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Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan


Postby jupe1407 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:23 am

Route description: Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chleibh, Beinn Dubhchraig, Ben Cruachan, Ben Lui, Ben Oss, Stob Daimh

Date walked: 28/06/2014

Time taken: 16 hours

Distance: 33.4 km

Ascent: 3021m

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Two weeks after almost wrecking the soles of my feet and spending a week feeling dehydrated following my successful attempt to summit the 10 highest munros over a weekend, it was time to get back out again.

Armed with a decent(ish) forecast, blister plasters and socks that didn't smell too horrific, a trip was arranged with Graham and Jozef to do the Ben Lui group on Saturday, and the Ben Cruachan walk on Sunday, with a night at the "By The Way" bunkhouse on Saturday night. It's a fine facility incidentally. We were £18.00 for a night in a pretty well-appointed bunkhouse, with the added bizarre feature of a family of Great Tits nesting in the ashtray outside :lol:

Saturday
Beinn a'Chleib, Ben Lui, Ben Oss, Ben Dubhchraig



Lui 4.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Anyway, back to Saturday morning. I set off way too early and ended up waiting around in glorious sunshine at the Dalrigh Car Park just short of Tyndrum. Graham arrived from Carlisle an hour later and we headed round to Glen Lochy Car Park. Doing these four hills as a linear route saves roughly 10K as opposed to the "horseshoe". A lot to be thankful for at the end of a long day.

Ben Cruachan-1.jpg
Lui and co from Glen Lochy


The start point is Glen Lochy car park, briefly following the nearby river then crossing over. There's no bridge but the water was low to the point of non-existent. Immediately afterwards the railway line must be negotiated, either via a knee deep in water underpass, or risking a fine crossing the tracks. :?

Things get better as we now faced a tramp through a couple of km of forest, and like 99% of walkers tackling this route, completely missed the all-important cairn. We eventually reached a forest track then looked for a fire break to head up. Sort of found one and went for it. Eventually we emerged from Fangorn Forest with surprisingly untorn clothing and not missing any eyes. Turning round revealed a tremendous view of Ben Cruachan.

Ben Cruachan-2.jpg
Ben Cruachan


We saw the path we missed at this point :lol: At this point Graham and I headed for the Corrie headwall, and Josef, clearly bored with "normal" walking, decided to head straight up the nose of Beinn a'Chleib. After a steep shortcut up the headwall we made the bealach, then took the very short and surprisingly easy ascent up to Beinn a'Chleib, the day's first munro.

Ben Cruachan-3.jpg
Beinn a'Chleib summit


After a short break here we made for the bealach then started up Ben Lui, a much greater ascent, but a fabulous mountain. The clag began to roll in however, and by the time we made the summit, views were somewhat restricted.

Ben Cruachan-5.jpg
Ben Lui Summit


After a snack and a reasonably extensive debate as to why this was the true summit when the other cairn looked higher, we all agreed we couldn't be arsed going to the other cairn, chatted to a walker from Fife and another couple from Glasgow then started to head down the longish tramp (and depressingly large height loss) to the Bealach below Ben Oss. It's quite a pleasant wee wander, and the re-ascent is also fairly gentle, consisting of a great long shoulder then a shortish final pull to the summit.

Views remained awesome.

Ben Cruachan-6.jpg
Ben Oss


The summit was soon reached, and a very short break taken.

Ben Cruachan-1-2.jpg
Ben Oss Summit


We then headed off for the day's final summit, Ben Dubhchraig, via a mini-bealach, then a bigger drop to the proper bealach. A Final climb out of here, was followed by a gentle pull up to the summit, which offered fine views of Loch Lomond, the Tyndrum hills and much more. The weather had significantly improved and now even Ben Lui was clear.

Ben Cruachan-7.jpg
Distant Ben Lui


We had a well-earned rest at the cairn/shelter at the summit, mulled over the wonders of cheese rolls and planned our descent.

Ben Cruachan-8.jpg
Dubhchraig Summit with Lui behind


We then headed off down the mountain's NNE side rather than backtracking to the junction. After a trouble-free grassy descent, we followed the burn down towards the forest. This was a cracking stretch. With around half a mile of soft, spongy grass. Heaven on the feet. We eventually joined the path for the remaining walk out, entering the forest of Scots pine, a really beautiful spot.

