With a hiking holiday in Nepal just finished (Annapurna trip report will follow) I was back home and with good weather on the forecast I knew that a day out in the hills was on the menu.
Picking a hill was rather difficult since I had completed the Munros. Should I aim for Corbetts, or do a Munro? To suddenly have so much choice after working off a list for the past 6 years, was rather disturbing. At the end I knew I could not ignore Munros and decided to revisit Ben Challum for an easy day out. Downloading the map to my GPS, I could not ignore the hills close by and the thought to throw in a Corbett was born.
I met my friend Colin at the car park in Crianlarch and once we parked:
1. At the wrong car park
2. Set off
3. Realized our mistake
4. Had to walk back to the car (with a look of 'I hope no one saw this' on our faces)
5. Drove off to the right car park
6. Set off
I was laughing loudly ...282 Munros and I still don't manage to find the starting point.
Chatting away we were off and soon entered the lovely path, which can probably only be described as a slog through bog along a deer fence. Not the most exciting, but once we reached the first summit and the views spread out in front of my eyes I was happy ! How nice was it to see the southern hills again after so many years.
The start of the walk
Hello southern Munros again
Time to look for a lunch spot, with the summit on the left and side
Hunger soon let us seek shelter from the icy cold wind and unpack lunch. I had brought Pizza (works amazingly well up the hills) and munching away, I soon felt the cold kreeping into my bones. Oh well it certainly wasn't summer anymore. Once finished we walked to the summit. Across to the north was the Corbett I had seen on the map, oh how easy it looked . Colin unfolded his map and pointed out another Corbett I had somehow missed. Together they would make a perfect round, but we had to think about the daylight as well. At the end we decided that a walk back in the dark would be no issue, since we both had headtorches.
Back in style with my new sheep hat from Nepal
We left the summit and made our way down towards the Bealach Ghlas Leathaid. Oh how nice was it to leave the well beaten track!The walk towards Cam Chreag the first Corbett had looked rather easy from the top, but proved much steeper and longer than we had anticipated. Walking the last few steps to the small summit cairn, the views were magic and well worth it. The moon had risen above Ben Challum and the evening sun dipped the countryside in lovely red golden colors.
Colin on the way up Cam Chreag
Cam Chreags summit cairn and fantastic views
Looking back towards Ben Challum
The moon over Ben Challum
With the approaching darkness the clouds had cleared completely and by the time we reached the next bealach the last few beams of sunlight kissed the hilltops good bye for another day. Shades of blue covered the sky and only a faint bit of red could be seen when we reached the summit cairn of Beinn Chaorach.
Summit of Beinn Chaorach during the approaching evening light
Stopping for more photos, we unpacked the head torches for easy access and made our way down the grassy slope. Half way down the hill we had to switch the head torches on and continued following the beam of the light. I am usually not keen to walk in the dark, but with company it made the whole experience much more enjoyable. When we reached the landrover track, I suddenly remembered the cake I had brought and with the moon casting shadows around us and the stars shining brightly, I watched a shooting start while stuffing my face with cake. Simply magic! The walk back along the track was pretty much straight forward and we reached the car at 7:30pm.
Time for head torches
My 'I remembered cake' smile
The walk back
It had been a great day back on the hills, even though the cold I had all week and I had hoped to walk of, did the opposite and floored me for the whole following week
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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.