This was my second trip to Ben Lui from Dalrigh.
I tried it a week before on the 13th of August.
The weather started off wet and misty and got worse as the day wore on.
I made it as far as the ridge past Stob Garbh and then had a really bad feeling as the visibility deteriorated.
I turned back and descended.
Never felt like this on a hill before.
Back up to Dalrigh on August 20th, weather a lot better.
Arrived at the car park at 12.30, which is late for me but no choice today.
Began the long trek up to Ben Lui.Ben More and Stobinnein from car park by robert irvine, on FlickBeinn Dubhchraig by robert irvine, on Flickrr[url=https://flic.kr/p/29fAkpf]Turn off for West Highland Way by robert irvine, on Flickr[/url]Railway bridge by robert irvine, on Flickr
It's actually quite a pleasant walk on a very good track all the way up to Cononish farm.
It really is more of a road than a track and you have the river on your left.
The farther you go, the more Ben Lui begins to dominate the view ahead, it really is a beautiful looking mountain.Ben Lui from river Cononish by robert irvine, on Flickr
On the way, I passed a herd of cows, with a few calf's and a huge scary looking bull.
More about this laterScary cows by robert irvine, on FlickrBig bull and girlfriend by robert irvine, on Flickr
Once you pass Cononish farm, the three lane motorway reverts back to a farm track.End of road, start of track by robert irvine, on Flickr
Still easy walking at this stage, as you pass by Ben Oss on your left.Ben Oss by robert irvine, on Flickr
At the end of the track, you have to cross over the Allt an Rund before beginning the initial climb.
Not a lot of water in it today.Allt an Rund crossing by robert irvine, on Flickr
Then you follow the path on the right hand side of Allt Coire Ghaothaich up into the bowl of the mountain, nothing to strenuous yetAllt Coire Ghaothaich by robert irvine, on Flickr
From here, the view looked like something out of the Lost World.
.Up we go, looks almost primeval by robert irvine, on Flickr
On the way up there are some lovely waterfalls to view. Waterfall 1 by robert irvine, on FlickrWaterfall 2 by robert irvine, on FlickrWaterfall 3 by robert irvine, on Flickr
On this attempt, I decided to leave the path a bit earlier and turned right and began to ascend up towards Stob GarbhView up to summit by robert irvine, on FlickrView back down by robert irvine, on Flickr
I could not see any evidence of a path, so I just headed up towards the ridge.
It was a bit steep and a bit of an effort, but before long you arrive on the ridge and the views really begin to open out from here.View from shoulder of ridge by robert irvine, on FlickrView from ridge to Beinn Chuirn by robert irvine, on Flickr
From here you just follow the path on the ridge all the way up to the summit.Ridge up to summit by robert irvine, on Flickr
On the way, I passed the spot where I had a bad experience last week.
Today, with clear weather, you could see that there was nothing there to be wary of. Funny the way your mind behaves when you cannot see things in front of you.
The path becomes more rocky as you ascend and there are one or two simple steps to negotiate, as well as a couple of exposed drops on your left, but nothing to worry about.
Then you arrive at the summit plateau and you have a view across to the true summit.View from summit to true summit by robert irvine, on Flickr
As you cross to the summit cairn, the views down into Central Gully are awesome.
Respect to anybody who comes up this way, it looks steep.
Then, as I arrived at the cairn, the weather began to close in, bugger.Summit cairn by robert irvine, on FlickrOld git on misty peak by robert irvine, on FlickrBen Oss, Beinn Dubhchraig and Crianlarich hills behind by robert irvine, on FlickrView from summit to North summit by robert irvine, on FlickrView from summit back down River Cononish by robert irvine, on Flickr
Also, there was no wind here and lots and lots of midges began to appear.
I made the decision not to hang about and went back and joined the path to Beinn a Cleibh.To Beinn a Chleibh, weather closing in. by robert irvine, on Flickr.
It is quite a drop down to the bealach and the climb back up to Beinn a Cleibh looks a very short one.Big rock with Arrochar Alps behind by robert irvine, on FlickrView back up Ben Lui from bealach by robert irvine, on FlickrBeinn a Chleibh from bealach by robert irvine, on Flickr
After what seemed like an eternity coming down Ben Lui, you arrive at the summit of Beinn a Cleibh in no time at all.Summit cairn, Beinn a Chleibh by robert irvine, on Flickr
I continued on past the summit and came to the second cairn.
Here there was a lovely breeze and no midges, so I sat for a while and had a bite to eat.
Unfortunately, the weather was still a bit claggy so the views were not too good, but hey ho.Ben Cruachan group with Loch Awe to left by robert irvine, on Flickr
I had a look over at Ben Lui and noticed that the weather seemed to be improving, so I decided to go back up to the summit and try and get some nicer photos as the sun began to descend.Ben Lui clear again, quick back up by robert irvine, on Flickr
After a long pull back up, I arrived at the top just as the weather closed in again, bugger.
Looking back down towards Cononish river and farm, the descent route was nice and clear, so I decided to head down, evening was really approaching now and I am scared of the dark.
What happened next shows that it is important to check your bearings before setting off anywhere.
I spent a good ten minutes descending down before I realised I was on the wrong ridge and heading towards Tyndrum.
Luckily enough, there was no one around to see my mistake and it will remain a secret.
Any way, back up and then down again on the correct route.
I left the ridge a bit earlier than on the way up, on a path that I had noticed while ascending.
It was an uneventful descent from here and I arrived back at the Allt an Rund just as the sun was beginning to set.
From here, it was a bit of a trek down as it began to get dark, on with the head torch.
Remember the herd of cows and the big bull.
Well they had decided to mill about in the center of the road as I approached.
One of the few things that I know about cows is that they can be quite protective when they have calves with them, and don't forget the big bull.
I now spent the next few minutes trying to pass by the herd as slowly and as quietly as possible.
They will not move out of the way and they really stare at you in an evil way.
Once past, I continued back to the car park and arrived just as my head torch batteries ran out, I didn't think I would be using it today, always check them beforehand,
Quite an eventful and long day, really enjoyed it though.
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