Stories and pics from
October Day Trip to Crianlarich
Download a map of the area?
The Mountain Weather Information Service had predicted a lovely day with light wind, precipitation unlikely, summits widely free of cloud and superb visibility. It was indeed a lovely, but chilly morning as Bob, Ally and I met up at Inverlair Avenue. We drove to Tarbet to meet up with Jean and Steven for coffee at the Bonnie and Ben Café in Tarbet, near the pier. The coffee was good, but I had not factored in several busloads of tourists qeueing for coffee to take on their rather early Loch Lomond cruise!
As we drove by, we noticed that the big layby about 2km south of Crianlarich, now the usual starting point for Cruach Ardrain, was almost completely full. Lots of walkers were out to make the most of the good weather. We drove on to the small forestry car park across the road from the Ben More Lodge Hotel, which was completely empty.
We set off around 10:15 and an excellent forestry road zig-zagged us gently to around 400m where it ended at a quarry. A short walk through a forestry clearing took us to a stile, where our route joined the path from Glen Falloch. We continued climbing along the fence for a while and then turned towards the Grey Height and on to Meall Dhamh where we stopped for lunch. The breeze was chilly, but we had found a nice sheltered spot in the sunshine.
From our lunch spot, we had to drop down a bit (it looked a lot, but was only 30m or so) and then the path took us along the southern slopes of Cruach Ardrain to the Beinn Tulaichean T-junction. We turned left an on to the summit of Cruach Ardrain for a well-earned rest. Visibility was excellent and we had great views all around.
After some discussion and looking at return options, we decided to drop down the very steep north-eastern face of the hill. Half-way down the descent was made a bit more difficult by debris from a land-slide. The group were keen to show off their skills! Jean won the star walker of the day award for her well-executed use of the Connell bum-slide.
From the col it was an easy climb up to the summit of Stob Garbh (a Munro top). From here, the walking along the ridge over Stob Coire Bhuidhe was fairly easy and gradually took us down to a deer fence around the 700m contour. After climbing over the very awkward stile we turned west along the fence and descended to the edge of a forestry plantation. We were aiming for a cleared patch of forestry that we had identified as a possible return route on our way up. After crossing a short stretch of felled forestry without much difficulty, a clearing took us down to a track at about NN394237. From here, it was a nice, gentle downhill walk all the way back to the cars.
Throughout the day we saw a few rain showers in the distance and at one point were subjected to a few seconds of tiny hail-stones. On the last km back to the car, the road ahead was framed by a lovely rainbow to end an excellent, but hard day in the hills. We headed across the road to Ben More Lodge for a drink. The kitchen was opened early so that Steven could get some soup! Great service, décor could do with a refresh.
October Weekend to the Lake District
2018 stories | Past Outings Archive | Home