Hills: Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean
Date: Friday 6th July 2018
Company: Just myself
Distance: 18.7km, Ascent: 1405m
Time: 6Hrs 55Mins

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

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.

Grey Height:

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.

Following 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 Cruach Ardrain:

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.

Cruach Ardrain 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.

Small nest with 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 Cruach Ardrain:

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 Beinn Tulaichean:

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.

Cruach Ardrain 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 Meall Dhamh.

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.

Looking 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:

Looking back:

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 the A82.

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.