Ending lockdown cautiously in Cowal

Sub 2000s: Cruach nan Cuilean

Date walked: 05/07/2020

Catching up on a couple of trips. This was my first trip out following the move to phase 3 of the lockdown. I was keen to avoid the honeypot locations, so a trip to deepest, darkest Cowal seemed like a good choice. I've found it to offer excellent walking, with some tough little hills to test me.

This was to be a straightforward trot up the sub 2000 Cruach nan Cuilean.....that I decided to make a tad harder in descent :lol:

Started at a gate along the B836, that gives good access to the foot of the hill. At a wier, that was quickly reached, a (at times) boggy path then winds its way up the hillside. It was about this time that an ongoing issue with a blister on my left heal made it clear this short walk might be a bit more uncomfortable than I'd hoped for.

I probably should have followed the line of a drystone wall, but I didn't :lol: Instead headed more directly up A'Chruach, before dropping down across the boggy Bealach Gaoith. This took me up toward a grassy rake to the left of Creag an Diamh.

From here it was a walk over rough ground, past a small lochan near the 430 contour, following the line of the hill that required no unnecessary drip on height before the final short climb to the unmarked summit.

The forecast for the day had been one of sunshine and showers. and I certainly enjoyed some showers on my way to the summit. I'm not sure though at what point a shower is no longer a shower and actually becomes a torrential downpour. Certainly enjoyed a couple of 'showers' on the day :lol:

Didn't stop on the summit for long.......another shower was moving in :lol:

And then the fun began. If the route to the summit had been fairly standard the route off wasn't going to be. I thought it would be an excellent idea to head off past the unnamed lochan and head off the side of the hill in the general direction of the Striven Power Station. What could possibly go wrong....... :think:

Bracken, that's what could go wrong......and it did :lol:

Bracken and me have 'form' shall we say. It likes to trap me and somehow I can't resist its temptation.

The initial descent started ok. The ground was a bit rough, but reasonably gentle. It was on arrival at some crags that things started to develop. I could see the landrover track I was aiming for. It was only a few hundred yards away......as the crows fly, but between me and said track was a sea of delicious, green bracken.

Had to cross a small burn before committing myself to the full joy of bracken swimming. So dense was the stuff, even when I slipped and fell it held my weight. Slow progress was made, navigating my way through the undergrowth. Sometimes it was taller than me :lol: but eventually I arrived at the landrover track and safety. From there it was an easy trip down the track that would deposit me back on the main road. From there it was then a bit of a slog along the road and back to the car.

After a few weeks of repeating Blaeloch Hill and Hill of Stake during the initial lockdown easements it was certainly good to visit elsewhere at last, even if it was just a sub 2000.

ImageP1150724 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Today's hill from the roadside

ImageP1150725 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Not the most welcoming start

ImageP1150734 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1150743 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Up the grassy rake to A'Chruach

ImageP1150758 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Across Bealach Gaoith to the grassy rake I'd take on toward the summit

ImageP1150769 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
The summit's over there somewhere

ImageP1150784 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Shower incoming

ImageP1150791 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Summit view

ImageP1150795 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
A better summit view down Loch Striven

ImageP1150799 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
An easy start to the descent

ImageP1150802 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Followed this burn down to some crags

ImageP1150807 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
And then entered the fray :lol:

ImageP1150814 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Yes, yes I walked through that

ImageP1150816 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Just glad to be back on a track :D

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Location: North Ayrshire
Activity: Munro compleatist
Pub: Lewes Arms, East Sussex
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Place: Glen Dessary
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