Monday, August 18, 2008

The Crianlarich Hills: Cruach Ardrain (87) and Beinn Tulaichean (220)

Walk date: 17/08/08
My Munro #'s: 162 and 163

Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Kroo-ach ar-dran - stack of the high peaks - 1046m
Byn too-lach-an - hill of the hillocks - 946m

Duration - 10:50 - 16:50
Distance - 16.7km
Total ascent - 1305m
Weather - drizzle early on, drying off before returning. End of day came nice and warm.
Team - solo.
Other hikers: many.

The northern end of Cruach Ardrain offers a nice walk up:

Despite a work-party the night before and only six hours of sleep I somehow managed to get up and drive back to Crianlarich to visit my last pair from these hills, Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean.

As only light drizzle greeted me I declined the waterproof trousers and made my way along the good farm track and then the branch off to cross the River Falloch and the climb along a thin path up the grass slopes toward Grey Height where paths coming through the forest join on. Here the trousers would have come in handy as the grass was extremely wet and walking through this left my legs soaked! No matter, I decided all that I needed to do was up the pace to warm myself up and so I made great progress along the northern ridge of Cruach Ardrain, which makes for very pleasant walking, being thin enough for great views all around but wide enough to be strolling terrain.

After a small drop in height the remaining 200m or so needs to be climbed. Having seen nothing else I ended up on a path that skirted the western side of Cruach Ardrain and that meant I had to walk a way along its flat top to actually reach the summit. I know that there is a more direct path as I later saw people coming down it, but my way worked too!

The route down to the col was very straightforward on the good path and as there was then only 120m to climb before I knew it I was up on Beinn Tulaichean. Once again there was nothing but cloud on the hill so I returned to the col for a good lunch with some fine views, which then included the summit behind me!

One advantage of my alternative path up Cruach Ardrain was then that I could use it for a more direct return, which I did as the sun came out giving fine views and a nice end to the Crianlarich Hills.

A better footbridge than Ben More starts us off:

A good incline beside the forest is rewarded with fine views:

Even better on Grey Height north to Crianlarich and Tyndrum:

And east down into Coire Ardrain:

Approaching the cloud on Cruach Ardrain:

At the end of the flat top is a welcomed cairn:

From the corrie before Beinn Tulaichean to the SW:

The more diminutive Beinn Tulaichean has a cairn to match:

Stob Garbh from the corrie; not an easy link to Cruach Ardrain:

Looking back to see Beinn Tulaichean just about cloud-free:

Another good view SW:

Grey height again but it really was a decent view!

Labels: , , , ,