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Ben Challum

Ben Challum


Postby rockhopper » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:42 pm

Route description: Ben Challum, near Tyndrum

Munros included on this walk: Ben Challum

Date walked: 02/01/2011

Time taken: 5.4 hours

Distance: 12.8 km

Ascent: 1007m

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I had originally hoped to combine Ben Challum with the two neighbouring corbetts, Cam Chreag and Beinn Chaorach before the end of 2010 but a bad cold and cough put paid to that plan. However, as I was keen to get a walk in before returning to work on 5 January, I decided on the Saturday to opt for the blue skies forecast for the Sunday as it was to worsen to cloud/rain/sleet on Monday and Tuesday (didn’t quite work out this way though, as it stayed grey and overcast all day but at least it was dry 8) ).

I still hadn’t got rid of my cold so planned to take it a bit easier and didn’t get up quite as early as usual. My car was the first in the layby on the west side of the A82 just past the entrance to Kirkton Farm. I walked over the bridge, turned left just as I reached the farm building, up just on to the West Highland Way beside the ruin of St Fillan’s Priory (there’s a wee plaque which explains the history) and then up the farm track past a humming generator and through the gates to cross over the railway track. I had read various reports which explained how boggy the lower sections were so I headed NW at this point rather than going up the normal path further over to the east. This gave no problems with bogs probably more because the ground was frozen. I then got to the deer fence and had to head SE to cross the stile and rejoin the normal track.

From then on I had no problems with boggy ground as the bogs were all frozen over. However, it did mean there were extensive areas of very slippy, hard ice which made the going tricky. With no wind, I had to remove a layer as I was too warm and didn’t need to put it back until much further up the hill. The views started to open up and I could see Ben More, Stob Binnein, Cruach Ardrain group, Ben Lui group and further over Rannoch Moor. Unfortunately the promised blue sky and sun didn’t appear; the cloud remained uniformly grey :problem: .

1 Ben Lui group.JPG

2 Cruach Ardrain.JPG

3 Ben More and Stob Binnein HDR.JPG


The going was getting very slippy as I got up past the 800m stage due to both the frozen bogs and the small amount of hard packed, icy snow. As I approached the south top at 997m, I was passed by the first walker I had seen all day; he had already put on his crampons and I did likewise. I had held off for as long as practical given the amount of exposed ground but didn’t think it would be possible or safe to go further without them.

4 Approach to 997m south top.JPG


It was then a straightforward walk to the 997m top where I had to head sharply west to pick up the ridge which leads to the main north top. This ridge didn’t have much snow on it which made it tricky in crampons but they were definitely needed the rest of the way to the main summit.

5 Cruach Ardrain and neighbours looking over ridge to 997m south top.JPG

6 Beinn Dorain and neighbours.JPG

7 Ben Lui.JPG

8 Glen Lochay.JPG

9 Ben More and Stob Binnein.JPG


At the cairn I had a chat with the walker who had passed me further back. By coincidence we were both recovering from colds but were happy to be out and about. We also both thought that we’d have seen more walkers on the hill that day. I had some refreshments and wandered around looking at the views from the top.

11 Ben Challum cairn.JPG

10 Summit panorama.JPG


I then walked over to have a look at the approach to Cam Chreag via Ghlas Leathaid bealach and then the route round to Beinn Chaorach. I still had plenty of time to return this way but, with the weather being rather grey, some very light snow flurries starting to appear, a comment Graeme had made about Ben Chaorach and the fact that I wasn’t 100% due to my cold, I decided that I was happy with the day’s walk and headed back down the normal return route :D .

12 Looking back to the summit HDR.JPG

13 View from 997m south top HDR.JPG


Then the flood gates opened and I think I must have met at least 20 other walkers on their way up as I descended. On the way down I had a long chat with a lady walker who had compleated the munros a couple of years ago, was also getting over a cold and had decided to wait while her husband went up to the top as she had walked Ben Challum twice before – she was the first person I’d ever met with the same 1980’s ice axe as me.

