards Coire Dearg. The path was boggy at first but soon improved as we entered the bowl of the coirre.

Our target 'Bealach an Lochain' was soon reached rewarding us with views over towards the sea. The climb up to the summit of Ben Cruachan from there was quite steep with some lose rock at the start, then a bolder field to negotiate. However, we eventually reached the summit where we got superb views, particularly in the direction of Glen Etive. We stayed on the summit for quite some time enjoying the cold but sunny weather.

SDC10754.jpg
Bolder field of Ben Cruachan

SDC10763.jpg
Reservoir

SDC10772.jpg
Loch Etive, Ben Starav and beyond

The view of the ridge from the top was very fine so we both agreed to carry on. The decent off Ben Cruachan involved more boulders then a series of rock slabs. We found the slabs to be quite straightforward but I believe they can be a bit intimidating for some if they are wet.

SDC10769.jpg
Cruachan Horseshoe 1

SDC10776.jpg
Cruachan Horseshoe 2

After continuing along the ridge we reached what we considered the toughest part of the walk - the decent off Drochaid Ghlas. The coire of this top though is very impressive.

SDC10798.jpg
Northen coire of Drochaid Ghlas

Not long after Drochaid Ghlas we reached the second munro on the ridge (Stob Diamh) which involved a straightforward accent. From here we were rewarded with a nice view of the Dalmally horseshoe and beyond to the Ben Lui group. We continued along the ridge to the final top Stob Garbh before descending down grassy slopes back to the dam.

SDC10804.jpg
Summit of Stob Diamh

SDC10829.jpg

SDC10834.jpg
Reservoir and Ben Cruachan
Last edited by jdmoore on Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:23 am, edited 6 times in total.
User avatar
jdmoore
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 107
Munros:80   Corbetts:6
Grahams:4   
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Mar 6, 2010

Re: The Cruachan Horseshoe

Postby jdmoore » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:11 pm

Here is a short photo/video montage of the day (complete with some simple music I composed!). jd

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnLNtqsbtmo[/youtube]
Last edited by jdmoore on Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
jdmoore
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 107
Munros:80   Corbetts:6
Grahams:4   
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Mar 6, 2010

Re: The Cruachan Horseshoe

Postby Alan S » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:33 pm

Good report there with some cracking pics 8)
For some strange reason i really like the 4th pic on the dam wall even tho its mainly concrete in it,maybe i stayed in cumbernauld for too many years :)
Thanks for the report on one of my favourite walks 8)
User avatar
Alan S
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1450
Munros:195   Corbetts:4
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Nov 10, 2008
Location: Stirlingshire

Re: The Cruachan Horseshoe

Postby jdmoore » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:45 am

alan s wrote:Good report there with some cracking pics 8)
For some strange reason i really like the 4th pic on the dam wall even tho its mainly concrete in it,maybe i stayed in cumbernauld for too many years :)
Thanks for the report on one of my favourite walks 8)


Thanks Alan. This has been my favourite walk so far and I'd like to return again one day to try an anti-clockwise route (perhaps with the Corbett included). Climbing up the dam ladder then emerging on top with full views of the reservoir and skyline was great!
User avatar
jdmoore
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 107
Munros:80   Corbetts:6
Grahams:4   
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Mar 6, 2010

Re: The Cruachan Horseshoe

Postby kinley » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:02 am

8) Cheers.

Asking myself why I've only done this once now.

Love the view of Loch Etive and Starav 8)

Cracker! :D
User avatar
kinley
 
Posts: 2898
Munros:282   Corbetts:215
Grahams:146   Donalds:25
Sub 2000:39   
Joined: May 12, 2009

Re: The Cruachan Horseshoe

Postby csjoiner » Tue May 17, 2011 4:41 pm

loved the film well done
csjoiner
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 13
Munros:17   Corbetts:1
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Mar 28, 2011

Re: The Cruachan Horseshoe

Postby rockhopper » Tue May 17, 2011 9:01 pm

Great report and photos :D

As echoed above, need to go back some time as I couldn't see a thing the day I was up 8) and your photos show how much I missed :shock:
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6100
Munros:282   Corbetts:181
Grahams:58   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now 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: welshyboyo and 24 guests