An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin and the wrong trousers

Route: An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin, near Crianlarich

Munros: An Caisteal, Beinn a'Chroin

Date walked: 05/05/2017

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 14km

Ascent: 1045m

You know those days when at the start of a walk you feel full of energy, you fairly glide up the steep slopes feeling light on your feet, if you’re out of breath then you barely notice, it all seems remarkably easy and you feel like you could walk all day? Me neither and this was the opposite of that. :lol:

After an uneventful journey I pulled into the parking area at about 7.45am, there are pot holes here that are so deep that you can see the molten core of the earth, thankfully for my battered and bruised car I avoided them. I was quickly off up the track, there was nobody else about although in the first part of the walk the peace and quiet is somewhat spoiled by the traffic noise from the A82. It was yet another(!) gorgeous, cloudless day in the sun drenched Scottish hills, albeit with a chilly wind
Oh what a beautiful morning.jpg
Oh what a beautiful morning

By the time I reached the second gate and the point where you turn off up Sron Gharbh I was already struggling a bit, for some reason my legs were like lead and it didn’t help that I’d forgotten to take a hay fever tablet. There was a faint path to follow to get to the ridge and I made frequent stops to admire the view and wonder why a simple climb was so difficult, it was with much relief that I gained the ridge and what seemed the hardest bit of the day was over.
Looking back to the start.jpg
Looking back to the start

onwards and upwards Twistin Hill.jpg
Onwards and upwards Twistin Hill

Looking back.jpg
Looking back

An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin.jpg
Beinn a'Chroin on the left and An Caisteal ahead

It was not yet 9.00am but I was sweating buckets, it was then I realised that in the gloom of the bedroom I had put on my fleece lined winter trousers so it was no wonder I was sweating up. Doh! From here I could see the inviting path heading up Twistin Hill and it was a very pleasant and easy going stroll onwards. Higher up there were fantastic views in all directions and the wind was now blowing hard and causing some serious wind chill, perhaps they weren’t the wrong trousers after all. :shock:
Back down to Srob Garbh.jpg
Back down Sron Garbh

An Caisteal summit.jpg
An Caisteal summit

After a short while I made the top of An Caisteal and took a few photos, wowed at the views and decided the wind made it cold enough for hat and gloves, sadly I’d left mine at home. Oh well. For some reason there were two large cairns on the summit although one seemed to be clearly higher than the other, perhaps it just to make it easier for photo ops when it’s busy..
Summit view.jpg
One of the cairns

Summit cairn on An Caisteal.jpg
The other cairn or possibly the same one, I'm confused..

Someone's stolen all the trees.jpg
Someone has stolen all the trees...

From here I descended on the clear path down to the bealach on the good path with nice views over to Loch Long in the distance. There was one little scrambly bit where I missed the path going off to the right and had to do a short bum descent down some rock. Coming down you get a good view up to the imposing side of Beinn a’Chroin, it looked quite intimidating and almost like there couldn’t be a path up there.
Summit shot.jpg
View over to Loch Long

Next target.jpg
Next target, Beinn a'Chroin

The path onwards.jpg
The path ahead, with rogue cloud!

Down to the bealach.jpg
Down to the bealach

Lochan good.jpg
Lochan good

An Caisteal from the bealach.jpg
An Caisteal from the bealach

The bealach was lovely and sheltered with a tiny lochan shimmering in the sun. By this point I was starting to fantasize about how fantastic it would be to have an ice cold beer at the top of Beinn a’Chroin, obviously I didn’t have one with me but it took my mind off the steep ascent. The path is again excellent with one small scrambly bit with a step, here I performed what must have been the most inelegant maneuver seen anywhere in the world that morning. Thankfully there was no-one around to see my impression of a drunk and geriatric spider having a spasm. Anyway, it’s not how you get up and it’s just that you do and that is what I will continue to tell myself.
Over to Loch Long.jpg
View from the path up Beinn a'Chroin

Once I’d gained the top of path and was on the plateau I found a sheltered spot and stopped for my imaginary beer. Looking over to the summit of An Caisteal I could see a couple of people on the summit and they were the first and last people I saw throughout the walk.
Back to An Caisteal.jpg
View back to An Caisteal

Summit of Beinn a'Chroin.jpg
After my imaginary beer it was onward to the summit of Beinn a'Chroin

After a few minutes rest it was on to the summit which is a fairly gentle and easy walk. I think by this point it was about 11.15, my earlier tiredness and heavy legs had faded somewhat. There were wonderful views in every direction and I even spotted a cloud! Amazing. Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean were looking splendid and inviting and if I’d had more energy/time I would have been seriously tempted to add them in to the walk. It was so dry on the summit and the grass was literally crackling and I wasn’t surprised to read about a fire elsewhere in the Highlands this past weekend.
Four munroes.jpg
Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean with Ben More and Stob Binnen behind

Glen Inverlochlarig.jpg
View down to Glen Inverlochlarig

Summit back from where I came.jpg
View back to An Caisteal

View down to the glen.jpg
Down to the glen and the way back

Soon it was time to head down and down in the glen it was seriously baking without a breath of wind, damn those wrong trousers. The route description makes note of the inviting pools in the river Falloch and they did indeed look just the tonic for some hot and sweaty feet. Bliss it was to sink my feet into the lovely cold water and it was still lovely when I lost all feeling in them a minute later. :lol:
Way back home.jpg
Baking hot by this point..

Foot spa

It refreshed me suitably for the hot walk back to the car, I was hoping that some enterprising soul might have parked an ice cream van in the parking area but it wasn’t to be. I was back at the car in just over 5 hours, it was a cracking walk, really nice and easy to follow route, great views, stunning weather, lovely imaginary beer and I managed to find a nice ice cream shop on the way home. Yay!

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Location: Stirling
Activity: Mountaineer

Munros: 43
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Trips: 1
Distance: 14 km
Ascent: 1045m
Munros: 2

Joined: Jan 18, 2017
Last visited: Aug 08, 2020
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