Even with our well researched forecasts, you're still not sure what weather to expect on the hills. On this day, the weather was simply superb !
Our group all met on the verge of the A85, just east of the Cruachan Visitor Centre. Cold in the shade, we got our gear together and began up the path under the railway line. The hillside is well fence in from deer and therefore a bit of a jungle to fight through - good fun ! Over a stile in the deer-fence, a marked difference - open hillside and into the sunshine. Up to the dam, which we crossed over to its western side, we followed the fine track to the northern end of the reservoir. Mucky path next, we were quickly up onto Ben Cruachan's southern shoulder, where we were met by my neighbour jogging downhill towards us. We had a break just above the col and our of the wind which was being funnelled between the tops.
Over some boulders, the group reached the summit and gawped at the expansive and interupted views all around. Just amazing ! We snapped away with our cameras and eventually decided we better move along if we were going to complete the horseshoe. So eastwards next and downhill, we enjoyed some easy scrambling along the crest to reach the 'bad step'. In winter or even in the wet, this abrupt bit of rock can intimidate, but today in the dry and now warm conditions we were enjoying, it was a doddle. Up and over it, we continued eastwards along the ridge. Up to the summit of the minor top Drochaid Ghlas for some more views before our last major climb of the day up to Stob Diamh. Another break to savour the views and get some food in !
We turned south and began descending. On the way we met a large group from the Drover's Tryst who'd headed up from near Castles Farm just to do Stob Diamh - pah, we'd bagged both Munro peaks ! After checking out the tunnel bored out of the mountain from one side to another, we headed back down the way we'd come up, enjyoing the last rays of sunshine just before reaching the railway line.
A great day out on some of the finest ridge walking the southern highlands has to offer !
More photos are on our Flickr site !