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Beinn a'Chroin, An Caisteal, Beinn Chabhair

Beinn a'Chroin, An Caisteal, Beinn Chabhair


Postby yokehead » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:23 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin, Beinn Chabhair

Date walked: 17/03/2009

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1302m

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The plan was to go for the usual pair of Beinn a’Chroin and An Caisteal and include Beinn Chabhair if time and energy allowed, and so it turned out. The weather was reasonable which helped in the wider expedition and I made an earlier than usual start in the frost. A clockwise direction was the way to go, the opposite way to the walkhighlands route description, and feeling optimistic I was also hoping that I might find some snow on north and east facing slopes so brought ice axe and crampons.

From the layby on the A82 just south of Crianlarich, across the boggy field to the start of the track that heads up alongside the River Falloch. This is a lovely way to start the walk and warm up the muscles and the views gradually open out as you proceed. I could see the bealach between Beinn a’Chroin and Meall Dhamh that I would make for.

b1.jpg
track and 1st bealach target, Beinn a'Chroin on the right

After a couple of km the track ends and I then found it best to keep as close as I could to the river, the ground being soaked with melt water and from yesterday’s rain. It was a bit murky at this stage, with clouds covering the tops, but this gradually started to clear as I made my way up the valley. Bealach Buidhe appeared between Beinn a’Chroin and An Caisteal on the right, it is a grand spot here next to the river. I carried on alongside the River Falloch past a couple of feeder burns and crossed the river at an easy place just below where it entered a small gorge, then headed east for the climb to the south ridge of Beinn a’Chroin just above the col.

b2.jpg
river crossed here, Beinn a'Chroin An Caisteal bealach on the right

The clouds were clearing fast now, blue sky appearing and it was an interesting, meandering climb up the ridge path straight to the eastern summit. I found a few snow patches to kick steps up, not steep so no tools required but it maintained that winter feeling along with the cold west wind.

b4.jpg
still snow around, climb to Beinn a'Chroin

b3.jpg
view back down the glen

b5.jpg
Beinn a'Chroin summit. Cruach Ardrain, Ben More & Stob Binnein behind

Now west along the ups and downs of the ridge to where the bealach to An Caisteal became visible, I stopped for lunch in a sheltered spot with superb views above the steep slopes that lead to the bealach and planned a route up Beinn Chabhair that would link up what snow remained. A mountain hare dashed by, eager to beat me.

b6.jpg
An Caisteal shoulder looking north to Breadalbane & Bridge Of Orchy hills

b7.jpg
Beinn Chabhair left, An Caisteal right

The path down to the bealach was not too bad and gave fast going, I continued straight up the An Caisteal ridge after a couple of photos.

b8.jpg
start of the climb from the bealach to An Caisteal

The first part of the climb from the bealach looks steep but was straightforward, this stage to the summit was very enjoyable and I made for a bit of scrambling where I could. As I moved along I looked for a line back down to the west that would avoid needing to return to the bealach just left.

b9.jpg
An Caisteal summit, Bridge Of Orchy and Black Mount hills

I didn’t stay long at the summit, from here I headed just a short way south then south west down steep slopes making the most of any snow in gullies with ice axe in hand, it was a fast and fun descent. 8)

b10.jpg
steps down a gully, great!

There is a small lochan at the boggy bealach, the wind was ruffling the water and gave a nice photograph at this lonely spot. I met a walker descending, he was also intent on the 3 Munros in the other direction but had a challenge I think since it was already 2 pm. I moved up the slope a short way and stopped for more food and a rest before the last ascent.

b11.jpg
windy pool, Ben Lui behind

b12.jpg
the climb to Beinn Chabhair

It is 300m to the summit of Beinn Chabhair, my earlier route planning paid off and I had a superb snow and scrambling climb that brought me directly to the summit cairn, the ice axe was needed but not crampons. This climb seemed to be effortless, just like the other ascents on this trip they all have some interest to them so to me don’t seem as difficult as plodding up steep featureless slopes. I’ll go for the steeper/scrambling routes every time! :D During the climb I looked back a few times to see how the other walker was progressing on his climb to An Caisteal, he was wearing red so was easy to spot. After a while I could no longer see him, I was rather worried but assume he’d got to a route out of my sight, I hope he was ok. There was a family at the summit, we had a brief chat and they headed down whilst I had a quick refuel.

