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Creach Bheinn - singing in the rain

Creach Bheinn - singing in the rain

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:50 pm

Route description: Creach Bheinn, from Druimavuic

Corbetts included on this walk: Creach Bheinn (Loch Creran)

Date walked: 05/08/2017

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 991m

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Creach Bheinn is rarely climbed on its own. Brave walkers combine it with the neighbouring Beinn Sgulaird or with Loch Creran Grahams. We had done Sgulaird last year (my 200th Munro it was :D ) so I was trying to work out some kind of circular, maybe adding Beinn Molurgainn, but mother nature intervened. During the week I suffered from some annoying stomach bug and come weekend I felt like chewed and spat out :roll: Therefore, no giant walks in mind, but I wanted to get out and do some exercise. The simple up and down from Drumnavuic seemed a good option for slightly weaker Panther :D

Forecast for Saturday the 5th looked unsettled, with a good chance of showers and we did encounter a few on the way up, but all in all we had a reasonable day and added a new Corbett to our list!

Early in the morning, it didn't look rosy. I woke up still feeling a bit sick and couldn't stomach anything but hot coffee and cinarizine pills. Kevin made a flask of tea and packed in some breakfast bars. You'll eat something when we get there, he said. It's a long drive down to Loch Creran, over two hours, but when we arrived and parked at the small layby in Drumnavuic, I felt better, even managed a Go Ahead snack bar and some tea. Kevin knew I wouldn't be able to run up the hill, but as this route was only a half-day walk, he didn't hurry me. We had more than enough time.
We stuck to the WH route rather than trying anything too adventurous - it would be possible to make a circular by descending over Meall nan Caorach, but I wasn't up to any experiments.

Track_CREACH BHEINN 05-08-17.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The first stage of this route is the same as for Beinn Sgulaird: up the track to a metal gate. The board on the gate says "Beinn Squlaird" I guess it must be the alternative spelling? :wink:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 003.JPG

Walking was easy on the track but I was glad we didn't pick anything bigger today...
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 010.JPG

Views from the track are somehow restricted but a nice panorama behind us showed Loch Creran and Moidart hills on the horizon:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 013.JPG

We spotted two walkers in front of us, but they soon turned up Beinn Sgulaird, so we guessed we'd be alone on "our" hill and just as well in case I suffered an embarrassing return of the bug!
At the moment, we had a large herd of coos for company. They were not of highland breed, but not of an aggressive one, either. They just watched us as we walked past, waved their long tails and chewed grass in silence.
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 021.JPG

I even tried to strike a conversation, but cows obviously don't speak Panther language...
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 029.JPG

Higher up, still on the track, we had a good look at the cliffs of Creag na Cathaig...
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 035.JPG

...before Kevin warned me, pointing at the western horizon:
"Rain is coming. Better dress up!"
Yes, a big, dark cloud was moving very fast in our direction, so it was time to dig up waterproofs, put cameras away and get ready for the drenching!
Rain coming:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 034.JPG

The shower caught us close to the top of Coire Buidhe and with it came the clag, immediately restricting our visibility to 10-15 meters. Kevin had his GPS with WH waypoints in it, so we didn't have to worry about missing the summit. We found a grassy path branching off the main track (042440) but it petered out. In the rain, going up was slow and the ground was slippery, but the slopes were mostly grassy if steep in places.
The rain stopped when we reached the top of Creah na Cathaig (662m) and the clag began top lift, too. Here comes a chance for a cloud-free summit, I thought!
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 044.JPG

The shower moving on:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 048.JPG

Cloud slowly lifting from Glen Coe hills:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 040.JPG

Loch Creran from Creah na Cathaig:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 057.JPG

As the clag disappeared, we saw the final stage of our climb. This is also pathless but mostly on grassy terrain. OK, the "face" looks very steep and intimidating, but no scrambling involved here:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 067.JPG

The best line of "attack" for the steepest section is to the left of a small waterfall. The ground was soaked so we had to be careful and check every step, but there's nothing technical to be afraid of:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 072.JPG

It took some time, but eventually we hauled ourselves up the steep section and onto easier slopes. Looking down, we could see Creag na Cathaig below, emerging from the remnants of cloud:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 080.JPG

Beinn Sgulaird still covered, but the cloud was breaking:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 086.JPG

Beautiful Loch Etive:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 084.JPG

We continued up for another 100m, on mixed terrain of grass and rock, to the first top (804m). The summit it another kilometer away along the ridge but as weather was improving, we didn't mind some ridge walking.
The climb to the 804m top:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 087.JPG

Beinn Trillieachan and beyond, the Etive Munros still covered in cloud:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 092.JPG

Walking along the ridge was a delightful stroll in the midday sunshine and soon we reached the summit. Wee Lucy popped out of my rucksack to pose for her half ton on Corbetts! :D
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 097.JPG

Kevin grabbed his camera, because we spotted another darker cloud in the western sky, but it seemed we had some time before this second shower reached us. I must say, Creach Bheinn is an outstanding viewpoint, even judging by the restricted views we had.
West to Loch Creran and Lismore (well, some of it visible):
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 099.JPG

One of the Creran Grahams, Beinn Bhreac I think - a target for the future:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 100.JPG

Zoom to Stalkers Castle:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 110.JPG

Beinn Sgulaird:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 114.JPG

Let's go before we get wet!
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 123.JPG

Here comes the rain again...
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 103.JPG

We had a quick sandwich and drink before leaving the summit of our 128th Corbett. The shower caught us as we descended from the 804m top, but it only lasted about 15 minutes. We carefully descended the steeper section and returned to Creag na Cathaig, to witness more "dancing cloud spectacle" as the sunny aspect of Buachaille Brothers was revealed:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 127.JPG

The shower we just encountered passing east towards Glen Etive:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 133.JPG

2017-08-05 creach bheinn 151.JPG

Cloud "cuddling" Creag an Cathaig:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 145.JPG

Looking very grim... The NE panorama from Creagan an Cathaig:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 156.JPG

View west from the way down:
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 161.JPG

Zoom to Moidart hills (Garbh Bheinn and the other Creach Bheinn if I'm correct):
2017-08-05 creach bheinn 163.JPG

We slowed down on the way back, descending carefully over the wet ground to the track in Coire Buidhe, then retraced our steps back to the car. It took us over 6 hours but I wasn't up to scratch with my performance and weather didn't play up, either... Though it could have been worse. We still had some fantastic views from higher ground and witnessed the dancing cloud spectacle which always makes me gasp...
Had this hill been close to home, we would probably keep it for a winter walk and I think on a nice winter day this route should be a real cracker!
I can hardly wait to post my next story. At last, we're coming to the tale of Foinaven Fortress and the stupendous day we had exploring the ridge. TR soon to follow :D
Last edited by BlackPanther on Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mountain Walker
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Re: Creach Bheinn - singing in the rain

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:34 pm

Some very atmospheric conditions there.

The alternative spelling of Squlaird is for days when it is Squelchy. Most days, then. :lol:

Looking forward to the Foinaven Story!
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Mal Grey
Posts: 3943
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Creach Bheinn - singing in the rain

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:06 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Some very atmospheric conditions there.

The alternative spelling of Squlaird is for days when it is Squelchy. Most days, then. :lol:

Looking forward to the Foinaven Story!

Ha ha, "Squelch-laird" sounds good. We did it on a cloudy day and also after rain, the bottom half of the climb was as "entertaining" as a slippery slope can be :wink:

We're celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this weekend so I'll be busy but try to post Foinaven as soon as I find time.
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 3734
Munros:260   Corbetts:172
Sub 2000:57   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

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