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A Ben Lawers triple - Beinn Ghlas to An Stuc

A Ben Lawers triple - Beinn Ghlas to An Stuc


Postby Chris Mac » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:38 pm

Route description: Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas

Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers

Date walked: 15/09/2018

Time taken: 5.51 hours

Distance: 17.6 km

Ascent: 1598m

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Beinn-Ghlas-Ben-Lawers--An-Stuc.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

After a couple of weekends without walking I was itching to get out and Iain was the same so we watched the forecast and figured that Loch Tay looked the best, well maybe least bad would be more accurate.

It had been 8 years since Iain had last been up there and I had been planning on doing some of the Lawers Group Munros for a while now so decision made and Loch Tay was our destination. A slightly delayed start was further delayed by a quick visit to a London friend who was up for the weekend and in the west end but we were soon on our way again and arrived and set off from Ben Lawers car park at exactly midday.

Strathyre had looked nice on the drive up and the hills were clear but it wouldn't last for long...

Setting off from the car park:
Image20180915_120500 DSC_6141 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As we head up the path Meall nan Tarmachan on our left has white bags of rocks set on the path for some improvement work:
Image20180915_120600 DSC_6144 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Ghlas up ahead, the path takes us up through the nature reserve then the hillside and the summit is retiring behind what looks like three summit mounds:
Image20180915_120602 DSC_6146 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We head through the gate and up the good paths:
Image20180915_121500 DSC_6151 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back down hill, Stob Binnein and Ben More now visible to the west but not for long...
Image20180915_122401 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Behind us to the South Ben Vorlich, Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Each are now peeking out, again not for long...
Image20180915_122701 DSC_6164 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Time for the steep ascent now as we pass another path that joins this one from Coire Odhar that we'll take on the way back:
Image20180915_123500 DSC_6166 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall Corranaich summit on our left:
Image20180915_123600 DSC_6168 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We continue uphill but it's looking ominous behind us as Stob Binnein starts to disappear... hmmm we may not have such good visibility for long, better up the pace:
Image20180915_123700 DSC_6172 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall nan Tarmachan directly west with Meall Garbh summit sticking out:
Image20180915_124400 DSC_6181 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Aaaand... they're gone!
Image20180915_124401 DSC_6183 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall Garbh and Meall nan Tarmachan summits close up:
Image20180915_124402 DSC_6185 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall Corranaich, looking pretty steep from this side:
Image20180915_124500 DSC_6192 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We make good progress up the path despite stopping briefly to chat to a few people and overtake some others:
Image20180915_124501 DSC_6194 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

If only conditions were going to stay this clear...
Image20180915_125100 DSC_6196 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It appeared that we were now on a time-limit... Ben More and Stob Binnein have completely vanished:
Image20180915_125500 DSC_6199 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We make haste again and continue up the path to the level section below the 3 sub-summit mounds:
Image20180915_125900 DSC_6209 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Image20180915_130300 DSC_6217 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Directly south Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin are gone too now...
Image20180915_130301 DSC_6219 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall Ghaordaidh:
Image20180915_130302 DSC_6221 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Final zig-zag path section:
Image20180915_130500 DSC_6223 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The weather was still closing in fast to match our pace:
Image20180915_130900 DSC_6229 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Image20180915_131000 DSC_6231 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Car park and Loch Tay in the distance:
Image20180915_131500 DSC_6232 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain with Meall nan Tarmachan behind him:
Image20180915_131501 DSC_6234 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Past the three sub-summits the actual summit comes into view:
Image20180915_131900 DSC_6236 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As does Ben Lawers summit beyond it:
Image20180915_132100 DSC_6238 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We reach the top and the view over to Ben Lawers, An Stuc and Meall Garbh is a cracker: :D
Image20180915_132300 DSC_6239 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Our route ahead, Lawers then Stuc and we'd see if we had the time or energy to add Meall Garbh, at this point we fancied a double scramble down then back up...
Image20180915_132301 DSC_6245 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Lawers summit:
Image20180915_132302 DSC_6246 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

