998 m. |
Translation: Peak of the stag
Pronuncation: stop dyv
Stob Diamh and Ben Cruachan were the hills of 11 May 2004. The BBC weatherforecast had predicted some morning clouds and clear skies for the second part of the day. So, we parked our car in the lay-by close to the railway station below the Falls of Cruachan in morning mist. The effect of the Ring of Steall done the day before were still giving my muscles a hard time. On the path that leads up the eastern bank of the burn we climbed steeply through trees close to the gorge of the Falls. This path is steep indeed and not to be recommended as an easy start for the day.
After about 300m the path levelled off, left the wooded area and then the Cruachan Dam came into view. We reached the Cruachan Dam access road and walked on the tarmac to the dam where we followed the path along the eastern side of the reservoir. We soon reached the spot where the path branches off to the east and up the hillside. At around 500m the clouds engulfed us. Soon afterwards we stopped for a snack close to some rocks. Then, up the path we went, heading as good as we possibly could in the fog and clouds for the ridge leading up to Stob Garbh.
At about 800m the cloud cover started shifting and we had some glimpses of the peaks – Beinn a’Bhùiridh being the first, then the ridge to Stob Garbh and finally Ben Cruachan to the west. Soon afterwards we cleared the clouds for good and walked up to Stob Garbh and then to Stob Diamh above a sea of white clouds. Marvellous, it almost looked like a temperature inversion in winter. At the summit of Stob Diamh Frank and I ate half of our sandwiches and enjoyed the prospect of a long ridge-walk in the sunshine.
Enthusiasm soon drove us on over Drochaid Ghlas and some interesting views of Coire Caorach opened up at the top of this intermediate top. In due time we reached the slightly awkward slabs before the final rise over bouldery terrain to the second munro, Ben Cruachan. There we met two English hikers who had come up the way of our descent route and we chatted for a few minutes before Frank and I headed down the bouldery south ridge of Ben Cruachan to the bealach before Meall Cuanail from where we descended the well-worn and obvious path to the reservoir.
Once on the landrover track it was but a stroll to the dam. There we took in the view of the ridge surrounding the Cruachan reservoir and enjoyed the cool wind blowing over the water. It had been a hot day! Then the path of ascent was rejoined and we got back to our car in glorious sunshine. A very satisfying walk in a splendid mountain setting with skies and views opening up more and more as the day wore on. Repetitas placet!
Description This peak lies at the north-east corner of Ben Cruachan's system of ridges, and with its two neighbouring Tops, Sron an Isean and Stob Garbh, it forms an east-facing arc of peaks, ridges and corries known as the Dalmally Horseshoe. These are the peaks that one sees when looking down the Strath of Orchy from Dalmally towards Ben Cruachan.The traverse of the Dalmally Horseshoe starts from the foot of Glen Strae where the B8077 road leaves the A85. From there a rough track crosses the moor northwards towards an old disused lead mine. Follow it for 1½ kilometres and cross the stream to reach the foot of the ridge leading to Sron an Isean. Climb this, steeply at first, but easy-angled higher up, to reach the summit. A short descent leads to the steeper climb to Stob Diamh. Continue south to Stob Garbh and go less than ½ kilometre further before turning east down the ridge which drops into Coire Glas. Regain the track to the old lead mine and follow it for 2 kilometres back to the day's starting point.