b13.jpg
Beinn Chabhair summit

The wind was quite cold now and it was clouding over so I also got on my way before long. I headed north west along the ridge for a little way, following the path, then turned north east down the slope into Coire a’Chuilinn. As I got to more level ground by the river I became aware of a pain at the back of my right heel. Thinking it must be an incipient blister (although I’d been fine for a week) I stopped to put on a plaster but it didn’t help. Looking at it later and with help from the interweb it turns out that it was trouble with the Achilles tendon, just swollen but sore with pressure from the boot and no pain going downhill. So, feeling sorry for myself, I hobbled along. :(

b14.jpg
looking back up the glen to Beinn Chabhair

I crossed the Allt a’Chuillin and followed the east bank most of the way to the valley then cut across to meet the track at Derrydaroch.

b15.jpg
thanks guys!

This is the West Highland Way, (I can now say that I’ve walked it!) and I followed it, at first boggy and covered with all types of animal sh*t the route then uses the old road alongside the current A82 and I was amused at the railway underpass that’s only 4 feet high. Where the WHW goes under the A82 I went on to the roadside verge instead. Walking along this, looking at the various types of litter, I could see the old road again over the fence but was glad I didn’t use it since where it ended there were 2 bulls. I had a brief chat with one of the bulls, he just looked at me whilst I asked him about his day and described some of my doings but he didn’t reply; I suspect he was a little eccentric. :o

A car passed, horn blast and wave from the occupants, I assume it was the family I’d seen; shame they didn’t stop to give me a lift so I gave them a different sort of a wave. :shock: Much slowed by the injury I reached the car just before full dark to bring an end to a superb day. On the drive back to base I worried that the tendon would curtail my trips during the remainder of my stay.
Last edited by yokehead on Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Beinn a'Chroin, An Caisteal, Beinn Chabhair

Postby cjwaugh » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:00 pm

Yet another great report yokehead hope your tendon heals soon (no pun intended) were doing Bein Chabhair on its own on Saturday just hoping for good weather :D
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Re: Beinn a'Chroin, An Caisteal, Beinn Chabhair

Postby yokehead » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:12 pm

Thanks cj, tomorrow I'll see how the tendon has responded to frozen peas. Weather Saturday is looking good, enjoy the Chabhair that ridge looks good. The family I met told me that it's very boggy by the lochan so take your waders (assuming you're coming from Inverarnan).
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Re: Beinn a'Chroin, An Caisteal, Beinn Chabhair

Postby Alan S » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:03 am

good report one of your best, for me anyway
maybe its because ive just done beinn a chroin
no wonder youve got sore feet if you keep up at this rate youll be finished the munros before paul webster :D
i like the second pic at the burn crossing thats where i crossed but if you look just in front of that at the huge boulders that is the better crossing as i found on the way back.
well done on doing the 3 im sure its not as easy as it looks

alan
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Re: Beinn a'Chroin, An Caisteal, Beinn Chabhair

Postby cjwaugh » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:00 pm

The family I met told me that it's very boggy by the lochan so take your waders (assuming you're coming from Inverarnan)
.Hi yokehead yes we went in through inverarnan the cloud was down all the way up and it was quite boggy at the lochin but no rain :D .When we summeted as if buy magic the cloud lifted and we got to see what me missed on the way back what a walk when the photos come back I'll post a report :D
Enjoy the rest of your stay hope we dont get to much rain this week :D
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Re: Beinn a'Chroin, An Caisteal, Beinn Chabhair

Postby mountain coward » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:40 am

:mrgreen: How the hell do you get to be sooo fit?? I did Beinn Chabhair on Monday, admittedly by a rather daft route, and I thought I was going to drop dead! Have a look at my reply tacked on to the other Beinn Chabhair post for details :( How you managed to do 2 other Munros on the same trip I can't imagine!
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Re: Beinn a'Chroin, An Caisteal, Beinn Chabhair

Postby yokehead » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Hi mc I think the initial gradual warm up on the route I took set me up for the day, no in your face slog at the beginning, perhaps my old body works best that way. Looking back, I did feel pretty good that day, it's been all down hill since! I'll have a look at the other post now.
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