Sunday, 27th. May, 2018:
My good friend Steve Chalk and I had driven up through bank holiday traffic from, respectively, West Devon and West Kent to rendezvous at the Staveley Chippy (near Kendal) at midday on Saturday and then cruise on to a sunny Tyndrum by late afternoon. A bag of chips from Staveley, however, seemed to disagree with me so it was a vomit stained car that pulled into the campsite by Tyndrum station that afternoon and it was only Steve who managed a (veggie) pie and a pint before we turned in for the night. A good night's sleep, though, would see me right again.
I'd been blizzarded off Ben Lui (Beinn Laiogh) in February 2015 so the plan was to have a gentle but lengthy warm up day taking in this big, steep hill and its three Munro satellites. So, partly because our biorhythms were still in work mode and partly to beat the expected heat, we were away before seven thirty and heading up the forestry track from the railway crossing towards the gold mine. It was sunny but not too hot and a reasonably purposeful stroll of around ninety minutes took us into Corrie Gaothach where we had a look at Central Gully; the snow, though, was discontinuous and old so we contoured onto the north north east ridge and, by ten o'clock, we were enjoying sunshine on the summit with an enthusiastic bunch of boys and girls who had come up from Glen Lochy. A quick descent and a short climb brought us to Beinn a’Chleibh before we retraced our steps to the bealach and then headed south east over the slopes of the Leacann Beinn Laiogh to the open bealach between Lui and Ben Oss. The indistinct path up the gentle south south west ridge of Oss suggested that not many people link all four peaks together – an omission as the views back to Lui were really quite special. We did, however, begin to encounter people as we passed the summit and descended north north east and then north east to the Bealach Buidhe; it was, after all, a bank holiday weekend. It dawned on us, though, that we were ahead of the clock and, reluctant to leave the heights, we dawdled along and enjoyed both the slow climb to Beinn Dubhchraig and the views south from this inconspicuous but very pleasant hill. The lochans at about 900m on its north west shoulder would make a great campsite with the potential to catch spectacular views at both sunrise and sunset.
It was an easy wander down from these lochans, at first heading north east down the Allt Choire Dubhchraig before trending in a more northerly direction across what were surprisingly dry slopes to the corner of forestry above Creag Bochan. An easy descent here led to a lengthy paddle in the River Cononish in the hot sunshine before we picked up the forest track back to Tyndrum for beer, food and sleeping bags. It had been a good first day to the trip.
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