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Some Crianlarich Hills

Some Crianlarich Hills

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:42 am

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Tulaichean, Ben More, Cruach Ardrain, Stob Binnein

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Cruach Tairbeirt

Date walked: 09/09/2017

Time taken: 16 hours

Distance: 37.3 km

Ascent: 3703m

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Closer to home this weekend - my boy had asked if he could "tag along" with us on Saturday, so an opportunity to mop up a couple of Munro Tops for Allison withing easy driving distance. Of course we headed up on Friday afternoon, having chosen to stay at Glen Loin House campsite in Arrochar. I reckoned the usual sites of Beinn Glas and Ardlui would be swamps, and was attracted to Glen Loin prtly due to one of the more bizarre reviews on ukcampsite - naming it as the worst and strangest campsite the reviewers had visitied, including mention of a 3 metre cross illuminated by fairy lights. Had to give it a try.

On the way up we stopped at Tarbert station to climb Cruach Tairbeirt, a nice little sub sitting right at the junction of the A82/83. After we'd parked and were heading for the underpass we had a frosty encounter with a local resident who told us that the parking spaces at the station were for the station only, not the hill "it says so on the website". However, there were no notices stating this beside the parking spots, of which there were several free, only a sign saying don't feed the horses. I thanked her for the info - and she grudgingly said we could leave the car there if we were going to be quick. A smile was probably better than an argument.

This hill itself is quite a pleasant walk - through woods initially then up through a dirt path between the trees. A firebreak, marked with white tape on a couple of trees, takes you out onto open hillside and from there it's a matter of following the clear, if boggy, path to the summit. Good views are had down Loch Lomond and Loch Long and the surrounding mountains are impressive. If these hills were in a more remote part of the country rather than on my doorstep, I'm sure they would attract more adoration. We followed our ascent path down, retrieved the car and drove round to Arrochar.

ImageP1170337 by Al, on Flickr

Out of the trees
ImageP1170338 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Lomond
ImageP1170339 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170341 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170342 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170343 by Al, on Flickr

The campsite was actually fine - a bit wet but where isn't just now. We pitched under a large tree and enjoyed a quiet and peaceful night. Only complaints were that there's nowhere to wash pots and there was only 1 shower in each of the toilets, but a £5pppn I'd come back. We were meeting Ally at 10, so had a laid back breakfast and headed up to the layby before Crianlarich to meet up, with Cruach Ardrain & Beinn Tulaichean in mind for the day. Sunshine! not used to that. I changed from trousers to shorts whilst we were waiting.

ImageP1170344 by Al, on Flickr

When we set off we followed the standard route up from Glen Falloch onto Grey Heights along the side of the plantation - wet underfoot but manageable. I like the shape of Cruach Ardrain, which reminds me of a crouching lion. I think my 3 previous visits have all been under snow conditions, so nice to see the hill in green. An uneventful walk along to the summit, where we stopped for lunch. It was quite busy, with several groups of folk arriving or already there. Allison and myself were going off to the Top of Stob Garbh, whilst Ally set up his drone to take some pictures.

ImageP1170345 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170347 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170348 by Al, on Flickr

Ally at Ardrain summit
ImageP1170349 by Al, on Flickr

The NE descent down the nose from the summit is steep and has recently sustained a landslip for part of the way - not very pleasant picking a way down through the mud and rocks. We walked along to the top of Stob Garbh, meeting on the way a brightly clad chap who tagged along with us for part of the return - he had already done Ben More & Stobinnien and was off to do An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin too - respect :clap: We returned to the summit of Ardrain keeping a bit to the west of the landslip, rejoined the boy and set off across to Beinn Tulaichean where we chatted with a couple of WalkHighlanders at the summit.

Steep descent
ImageP1170352 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170353 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Stob Garbh
ImageP1170355 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170356 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170358 by Al, on Flickr

From here I'd routed us round Coire Earb to visit the Simm of Stob Glas. Must admit i did feel quite tempted to keep onto the bealach with Beinn a'Chroin but the lad is a bit short of hillfittness at present so would have been unfair. We continued down towards the River Falloch, enjoying the usual swamp on the way, joined up with the track at the new dam and made it back to the car in 8 hours. And no rain! Ally set off back to Glasgow, we returned to the campsite and were able to take our meal in the open air, another nice change. Quite a few more tents had arrived, but another fairly quiet night.

Into Coire Earb
ImageP1170359 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170360 by Al, on Flickr

Stob Ghlas
ImageP1170361 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170363 by Al, on Flickr

We knew the forecast for Sunday wasn't great - Ben More & Stobinnien plus the Top of Meall na Dige were on the books, along with the Simm of Stob Creagach at the end of Stobinnien's northern shoulder. It had begun raining at 5am although eased whilst we got the tent down. By the time we got to ben more farm it was clear the respite would be temporary - we donned waterproofs at the outset and sure enough within 10 minutes the rain started again.

Ben More
ImageP1170365 by Al, on Flickr

Allison hadn't previously climbed Ben More from this direction, so had the joy of labouring up 1000m of uninterrupted hillside. Clag was down from about 600m and the wind was strong at times. I did wonder if we were going to be able to manage if it got much stronger - I prefer my hills at under 500m in strong winds, not around 1200. Anyway we struggled up to the summit, down to the bealach with Stobinnien and up the slopes of that hill, intermittently being windblasted. Strangely there were no other people out on the hill today :wink: We dropped SE from the top of Stobinnien towards the first Top of Stob Coire an Lochain, keeping away from the eastwards edge as the wind was cutting right across us and attempting to blow us over into the abyss. heading down to the east from Stob Coire an Lochain we paused in a relatively sheltered hole for a quick lunch then found the path (Munro Tops always have paths these days) towards Meall na Dige.

Into the clag
ImageP1170366 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170367 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170368 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170369 by Al, on Flickr

My recollection of this Top was that it seemed quite far from Stob Coire an Lochain and there were things to climb up on the way (like an XMT). And so it was again - the rain by this time lashing down, the wind relentless. I felt as though we were walking under a cold power shower. in a wind tunnel. Reaching Meall na Dige eventually, I decided to scrap plans to continue on the the Simm, which was more than 1km away and the map suggested crags to be negotiated. Not in today's weather, thanks. So we returned over Stob Coire an Lochain and back up Stobinnien to take the usual path from the bealach to Benmore Glen.

ImageP1170370 by Al, on Flickr

The rain stopped briefly, enough to show us the torrents of white water streaming off Stob Garbh across the valley. I had no dry anything to mop up the camera lens, so that scene goes unphotographed. bein so wet gives a certain impunity to walking through bog/ stream or puddles :lol:

ImageP1170372 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the car we divested as many wet things as possible, put the heated seats on and generally steamed our way up to Perth where I had a visit to undertake. It didn't seem to have been raining much up there - however, having changed into a suit the heavens opened as I walked from the car to the ward. There's no escaping the rain for this weasel :wink:
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Re: Some Crianlarich Hills

Postby Kay10 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:41 pm

You guys had a great run :clap: . Nice report and excellent pics :thumbup: . You might remember, I met you guys on your way back to Cruach Ardrain from Stob Garbh. Many thanks again for guiding me up to Cruach Ardrain and pointing the way Beinn a'Chroin from Beinn Tulaichean. You guys are Epic! :clap:
Happy hill walking!
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Posts: 9
Munros:18   Corbetts:1
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Joined: Aug 30, 2017
Location: Glasgow

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