An Caisteal & Beinn a’Chroin (and a few dead frogs!)

Saturday 9 May saw 8 members of the club get together in Crianlarich ahead of doing An Caisteal and Beinn a’Chroin.  Jenny and me left a very dank and wet Edinburgh with very little optimism that we would get decent weather on the hill – how wrong we where.  Harry had obviously booked the weather when he was organising the trip.

We started the walk in good weather and all the signs looked good for a brilliant day on the hill.  We took the road that has been gouged into the valley for a couple of kilometres before striking out  onto open hill side and head up towards the col between Sron Gharbh and Twistin Hill.  As we gained altitude the views started to open up nicely and the weather was looking great, in fact folk had more layers off than you could shake a stick at.  It’s a pretty long couple of kilometres to the along Twistin Hill to the summit of An Caisteal, especially with the temperatures sneaking up higher and higher, and to think Harry thought we might need crampons and ice axes!!  On the way along Twistin Hill, Mac found a wee lochan that had a load off dead frogs in it – no one was sure  what might have happened and no can ever remember seeing anything like it before.  The hill was very busy today; in fact I can’t remember seeing a Scottish hill this busy, other than Ben Nevis of course.

After a decent lunch break on the summit of An Caisteal we set of for Beinn a’Chroin which involved a decent into a bealach before we could make a start on the ascent.  We also managed to find some easy scrambling.  We also encountered a decent compacted snow slope that needed to be negotiated.  Mac went down it in his normal way – he threw himself down it!!  Once we had that bit over it was the final push to the summit of Beinn a’Chroin.  We had another decent lunch break here and enjoyed the sunshine.   

We then headed for the ridge walk down into the valley.  This presented us with the wettest terrain of the day as we all had to negotiate numerous boggy bits, but thankfully only John and Jim took tumbles resulting in wet backsides and nothing else, thankfully.  In fact, the walkout was one of the better ones I’ve had over the years and we got some great views down the valley and onwards.

This was a great day out which was very well organised by Harry.