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Climbing through the clouds on Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh

Climbing through the clouds on Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh


Postby LailaQuiche » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:50 pm

Route description: Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chleibh, Ben Lui

Date walked: 21/07/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 10.7 km

Ascent: 1115m

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I was itching to get back on the hills again so rounded up a couple of friends to join me on a trip up Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh.
Everything looked very cloudy and not very promising as we drove from Glasgow to Glen Lochy...We parked up, got organised and set off. I had brought a pair of old trainers to cross the river but I ended up just going barefoot. The river was very shallow due to our insanely long bout of hot weather recently. Would not recommend going barefoot, it was very uneven and slippery and had a few close shaves. At one point I was clinging onto my friend's backpack for dear life, almost dragging her in with me!
We set off up the first section of the walk which was a steep, muddy path that climbed up alongside the river. It was very boggy in places and we had to get creative with ways around or over all the mud. I managed up without too much bog in my boots but my friend, who only had a pair of running shoes on, had bog halfway up her shins!

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Hopping across lovely burns


We soon came out onto the grassy slopes of Ben Lui. As we ascended, the mist became thicker. There was absolutely NO discernible path up the slope that we could find, we just picked our way up using the map. As always, I was yet to get into the swing of things and found the climb up this steep, grassy, misty slope hard work. The grass was absolutely soaking wet, as were my feet! We heard some voices and two men came stumbling out of the mist from above. They were wondering where the path was...Advised them there wasn't one and just to keep going down, down, down! We carried on up and soon we reached the path that leads up to the summit. The path was a welcome sight and in good spirits, we all powered on up it. The clouds soon fell away as we got closer to the summit and it was amazing looking down on the clouds and seeing distant mountain tops peeking through. One of my friends (who has not done a munro before) kept saying 'I think we're near the top!' I informed her, very wisely, 'Don't get your hopes up, it's probably a false summit.'
But suddenly...there we were! We could see the summit! I was surprised to reach it so quickly. It felt like we had flown up the last bit. We had some snacks and admired the views for a wee while. There was no wind up there and it was all very calm and tranquil.

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Finally above the clouds!

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Lovely pals at summit of Ben Lui

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We then set off for Ben a'Chleibh. The descent between them felt quite steep and long. We reached the point where the ascent begun and due to the fog, couldn't see much of Beinn a'Chleibh at all so wasn't sure what to expect.

37660294_10160588929445023_4639295485545283584_n.jpg
Beinn a'Chleibh hiding in the mist...


We actually made very light work of Beinn a'Chleibh and it felt like we strolled up to the top in no time at all. I don't know if it just felt a lot easier in comparison to the steep ascent up the initial grassy section of Ben Lui! We couldn't see much at all from the summit unfortunately.

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Well deserved pieces at the top


We had a nice picnic before heading back down. Everyone was in very good spirits and full of beans and we all agreed that if there had been another one nearby, we would have attempted it. I feel like my fitness has improved tenfold over the past few months of regular walks. I'm sure 3 months ago that hike would have absolutely wiped me out but not anymore!
The walk back to the car was very slow due to my friend's dodgy dislocating knees but pleasant enough. It was lovely watching the clouds swirling over the mountain tops. I didn't bother taking my boots off to cross the river this time, it felt good to have a little splash and wash away the bog.

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Slow and steady on the homeward bound


Fantastic walk today, so much fun! Now wondering what I'll do next...
LailaQuiche
 
Posts: 53
Munros:50   Corbetts:2
Grahams:3   
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Joined: Apr 30, 2018

Re: Climbing through the clouds on Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chlei

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:41 pm

I remember that river crossing!

Managed to keep dry feet due to built-in gaiters...

Other good walks in that area to try are An Caisteal

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=80675

and Cruach Ardrain

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=81151

Tim
User avatar
HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1367
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Hewitts:148
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: Climbing through the clouds on Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chlei

Postby LailaQuiche » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:47 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:I remember that river crossing!

Managed to keep dry feet due to built-in gaiters...

Other good walks in that area to try are An Caisteal

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=80675

and Cruach Ardrain

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=81151

Tim


I need to get my hands on some gaiters. And some better boots! They are not waterproof as advertised! Oooh those both look great. I wish I could teleport!! The driving really takes it out of me.
LailaQuiche
 
Posts: 53
Munros:50   Corbetts:2
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 30, 2018

Re: Climbing through the clouds on Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chlei

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:31 pm

Just a quick thing I didn't mention: I was lucky to be doing these two walks this spring, after a spell of dry weather.

In 'normal' conditions the return route for both these walks, along Glen Falloch, is very soggy!

After a period of wet weather, it might be better to retrace your steps along the ridges (and enjoy the views twice). I often do this for the sake of the different light eg https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=81127

There's a discussion thread on here about boots and waterproof-ness at https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=82795, might be of interest...

Tim
User avatar
HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1367
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Hewitts:148
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: Climbing through the clouds on Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chlei

Postby LailaQuiche » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:29 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Just a quick thing I didn't mention: I was lucky to be doing these two walks this spring, after a spell of dry weather.

In 'normal' conditions the return route for both these walks, along Glen Falloch, is very soggy!

After a period of wet weather, it might be better to retrace your steps along the ridges (and enjoy the views twice). I often do this for the sake of the different light eg https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=81127

There's a discussion thread on here about boots and waterproof-ness at https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=82795, might be of interest...

Tim


Yes, I got very lucky with the weather. Great idea to retrace, I would happily do so if it avoided the bog. Your photos are absolutely breathtaking, by the way.

Thanks for the link! Will need to do some research and save some pennies! :)
LailaQuiche
 
Posts: 53
Munros:50   Corbetts:2
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 30, 2018

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