A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !

Bespoke day on Ben Cruachan

7 April 2016
We'd been contacted by a family from the US with the desire to experience some of Scotland's scenery from up high. Much racking of the grey matter and we came up with Ben Cruachan - the views are stunning, it's a delightful mountain, there are lots of route options and it's very accessible.

photo 1 I picked up Michele, Tom and Gary from their accommodation in Cockburn Street in Edinburgh early on a bright Thursday morning. A pleasant drive took us westwards to the Cruachan Power Station, where kit was sorted in sunshine.

Although it was now well into April, there was still a decidedly cold felling in the air and we knew there would be a fair bit of snow higher up - what the snow was like, we would fine out later, but we were well prepared with winter boots, ice-axes and crampons !

photo 2 We began our hike, under the railway and up the rough path through a delightful wood. A family with two young kids were hiking just infront of us, we passed and blethered. Out of the forest, over a rather shoogly stile, up some mucky ground, we reached the hydro road which we followed up to the impressive Cruachan Dam. Ahead Cruachan stood towering above us, its summit lightly covered by mist, the wind more of a breeze. We opted for the direct route to Cruachan's summit, as this would give us other options to extend or vary the day thereafter.

photo 1 Over the dam, and along the track to its end, we stopped for lunch to re-fuel and take in the views. Looking back to the dam, a couple of posh 4x4s arrived, their occupants getting out, taking a few pics, and back they drove ! It must be handy to know the gate-keeper !

Now for the tough bit ! This was a fit family and progress was pretty quick. Up to the snow line, then to the cold between Ben Cruachan and Meall Cuanail, we turned and aimed for the summit. Although there was a lot of snow around, for the most part it was pretty soft and we didn't need axes or crampons. The summits reached, we hi-fived and hung around for a bit in the faint hope the mist would lift.

photo 2 Alas the weather had other ideas, so after debating some options (Taynuilt Peak anyone ?), we re-traced our footprints back downhill. Some fun was had glissading down the soft snow - much easier coming down than going up !

Heading back, we had to stop in the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum before the journey back to Auld Reekie !

A great day out with lovely folk !

A few more photos are up on Flickr.

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