Ben Lui

Ben Lui and neighbouring Munros, 27 July 2019

A blog post from one of our mountain adventures in the Scottish hills and mountains. A day of guided mountain hiking, bagging 4 Munros near Tyndrum, including Ben Lui and Ben Oss. John King and Steven Fallon were leading, here's Steven's tale...

Ben Lui and neighbouring Munros

Scottish weather doesn't half make you re-think (and re-think again) your much worked-out plans !

Our original plan for today was to bag the 4 Munro summits, including mighty Ben Lui, in a east-to-west linear route from Tyndrum to Glen Lochy, ending up crossing the River Lochy. However forecasts were prediciting rain on the night before and morning on today, so we re-jigged the day changing it into a loop so as to avoid the possible spate conditions of the River Lochy. I arrived early, so had time to check out the conditions of the river, it was much lower than expected, so after John King and myself met the group at Tyndrum station, we changed plans yet again - back to a linear route, but in reverse of the original plan, so as the river crossing was tackled at the beginning of the day (more rain was expected throughout the day).

Cars shuffled around so as to avoid a long walk back along the A85, we began our day. The River Lochy was our first obstacle, but low enough for most people to keep dry feet. Under the railway next (there were some wet trainers tucked in), then through forestry, crossing a couple of burns (a bit slippy). Over a forestry track, we were next into deep and dark forests, trying our best to keep to a fire-break on the way up (I now remember why I prefer to do this route in reverse - it's so boggy and mucky on this way up, but it's a hoot to descend, particulary with the river crossing to finish and clean up in). It was also very humid, so when we finally arrived at the end of the forest, the air cleared and felt so much fresher. Passing a couple of people descending (goodness they must have been up early), we followed a faint path up to the bealach between Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh and decided it was time for a break under some rocks.

Beinn a'Chleibh was our first Munro of the day, and with it being a there-and-back from the bealach, we could leave our rucksacks - and we all did. Only brief glimpses of views were had at the summit, but this was made up for by Julia doing her balancing summit pose (attempted with much less grace by myself and John). On a personal side note, Beinn a'Chleibh was planned for the 'compleation' of an upcoming Munro round, but with a few other Munros still to do, that obviously didn't turn out right !

Returning to the bealach, we picked up our sacks, consumed a few Haribos for energy and striked uphill in the direction of Ben Lui. We met a few folk and a wee dog descending through the mist (turned out they were the owners of the trainers by the bridge) and quickly we all gained Ben Lui's summit. Again, sadly no views !

There wasn't much point in hanging around, so we opted to have lunch down at the bealach below in the hope we might get some clearer weather. And we did, well sort off. Ben Oss came into view, then disappeared, as did views to Arrochar, Ben Lomond and Beinn Buidhe.

There are no paths around here - a bit of compass work was needed for our start up Ben Oss. Weather improved a bit as we climbed, Ben Lui's summit occasionally appearing above the cloud. In really quick time we arrived at the rock-strewn summit with its untidy little cairn, after a few snaps of camera-phones, everyone seemed keen to continue onto our final Munro of the day, Beinn Dubhchraig.

Mist the entire way ! Well at least, when we were down from Ben Oss, there was a bit of a path to trace up to the summit of Beinn Dubhchraig. Smidgits of views opened between passing banks of mist as we enjoyed our last break of the day on the top. Shockingly, we found that someone one had stuffed the packaging from their Co-op Meal Deal in the rocks - just #takithame !!!

Our planned descent route would take us down to Cononish, we just had to find the line of fence-posts that indicated the way ! We did, just as we got out of the cloud and views opened up. It was so atmospheric with layers of cloud below us, confusing the structure of the landscape. Down to Cononish, and onto estate tracks, the route back to Tyndrum was obvious, so our group spread out, chatting as they walked - so much so that the front of the group nearly walked to Dalrigh (until called back by a loud whistle from John).

A very enjoyable day out, not the best of views, but made up for by good company !

More photos by Steven Fallon are here on Flickr.

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