Ben Cruachan-9.jpg
The walk out


A detailed on the WH route for the latter two munros, the footbridge is out, however the river crossing after the recent dry spell was trouble free as were the no doubt usually awful boggy sections. Eventually we reached the Dalrigh Car Park, headed off to collect car #2 then made for our lodgings for the evening, where we met an international female athlete doing the WHW and a walker who had almost died falling after a cornice took him off Creise in January.

All in all, an excellent day.

Sunday
Ben Cruachan, Stob Diamh



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After a fine night's sleep in the By The Way bunkhouse (it took me about 3 hours to realise why it was called this :lol: ), we made for the the Cruachan horseshoe, joined by Scoob and Fi who would tag on the Corbett Beinn a'Bhuiridh. Starting from the car park at Falls of Cruachan Station, we started up the steep and fern-swamped route. It was a lovely and absolutely roasting start, sheltered from the cooling breeze. The views however were stunning.

Ben Cruachan-10.jpg
Loch Awe(some)


We continued through the expanse of ferns, eventually coming up to the impressive Cruachan Dam and a fine track. Upon reaching the dam, it's necessary to head to the left and nip up the ladder to the vehicle track.

Ben Cruachan-11.jpg


Ben Cruachan-12.jpg
Cruachan Dam


The vehicle track is then followed by a short distance, before reaching a marker cairn to begin the long ascent up to the bealach. This is a lovely walk, following the descending burns, with assorted little waterfalls, and good opportunities to take on fluids.

Ben Cruachan-14.jpg
Waterfalls


The walk steepens towards the final part out of the corrie to the bealach, but the rewards is an awesome view across to Mull and various other islands.

Ben Cruachan-15.jpg
Towards Mull


The remaining ascent is a bit of a boulderfield but quite enjoyable.

Ben Cruachan-16.jpg


Soon the summit is reached, well worth the toil in getting there. The views in all directions are absolutely wonderful, with most of the western highlands visible.

Ben Cruachan-17.jpg
Summit of Cruachan


Ben Cruachan-18.jpg
Loch Etive


Ben Cruachan-19.jpg
Munro Top, Stob Dearg


After a long break taking in the wonderful views, we started the long descent along the highly enjoyable ridge which eventually lead to Stob Diamh, with some larking about along the way....

Ben Cruachan-20.jpg


The walk between the summits is a real pleasure with wonderful views all around. A brief lapse in concentration almost resulted in us dismissing Stob Diamh as a munro top, however i headed up to the touch the cairn anyway. Although not nearly as fine a summit as Cruachan, it's nevertheless a cracking spot.

Ben Cruachan-22.jpg
Stob Diamh


Ben Cruachan-21.jpg
View back to Cruachan


After the short journey to the munro top Stob Garbh, we wandered down to the Bealach with the Corbett. At this point we left Scoob and Fi to fire up the Corbett and headed back down to the dam, then the cars. Partly to get home at a decent time, and partly because one of my blisters from the other week was coming out to play :lol:

Once final look at the wonderful Ben Cruachan....

Ben Cruachan-23.jpg


And along the dam....

Ben Cruachan-24.jpg


So ended another wonderful weekend in the Scottish hills. I topped it off by getting home in decent time and ordering an absolutely massively Chicken Shashlik kebab. Wonderful.
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby SecretSquirrel » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:11 am

Six hills across 2 days is a great way to spend the weekend! Looks like you got the best of the weather on Sunday and some cracking pictures.

I was out doing the Ben Lui 4 on Saturday too, starting and finishing at Dalrigh - not sure if my route (inspired by bobble_hat_kenny's report) was the horseshoe you mentioned? But this was slighty shorter at 27k ...

But a great set hills for wandering on any route!


