On Friday morning, I parked-up in Crianlarich and set off walking along
the A85 and then the A82 to reach the start of the track running alongside
the River Falloch. On reflection, walking along the A82 was not the best
idea due to lack of pavement and vehicles thundering along the road. I
should have parked at the start of the track.
Once on the track I
crossed under the railway line and then continued to follow the track for
just over one kilometre. On reaching a track junction I followed the track
leading down to the bridge over the River Falloch.
I then crossed the bridge and took to the hillside. There is not a path
as such leading towards Grey Height just a narrow flattening of grass where
others have walked previously. As the grass was quite long in places I was
wary of potentially picking-up ticks. On reaching the wide ridge I brushed
myself down before following the ridge towards Grey Height.
a faint track alongside the treeline:
By the time I reached the ridge I was already feeling the heat and was
being pestered by numerous clegs. Thankfully they were not biting.
Looking towards Meall Dhamh from just below Grey Height:
It did not take long to reach the top of Grey Height. The next top,
Meall Dhamh, did not look far off.
Looking back towards Crianlarich
from Grey Height:
As I progressed from Grey Height towards Meall Dhamh I got good views of
Stob Garbh and Cruach Ardrain. I could see that I still had considerable
ascent ahead to reach the summit of Cruach Ardrain.
Stob Garbh and
On reaching the top of Meall Dhamh, I had my first stop of the day to
drink half a litre of water and re-apply sunscreen.
from Meall Dhamh:
The ridge between Meall Dhamh and Cruach Ardrain is somewhat undulating
but without difficulty.
Looking back to Meall Dhamh:
Heading for Cruach Ardrain:
During my ascent of Cruach Ardrain, a small bird flew out from right
next to me so I suspected it was nesting. I was correct. On looking in the
hole it had flown out from, I could see its nest and eggs.
As I puffed and panted my way up the steep slopes of Cruach Ardrain the
neighbouring hills looked every bit as good. I am already looking forward to
returning to ascend An Caisteal and Beinn a' Chroin.
View across to
An Caisteal and Beinn a' Chroin:
Heading towards the summit of Cruach Ardrain:
On reaching the summit I stopped for a drink and bite to eat. I was glad
to reach the summit of Cruach Ardrain as this was my 182nd Munro of round
two i.e. 100 remaining to complete a second round.
I had a look for
the track leading towards Stob Garbh but could not find it. On checking the
Munro book once I got back, the track apparently descends from the summit
cairn in a North-East direction and it is quite rocky. As I hadn't read the
guidebook in advance and was reliant on map contours I decided against any
direct descent from the cairn as the map was showing three missing contours
i.e. bloody steep!
Ben More and Stob Binnein from the summit of
Stob Garbh and Ben More from the summit of Cruach Ardrain:
Instead, I decided to extend my day by also ascending Beinn Tulaichean.
From the summit of Cruach Ardrain I followed the good track out leading out
to Beinn Tulaichean. Shortly before reaching the col, I met another walker
who had already ascended Beinn Tulaichean and was returning back towards
Crianlarich. Despite still having Beinn Tulaichean to ascend, I decided to
see if I could catch him up during the walk back.
Heading out to
Ascending Beinn Tulaichean:
On reaching the summit of Beinn Tulaichean I took a couple of photos
before returning immediately back the way I had came.
from the summit of Beinn Tulaichean:
The re-ascent of Cruach Ardrain took less time than I had expected and
before long I was making my way back down Cruach Ardrain and out towards
During the descent from Beinn Tulaichean I could easily
have skirted round the side of Cruach Ardrain to get to Stob Garbh. However,
I decided to leave it for a return trip should I ever decide to try to
complete the Munro Tops. Completing a second round of Munros is currently
higher priority for myself than completing the Munro Tops.
back to Cruach Ardrain:
As I made my way towards Meall Dhamh, I could see the chap I had met
earlier about 0.5km ahead. However, on reaching Meall Dhamh I had to stop to
have a good drink.
Looking back to Cruach Ardrain from Meall Dhamh:
I finally caught-up with the other walker at the top of the treeline. We
walked together down to the bridge over the River Falloch and back out to
the car park. I was kindly offered a lift back to Crianlarich which I
gratefully accepted to avoid potentially getting run over walking back along
I have neglected these hills for over a decade while busy
doing various smaller hills. I hope to be back down to Crianlarich fairly
soon to re-ascend some more of these great hills.