Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Monday, 11 April 2016

Friday 8 April - Creag Each 672m (Graham) NN 652263 Map 51


Countless times we've driven past lovely Loch Earn with never a thought as to what interest the tract of land immediately north of the loch might hold. We were heading for 'greater things' and most often our destination was Glen Coe and the Forestry Commission campsite run by Bill.

From 1996 to 2004, from April until holidays in mid-July, we hardly missed a weekend there with our motorcaravan. This was a perfect base for forays to Mull, Ardgour, the Loch Arkaig hills and north of the Great Glen, as well as for memorable days on the Glen Coe peaks themselves. Despite regular predictions of dire weather, the forecasters were invariably wrong and we enjoyed fine weather on the vast majority of weekends.

Today it was was cold and overcast. Earlier forecasts of fine weather had been, as usual, downgraded regularly during the week but the tops were clear and, rain or shine, we were looking forward to being on unfamiliar ground.

From the small car park opposite the Loch Earn Sailing Club the track zig-zagged pleasantly upwards into Glen Tarken passing the derilict steadings of Wester Glentarken where we stopped to take in the quiet atmosphere. 

Glentarken steadings (click to enlarge all photos)


Loch Earn. St Fillans is barely disernible in the distance

Ben Vorlich, as so often on recent trips, dominated the southern view, its snow cover now much reduced. I have a feeling it will be topped up again before Spring finally arrives here.

Ben Vorlich (obviously)
It didn't take long for our craggy hill to come into sight and at what seemed as good a place as any, we left the ease of the track and wended upwards through the rough grasses following sheep trods hither and thither.

Creag Each
Higher up the hillside, it rained. Full waterproofs on. That done, it stopped. Some blue appeared. Steep heathery slopes - a lot steeper than they looked - then some scree, lead to a prominent cairn which had been visible from the track earlier in the day.


The summit lay across a shallow hollow.

Creag Each summit across the hollow

From the final slopes down to Loch Earn
Northern hills were in cloud and probably rain but if anything conditions here were improving, though it was still cold and un-springlike.




The summit cairn
We pondered going for the next Graham across the glen where some heather burning had started, but decided to leave it for another time to include Clach Mhor Na h-Airigh Leithe or the Glen Tarken Stone. I think the glen in summer or later in spring would be a quite charming place so we'll come back then for Creag Ruadh.

Once back on the track we explored further up the glen until Creag Dubh came into view. The track loops round the head of the glen and can be followed back to St Fillans or to our starting point. Beyond Creag Dubh and into Glen Beich some pathless terrain leads to a track which can be joined for Killin or Ardeonaig on Loch Tay using, I think, part of the Rob Roy Way.

Some good wild camping spots and a fine Scots pine by Glentarken Burn

We returned at a leisurely pace meeting a couple who'd walked from St Fillans by the disused railway line through Glentarken Wood. A popular route in summer it seems.

We'd planned to have a last cup of tea at the steadings but cattle were grazing there now - an ancient scene - so we left them undisturbed and were back at the car by 3pm well content with our day. 




 


6 comments:

  1. I had a look at Haroldstreet for the Grahams. It seems there are 220 - how are you progressing with the list? I have only done 7 of them.

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  2. Sir Hugh - The SMC guide lists 224 being the original number I believe so we are going for that list. According to the SMC, Alan Dawson is resurveying hill heights but not to OS standards apparently and the results are not being submitted to the OS for ratification so are not being used in the SMC guide, although Dawson's data is noted.

    We have done 35 which omits a few we think we did in Galloway years ago but can't be certain, so have not counted them.

    We have 12 Corbetts left so must try to get those done as well! They have been waiting years.

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  3. I misted out this bit of the RRW preferring to go up Ben Lawers and re-joining the RRW at Kenmore. Going off your photo’s it certainly looks worth a visit.

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    Replies
    1. Over Ben Lawers to Kenmore sounds a much better alternative to the RRW I think.

      Coming from a distance like yourself there are better places to visit than where we were but on a backpacking trip coming through this general area heading for Loch Tay, it would be worth considering. Probably going via Glen Turret or Glen Lednock would be preferable maybe and I think Gayle and Mick used the Glen Lednock route on one of their walks.

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  4. It was a great day. We called in at Culdees bunkhouse for a look round. We thought it was odd.
    Kenmore was a bright spot. Enjoyed lunch there.
    There is so much to do isn’t there, and so little time.

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  5. Spot on Alan - so little time and far too much to do. How's your back by the way?

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