Stob na Cruaiche return trip. February 2013

Date: Saturday 2nd February 2013
Distance: 15.5km
Ascent: 700m

With Saturday having a good looking forecast we were keen to get a good walk in. We fancied another route out towards Rannoch Station and options included Beinn Pharlagain, Carn Dearg, some S2K’s such as Sron Smeur or Stob na Cruaiche.

In the end the latter won out with its promise of views to Glencoe and Black Mount.

Having been treated to the sounds and sight of a Tawny Owl from our accommodation overnight we had a quick glimpse of a Pine Marten running across the road as we got going.

Parked up at Rannoch Station at 0740 and quickly set off along the Right of Way path to Kings House, crossing the railway. The view across Rannoch Moor to the hills of Sections 2 and 3 already catches the eye.

Bridge of Orchy hills:

There’s a locked gate at NN 418 580 but to the left the barbed wire strand has been removed allowing a safe clamber through the fence accessing the forest track running uphill.

This quickly gets you uphill to get a better view south. Yet again this winter dawn was blocked by cloud but we got some hints of it on other hills.

Beinn a Creachain:

Loch Eigheach:

The Easains:

Stob Coire na Ceannain:

View north:

The deer are fed round here and gather on this hillside:

We followed a faint ATV track from the end of the track at NN 411 585 directly up Meall Liath na Doire. Once at the top there are views to the Mamores and a peek at Glencoe.

Stob Dearg:

From Meall Liath na Doire we followed the floor of peat hags, mainly frozen, west to climb the Graham. To the south the spindrift was being lifted around the summits.

Eventually the SE shoulder of Stob na Cruaiche is reached and the view expands to first Black Mount and then Glencoe.

Black Mount:

Back east to Loch Rannoch and Schiehallion:

H approaching summit:

When we arrived at the summit the rather Baltic northerly was still blowing. The views west, while not perfect were rather pleasing with Stob Dearg sprawling across the junction of Glen Etive and Glen Coe.

The Ben and Aonachs were visible to the north.

Lochs Eigheach, Rannoch and a hint of Tummel to the east:

Rannoch Moor:

Sat and ate lunch – a bitterly cold day. Hung around for about 40 minutes absorbing the views before turning for the car.

Summit pano:

As we returned the sun finally deigned to shine on us – the wodge of cloud that had squatted over Rannoch dissolving as the brisk northerly eased off. Suddenly in the sun and light winds it felt warm.

A wander back over often sunny snow fields was quite relaxing – probably spent more time gawping than walking.

H on return:

Schiehallion:

Meall Buidhe through to Schiehallion on the South flank of the Loch Rannoch line.

Ben Nevis and CMD wreathed in mist:

A brief slide:

Back on Meall Liath na Doire we took another break to enjoy the receding views.

Beinn a Chreachain and Achaladair:

Loch Laidon:

Inverar Munros and Schiehallion:

High cloud had spread from the west to steal the direct sunshine – still interesting though:

Dropped back through the forest to return to Rannoch Station – noticed some haareis on presumably new fallen wood:

Another great wee walk from the Rannoch area – a firm favourite for us. I suspect we’ll do this Graham again, superlative viewpoint that it is. We certainly have a few camping plans in the area too.

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