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An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin

An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin


Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Sun May 20, 2018 6:57 pm

Route description: An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin, near Crianlarich

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

Date walked: 19/05/2018

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The weather forecast, and the dawn, promised a glorious day. This is Loch Lubnaig on my drive north.

ImageIMG_3700 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A closer view of the perfect symmetry.

ImageIMG_3706 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

As I reached the top of Glen Ogle, however, I saw that low cloud covered Glen Dochart. But the castle on its wooded isle, a centre of the seventeenth-century conflicts between the Campbell and McNab clans, was still a fine sight.

ImageIMG_3706A by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

From the parking spot in the lay-by west of Crianlarich, Sron Gharbh, the day's first objective, loomed above the newly-green woods.

ImageIMG_3707 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The WH directions say that the stile leads into a boggy field, but there is now a spanking new gravel path. Luxury, sheer luxury.

ImageIMG_3708 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

I was under close scrutiny.

ImageIMG_3709 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Beyond the railway underpass, a new bridge leads past the nicely-built hydro house to the good track up Glen Falloch. The WH directions also says that one option is to leave this track after a few minutes and take a diagonal line across the field on the right. But having been to An Caisteal before, it seemed much easier to me to follow the track to the gate (the other option they mention.)

A path leaves the track immediately beyond the gate, and heads steadily uphill towards the dip between the two tops on the skyline.

ImageIMG_3710 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

It was easy going up to the ridge, while the clouds obligingly cleared from the sky. As as I got to the crest of the ridge, the view onwards to An Caisteal, flanked on the left by Beinn a'Chroin and the right by Beinn Chabhair, was a wonderful surprise. (My previous visit to this hill had been in thick mist and heavy rain!)

ImageIMG_3723 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The whole walk from here was perfect.

For a start, there were widening views all round - e.g. Ben Lui appeared from behind its satellites.

ImageIMG_3737 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The ridge itself also has many interesting features. I remembered this miniature valley.

ImageIMG_3741 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking back down into the miniature valley, with the Forest of Mamlorn and Bridge of Orchy hills in the background.

ImageIMG_3747 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Soon after, there was another place I remember: a curious cleft across the ridge. It was completely full of large lumps of snow.

ImageIMG_3752 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Just beyond is the rock turret of "the Castle", which gave a grand view across to Beinn a'Chroin.

ImageIMG_3779 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

From here, it is an easy stroll over to the true summit, with fine views of Ben More, Stob Binnein and Cruach Ardrain.

ImageIMG_3758 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The ridge onwards to the bealach between the two hills is an easy walk among interesting rock formations. This crag with Ben Lui in the background is just beyond the summit cairn.

ImageIMG_3781 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Beinn Chabhair from the ridge.

ImageIMG_3795 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

And these rocky blades were an interesting foreground for a view of Ben Lomond.

ImageIMG_3793 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

It was all great fun. I descended to this pond on the bealach, which appeared to have three completely different characters, depending where you were standing. Looking back to An Caisteal, it appears as a nice but normal mountain pond.

ImageIMG_3796 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

From here, looking across to Beinn a'Choin, it was a black pool - what the hillwalking writer W.A. Poucher would have called "Stygian Gloom".

ImageIMG_3799 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

But looking across to Ben Lomond, it was more sparkly than being inside a Claire's Accessories shop.

ImageIMG_3803 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

From the slopes of Beinn a'Chroin there was a good view back to An Caisteal, with Ben Lui in the distance.

ImageIMG_3811 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A short climb, with one small awkward step (awkward for me, with a metal knee: most people would hardly notice it) brought me onto Beinn a'Chroin's summit plateau, and I walked past a lovely succession of small summits and attractive ponds.

ImageIMG_3818 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3814 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

According to my Harvey's map, the true summit (942m) is the rocky lump one west of the summit pond. To me it certainly seemed higher than the summit east of the pond, although the latter has a grander cairn. I sat on the 942m summit for a long time, watching the cloud-shadows skim across Cruach Ardrain and Stob Binnean.

ImageIMG_3828 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The snowy dip before the eastern summit (940m on the Harvey's map).

ImageIMG_3834 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking south from the eastern summit cairn to the deep dip and lochan between Stob a'Choin and Stob an Duibhe. Ben Ledi is the faraway hill on the left.

ImageIMG_3842 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The winding path down Beinn a'Chroin's north rid into Glen Falloch was interesting, with castle-like rock formations...
(Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin in the background)

ImageIMG_3844 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

...and another interesting pond.

ImageIMG_3847 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

But soon I reached the head of Glen Falloch. It was an idyllic spot.

ImageIMG_3851 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Of course I had to snap a photo of the "garden on a rock".

ImageIMG_3855 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

But most of the way down Glen Falloch I kept on the river bank and made a leisurely exploration of this wonderful place. Deep, wide pools, with quite large fish swimming in the clear water, alternated with waterfalls and narrow channels in the rocks.

ImageIMG_3864 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3878 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The sky was clouding over by the time I came in sight of the parking spot and the Glen Falloch pines.

ImageIMG_3888 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

I headed on to Killin. Partly to see the Falls of Dochart.

ImageIMG_3920 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

And partly to do other things.

ImageIMG_3921 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr
User avatar
HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1367
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Hewitts:148
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin

Postby Christo1979 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:41 am

Stunning photos, and thanks for a great and detailed walk report. Definitely the way I'll be going when I'm back up that way :)
User avatar
Christo1979
Walker
 
Posts: 220
Munros:15   Corbetts:40
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:101   Hewitts:150
Wainwrights:172   Islands:25
Joined: Oct 21, 2017
Location: Gateshead

Re: An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin

Postby Susan Smart » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:39 pm

:clap:
Superb photos and such detail in your directions.
Off to try them tomorrow.
Thanks very much 😄
Susan Smart
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 18, 2020

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