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Cruach Ardrain from Crianlarich on the drier route. Not!

Cruach Ardrain from Crianlarich on the drier route. Not!


Postby Justdrums » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:30 pm

Munros included on this walk: Cruach Ardrain

Date walked: 05/09/2019

Time taken: 5.25 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 910m

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Needed a break from dealing with family matters so headed here with my nephew T. He has just started bagging so had to find one that I had not done yet close to Loch Lomond since that was the map he had.Wanted to do something close to the A82 since he was coming from Glasgow, settled on Cruach Ardrain.
Checked out the SMC Munros book and the Harveys' Walks from the West Highland Railway. Both the Harveys and various walkhighlands reports noted how the walk through the forest at the start was very wet so opted for the drier route as stated by the Harveys and another walkhighlands report.
At first this went really well, parked the car on the long gravel track parallel to the A82 about 2km south of Crianlarich station, climbed over the stile, along the track, through the underpass and continued on the track next to the River Falloch that runs parallel to the SW edge of the forest. Got to the footbridge at 378229 . It was not there. Well that's not strictly true, it was there but it was not sitting over the river. It was lying on the ground about 20 yards away from where it should be. Well not to worry, there are plenty of rocks about so it was easy to step across the stream. Now came the fun part. Not!. Heading up the hill,it was absolutely sodden, boggy, slidy, watery mess with no real path. So if this is the supposed dry route, goodness knows how wet the forest is. Anyway from there headed up onto Grey Height, over Meall Diamh. Not a soul in sight. Spotted a raven pair who intermittently croaked at us through the fast blowing clouds.
R-20190905_134848.jpg
Looking towards Beinn a'Chroin from the Grey Height-Meall Diamh ridge

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Looking towards the summit of Cruach Ardrain from Meall Diamh ridge

From there continued on the path which goes up the SW side of Cruach Ardrain itself. Path was quite steep in places but manageable but I did think it would not be the most pleasant to come back down. Eventually reached the top after about 3 hours. I know, I know, I am dead slow compared to everyone else but there you go. We are not all iron men, women, non-binaries,... Could not see the two cairns mentioned in the SMC book but the book is from 1986 and anyway may be my route finding skills are rubbish.
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Beinn Tulaichean from the summit of Cruach Ardrain.

Really, really windy at the top so me and T agreed to forego the pleasures of continuing the traverse to Stob Garbh. Also thankfully T agreed to not continuing to Beinn Tulaichean as well. I knew my knees, feet, hips, heart, lungs,... could not manage that as well. I'll leave it for another day and come up the other side. Headed back down after a very windy lunch but found a shorter, easier way back down by going straight down the NW ridge following a twisty, faint path. Much easier than the way we came up on the SW side path.
Bumped into a couple of fellow walkers who confirmed that the route through the forest was very wet. Wonder if it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. With that decided to just stick to the devil we knew and went down the side of Grey Height to the not quite non-existent footbridge that does not cross the river (well you know what I mean). Made it back to the car in a sodden, muddy state in about 5 hrs 15 mins. That's T's 8th Munro and I think my 61st. Here's to many more with T as long he can stand my slow pace.
Justdrums
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 36
Munros:61   Corbetts:14
Grahams:6   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:17   
Islands:18
Joined: Feb 14, 2018
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Re: Cruach Ardrain from Crianlarich on the drier route. Not!

Postby ArgyllGoSlow » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:22 pm

We have just accepted and are fine we with being slow, but we do get there eventually. Yesterday I was so slow some Ptarmigans did not bother to run away and i was so chuffed at how close I was to them

We had a much drier experience than you on this route last year.
ArgyllGoSlow
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Posts: 26
Munros:47   Corbetts:12
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Sub 2000:14   
Joined: Feb 22, 2016

Re: Cruach Ardrain from Crianlarich on the drier route. Not!

Postby katyhills » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:01 pm

Nice report and some lovely atmospheric photos. :D
I've only ever done those two from the 'other side', and it can be wet on the ascent there too at any time of year, but the views are worth it.

I love your comment about the ptarmigans @ArgyllGo Slow :lol:
katyhills
Walker
 
Posts: 352
Munros:119   Corbetts:28
Grahams:7   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jul 7, 2015

Re: Cruach Ardrain from Crianlarich on the drier route. Not!

Postby Justdrums » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:26 pm

@ArgyllGoSlow - thanks for affirming the worth of going slow.
@KatyHills - thanks for the headsup about the route from the other side.

Also thanks to both of you for taking the time to read and respond to my post.
Justdrums
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 36
Munros:61   Corbetts:14
Grahams:6   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:17   
Islands:18
Joined: Feb 14, 2018
Walk wish-list

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