Weather forecast for Sunday promised a dry and sunny day with little or no wind, boy was it accurate.
Drove up via Crianlarich on a very bright and slightly humid start to the day.
Every lay by after Callander was choc a bloc with camper vans.
I went into the entrance for the Strathfillan wigwam site and used the parking facility just before the bridge to the campsite proper.
Started walking at 06.45, down the West Highland Way to Kirkton farm and the old graveyards.
There was a surreal atmosphere as I looked at the older grave site just as the sun began to appear in the sky behind it.
Anyway, up the hill I went, keeping a bit to the left of the path to avoid any boggy bits.
It was very peaceful walking up through the spongy grass and it wasn't long before the view back really began to catch my eye, what a glorious morning.Crianlarich Munros by robert irvine, on FlickrBen More and Stob Binnein by robert irvine, on FlickrCruach Ardrain by robert irvine, on FlickrBeinn a Chroin, An Caisteal and Beinn Chabhair by robert irvine, on FlickrBen Lui with a hat on by robert irvine, on FlickrBen Lui close up by robert irvine, on FlickrStrathfillan Wigwam campsite by robert irvine, on FlickrKirkton Farm and St Fillans church and graveyard by robert irvine, on Flickr
I put on the sun cream at this stage and continued uphill, boy was it getting hot, sweaty bum time.
I joined the main path at about 700 metres and gasped my way up to the south summit.
Time for a seat and a long drink ( of water ).
Stayed for a while and enjoyed the views.Ben Challum south summit to Crianlarich hills by robert irvine, on FlickrBen Challum south sumit to North summit by robert irvine, on FlickrSouth summit looking east by robert irvine, on FlickrCruach Ardrain and Beinn a Chroin close up by robert irvine, on FlickrArrochar hills by robert irvine, on FlickrBen Lui group by robert irvine, on FlickrBen Cruachan group up close by robert irvine, on FlickrView west by robert irvine, on Flickr
Eventually I made my way along the short ridge, down the dip and up to the main summit.
There wasn't a trace of wind and it was getting hotter and hotter.
Sat at the cairn for a while, enjoying where I was, sometimes it really is worth the effort of getting here.
A couple of younger lads from Edinburgh turned up, the first people I had seen on the hill all morning.
I think they were enjoying the scenery also.Main summit to Crianlarich hills by robert irvine, on FlickrBen More and Stob Binnein from summit by robert irvine, on FlickrArrochar hills from summit by robert irvine, on FlickrBen Lui group from summit by robert irvine, on FlickrView west from summit by robert irvine, on FlickrView north from summit, Creag Mhor centre by robert irvine, on FlickrView down Glen Lochay by robert irvine, on Flickr
At this stage I was undecided, should I sit on the summit for a while and enjoy the weather or continue with my original plan to take in the two nearby corbetts, Cam Chreag and Beinn Chaorach.
I was very aware of the drop into Beallach Ghlas Leathad and the very steep ascent back up.
Also, it was very hot and I am very lazy.
Made up my mind and descended the north west ridge of Ben Challum, down to the bealach.
This side of the mountain is a bit more rugged but there are plenty of grassy patches to avoid the rocky bits.
On the Walk Highlands guide it states that ' the slopes north of the bealach particularly are steep '.
Guess what ? The guide is absolutely right.
It was a bit of a slog in the bright sun and with no wind.
I was very grateful to reach the top and walk along the ridge in the welcome breeze that was beginning to spring up.
Ben Challum certainly looks a lot different from this side.
It's a very pleasant walk along the ridge to the summit of Cam Chreag.Cam Chreag summit back to Ben Challum by robert irvine, on FlickrCam Chreag summit to Bridge of Orchy hills by robert irvine, on FlickrCam Chreag to Creag Mhor and end of Loch Lyon by robert irvine, on FlickrCam Chreag looking west by robert irvine, on FlickrCam Chreag to Ben Lui by robert irvine, on Flickr
Enjoyed another pleasant break sitting here with a few crows for company, or were they vultures just hanging about on the off chance.
The next part of the walk was a bit calmer, a nice gentle descent and then a gradual long climb up to the summit of Beinn Chaorach.
Cracking views again.Beinn Chaorach summit to Crianlarich hills by robert irvine, on FlickrLooking back to Ben Challum by robert irvine, on FlickrBack to Cam Chreag by robert irvine, on FlickrView to west by robert irvine, on FlickrCruachan group by robert irvine, on FlickrBen Lui by robert irvine, on Flickr
Sat at the trig point and enjoyed the last of my food and water.
Then took a leisurely stroll down the south slope of Beinn Chaorach and finally along the farm track back to the car at Auchtertyre.
Cracking day, doesn't get much better than this.
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