We set off this morning, from our weekend base in Onich, towards and beyond Oban with a view to ascending Cruach nam Fearna, a 332m Marilyn located above Melfort. The drive alongside Loch Linnhe and Loch Creran provided some stunning early morning views.

As the sunrise temporarily turned the sky several shades of pink, we stopped to take some photos before continuing on to Oban.

Beautiful sunrise colours at Loch Creran en-route to our hills:

On approaching Oban, I recalled that my friend John was down in this neck of the woods also ascending Sub2000ft Marilyns. I sent John a quick text and within a matter of minutes, following a subsequent telephone call, we had arranged to meet up at the start of the Cruach nam Fearna track.

Hill: Cruach nam Fearna
Date: Sunday 14th February 2016
Company: Myself, Becky, John and Cuillin
Distance: 5.2km, Ascent: 335m
Time: 2Hrs 5Mins

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I selected Cruach nam Fearna today as on the map it appeared to have a landrover track from start to within circa 200m distance of the summit. This turned out to be a great choice of hill as the excellent track surpassed all expectations.

Start of excellent track leading to Cruach nam Fearna:

The excellent track made for fast progress up the hill as did the company and enjoyable conversation. It was great to get out to escape Valentine's Day with the only loves of my life, my wonderful daughter and my dog.

Becky on the Cruach nam Fearna track:

During the initial ascent, the views looking back were dominated by Loch Melfort.

Looking back to Loch Melfort:

Loch Melfort:

As we gained height, it was great to see shapely Ben Cruachan, including Taynuilt Peak, which appeared to be plastered in snow.

Ben Cruachan (zoom):

John kindly took a photo of the three of us during the ascent.

Cuillin, myself and Becky:

View towards Ben Cruachan:

On gaining further height, we could see several small islands with Jura beyond.

Excellent views towards Luing, Lunga, Shuna, Scarba and Jura:

As we approached the summit, I stopped briefly to take a photo of Ben More on Mull. An excellent Munro that I last ascended in February 2015.

Ben More, Mull (zoom):

On reaching the summit, John, Becky and I all took numerous photos.

Becky and Cuillin at the summit of Cruach nam Fearna:

South Mull:

Becky, John and Cuillin at the summit of Cruach nam Fearna:

Becky taking photos of the wonderful views:

We then returned back to the car via the same route. On reaching the car we said goodbye to John, as John was intending also ascending Carn Dearg above Scammadale.

As we began our drive back towards Oban, Becky decided that she would also like to ascend Carn Dearg with John. We therefore made our way to Scammadale for an unexpected ascent of Carn Dearg. Excellent!

Hill: Carn Dearg
Date: Sunday 14th February 2016
Company: Myself, Becky, John and Cuillin
Distance: 6km, Ascent: 380m
Time: 2Hrs 20Mins

We met John at Bragleenmore who looked quite surprised to see us.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From Bragleenmore, we crossed the bridge over the Allt Braglenmore before ascending steep grass towards a gate with a track beyond. Had we walked along to the farm, we would have been able to avoid the steep grass and follow the track uphill directly from the farm.

Looking back to Bragleenmore during initial ascent of Carn Dearg:

We had to take care ascending the track as sections of the track were covered in thick ice.

Looking back towards Bragleenmore:

I didn't take many photos during the ascent/descent as I was too occupied watching that Becky didn't slip on the ice.

However, on reaching the summit I got the camera out and took several photos.

John approaching the summit of Carn Dearg:

Cuillin and Becky at the summit of Carn Dearg:

Cuillin and Becky at the summit of Carn Dearg:

Admiring the views:

The views from the summit were not too bad but not as good as those from Cruach nam Fearna earlier in the day. From the summit, we returned to the car via the same route.

During the drive back to Onich, I made a navigational error ending up on the Tyndrum road instead of the Ballachullish road. I realised my error on seeing Ben Cruachan and entering Taynuilt! Never mind, this allowed for a visit to the Tyndrum Inn on our way back for a meal and a lovely drive through Glencoe. Becky was really impressed with Buachaille Etive Mor, Buachaille Etive Beag and Bidean nam Bian.

A fantastic day out in great company.