Beinn a Chrualaiste – loop from the Kingshouse. November 2016

Date: Saturday 26th November 2016
Distance: 16.9km
Ascent: 800m

A rather nice week of high pressure meant social media full of brilliant images to drool over during the working week.

Saturday’s forecast looked rather poor by comparison, with a lot of cloud.

Left Fort William with a plan to head to Morvern and Sithean na Raplaich, swithered as we approached the Corran and decided to chase a weather window further down the A82.

As we passed through Glencoe the cloud and clag cleared. Decided to park up at the end of the wee public road just north of the Kingshouse and do a loop of Beinn a Chrulaiste.

There is a large and smooth surfaced estate road running out to Black Corries Lodge (and beyond).

There certainly is a rather splendid view from the Kingshouse and environs.

Creise from the Kingshouse:

The Big Bookil:

Wandered up the estate road, made for quick progress punctuated by stops to enjoy the view back down the River Etive.

Creise and Stob Dearg:

We had initially thought on heading out past Black Corries Lodge before turning west over Meall nan Ruadhag. As we approached the estate buildings at Allt Chailleach we decided to simply head up the Allt and cut the corner.

The views developed nicely.

Meall a Bhuiridh and Creise:

The head of Glen Etive:

Once up to the bealach between Meall nan Ruadhag and Meall Bhalach we got a view northeast to Blackwater Reservoir and Carn Dearg.

Blackwater and Carn Dearg:

The Bridge of Orchy munros were looking splendid. We really should revisit these.

Across Rannoch to Dothaidh and Dorain:

Leum Ulliem looks close – it’s easily forgotten that it isn’t far as the crow flies from the A82, just not really noticeable.

Leum Ulliem and Carn Dearg:

Cloud was flirting with the hills to our north.

Stob Coire Easain:

The forecast had been overly gloomy for the hills near Fort William, the Mamores and Ben Nevis were looking like a fine choice.

Am Bodach and the Ben:

Not that it bothered us, we had a fantastic vista on a hillside that was all our own. Happy days.

H and Blackwater:

We could see east along to Schiehallion, Beinn a Ghlo was occasionally seen, but looked clouded.

East to Stob na Cruaiche and Schiehallion:

SMC Section 2 was having a lovely day.

Across Rannoch to SMC Section 2:

Beinn a Chreachain was reminding us that we have a planned summit camp to schedule.

Beinn a Creachain:

Once onto Meall Bhalach the view opened back up towards Creise and the Bookil.

Down Glen Etive:

Sat and had a bite to eat, you certainly don’t lack for views on this hill. Neck strain might be an issue from too much gawking.

Am Bodach and the Ben:

Set off to cross over the 708m top of Meall Bhalach and then on to ascend Beinn a Chrulaiste via its N ridge. An angle opens up to see Beinn a Bheithir past the Sister of Aonach Dubh.

Beinn a Bheithir:

Blackwater Reservoir was a pale blue intrusion into the peat.

Blackwater Dam and Mamores:

As we neared the top of Chrulaiste we saw a few folks heading down. Had the summit to ourselves. Had thought there might be a tent or two – I suspect this must be one of the most commonly summit camped Corbetts in Scotland.

Had another break – had no wish to get down to the car in any kind of hurry.

Beinn a Chrulaiste is a superb viewpoint – and with a 300m start from Altnafeadh it really is pretty easy to ascend too.

North from Beinn a Chrulaiste:

West along Glen Coe:

Disadvantage with our timing was that the sun was close to, and behind Stob Dearg making photos a bit tricky. Needs an early morning in March really.

Stob Dearg:

Still, mustn’t grumble.

Stob Dearg and Glen Coe:

A last look across Rannoch (and the noting of a few pitch sites).

Rannoch Moor:

Headed down the hill to Altnafeadh. It doesn’t take very long. Two couples were heading uphill – possibly to camp.

Above Altnafeadh:

The sun was setting rather nicely into Lairig Gartain as we neared the road.

Sun setting down Lairig Gartain:

Down to the road we yomped along the WHW back to the car, great to have a good path to avoid walking along the busy road.

A little after sunset the clouds to the SE were nicely pink.

Pink clouds across Rannoch:

A really nice walk. A great day given the pessimism of the forecast running into the weekend. Back to Fort William for a beer at the Nevisport well earned.

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