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Beinn a'Chreachain but not Beinn Achaladair

Beinn a'Chreachain but not Beinn Achaladair

Postby gman » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:48 am

Route description: Beinn Achaladair and Beinn a'Chreachain

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a' Chreachain, Beinn Achaladair

Date walked: 19/10/2011

Distance: 19 km

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SPOILER ALERT: didn't do both Munros.

MWIS forecasted snow on hills and I had seen it on Ben Lomond yesterday. Didn't look too bad when I drove past but got thicker on hills further North, Ben More especially. First time in snow so I was a bit cautious about trying it, but it would probably just be a light powder, right? :-)

Road to farm signposted, single lane farm track with pot holes. Already a car in car park, box for donations to mountain rescue near gate. Went clockwise, so through gate & easy long walk along valley (photos need straightened - blame the gloves!)
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0004.jpg

Burn crossing wasn't too bad after 5mins choosing a route.
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0005.jpg

Train & Beinn an Dothaidh
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0008.jpg

Nice day for a stroll.
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0012.jpg

Over bridge at derelict farm.
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0014.jpg

Then over footbridge, I missed this & had to go back.
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0021.jpg

through edge of forest, then head for the left of fenced area, bit muddy. Beinn Achaladair:
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0022.jpg

Look out for this pole from edge of fenced wood, leads to railway underpass.
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0023.jpg

Then it's upwards along side of burn - doesn't look too bad up there, hmm...
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0031.jpg

Beinn Achaladair again, looks a bit steep up left hand side.
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0036.jpg

Views on way up:
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0037.jpg

Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0038.jpg

Today's route along the ridge, starting to look a bit daunting but plan was to turn back if things got dodgy.
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0040.jpg

Fine (squint) view over Rannoch Moor:
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0041.jpg

Up to Beinn a'Chreachain, snow has drifted to the left. Looked uniform depth but one step could be an inch, the next knee-deep. Had walking poles to test depth & for grip.
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0044.jpg

Frosty cairn. Had done first hill in the snow by this point & got nice photies so thought about calling it a day. Snow is harder going & full route would take longer so running out of daylight might be an issue. Descent to ridge was supposed to be steep, but thought I'd see how it went & turn back if needed.

Nice views from top:
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0049.jpg

Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0050.jpg

Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0059.jpg

What's this approaching across Rannoch Moor though?
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0058.jpg

Anyway, headed onwards. Found it much slower descending in snow/ice but could make out the path below the ridge, would give some shelter from the wind and, hopefully, would be easy to follow. Then the weather came in - strong winds with snow/hail. Was walking along ridge path by this point and kept going, would probably blow over and I could always retrace footsteps in snow to retreat. Lost the path so headed up to ridge but had reached critical level of dodginess - poor visibility, winds & hail. Followed footsteps back, although they were already getting covered by blown show.
Hail had stopped so got a photo:
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0064.jpg

Then back up & over Beinn a'Chreachain, of course it had cleared by this point so I was considering a second attempt - looks fine over there now:
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0065.jpg

Decided to be sensible & return same way - bit disappointed but had nice squint photos to compensate - return route looking over moor:
Beinn a'Chreachain_19Oct2011_0068.jpg

Didn't seem too bad in snow, walking poles & boots OK for grip - one ice axe would be less stable but could stop a tumble hopefully. Didn't have gaiters though, so had wet feet on return. Would budget extra time & make best use of daylight - saw another couple of guys coming over the ridge in the opposite direction, they took ages to get over Beinn a'Chreachain & might have been walking home in dark. Was fun, but legs definitely feeling it today.
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Re: Beinn a'Chreachain but not Beinn Achaladair

Postby kevsbald » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:41 pm

Pic 65 - outstanding.
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Re: Beinn a'Chreachain but not Beinn Achaladair

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:04 pm

Scary but undeniably beautiful :clap:
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Re: Beinn a'Chreachain but not Beinn Achaladair

Postby Gavin99 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:53 pm

Lovely photographs gman and a wise choice retracing your steps ,even after reaching Beinn Achaladair it's still a long ,boggy drag back down the farm .
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Re: Beinn a'Chreachain but not Beinn Achaladair

Postby snodland » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:57 pm

2 of my favourite mountains for the way the ground falls away in front of them - as per pic number 41- so you can see right up to Nevis and the Grey Corries.
Glad to see the snow is still the soft walkable type.
Lovely report and some top pictures
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