Ben Cruachan Four plus a Corbett

17 Ben Cruachan Summit

Statistics

Area: Glen Etive to Glen Lochy

Munros: Beinn a’Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich, Ben Cruachan, Stob Diamh

Corbetts:  Beinn a’Bhuiridh

Date walked: 26/06/2010

Distancec: 24km

Time: 8 hours 30 mins

Ascent: 2400m

The Route

map-of-route

Introduction

Its Saturday so its bagging time again. I decided I would have a go at the Cruachan horseshoe and add the Corbett for good measure. Its a tough one and if the sun comes out I might not manage it due to heat induced cramp, so in order to make the most of the attemp I would set off early. So I was up at 0330 and out the door at 0345. I arrived at the small car parking area, near the bridge over the Allt Mhoille on the B8077, just  after the turn off the A85 at the head of Loch Awe. The time was 0535 and since I was already prepared for the walk I started walking at 0540.

The Walk

I crossed the bridge and then turned left onto the road to Castle farm. I could clearly see the track going up the side of the hill in the distance so followed the track past the farm and soon began to ascend. I had decided to continue on the track (easy walking) till I was below the ridge above Stob Maol and then I would just climb straight up the 250m ascent to the easier ridgeline which then goes all the way to the summit of Beinn Eunaich. I was hoping to see a smaller track but nonetheless after a km or so I left the main track and climbed the pathless hillside up to the ridgeline. As I climb a cold westerly wind picked up blowing at a pretty constant 20mph or so for the rest of the walk. I found a track on the ridge and followed it all the way to the summit.

I now set of for Beinn a Chochuil which is pretty much due west and about 2.5km. The track drops sharply to the beallach and then climbs gently to the second summit. As I get to the beallach I see a lone walker on the ridge. It’s easy walking underfoot and I am soon on the summit. I can’t see the other walker and wonder where he is when all of a sudden I hear “hello”. He has dropped down the hillside slightly to hide out of the wind. He is doing the two munros today and started early. We take snaps for each other and I bid farewell and march on.

I now have to cross the glen and drop SSW down the steep slope descending just over 400m. There are some crags and stuff but it’s just a matter of watching and carefully picking the descent route as I go. I look up at the slope in front of me it looks very steep with crags and a castelated ridgline. However these things allways look dificult from a distance and as you get closer potential routes normally appear. I have to ascend 400m so I make my way up the pathless slope picking the grassy patches to ascend and I am soon on the summit ridgline and pick up a path. The summit of Stob Diamh is only 1km away so I quickly pass the cairn on Sron na Isean and in no time I am on the summit of the third munro. It’s in the mist though and there are no views.

Ben Cruachan is about 2.5km due west but its an up and down journey. I drop down about 150m to the beallach and then ascend 150m to Drochaid Ghlas, there is a large cairn here marking the way but I my mind is in neutral and I head along Drochaid glas ridge hahaha. Realising the cairn isn’t Ben Cruachan I turn around and head off along the Ben Cruachan ridge. The ridge is over 1km long and is full of small ascents and descents over large and small boulders where the path dissapears and reappears. There are two huge sloping slabs to cross on the journey which are quite grippy when I descend over them. I notice a lower path which appears to bypass these slabs and continue on my way to the final climb and reach the summit. A walker passes me on his way down and we exchange hello’s. There is another walker on the summit and he is doing the two Munro’s today. I stop for some replenishment as he heads of along the ridge. 4 Munro’s bagged (1 twice hahha) but my day is not finished. I still have the corbet to do.

After some fuel and drink I head of back along the ridge and soon catch up with the walker. I quickly pass him skipping from rock to rock and leap onto the first slab clinging to it like spiderman. I then run up the slab and its neighbour as I continue on my journey. Back down to the beallach and up Stob Diamph. I met two lovely ladies on the descent and we have a little chat and I am soon back on the summit of Stob Diamph. Another nice couple here with a dog heading off to Ben Cruachan. The corbet is 2.5km south of Stob Diamph so I head of in that direction. This takes me over Stob Garbh, over the spot height and down to the beallach at Lairig Torran. I look at the slope in front of me and it looks steep with a huge boulder field. I notice two walkers on the slope about 100m ahead of me so onwards and upwards. I am soon beside them and it turns out they have been on holiday in Scotland all week and this is there last day so they are doing the Corbett. I leave them and head upwards and I am soon on the summit at the small cairn.

Now its the journey home. The car is about 5km East and 850m below me hahaha. I basically head East along the ridgline for most of the journey. Its pathless and undulating and not very nice at this stage of a walk. With 1km to go I am looking for a decent descent but it all seems too steep untill the last 300m to drop, I decide to head down into the ferns. This is steep and slippy but I persever and soon join the track back to the car.

A great days walking meeting a number of walkers along the way. Superb.

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