An Stuc, Meall Garbh and Creag an Fhithich just peeking out:
Image20180915_132400 DSC_6248 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall Corranaich's long summit ridge can be seen well from here now although the clouds were still closing fast behind it...
Image20180915_132401 DSC_6249 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A bit clearer to the north:
Image20180915_132402 DSC_6250 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

To the west it was a different story... :shock:
Image20180915_132403 DSC_6254 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Going, going...
Image20180915_132404 DSC_6257 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

... :roll:
Image20180915_132405 DSC_6258 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I bag the big camera and switch to waterproof camera phone in preparation as we don't hang around for long on Beinn Ghlas' summit and make a bee line for Ben Lawers:
Image20180915_132757 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Nice... :)
Image20180915_133804 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Ghlas, Meall nan Tarmachan & Meall Corranaich, this would be the last we'd see of the tops:
Image20180915_134139 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Just the final ascent to go, will they make it... :crazy:
Image20180915_134143 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Hold... hooold!
Image20180915_134220 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

They say timing is everything, ours was perfect it seemed... bye Beinn Ghlas... :(
Image20180915_134747 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Our luck was about to run out:
Image20180915_135014 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall a' Choire Leith starting to go now, the clouds have caught up with us...
Image20180915_135018 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Typical, just as we make the final summit approach, I blame Donny for our morning coffee pit-stop! :lol:
Image20180915_135415 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Ghlas a goner now:
Image20180915_135419 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Through the mist to the summit:
Image20180915_135753 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Image20180915_135851 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

View indicator and trig point, we've made it:
Image20180915_140138 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ah well, looks like we're left with a "classic" hill summit view... :roll:
Image20180915_140311 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I think this was the 3rd or 4th summit of Ben Lawers for Iain? Perhaps he can confirm... :clap:
Image20180915_140426 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I checked and we were on the summit of Ben Lawers 2 hours after we started, a good 30 minutes ahead of Naismith... hmmm, maybe I do have a fast hillwalking pace after all! We were being chased by the rain but didn't exactly run uphill, we just went at our (well, my) usual pace... :D

I take a few shots of the view... :lol: we'd head over this way for a lunch break shortly:
Image20180915_140434 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

That's the direction we're heading next, to the east and Creag an Fhithich:
Image20180915_140444 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

But first up, lunch! Looking back at the summit:
Image20180915_140803 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

With no view to enjoy (another hill added to my 'you owe me a view' list) we blether and observe a few people summiting:
Image20180915_142746 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As we approached the summit I had mentioned my disappointment and not being greeted by the local summit Raven, well it must have heard me as it appeared from nowhere and put on a little display for us! :D
Image20180915_143542 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Re-fuelled and now quite damp due to the mist we decide to set off towards Creag an Fhithich, An Stuc behind it here:
Image20180915_144942 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Approaching the Tump:
Image20180915_145207 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Made it, summit cairn:
Image20180915_145512 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

By now the clouds were coming and going a bit, making it very atmospheric which was the one word we guessed would sum up this walk when discussing the weather during the ascent:
Image20180915_145520 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Panorama looking north:
Image20180915_145545 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

In an instant the view would clear up for us and Lochan nan Cat appeared down below:
Image20180915_145626 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

An Stuc & Meall Garbh:
Image20180915_145630 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Image20180915_145634 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A few more summit shots before we head for An Stuc:
Image20180915_145747 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It's clearing we may be in luck... :roll:
Image20180915_145901 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

An Stuc panorama 1:
Image20180915_150017 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Lochan nan Cat:
Image20180915_150030 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Creag an Fhithich:
Image20180915_150041 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Heading down to Bealach Dubh:
Image20180915_150451 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Well that window didn't last long, An Stuc panorama 2:
Image20180915_150509 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

At the bealach, time to enter the mist again...
Image20180915_151208 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Image20180915_151404 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

