Hills: Beinn Dubhcraig and Ben Oss
Date: Saturday 7th July 2018
Company: Myself, Rachel, Adrian and Alistair
Distance: 18.4km, Ascent: 1180m
Time: 6Hrs 45Mins

On Friday evening I met up with friends from the Moray Mountaineering Club at the Ochils Club Hut in Crianlarich. Various plans were hatched for the Saturday several of which involved ascents of some, or all, of the Ben Lui group. I opted to tag along with friends setting out to ascend Beinn Dubhcraig and Ben Oss with the possibility of an extension also taking in Ben Lui and Beinn a' Chleibh. I suspected I would be content with Beinn Dubhcraig and Ben Oss having walked Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean the day previous.

At around 8am we set off from Crianlarich towards Dalrigh positioning a car below Beinn a' Chleibh should anyone undertake the full traverse.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the car park at Dalrigh we set off walking towards the bridge over the River Fillan. I stopped to take my first photo of the day with my DSLR only to get the message "No Memory Card". Damn, I had left the card in my van back in Crianlarich. I therefore had to carry a 2kg camera and case for the entire walk without being able to take any pictures with it. Instead I would be reliant on my iPhone.

On reaching a new bridge over the Allt Gleann Auchreoch I stopped to take the first photo of the day with my iPhone.

Crossing the new bridge over the Allt Gleann Auchreoch:

I was unable to take many photos during the ascent due to the extremely fast pace set by my walking companions. Just my luck to be walking with ex army, ex RAF and a fell runner .

The walk through the woods at Coille Coire Chuilc was very nice albeit the bracken at the side of the narrow track was overgrown so I was careful not to pick-up any ticks.

Ascent through the woodland at Coille Coire Chuilc:

Before long we were making our ascent alongside the stunning Allt Coire Dubhcraig, a burn with many pools which, had we been going a tad slower, we could have visited. I did manage to stop briefly at one of the pools to grab a few mouthfuls of water. It was a really hot day and I had already been bitten twice by clegs through my clothes.

Ascent of Beinn Dubhcraig alongside the Allt Coire Dubhcraig:

Beinn Dubhcraig:

As we gained more height we hoped for a breeze but alas there was none. The path ascending Beinn Dubhcraig is of excellent quality. A good bit of money would appear to have been spent fixing sections of erosion.

Ascending Beinn Dubhcraig:

Looking back:

At some point during the ascent I must have stupidly got some suncream onto the small camera lens on my iPhone without realising. This dulled down the photos which I have adjusted using photo editing software in an attempt to improve them. Not only was I carrying a useless DSLR thanks to no memory card, I was also using an iPhone camera with a nice blob of suncream on the lens.

Onto the final ridge leading to the summit of Beinn Dubhcraig:

On reaching the summit of Beinn Dubhcraig we stopped for literally our first break of the walk. I took the opportunity to drink half a litre of water and take in the views. I last ascended these hills and neighbouring Ben Lui in full-on winter conditions. This was my first ascent of these hills in summer.

At the summit of Beinn Dubhcraig:

The view towards Ben Lomond and Loch Lomond was pretty good.

Loch Lomond from summit of Beinn Dubhcraig:

From the summit of Beinn Dubhcraig we made our way towards Ben Oss. At last the pace had slowed down allowing us to actually chat as we progressed along the track.

Loch Oss with Loch Lomond in distance:

Looking back to Beinn Dubhcraig:

From the slopes of Ben Oss, Ben Lui looked fantastic! However the drop between Ben Oss and Ben Lui looked substantial. On seeing the drop, I ruled out continuing on to also ascent Ben Lui and Beinn a' Chleib. Malcolm and Adrian also ruled-out the next two hills while Rachel and Alistair decided to carry on to take in all four Munros.

Looking across to Ben Lui during ascent of Ben Oss:

Loch Lomond from Ben Oss:

On reaching the summit of Ben Oss we again stopped for a circa ten minute break before parting company with Rachel and Alastair.

Ben Lui from the summit of Ben Oss:

At the summit of Ben Oss:

Adrian, Malcolm and I decided to descend a little from Ben Oss then make up a descent route not marked in the guidebook down what looked to be a reasonable ridge. The descent, although steep, turned out to be fairly good. I set off out front leading the way down, however, at around half way down Malcolm and Alistair chose a different line from myself which turned out to be more difficult than the line I took.

Although my line of descent was easier, I passed through an area of long grass that was infested with clegs. I sustained a further thirteen cleg bites in the space of fifteen minutes. I was really not impressed and ended up trying to kill as many as I could using my walking pole as a light sabre!

On reaching the base of the hill I could see Malcolm and Alistair now approximately twenty minutes behind. Due to the number of clegs there was no way I was standing around waiting for them to catch-up. I stopped to put on a fleece and midge net in an attempt to help stop further cleg bites. Wearing a fleece on a really hot day was not ideal but it was better than getting further bites.

Ben Lui from Glen Cononish:

During the walk out I stopped briefly to chat with a couple on bikes. The girl was wearing a really short dress with arms and entire legs fully exposed. Had they not been cycling I suspect she would have been eaten alive.

Looking back at descent from Ben Oss:

Following the track towards Cononish:

Approximately one kilometre from Dalrigh, Malcolm and Adrian caught up with myself and we walked together back out to the starting point.

Malcolm and Adrian catching-up:

This walk would have been really pleasant had it not been for the clegs. Writing-up this report several days later, one of my cleg bites has become infected, so really not happy with these disgusting beasties. Looking forward to the weather cooling down and winter killing them off.