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Cruachan & Ghabhar

Cruachan & Ghabhar

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:35 am

Munros included on this walk: Ben Cruachan, Stob Daimh, Stob Ghabhar

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn a' Bhuiridh

Date walked: 20/08/2017

Time taken: 16 hours

Distance: 39.6 km

Ascent: 3209m

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cruachx.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Another weekend of Tops beckoned. I'd decided to do Ben Cruachan (5 Tops) on Saturday and Stob Ghabhar (2) on Sunday. Forecast wasn't good but hey-ho. Booked into Strathfillan Wigwams on the Friday night in heavy rain. I'd previously sworn not to stay there again given the Dionysian behaviour of its weekend guests. However we camped at the far end of the camping field, far enough away from the "party people" in the lodges to not be overly bothered by the nocturnal festivities.

rain overnight and rain in the morning, clag down low. Drove to Loch Awe and parked at the station - no other cars there - what a surprise :wink: Up the footpath to the dam, noting the precarious stile was just the same as it had been on previous occasions, despite looking like it might pitch into the ravine below at any time. Up the ladders at the dam and on up the track, water gushing in white spume from the outflows into the reservoir. Turn left onto the boggy footpath into Coire Dearg and up to Bealach an Lochan. Wind increasingly violent as we climbed, rain battering off our waterproofs.

ImageP1160995 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160996 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160997 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1160999 by Al, on Flickr

First up a wee trip to the left up to Meall Cuanail, following the fence line. pause for a watery snap at the cairn then descend, huddle for a bite to eat at the bealach. Slow climb to Cruachan up slippery rocks. it's utterly miserable on top, blasted by wind and rain, barely any visibility. I decide to jettison Stob Dearg from the itinerary - we've both done it before and i remember it as a bit of a scramble over boulders - fine on a sunny day, misery on a day like today. Anyway there are 2 Simms attached to that particular top that can warrant a return visit in future. We therefore press on along the ridge, taking the lower bypass rather than the slabs and heading round to the next Top of Drochaid Ghlas. A wee detour to the actual top then confusion in the clag - forgetting the ridge line goes both north into nothingness or east to Stob Daimh - we trail down the path and continue to Stob Daimh.

Meall Cuanail
ImageP1170001 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170002 by Al, on Flickr

Drochaid ghlas
ImageP1170003 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170005 by Al, on Flickr

From here it's a trip northeast to our 3rd Top of Sron an Isean which I recall as being quite a pretty peak - nothing to see today though. Back the way we came to Stob Daimh and follow the path round to the final Top of Stob Garbh. It's only drizzling now and the clag threatens to clear - we get brief glimpses of the reservoir as wraiths of mist are torn by the wind. Down to the bealach then a steep pull up Beinn a'Bhuiridh - it would be a shame not to include this Corbett as it's a mere 160m ascent from here. Up to the cairn then off to the SW - gentle initially, but whatever route you take off this hill becomes steep. We negotiate bands of slippery black slabs on the return to the track then head back to the car, cold and wet.

ImageP1170006 by Al, on Flickr

Descent from Bhuiridh
ImageP1170008 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170009 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the campsite a cluster of tents belonging to bikers have been set up and the noise level is already irritating. I sit brooding and wishing i could conjure up a demon to eviscerate noisemakers at will. The partying goes on til 4am - but I'm tired and keep dropping off to sleep for an hour or so at a time, incorporating the noises into my dreams which is a little weird.

ghabharz.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Sunday morning is dry and there's even a faint glimmer of sunshine. We pack up and head to Victoria Bridge where there are a few cars parked already. Walk along into Glen Kinglass and turn up at the Clashgour Hut, taking the route up Ghabhar beside the waterfall. The path is very boggy (is it ever anything else) but i manage to keep dry feet in my approach shoes. We meet a party of ?students on their way down from Ghabhar and we pause not far below the top for lunch. It's noticeable that coming back to Munros after the smaller hills that appetite increases quite substantially :)

Sunny Stob Ghabhar
ImageP1170011 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170012 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170015 by Al, on Flickr

Makes you thirsty, all that water
ImageP1170017 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170020 by Al, on Flickr

On to the rocky top of Ghabhar - this is the fourth time I've been here and the clearest views i can remember having. it is good to see things around you on the hills - so much better than yesterday's fogwalk. We can see the two Tops stretching out to the west, with the further Simm of Meall Odhar a couple of kilometres beyond that. It's easy going on flat grassy ridge and we enjoy identifying the mountains to the north and west. Buachaille Etive Mor stands proud, with the projection of Crowberry Tower clearly visible. We reach the first Top of Sron a'Ghearrain and turn attention to the next - Stob a'Bruaich Liath. It too is esaily attained.

ImageP1170021 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170022 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170023 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170024 by Al, on Flickr

Our route stretches out
ImageP1170025 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170026 by Al, on Flickr

Liath - BEM in backdrop
ImageP1170028 by Al, on Flickr

Meall Odhar
ImageP1170029 by Al, on Flickr

The Buachaille with Crowberry Tower visible
ImageP1170030 by Al, on Flickr

Continuing on, there's a small drop then climb to the 890m top of Meall Odhar. The weather remains kind and - most importantly - dry. We recover our footprints back to Stob a'Bruaich Liath, deciding that contouring round the side of that Top would not be pleasant. Our aim is a further Simm, Meall na Araich which raises up from the shoulder of Stob a'Bruaich Liath. A nice hill in its own right with good views along the glen. We backtrack to come off the eastern slopes of this hill, aiming for a track that follows the Allt Ghabhar to Clashgour farm. The going is mostly good and the track which heads east from Clashgour farm to the Hut is much much better than the horrific footpath that runs along the Linne nam Beathach - last time I went along there it had been almost washed away in places by undercuttings of the riverbank. Back at the car in seven and a half hours.

Meall odhar
ImageP1170031 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170032 by Al, on Flickr

Meall na Araich
ImageP1170033 by Al, on Flickr

The Starav Hills
ImageP1170034 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Araich
ImageP1170035 by Al, on Flickr

Dothaidh & Dorain
ImageP1170037 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170038 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170039 by Al, on Flickr
User avatar
Hill Bagger
Posts: 1957
Munros:237   Corbetts:67
Grahams:78   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:383   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Cruachan & Ghabhar

Postby rockhopper » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:35 pm

Tough looking first day, think I'd have stayed in bed :roll: but day 2 did look a whole lot better. Have never yet camped in a campsite and suspect I may think twice if the situation ever arose in future given your comments - cheers :)
User avatar
Posts: 6724
Munros:282   Corbetts:219
Grahams:65   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Cruachan & Ghabhar

Postby LoveWalking » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:39 pm

Your campsite comments are one of the things I look out for in your reports :) Very helpful, thanks.
Posts: 99
Munros:40   Corbetts:12
Grahams:5   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:11   Hewitts:13
Joined: Jan 19, 2016
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Re: Cruachan & Ghabhar

Postby Spade » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:51 pm

Smashing wee read with great photo's. :clap:
Posts: 157
Munros:80   Corbetts:5
Joined: Sep 23, 2010
Location: Annecy

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