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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby scoob999 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:18 pm

Nice one :clap:

And stunning pics too :D good to catch up with you again 8)
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby Fife Flyer » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:24 pm

Nice one JP, fabby photo's as always :clap: :clap:

Your are making a habit of these long weekend walks :lol:
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:38 am

Fife Flyer wrote:Nice one JP, fabby photo's as always :clap: :clap:

Your are making a habit of these long weekend walks :lol:


:lol:

Slowly getting fitter. VERY slowly.


scoob999 wrote:Nice one :clap:

And stunning pics too :D good to catch up with you again 8)


Thanks mate, good to see yourself and FI again. No doubt see you at Nethy Bridge in a couple of weeks :D
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby AnnieMacD » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:22 pm

Oh, you are a brave man taking all these hills in so soon after your marathon weekend. Superb photos - I really like the B&W one of the dam - I don't normally like structures very much but the diagonals really draw the eye in. :clap:
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby jupe1407 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:40 pm

AnnieMacD wrote:Oh, you are a brave man taking all these hills in so soon after your marathon weekend. Superb photos - I really like the B&W one of the dam - I don't normally like structures very much but the diagonals really draw the eye in. :clap:


Thanks Annie. It's a pretty impressive structure close up. Presumably all automated now. There are impressive wee water tunnel blasted into the rock on both sides of the reservoir. Pretty cool wee place :D
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:30 pm

Been eyeing up Ben Lui and friend and not yet decided between the long approach from the east or the shorter one over the river and railway track. River not a problem but are you seriously at risk of a fine for carefully crossing the track? :?
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby captainslow » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:47 pm

Somewhat late to this report but...was the whole of WH on the Oss/Lui four that day? I was there too, Jupe, did I speak to you guys in the car park at Dalrigh? I'm the guy with the pointy white car and the number plate ending in MAP......If it wasn't you then I met three other guys who did the same walk as you two days in a row!
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby litljortindan » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:27 pm

Went up Ben Lui in April 1991 after a night in a "railway bothy". Had a lot of trouble getting through/over a cornice and a fairly horrible return alongside the railway. Been up Cruachan a few times since October 1988. That first visit really got me hooked on hillwalking. Have also been up there via a mist inspired accidental inclusion of the Corbett you mention.
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:33 pm

Great report and stunning photos - I really like the monochrome ones, they look so dramatic, particularly the one of the dam. Thanks. :clap:
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:29 pm

a busy weekend right enough - and a great set of photos to match - cheers :)
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby jupe1407 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:52 pm

dogplodder wrote:Been eyeing up Ben Lui and friend and not yet decided between the long approach from the east or the shorter one over the river and railway track. River not a problem but are you seriously at risk of a fine for carefully crossing the track? :?


Indeed you are. One of my walking partners had been speaking to guy who fined £1000 for crossing the same bit we were at. Seems a bit daft to me, but that's the risk i guess.

captainslow wrote:Somewhat late to this report but...was the whole of WH on the Oss/Lui four that day? I was there too, Jupe, did I speak to you guys in the car park at Dalrigh? I'm the guy with the pointy white car and the number plate ending in MAP......If it wasn't you then I met three other guys who did the same walk as you two days in a row!


You did indeed! It seemed a popular location that weekend :lol:
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby Lournieloon » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:26 pm

Hi, just had a look thro your report on Lui and what looks more or less the way I will tackle it except maybe not a frontal assault. Thank you.
What I am messaging about really is your report on Cruachan which I fell for big style. I notice your "nearly" identical photo looking back to Cruachan that I have and which I entered in the August photo comp. I see you post some crackers there too, just hope you didn't think I had copied and pasted yours ! :wink:
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Re: Brilliant Ben Lui and Cracking Cruachan

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:03 pm

Lournieloon wrote:Hi, just had a look thro your report on Lui and what looks more or less the way I will tackle it except maybe not a frontal assault. Thank you.
What I am messaging about really is your report on Cruachan which I fell for big style. I notice your "nearly" identical photo looking back to Cruachan that I have and which I entered in the August photo comp. I see you post some crackers there too, just hope you didn't think I had copied and pasted yours ! :wink:


Haha no problem. Your photo and bumping this report brought back good memories of an excellent hill weekend. Nice composition on your photo BTW 8)

Yeah if you're doing the four and there are two vehicles, that route is definitely the way forward. Just don't miss the cairn in that bloody wooded area like we did :lol:
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