1081 m. |
Translation: Hill of the rock, or hill of the clamshell
Pronuncation: byn a chrech-yin
12 May 2004 saw Frank and me driving up the private road to Achallader Farm at 9:30 a.m. The day before we had climbed the rocky ridges of Ben Cruachan and Stob Diamh. Today a different, more grassy and much longer traverse awaited us. The plan was to climb Beinn a’Chreachain, Beinn Achaladair and Beinn an Dothaidh. The weather as fine and so we walked along the track that leads to the Water of Tulla with a feeling of expectation and joy. Two helicopters took turns in picking up material for building fences from a spot near the bridge of the A 82 over the Water of Tulla. They deposited the poles-and-wire-packages by Lochan a’Chreachain and below Meall Buidhe.
We reached the Water and walked along its southern bank to the fenced enclosure of Crannach Wood. We crossed the fence by a stile and continued uphill until a footbridge appeared by which we crossed the railway line. Then we continued on a well-trodden footpath through the beautifully open and light forrest for about 30 minutes until we reached more open ground. From there we struck a direct line up into the direction of Coire an Lochain and reached the Allt Coire an Lochain after having climbed the perimeter fence of the forrest plantations. Before tackling the steep grass slope leading to the col between point 961m and Beinn a’Chreachain we had a break and ate some of our provisions. Then, on we climbed up the ever steepening green slope. We reached the col about 3 hours and 30 minutes after having set off from the farm and soon afterwards arrived at the summit of the first Munro where we sat down at the cairn, munched our sandwiches and enjoyed the spectacular views of Rannoch Moor, the Black Mount, the Glen Coe hills, the Mamores and distant Ben Nevis. Not to mention the Loch Laggan hills further to the east, Ben Alder and the Cairngorms visible in the northeast. A very central viewpoint.
Before a couple of other walkers who were coming up the hill by the same way as us could reach us we decided to go on around the rim of Coire an Lochain to Meall Buidhe. Nice and pleasant ridge walking on short grass. In no time at all we crossed the top of Meall Buidhe and arrived at the col between the latter and Beinn Achaladair whose cliffs and north ridge looked like a good scramble. The next 200m were a steep climb among outcrops and rocky/grassy ledges and added some variety to the level ridge walking done before (and afterwards). Soon we had reached the level summit of Beinn Achaladair and again we had a break for biscuits and and apple. Having finished this snack we directed our steps towards the southern subsidiary summit of Beinn Achaladair (1002m) and then did the longish descent to the col at the head of Coire Daingean. Another steep climb up a grassy slope took Frank and me to the plateau of the third Munro of the day, Beinn an Dothaidh, and soon afterwards to its highest summit at 1004m. Munro No. 100 for me and a windy one, too: The weather had turned a little less friendly than before. Some chocolate and a few summit photos.
We carried on to the western summit of the hill and descended the easy north-west ridge of the hill from there – a short steep bouldery section above Corrie Achaladair adding some spice to the return route. Once on the eroded path running beside the Allt Coire Achaladair we met another two groups of hill walkers who were also headed back for Achaladair Farm and their cars parked there. A good long day in the hills with spacious views of the surrounding landscape and enough kilometres done for our hearts and brains to feel satisfied and our legs and feet to be quite exhausted – a nice combination of sensations for the end of a good day …!
Description These two fine mountains are the northern half of the Bridge of Orchy group of peaks, forming a great rampart above the Water of Tulla and the south-western corner of Rannoch Moor. Beinn Achaladair in particular has a continuously steep hillside above Achallader Farm, extending along the flank of Meall Buidhe to Coire an Lochain below the summit of Beinn a' Chreachain. The south-east side of these mountains is less impressive, forming a series of grassy corries which drain into Loch Lyon.The traverse of the two mountains starts and finishes at Achallader Farm and is probably best done from Beinn a' Chreachain to Beinn Achaladair. From Achallader go up the Water of Tulla to reach Crannach Wood, a fine remnant of the Old Caledonian Forest. Go uphill through the wood, cross the railway by a footbridge and continue east to reach the open hillside. Still heading east, climb up to the north-east ridge of Beinn a' Chreachain and follow it to the summit. Descend north-west and traverse the level ridge of Meall Buidhe across another col to reach Beinn Achaladair. Continue along the level summit ridge, over the South Top and down to the col at the head of Coire Achaladair. Go down this corrie to Achallader Farm.