Hills: Cruach nan Capull and Black Craig
Date: Friday 18th September 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 13.5km, Ascent: 910m
Time: 5Hrs 5Mins

I set off from home at 04:15 this morning en-route to the Cowal peninsula. It had been my intention to drive via Crianlarich and Arrochar however my SatNav suggested that going via Gourock and Dunoon would be a good bit quicker. As I had not previously visited either Gourock or Dunoon, I opted to follow my SatNav's suggested route.

By the time I arrived in Gourock, the weather was fantastic. I only had to wait ten minutes before boarding the ferry. The cost was £16.70 (one-way) for the twenty-minute crossing.

Aboard the Gourock to Dunoon ferry, looking towards Dunoon:

On arriving in Dunoon, I drove round to Inverchaolain for my ascent of Cruach nan Capull. I parked in the Inverchaolain Church parking area.

Inverchaolain Church:

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the church parking area, I walked a short distance along the road and then took the track up to Stronyaraig. At Stronyaraig, I noticed a sign on a gate advising, "Private: No Public Access". The Outdoor Access Code surely doesn't apply here . As I started my ascent of Sron Dearg someone from Stronyaraig shouted up to me to ask what route I was taking. I shouted back my route and got the response, "that's fine".

Ascending Sron Dearg:

As I progressed up the hill, literally hundreds of pheasant flew up all around me. Given the spent shotgun cartridges on the ground, I suspect pheasant shooting takes place on this hill.

Looking back to Stronyaraig and Loch Striven:

Loch Striven:

The ascent of Sron Dearg was fairly brutal given the deep heather, long bracken, steep gradient and heat.

Ascending Sron Dearg:

Beyond the summit of Sron Dearg, the gradient eased-off significantly providing a pleasant walk out to the 572m top.

Looking towards the 572m top from top of Sron Dearg:

View during ascent of 572m top, Loch Striven and the Isle of Arran:

View during ascent of 572m top, Loch Striven and the Isle of Arran:

As I approached the 572m top trig point, I could see a Wheatear sitting on top of the trig. It didn't fly off until I got fairly close; ideal for a photo.

Wheatear at the 572m top summit:

The walk from the 572m top out to the summit was pleasant. The views down to Loch Striven and across to the Isle of Arran are very nice making the brutal ascent of Sron Dearg worth it.

Looking towards the summit of Cruach nan Capull from the 572m top:

On reaching the summit of Cruach nan Capull, I stopped for a drink and to take some photos.

View from the summit of Cruach nan Capull:

Instead of returning the same way, I decided to ascend Black Craig, a nearby sub2000ft Marilyn. To get to Black Craig, I had to go over Leacann nan Gall.

River Clyde:

Ascending Leacann nan Gall:

Cowal and Arrochar hills:

By the time I reached Green Knap, I was knackered due to the heat and lack of sleep. I was now in two minds about ascending Black Craig. I forced myself to ascend it.

Looking across to Black Craig during descent from Green Knap:

Looking back to Cruach nan Capull and Leacann nan Gall during ascent of Black Craig:

During the final ascent of Black Craig, I was astonished to see two walkers coming towards me; the last thing I expected on a remote sub2000ft Marilyn. It was nice to chat briefly with the two walkers who were locals from the Argyll Mountaineering Club.

Heading for the summit of Black Craig:

Great view from the summit of Black Craig:

Arran (zoom) from the summit of Black Craig:

From the summit of Black Craig, I made my way downhill in the general direction of Inverchaolain Farm.

Looking across to the South ridge of Cruach nan Capull:

The terrain encoutered during the descent can only be described as awful. I tried to avoid as much chest-high bracken as possible.

Descent to Inverchaolain Farm:

I am glad I undertook a circuit of these hills despite the sometimes awful terrain. As far as views go, the ascent of the South ridge of Cruach nan Capull provided some of the best views I have seen from a Graham.