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Munros One Hundred and Eighty Six to Eighty Seven

Munros One Hundred and Eighty Six to Eighty Seven

Postby Chris Henshall » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:53 am

Route description: Beinn a'Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a' Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich, Ben Cruachan, Stob Daimh

Date walked: 10/08/2020

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Monday, 10th. August, 2020:
Given covid, house moves and job changes, the planning for this trip had been pretty sketchy at times but long journeys from Devon, Kent and London together with convoluted manoeuvrings with different cars (in Crianlarich, Dalwhinnie and even Penrith) had eventually seen my old (well, I think he's 53) mate Steve Chalk, Alex (a former student and a stripling at 29) and me (now a 60 year old veteran) reunited (in what I suppose was a "covid bubble") on the train to Loch Awe on a Sunday afternoon. Our previous foray into the hills together (and our first with Alex) had been in May, 2018 and, just as he had then, Alex seemed to have brought good weather with him - useful, as the intention was to walk to Dalwhinnie.
For nostalgic reasons, I had decided that we should revisit the first part of a trek I'd made in 1977 so the heat of Sunday afternoon had seen us testing our fitness on the steep and unrelenting track up the Allt Mhoille from Castles Farm to the Lairig Noe. At that point, casual use of an old one inch tourist map, complacency based on the fact that I had been there before (albeit 43 years previously) and general poor planning had made us overshoot our intended destination of the surprisingly elusive Coire Lochain (nestling below Stob Daimh) by about 600 metres and end up in the (seemingly) nameless corrie to the east of Drochaid Ghlas - all rather embarrassing in perfect visibility but put right by a swift traverse. Any plans that we had to climb Cruachan that evening, however, were dissipated by the heat, lower than acceptable levels of fitness, the late hour and, once the tents were up, by our enjoyment of this beautiful and hard to reach location.
Day 1a - Heading up by Castles Farm.jpg
Heading up by Castles Farm on Sunday afternoon.
Day 1b - The wrong corrie.jpg
The wrong corrie.
Day 1c - Pitching tents in Coire Lochan.jpg
Pitching tents in Coire Lochain.
Day 1d - The sun going down from Coire Lochan.jpg
The sun going down from Coire Lochain.
The following morning, though, we were up and away relatively early, hitting the summit of Stob Daimh after a steady climb from the lochan and meeting the only two people we met that day on its summit - a couple who had come up from, I think, camping on the Lairig Noe after a similarly early start. From there, we wandered along the ridge to Cruachan and back enjoying the views - it is a tremendous hill - after which, we turned north back off the summit of Stob Daimh and down into the corrie as others doing the more traditional horseshoe began to appear.
Day 2a - Unholy Trinity, Alex, Me and Steve on the summit of Stob Diamh.jpg
An unholy trinity, Alex, Me and Steve on the summit of Stob Diamh.
Day 2b - East from Stob Diamh.jpg
East from Stob Diamh.
Day 2c - Looking back to Stob Diamh from Cruachan.jpg
Looking back to Stob Diamh from Cruachan.
Day 2d - Looking down on the tents in Coire Lochan.jpg
Looking down on the tents in Coire Lochain.
Day 2e - Cooking lunch in Corie Lochan.jpg
Cooking lunch in Corie Lochain.
After an early lunch, we packed the tents and picked our way down the difficult ground below the corrie (initially trending west) and returned to the Lairig Noe before a steep ascent to the summit of Beinn a'Chochuill. This was relatively tough going with big bags and reservations began to be voiced about the plan of continuing over Beinn Eunaich and its north-eastern tops before descending to Glen Kinglass... so a compromise was reached. We descended easily to the Lairig Lanachain - the low point between the two Munros - climbed Beinn Eunaich without our heavy bags and then descended about a kilometre north into Coire Glas where a perfect, dry campsite presented itself on a small mound adjacent to the Allt Easan. We hadn't come all that far but around 1800m of ascent and some rough ground, much of it traversed carrying big bags, had taken its toll on our post lock-down fitness levels and we were glad to stop.
Day 2f - North west from Beinn Eunaich.jpg
North west from Beinn Eunaich; our campsite was in the bottom right of the photo.

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Chris Henshall
Posts: 103
Joined: May 30, 2014

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