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In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

In the shadow of Ben Cruachan


Postby Redrock » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:04 am

Route description: Beinn a'Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich

Date walked: 22/08/2011

Time taken: 8.6 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 1341m

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It was time for Redrock and Mrs R (aka Carolsnowangel) to go for a two Munro day and after pouring over maps and much deliberation of distances and weather forecasts we decided on Beinn a' Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich. We rather surprised ourselves with this choice as these hills had not been much in our minds before this - but they fitted all our needs for the day - so we set off driving to Dalmally (and beyond). We parked at the roadside by the bridge over the Allt Mhoille (but there's not a lot of parking there) and set off up the Hydro track past Castles Farm.

P1070525.JPG
Up the Hydro track towards Beinn a' Chochuill


Progress was good, but as usual with tracks, not very exciting. Soon though we could see the rib which was to be our route up Beinn a' Chochuill. It looked pretty steep to me! :?

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Looking towards Beinn a' Chochuill


Up the glen we took the track to the right and soon we found a little cairn on the left marking the way!

P1070529.JPG
A cairn showing the way


We soon lost the faint path in boggy ground, so just found our own way up the slope keeping to the crest of the rib as much as possible. After climbing about 100 meters Mrs R showed her talent for path spotting and soon we were back on the faint and eroded trail! It was hard work but there were great views of Ben Cruachan to the west to help us along.

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The Ben Cruachan range


Eventually, though, we were on the ridge and heading west towards the summit of Beinn a' Chochuill

P1070538.JPG
The summit ridge of Beinn a'Chochuill


And as the cloud started to roll in we arrived at the cairn just in time to see the view disappearing! :( But I'm glad to say it soon cleared again! :D

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The cairn - Beinn a' Chochuill


Time for a quick summit picture!

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At the summit of Beinn a' Chochuill


On our way down we came across a boulder that had clearly moved. Was it pushed or did it jump! :lol: I've been looking at some past reports to see if I can see the same boulder in any pictures - and to see how it looked then!

P1070549.JPG
the boulder that had moved


I wondered what it would be like if it had rumbled off down the hill! But it wasn't as bad as it looked. The boulder was egg shaped with the point facing downhill and soil was rucked up under it. So it wasn't likely to roll. Nevertheless I told Mrs R to look out as she descended - just in case! :shock:

P1070555.JPG
Watch our Mrs R


Heading east along the ridge towards Beinn Eunaich there were some great outlooks along the way!

P1070559.JPG
The view towards Strath of Orchy


The walk along the ridge was very pleasant - grassy turf and steady going. It headed down to the beallach at about 750 metres.

P1070562.JPG
Heading ENE towards Beinn Eunaich


We then headed up the grassy slopes towards the summit of Beinn Eunaich

P1070563.JPG
Up towards Beinn Eunaich


On the way we passed a rock which I reckoned bore an uncanny resemblance to a hippo! Well, you can decide for yourselves! :lol:

P1070564.JPG
The Hippo rock


Towards the summit the going became more rocky - but there was always a good way through.

P1070566.JPG
Rocky towards the summit


And in no time we were there at the summit of Beinn Eunaich. I was impressed by the red rocks of the cairn. So here's a picture of Redrock on a cairn of red rocks! :lol:

P1070571.JPG
Redrock at the summit of Beinn Eunaich


The cloud had come down as we had approached the summit (it seemed to be our day for this!) so we waited around to see if it would lift - hiding behind cairns and eating food! :D

P1070574.JPG
Hiding behind the cairn


And - lo and behold - the cloud did lift to give us some clear views around. Although we didn't see Ben Cruachan again! :)

P1070579.JPG
Looking towards Ben Cruachan and Beinn a' Chochuill


Heading down the broad ridge south towards Stob Maol we had some great views of Loch Awe and Dalmally.

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Towards Loch Awe and Dalmally


Looking west we reckoned we could just see Ben More on Mull between the Cruachan range and Beinn a' Chochuill.

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Towards the west from Beinn Eunaich


The ridge south towards Stob Maol was very pleasant walking all the way down to about 550 metres - firm grassy slopes with rocks all about.

P1070589.JPG
On the ridge to Glas Maol


Then, after crossing a couple of peat banks, the path headed off to the west down steep slopes on the side of the ridge. This was not very pleasant walking as the path was heavily eroded and the ground conditions were poor. :( So we took our time! Would it have been better to have stayed on the ridge and found a way off among the crags on the side of Stob Maol? It might have been - but I don't know. It would have been a long way to go - to have to turn back! :)

P1070593.JPG
The steep path down!


But we made it without mishap down to the Hydro track and were quickly back to the car after that. Looking back towards the Lairig Noe the cloud seemed to be coming down again. We had definitely had the best of the day - and it had been a really good day on these hills! We'll be back to climb Ben Cruachan soon! 8)

P1070595.JPG
Towards the Lairig Noe
Last edited by Redrock on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Redrock
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby Gavin99 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:07 am

Hmm... the mystery boulder. I think your report has made up my mind on my next trip, especially the fact that the words " long sodden route through bog filled valley" don't appear anywhere ! Looks like a nice route , good photos,thanks for posting .
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby Redrock » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:43 pm

Gavin99 wrote:Hmm... the mystery boulder. I think your report has made up my mind on my next trip, especially the fact that the words " long sodden route through bog filled valley" don't appear anywhere ! Looks like a nice route , good photos,thanks for posting .


