Half the Dalmally Horseshoe. December 2014

Date: Tuesday 16th December 2014
Distance: 11.6km
Ascent: 1100m

A week off in December – had come over from Arran to Tarbert on Monday with a vague thought of heading to Islay. The forecast looked poor so we changed plans and decided to carry on up the mainland. Drove from Tarbert to Dalmally in the dark to head up the Dalmally Horseshoe.

On our last visit we looped the Corbett Beinn a Bhuiridh and Stob Diamh. With a narrower weather window we were planning a more cut down version.

Parked at the A85/B8077 junction (NN133 284) where there is space for about 4 cars. Headed straight along the track running N from here.

A bit of cloud to the SE blocked the best of the sunrise (and Alpenglow) but the hills did go slightly pink.

Stob Garbh:

Beinn a Bhuiridh:

Crossed the bridge (unmarked on my OS map) at NN 128 297.

Headed straight up the arcing E arm of Sron an Isean – this is steep up to about 400m and then the slope eases. Happily that took us up to the snowline on the steep bit with easier angle for the snow.

The sun was rising behind Beinn Bhuidhe:


Once above the steep climb we had sun and views.

Stob Diamh:

H and the view to Dalmally and Ben Lui:

Wended our way up the easy slopes, putting on microspikes eventually.

Ben Lui:

Sron an Isean and Stob Diamh:

H on ridge:

Beinn Eunaich:

High cloud began to encroach from the west.

Arms of Stob Garbh and Beinn a Bhuiridh:

A narrower section at 900m:

From Sron an Isean you get the view to the other peaks of Cruachan – Stob Diamh, the Taynuilt Peak and Meall nan Each – a great high camp site a few years back.

H reaching Sron an Isean:

Atmospherics building:

Stuck on the Kahtoola flexible crampons to cross over from Sron an Isean to Stob Diamh – the last pull up the munro summit was a bit steep.

A quick visit to the summit – Ben Cruachan (can’t quite see the Grannystopper from here 😉 ):

Loch Awe and the Cruachan reservoir:

We had wondered about heading down these arm of Stob Garbh but in the event we reversed route.

Stob Garbh:

Back to Sron an Isean:

The day had turned and it was now monochrome. Clouds began to fringe the hills. Did spot a pair of juvenile Golden Eagles pirouetting above Stob Garbh before disappearing west.

Beinn a Bhuiridh:

Stob Diamh:

Stuck the microspikes back on for the slidy, wet, grassy steep descent from 400m – they work very well this way.

Cracking morning – our great day of the week – but well worth it.


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