3: Breadalbane

12°C, rain, much of it heavy with brisk SW.

Moved to the Trossachs, this gives me a new area to explore and a shorter drive home than Ardnamuchan. The Ben Lawers range was recommended by the Fife couple. It may be that I don’t get onto the range of Munros immediately north of here because of the weather. Often in previous years, I have used the return journey to look for ideas for future trips. Maybe this stop will work the same.

Found a campsite on the shore of Loch Tay. This area seems more geared towards caravans and even this site is dominated by those hideous things. This place is a bit of a come-down after the fine views at the last site. Perhaps the hill-fog will lift in the morning and something exciting with appear.

3.1/ Ben Lawers and the ridge: first some stats, total 8h54mins (incl stops); total ascent 1518m, descent 1256m, distance ;

Summits: Beinn Glas, 1103m; Ben Lawers, 1214m; An Stuc, 1118m; Meall Garbh, 1118m. I skipped out Meall Greigh because of titimeme and the rain had started heavily by then.

Summits were gained quite easily, I felt fit. That dragging sleepy feeling had gone which plagued the day on Ben Hiant. Maybe I was held back by a bug or something. All of the summits were in thick hill fog and strong wind. I estimate 40mph gusts, I unfolded the poles after B. Lawers.

There was lots of geology, despite the terrible visibility. Schist was in abundance as were micro-folds. There were rocks with tight zig-zag folds as little as 6″ amplitude. I took no photos because of worries about tne effect hmudity or rain would have on tbe camera. Perhaps that’s why I got round so quickly.

The descent from the bealach at larig Innein was grassy and fairly easy. There were faint trails to follow down past an enclosure to a dam. It’s a small dam that’s part of a bigger system, presumably for collecting fresh water. These structures reminded me of those on Ben Cruachen. Burn water is collected into numbered inlets into a huge pipe that mostly runs beneath the ground. The pipe is black as is the concrete hese structures are made from. All over are rusty or white streaks from weathering. As I walked south, I played a counting game to pace out the way. This section is easy and I wanted to cover some ground quickly. Turning downhill, the track zig-zags once before I had to leave it to follow a derelict stone wall. Follow that and it leads you back to the car park. Sounds easy huh? In a way, this last leg was the hardest with deep gullys streams to cross and rough ground hidden by tussocks. That last 3 km took nearly a 2 hours. Was it the hardest or was I beginning to tire? Either way, it was a slog along long grass and heather. The trickiest bit was crossing gulleys that contain Burns which were partly hidden by bracken.

At the end car-park, a mountain rescue party arrived at the same time as me. Two women were lost in the mist, I overheard. They’d gone to B. Lawers and intended to come back the same way. They phoned for help in the An Stuc area. So they went north off the summit instead of SW. Oh dear.

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