14 Frozen waterfall.JPG


Back in summer 2010 I had no thoughts whatsoever of adding to my tally of 13 munros mainly from my younger days in the 1980’s. That all changed when I went for a couple of walks in the hills in northern Montana in July; on returning, my wife, younger son and I then walked up the cobbler (my second time) in August and I got the hill walking bug back again after a 20 years+ break. The good August weather and finding encouragement from the WH site and its members had a lot to do with it I’m sure and I’m now in planning mode for more walking, if all goes well, in 2011. Hope to see some of you on the hills this year – happy new year ! :thumbup:


15 Ben Challum active log 2jan2011 reduced for WH.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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rockhopper
 
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby dalmallywalker » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:43 pm

Great report Rockhopper and some good photos. I can tell you when the ground is not frozen it can be very boggy, so good choice to do it on a cold day!
Hope the cold dissapears for good.
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby dooterbang » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:36 pm

Nice report Rockhopper.

Glad to hear its not only the flu bug you got :wink:
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby Graeme D » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:03 am

Glad to see you beat the flu bug eventually and got out after all Rockhopper 8) . And well done on reaching the half century. Great report and usual high quality photography. I have a feeling it will not be too long until you are racking up triple figures and I look forward to following your journey on here. Isn't this site just a real source of information and inspiration?!!! Like you, I am now in full planning mode for the year to come, with summer wild camps foremost in my mind. Would be great to meet up and share some hill time. :D

P.S. That's an interesting line in avatar pics you've got there! Is there a story behind the latest one??? :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby rockhopper » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:27 pm

cheers all

dalmallywalker wrote:I can tell you when the ground is not frozen it can be very boggy, so good choice to do it on a cold day! Hope the cold dissapears for good
totall agree dalmallywalker - glad I went when it was frozen and the cold's nearly gone now

dooterbang wrote:Glad to hear its not only the flu bug you got
hohoho, very droll dooterbang :lol: don't think I'll catch up with you though :problem:

Graeme Dewar wrote:Glad to see you beat the flu bug eventually and got out after all Rockhopper . And well done on reaching the half century. Great report and usual high quality photography. I have a feeling it will not be too long until you are racking up triple figures and I look forward to following your journey on here. Isn't this site just a real source of information and inspiration?!!! Like you, I am now in full planning mode for the year to come, with summer wild camps foremost in my mind. Would be great to meet up and share some hill time.
P.S. That's an interesting line in avatar pics you've got there! Is there a story behind the latest one???
cheers Graeme. As with dooterbang I've got a long way to go before getting to your tally but hopefully it'll increase over 2011. You're dead right - if it wasn't for WH and all the contributions, I don't think I'd be as keen. It would be good to meet up - I'd need to get fit though to keep up with you given your latest trip ! 8)
My last avatar showed a specialized rockhopper mountain bike which is my main hardtail but for use on relevant hill walks I tend to use an old claud butler cape wrath with flat pedals so that I can cycle in my boots. Problem is that I've hardly been mountain biking at all due to hill walking so changed the avatar to a [rockhopper] penguin :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby Graeme D » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:34 pm

rockhopper wrote:My last avatar showed a specialized rockhopper mountain bike which is my main hardtail but for use on relevant hill walks I tend to use an old claud butler cape wrath with flat pedals so that I can cycle in my boots. Problem is that I've hardly been mountain biking at all due to hill walking so changed the avatar to a [rockhopper] penguin


Makes sense ...... given the amount of shuffling about on ice you've probably done over the last month or so. :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby rockhopper » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:14 pm

Graeme Dewar wrote:Makes sense ...... given the amount of shuffling about on ice you've probably done over the last month or so.
hohoho graeme...ahh but here's one taken in a whiteout :lol: :lol:
white.jpg
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby Alan S » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:56 pm

Great report rockhopper and smashin pics,love the ones of Ben Lui
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby monty » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:48 pm

Great set of pictures Rockhopper. I am surprised and dissapointed at the lack of snow though. :D Ben More and Stob Binnean look good in photo 9. Ground just looks barren though almost desert like. :D
monty
 

Re: Ben Challum

Postby rockhopper » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:13 am

thanks alan - I've got a soft spot for Ben Lui as I had a great day on it and its neighbours last autumn 8)

yup monty - hardly any snow until probably about 950m; more of an issue with ice though as the bogs were frozen solid but on the plus side my feet don't get wet :D
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby Bruadair » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:00 pm

Super report and super pic's Rock'r, you maybe didn't get the sun, but with clear summit you've captured some splendid shots with interesting skies.

Best regards,
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Re: Ben Challum

Postby jonny616 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:14 am

Hi Rockhopper

Glad you had a good day. I can almost see me in one of your pic's. Shame about the lack of clear blue, but at least the cloud stayed high.

Regards

Jonny
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