Monday, December 11, 2006

14-17. Cruach Ardrain (87), Ben Tulaichean (220), Ben a'Chroin (233), An Caisteal (147) (8/07/2006)

I found myself with two days to kill in Crianlarich, a village with little else to it apart from the mountains and a couple of pubs. There are no fewer than 7 munros within a few miles of the Youth Hostel and several more within a day's walk. I picked two of the closer ones and, having reached the top of the second by midday, decided to strike out for two others to make a round trip. Going up through the trees on Cruach Ardain, the first munro, I nearly lost my legs a couple of times in the bogs between the trees, but once out of them there was a good rocky path to the top. It was a little cloudy, but I got pretty good views of the loftier neighbours Ben More and Stob Binyan. Beinn Tuilaichean was shrouded in mist when I got there, but on the way back from this I decided to head straight down and up the sides of the glen to Ben a'Chroin, which involved about 500m of re-ascent. At this point I also encountered a Glaswegian who had spent the night in a cave near the top of the mountain. Obviously he encouraged me to go across, but he would (being one sandwich short of a picnic himself). Anyway, I thought it was a good idea, if only to avoid the walk back through the boggy wood, but I propably ran down a bit too fast, as somewhere along the way I managed to twist my knee (which became a bit painful the following day). I even found a small path climbing one shoulder of Ben a'Chroin on the other side. This was the best of the three peaks - much rockier and steeper, with a larger plateau on top. The re-ascent to An Caisteal was good as well - a narrow stair into the mist. This part of the climb was made even more interesting as I seemed to be racing the thunderclouds to the top. I won, but it rained for most of the descent. At that point, I decided not to continue on to the 5th munro, but instead made my way back to the village and on the way met a man with whom I discussed the walk and we came to the conclusion that I had probably done over 2000m of ascent between the 4 munros.
Cruach Ardain on the ascent
Beinn Tulaichean

Ben a'Chroin and An Caisteal from the summit of Cruach Ardrain


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