Hills: An Caisteal and Beinn a' Chroin
Date: Friday 28th May 2021
Company: Just myself
Distance: 14.8km, Ascent: 1030m
Time: 5Hrs 35Mins

On Friday morning, I drove to just south of Crianlarich for an ascent of An Caisteal and Beinn a' Chroin. I last ascended these hills in December 2002. Since my previous ascent, all the tops of Beinn a' Chroin have been remeasured with an associated summit relocation and change of Munro Top. According to my log from 2002, I visited all tops but decided I would do so again on this visit.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the parking area I crossed underneath the railway line, crossed the bridge over the River Falloch and then walked a short distance along the hydro scheme track before taking to the hillside. There is probably a better route than the one I took up Sron Gharbh which was mostly pathless until a short distance below the summit.

Sron Gharbh:

The ascent of Sron Gharbh was straight-forward albeit a relentless ascent. The ground was less wet underfoot than expected.

Looking back towards starting point:

On approaching the top of Sron Gharbh I looked at Viewranger expecting to be at a height of circa 500m. I was pleasantly surprised to find I was already at a height of 700m.

Beyond Sron Gharbh the gradient was much more pleasant as I progressed along Twistin Hill.

An Caisteal from Sron Gharbh:

Looking back along Twistin Hill:

A short distance before reaching the cleft I stopped for a couple of minutes to briefly chat with a couple of walkers. This was the only time I stopped during the walk.

Ascending An Caisteal:

I was soon past the cleft which posed no difficulties and onto the final stretch to the summit. I passed a Ptarmigan during the ascent but as I only had my mobile phone camera there was no point in trying to get photo.

Approaching the cleft:

On reaching the summit of An Caisteal I took a few photos before continuing on my way towards Beinn a' Chroin. The views from the summit of An Caisteal were not bad; it was lovely day.

At the summit of An Caisteal:

View across to Beinn a' Chroin from the summit of An Caisteal:

The descent of An Caisteal and the following ascent of Beinn a' Chroin were more interesting than I recalled from my previous ascent.

Beinn a' Chroin

The descent required a bit of care in places but there was nothing difficult. In snow and ice, as per my previous ascent, this section is more difficult.

Beinn a' Chroin:

I soon reached the col between An Caisteal and Beinn a' Chroin and then commenced the ascent.

Looking back to An Caisteal:

The ascent of Beinn a' Chroin was certainly steep and following the path is fairly essential.

Initial ascent of Beinn a' Chroin:

The steep gradient did however result in a quick ascent.

Looking back to An Caisteal during ascent of Beinn a' Chroin:

During the ascent there is one 'tricky' section that I initially attempted with waking poles in hands before backing-off and stowing away my poles before again putting hand to rock. Without the poles this section was certainly easier but care was still needed. I would say this is definitely a short piece of Grade 1 scrambling.

Wee scramble:

Beyond the short scramble I continued on steeply to reach the first top before continuing on to the new summit.

At the first top en-route to summit:

According to the Database of British Hills the large boulder is now the summit. A few small stones have already been added to its top.

At the summit of Beinn a' Chroin (large boulder):

Beyond the summit I next reached the West Top which I believe is now a demoted Munro Top.

At the West Top of Beinn a' Chroin:

I then continued along the ridge to reach the East Top which is now a Munro Top.

At the East Top of Beinn a' Chroin:

From the East Top, I completed the loop of these hills by descending Beinn a' Chroin's north ridge. The descent was straight-forward.

Looking back to Beinn a' Chroin in descent:

On reaching flat ground I crossed the burn and then followed an extremely wet, boggy track for a couple of kilometres to reach the small hydro scheme and good track beyond leading back to the starting point.

Crossing the burn:

During the walk back I stopped to take a photograph of an erratic boulder in need of a haircut.

Large Erratic:

Looking back to Beinn a' Chroin during boggy walk out:

It was great to get back to the van but not so great that it was 35C inside. It was however nice to have a cold drink waiting in the fridge.

An enjoyable day out on a nice couple of hills.