Monday, 14 February 2011

Ben Cruachan Clag

As regular blog readers will know, its not all about Arran here on the Wild on Arran Blog, and on Friday I hopped on the "wee boat" up to Tarbert to catch up with my friend Hazel for the weekend. To our surprise we managed to drag ourselves out of bed on Saturday morning despite the wine the night before and headed up north to Ben Cruachan. The forecast for the day was for reasonable weather but a poor avalanche forecast, so we opted for this stunning mountain because the normal route from the south avoids terrain and aspects that could have been hazardous for avalanches (with Saturday's forecast of fresh snow and winds from the SE-SW).  The trade off was that we were too close to the sea to escape a thick fog.  I understand that hill goers further east had a fine day. Oh well!

Cruachan Reservoir overhung by mist
We took the steep path up through woodland from the Cruachan reservoir to the dam and headed along the eastern shore. 

 Looking down towards the Cruachan Reservoir form the path to the Bealach

From here a small path soon disappeared beneath the snow and we picked our way up in to the mist and the ridge above.  The path emerges at a bealach, and from here there are another 300m of ascent to the summit of Ben Cruachan. 

We were not massively inspired by the lack of visibility to continue along the ridge, so descended back to the bealach, and then took an alternative descent out of the mist over Meall Cuanail. As we emerged from the fog, we were treated to a wonderful vista of rolling moors dotted with red deer, with Loch Awe beyond. 


Peter Duggan said...

Cruachan's great, but I'll bet you £1,000,000,000 it's not the most westerly of the mainland Scottish Munros! ;-)


Lucy Wallace said...

Wooops! You are right Pete! I need to check my sources more carefully. Labhar Beinn in Knoydart gets that accolade! :-)

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