Ben Challum (Drama on the hills)

Route: Ben Challum, near Tyndrum

Date walked: 14/07/2012

Distance: 11.5km

After all the recent rain it was good to get back on the hills under dry skies, although it was rather wet underfoot. We decided on Ben Challum a relatively simple hill to walk up according to the books. On my previous two walks prior to this one the first being on the Cobbler my wife slipped on the path coming down and rolled down the hill for a short distance and smacked her head of a rock resulting in a black eye, bruised nose and a scraped face (I do have witnesses, as it can be quite embarrassing walking down the street with your wife and when people see her face bruised they immediately turn and give you funny looks), and on the second one we had just completed our walk when we came upon a walker lying unconscious on the ground and his haversack lying beside him, and a 2 litre bottle of irn bru which was a quarter full nearby. When we approached him he had a split head and a nasty cut on his hand and his knees were all grazed. We managed to get him conscious and it became apparent he was blootered (drunk), his irn bru bottle had been full of vodka so we phoned for an ambulance as he was obviously in need of medical care. We didn’t have to wait to long for the ambulance to arrive and once he was in their care we went on our way. We don’t know how he ended up there or why but he didn’t look like a guy who was a heavy drinker (trouble in the hoose?). So after these walks we were looking forward to a normal day on the hills or so we thought, more of that later. No problem parking at layby across from Kirkton Farm entrance and a straight forward walk from there
Old cemetry after Kirkton farm with Cruach Ardrain in the background
through Kirkton farm up to the railway line and then crossing via the bridge and it was just after this we found there was no obvious path to follow up the hill (we may have missed it) so we zig zaged our way up avoiding as much as we could the boggy areas and then crossing the fences using the ladders
Cruach Ardrain
Trying to avoid the boggy areas
Looking over to Ben Lui
Ben More, Stob Binnein and Cruach Ardrain
. Finally reaching the start of the pull up to the south top
Heading up to the south top
we were rewarded with clear panoramic visibility all around.
Crianlarich Hills
We stopped on the south top for a breather before heading over to Ben Challum top and during our conversation I mentioned that we hadn’t had any drama or mishaps today and one of my companions replied” the days not over yet” and laughed. Having rested we pushed on and at this point we noticed another group of walkers who were half way up the last part of the Ben (later found out they were on their way down) standing in a group looking at the ground. Then we noticed the helicopter from HMS Gannet flying straight towards us
HMS Gannet
and then slowing down just over our heads and it was obvious they were looking for someone so we pointed over to the other party and they were soon hovering over them.
Lowering a crew member down
When they reached them they lowered one of the crew down to attend to the injured person. To watch a mountain rescue unfold before your eyes is gripping. I will let the following pictures and video tell the rest of the rescue story.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5sEmpxl7Nk After the helicopter flew off to take the patient to hospital I enquired with his friends to what had happened, he had an artificial knee cap and was on his way down from the top when he stumbled over a rock and his knee cap popped out (ouch sounds painful), I also noticed his friends had been taking photos and possibly videos on their phones and cameras so I didn’t feel so bad filming it myself ( I did inform one of the party I hope they didn’t mind that I had been filming the whole incident and they were ok about it). Well after all the excitement we carried onto the top where we had a bite to eat and took in the wonderful views towards Ben Nevis, Ben Lui, Ben Cruachan, Ben Lawers and the Crianlarich hills.
View back towards the south top
Ben Lui & Ben Cruachan away in the distance
Hopefully on my next walk the only thing I will be talking about will be the fellowship of my companions and the walk itself.

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Comments: 14

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User avatar
Location: North ayrshire
Pub: none
Mountain: Buachaille Etive Mor
Place: glen coe
Gear: scarpa boots
Member: rs biotech mountaineering club, Brisge Hikers
Ideal day out: a epic ridge walk but I dont mind a scary sacramble

Munros: 24
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 1

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Distance: 11.5 km


Trips: 4
Distance: 26 km
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Corbetts: 1


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Joined: May 26, 2009
Last visited: Oct 09, 2021
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