Hills: Stob Garbh, Stob Daimh, Drochaid Ghlas and Sron an Isean
Date: Thursday 6th June 2019
Company: Just myself
Distance: 14.7km, Ascent: 1415m
It was originally my intention this morning to ascend Ben
Vane from Inveruglas. However, on arriving at the Inveruglas National Park
car park at 5am, the ticket machine advised "No overnight parking" and would
not sell me a ticket until 8am. I am not sure for whose benefit the board
and management of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park are running
the park. Their ridiculous rules are not in the spirit of the Scottish
Outdoor Access Code and they are discouraging not only campers but also
walkers. In summer, you cannot start early to see a hill sunrise or set off
late to see a hill sunset, as you are not permitted to park outwith 8am to
8pm unless you are able to purchase an overnight permit. This is a nonsense
as arriving at 5am to undertake a walk is NOT staying overnight. I
personally think it is about time our National Parks were run for the
benefit of the environment and for those who enjoy being outdoors with full
elected membership and no party-political agendas.
As there was no
way I was going to sit and wait for three hours until the ticket machine
would allow me to purchase a ticket, it was two fingers up to the Loch
Lomond and Trossachs National Park, I went elsewhere instead. From
Inveruglas, I made my way towards Dalmally for an ascent of Stob Daimh.
It was raining from the outset so I set off with waterproofs on and
these remained on throughout the walk. As well as rain, the cloud was also
low. From the B8077, I went through the gate and then followed the track
leading towards the disused quarry.
Heading along the track towards
the disused quarry:
the quarry, I opted to undertake a clockwise circuit ascending Stob Daimh
via Stob Garbh and descending via Sron an Isean. I last ascended Stob Daimh
in 2005 when I undertook the same circuit. All going well, today I would
however also be ascending Drochaid Ghlas, a Munro Top of Ben Cruachan.
Onto the WNW ridge of Stob Garbh:
Looking back during initial ascent:
found the ascent fairly steep and relentless. I am definitely getting old!
Ascending ridge leading to Stob Garbh:
ascent was mostly in cloud apart from the occasional fleeting view looking
back towards Dalmally.
A fleeting view while ascending in cloud:
towards Stob Garbh:
great to eventually reach the summit of Stob Garbh with a fairly level
section of walk ahead. I only stopped long enough to take a photo with my
iPhone before continuing on. In my rucksack I was carrying my DSLR with my
new 400mm lens. It stayed in the rucksack throughout the walk; an
unnecessary 2.5kg in the bag.
At the summit of Stob Garbh:
ridge between Stob Garbh and Stob Daimh:
didn't take long to reach the summit of Stob Daimh. The summit is apparently
the rock six metres beyond the cairn. At the summit, I stopped for my first
drink of the day but didn't bother with food. It wasn't the best of days to
be hanging around.
At the Stob Daimh summit cairn:
made my way out towards Drochaid Ghlas which is normally ascended as part of
the Cruachan Horseshoe. Having not done the Cruachan Horseshoe previously, I
wasn't sure what to expect. I seemed to recall there was some easy
scrambling involved. Care is however needed even with easy scrambling when
the rock is soaking wet.
Cruachan reservoir and Drochaid Ghlas:
Drochaid Ghlas was capped in cloud during the ascent. I could however see
that it is a very rocky hill.
About to ascend Drochaid Ghlas:
Looking back to Stob Daimh:
several short sections of scrambling were all straight-forward. There would
appear to be several possible lines of ascent.
Some easy scrambling
during the ascent of Drochaid Ghlas:
reaching the summit, I again only stopped long enough to take a photograph
before returning back to Stob Daimh. I was sorry that I didn't have a car at
the base of Ben Cruachan. If I had, I would definitely have continued on to
ascend Ben Cruachan instead of doubling-back.
At the summit of
the return to Stob Daimh, the cloud lifted temporarily and the rain stopped.
Drochaid Ghlas is a fantastic Munro Top.
Looking back to Drochaid
time I got back to the summit of Stob Daimh, my legs were feeling tired due
to the steep ascent; I had already ascended more than the height of Ben
Nevis. The initial descent from Stob Daimh towards Sron an Isean was steep
but without difficulty. It didn't take long to reach my third Munro Top of
the day, Sron an Isean.
At the summit of Sron an Isean:
Sron an Isean, I followed the nice, gentle grassy ridge back towards the
start. The final section of ridge is however steep with a rock band to
negotiate which was "fun" in the wet.
As I hadn't bothered to read
the route before setting off, I didn't know there was a bridge over the Allt
Coire Chreachainn. I didn't spot a bridge so I crossed the burn which was in
Looking back at steep descent from Sron an Isean:
It was great to get back onto the good track for the final walkout to the
van. During the walkout, the rain became even heavier. Roll-on summer