Aye, Gavin, the Walkhighlands bog factor of 2 is about right. The steep ascent climb has some short boggy bits and there's maybe one or two boggy bits on the steep part of the descent - but otherwise this walk is pleasantly free from bog tramping! :lol: Enjoy! 8)
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby MG1976 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:00 pm

Nice report !

I was hoping to see a picture of you watching tv after your addition to my last recent thread.
No sockets, or just no reception ???

MG
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby Stretch » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:16 pm

These are two fine underated hills, very good views on a clear day. I had a look back through my pics of my day out but I don't have one of that funky boulder. Good job the both of you!
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby soulminer » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:37 pm

Enjoyed reading that :) a pleasant day out indeed.
Agree with Stretch,fine and underated hills.
Have only tramped them in winter- first time wearing crampons :lol:, straight to the end of the glen and up to Chochuill,along to Eunaich and down the front of Stob Maol- (Munros 8 and 9).
Had an encounter with several large highland cattle where we came back onto the path :lol:
Looks like I'll have to go back, but take the collies with me this time :)
Cheers for the reminder :wink:
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby Bod » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:18 pm

Fine report Redrock! I will have you follow you up here sometime and check the movements of the sliding boulder.....two very fine looking hills too, in a great location. Glad to see you and Mrs. R so obviously enjoying being oot and aboot! :D
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby Redrock » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:59 pm

Thanks Guys,

My guess is that boulder moved when the snows were melting in the spring - unless somebody pushed it! I think I might be able to see it in andrewdoggett's report from July - but can't be sure - and can't really say if it had moved by then. :)

I'm not the guy with the TV, MG1976, - but there was great viewing up there at times anyway! :lol:

Great hills as you say, Stretch, but they are rather overshadowed in peoples' minds by Cruachan I think.

The heelan' coos were still there, Soulminer, but safely in a field! But I'm sure the collies would love the trip anyway! :lol:

These hills are definitely worth the visit, Bod. Keep an eye on that boulder for me! :D
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby jonny616 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:20 pm

Great report & nice to see what i missed as these two were in clag when i did them so never got the views.

Like soulminer i had an incident with highland cows on the lower part of the track.

I don't remember seeing the moved boulder, but then again i could not see further than my nose :lol:

regards

Jonny
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby dogplodder » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:20 pm

Thanks for this. It's a timely report for me as we're on holiday in Crianlarich next week and were planning on these two hills. My walking buddy is recovering from a broken ankle :o so I wondered if the steep descent would be better to go up than down? What do you think?
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:52 pm

dogplodder wrote: My walking buddy is recovering from a broken ankle so I wondered if the steep descent would be better to go up than down? What do you think?


If I remember correctly that decent from Beinn Eunaich is not very pleasant at all,can remember my gammy knee complaining most of the way back down,in hind site,climbing Beinn Eunaich first would have been better,or you could always retrace your steps to the bealach between Eunaich &"a"Chochuill & return the way you came(just a thought)
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby Redrock » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:16 pm

dogplodder wrote: My walking buddy is recovering from a broken ankle so I wondered if the steep descent would be better to go up than down? What do you think?


GLW had a fair point. The descent route is badly eroded which is what makes it so awkward - but the bad part is only about 250 metres - although it took us a while. The first part down the ridge from Beinn Eunaich to about 550 metres altitude was a breeze. Doing the route in reverse would still give a steep descent down the spur of Beinn a' Chochuill and this would be a lot more of a descent (about 450 metres) but it is not so badly eroded. So it's hard to say. My ideal would be to find a route from the bealach between the two mountains back to the hydro road - but that could end up in boggy or difficult ground! Reversing the route might work - but beware the long and steep descent from Beinn a' Chochuill. 8) Enjoy your visit to Crianlarich! :D
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby tomyboy73 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:36 pm

nice one redrock, the picture of the boulder slowly sliding towards mrs r is great :lol: and the hippo looks kinda like a huge lizard head to me, well after a couple of glasses of wine anyway :)
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Re: In the shadow of Ben Cruachan

Postby PeteR » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:16 pm

A nice report and pictures of a couple of hills I have been back to a few times now. You look like you had good weather too, which was good as the views are good from these two. On my last visit I actually decended Beinn Eunaich more via the crags at the nose of the ridge. It looks tough from a distance (well, to me it did :lol: ), but I was able to find a route through on grassy rakes which wasn't too bad. Still a bit tough on the knees and boggy in places, but I much preferred this to the awful eroded path I had slipped and stumbled down the previous times. I have these two down for a return visit when the snow returns, along with their more illustrious neighbours :D
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