Beinn a Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair
by old danensian » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:15 pm
Route description: Beinn Achaladair and Beinn a'Chreachain
Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chreachain, Beinn Achaladair
Date walked: 11/10/2010
Time taken: 6 hours
Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 1070mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Bridge of Orchy was passed, through skeins of early morning mist clinging to the course of the river, while the wraiths of thin cloud cutting the tops above Loch Tulla formed a glorious backdrop. Then, barely twenty four hours after starting a wander down a valley 500 miles further south, my boots were brushing the frost from the grass and heading up the glen from the farm at Achallader. As the rising sun broached the ridge it lit the tips of the gable ends of the ruins at Barravourich – from a distance it looked like a pair of incongruous golden minarets
Before being drawn across the river at the bridge over the Water of Tulla, the yellow way-markers point you up between the southern bank and the fence enclosing the woodland above. With the track at times being boggy and always dripping with melting frost from the long grass and bracken, boots and trousers were soaked within the first hour.
The drenching continued once the fence was broached in favour of the path heading up through the trees and across the West Highland railway line. More dripping shrubbery was ploughed through before the upper fence was crossed – and then another skirted round to the left – before Allt Coire an Lochain was reached and the tree line left behind. This was then followed upwards as it cascaded down the slabby geology, and the path towards the Coire an Lochain climbed. As the lochan lay in the murky shadows of the crags above I traced a bee-line for the sun-lit ridge above and upper slopes to the summit of Bienn a Chreachain, and in doing so left behind the only others I saw during the whole day.
Lazing in the sun at the top I discovered that midges must be intelligent beings, and well informed as well. They’d obviously been listening to the weather forecast on the Today programme that morning when listeners were treated to an explanation of the inversion phenomena that was about to occur across swathes of Scotland. The wee flying beasties must have been listening too as they began to gather in the still warmth of the summit – they obviously got used to the cold last winter.
The traverse across Meall Buidhe just took half an hour or so of gentle strolling, with the inversions in sight to the north and east and clear views to enjoy across Rannoch to the Ben. From the bealach below the north east ridge of Bienn Achaladair I expected to endure a zig zag up to the left, but instead a steep route led immediately upwards, weaving its way safely and speedily: it’s surprising how quickly height and time passes when you’re having to concentrate on where to put hands and feet.
From the top I could spend time drinking in the view southwards as one ridge and summit after another disappeared into the distant mists. Then descent called, heading south along the ridge and down towards the head of Coire Daingean, and through what from above looked like a bog-fest glistening in the sun – and my boots had just dried out.
It was, thankfully, a far drier experience than initially feared and a welcome dry descent was enjoyed back to the farm at Achallader – where the final few yards were as muddy as hell. You just can’t win.
After being on the go for what seemed like an eternity, I then mustered up enough energy to drive up to Glen Nevis to renew acquaintances with the Mamores - more of which anon.
by Stretch » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:29 pm
by LeithySuburbs » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:01 pm
by old danensian » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:40 pm
Very timely post that thanks as I'm thinking of doing that next week on the Glencoe Meet instead of the Corbetts I had planned (will probably depend on the weather though). I'm wondering whether there isn't some advantage in doing the walk the other way round? Particularly from the wet feet point of view - it would be nicer to only get them wet at the end of the day rather than have a longish walk with them soaking wet from nearly the start. What do you think? Is there any sort of continuous path from Achaladair farm up to the summit of Chreachain or just sketchy bits and pieces?
- mountain coward
by kinley » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:39 am
We were thinking about re-doing these 2 sometime. The set of hills running S of Rannoch have grandstand open views (and a contrast to the crowded hill view S).
Cheers - you picked just the kind of day I was looking for
by old danensian » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:13 am
MC - you could do the route either way - and in hindsight I think the reverse would have given a far more gradual and steady ascent - once beyond the farm at Achallader there is no problem about route finding up through Coire Daingean. If you manage it next week - I'm sure you'll enjoy it - and hope for cracking weather for your 200.
By the way, was there a continuous path up to Chreachain from Crannoch Wood or just sketchy bits? I saw the 2 bridges over the railway from the train last month but couldn't see any kind of path continuing up the hill across them...
- mountain coward
by briansolar1 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:32 pm
by old danensian » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:36 pm
- mountain coward