By this point we were both pretty soaked and tired but still enjoying the fleeting views and the walk:
Image20180915_151407 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Tiny scramble up the easy side of An Stuc:
Image20180915_151708 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Approaching the summit...
Image20180915_151911 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Image20180915_152034 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Lawers behind us:
Image20180915_152226 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Final section, clearing up again:
Image20180915_152601 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Creag an Fhithich below Ben Lawers:
Image20180915_152605 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cairn and mound, we made it:
Image20180915_152754 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The happy hikers:
Image20180915_152916 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Image20180915_152934 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As you can see the view was still very changeable, taken from the mound east of the cairn looking towards the steep scramble side of An Stuc:
Image20180915_153000 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back to Iain and the view decided to play ball, result:
Image20180915_153014 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I grasp at the opportunity and take out the big camera again while it's dry:
Image20180915_153200 DSC_6263 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Lochan nan Uan and Loch Tay to the south:
Image20180915_153300 DSC_6266 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall Garbh to the east:
Image20180915_153301 DSC_6267 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We were still humming and hawing about whether to add in Meall Garbh and do the scramble twice but by this point we were both pretty tired due to our rapid pace uphill and along to this point. We decided to check it out anyway... looking down, yeah it's steep! :lol:
Image20180915_153956 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A path heads to the right and then downhill, Iain investigates and refreshes his memory:
Image20180915_154000 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We discuss our options...
Image20180915_154020 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As the cloud had returned and we were soaked through already so the thought of adding a 4th Munro and leaving just Meall Greigh on its own didn't appeal, better to leave two here and walk those two another day.

We spotted a couple down below descending An Stuc and they were using a rope which we thought was perhaps a bit much but better safe than sorry...
Image20180915_154026(0) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We set off back to the summit rocks to get our bags then headed back down, stopping at the edge overlooking Creag an Fhithich:
Image20180915_154911 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I let Iain go ahead for a bit so I could get him in a dramatic shot for scale:
Image20180915_155231 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Down the steep section:
Image20180915_155416 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back to An Stuc and Lochan nan Cat, both coming in and out of view:
Image20180915_160147 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Image20180915_160311 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Back up Creag an Fhithich:
Image20180915_160701 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Back into the clouds...
Image20180915_161300 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Towards Ben Lawers...
Image20180915_161811 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back:
Image20180915_162320 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Lawers summit approaching again:
Image20180915_163457 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Another quick break at the top:
Image20180915_163738 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Image20180915_163752 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Then we're off again heading down to take the Beinn Ghlas bypass path on the right at the bottom here:
Image20180915_164908 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We contemplated heading up and over again but decided the variety of the bypass was worth exploring:
Image20180915_165319 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Ghlas up to the left:
Image20180915_170243 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Continuing around the bypass:
Image20180915_170248 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meall Corranaich is just over there apprently... :wink:
Image20180915_170811 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We pass the cairn at the top of the Burn of Edramucky and head down the path:
Image20180915_172612 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

This part of the walk was a bit of a slog but possibly due to the fact we were even more soaked through now and hadn't seen much else than hill sides or clouds for the last hour or more, at least the end was approaching but we were still in high spirits due to being out at high altitude: :D
Image20180915_173451 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Getting there...
Image20180915_174239 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A left after here and we were soon back at the start:
Image20180915_174248 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

There was only one other car left in the car park, we wasted no time changing into dry clothes then fending off the Ben Lawers car park midgies... yeah I remember them from Tarmachan a few years back... they are well trained to home in on hikers as soon as they relax back at the car and get changed, the wee bisms! :crazy:

One frantic change later and we were heading back through torrential rain at Strathyre to return home to the south side of Glasgow via the motorways. I dropped Iain off then enjoyed a hearty home-made meal, result. It was yet another excellent walk and we're already planning the next one for this weekend... i'll be back here again to climb the other Munros and Corbetts around Loch Tay at some point, looking forward to it already. :)
User avatar
Chris Mac
Scrambler
 
Posts: 668
Munros:35   Corbetts:17
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Sub 2000:45   Hewitts:3
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Joined: Sep 11, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: A Ben Lawers triple - Beinn Ghlas to An Stuc

Postby iainwatson » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:42 am

Brilliant walk report,had a great day despite the weather :D
From memory I think this was the 3rd or 4th time up there and I can confirm i did a night walk up there with scoob as part of his charity challenge.

Look forward to our next outing,seems like the snow has arrived.........
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iainwatson
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Posts: 802
Munros:270   Corbetts:19
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Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:3
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Joined: Jun 28, 2010
Location: glasgow

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