Friday, 23 December 2011

Cruachan Horseshoe & Macrahanish, Nov'11

We were based in Argyll for the weekend, at a small village called Clachan, several miles south of Tarbert. To get here by road requires a long journey through lovely scenery and is actually further south than Edinburgh !

On the Saturday a group of us met to bag the two Munro peaks on the Cruachan Horseshoe. Weather was pretty calm with cloud on the higher peaks. Reaching the dam is always dramatic - this vast monalith built in the 1960's not only holds water but also contains a power station within its concrete structure. After passing the point where you can see along a tunnel through to the other side of the mountain, we headed onto the col between Beinn a'Bhuiridh and Stob Diamh and straight into mist - it was a day to test navigation skills ! Onto Stob Garbh, I had to use the GPS to remind me that this wasn't our first Munro, it was a few minutes further north.

Stob Diamh bagged, and a change of direction to aim for Ben Cruachan. We had lunch on Drochaid Ghlas, sheltering out of the wind that had by now had picked up. Onto Ben Cruachan, we enjoyed a bit of easy scrambling, but with the rock being a tad slippy, we avoided the 'bad step' by taking a detour down a loose chimney. Only the base of the trig point now remains on the summit, a little sad ! No views today.

Had weather been better, we would have headed over to Taynuilt Peak, but instead we headed directly south to the col between Ben Cruachan and Meall Cuanail, then followed the wet and loose path down to the reservoir. Above the water a fine path was followed and we strolled enjoying a blether back to the dam.

Next day Keith and I headed down to a windy Macrahanish near Campbeltown. This is a vast beach where today huge breakers rolled onto the sands and groups of Ringed Plovers prodded the ground for lunch. Lovely !
Some photos of the hillwalk and on the beach are on our Flickr page.