It’s been a while since I wrote about Ben Oss & Beinn Dubhchraig, I’ve since done the North Coast 500 and been to the Isles of Harris & Lewis. Yet to write about them. Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to read about it! And if so, should I write about each stop along the way separate or do it day-by-day? Anyway, after the weather we’ve been having lately, it would have been a sin not to bag a couple Munros! At the weekend, I took on An Caisteal and Beinn a’Chroin with Scoob, his first 2 of the year. What a day for it… it started off dreich and miserable but we got a spectacular cloud inversion at the summit!
An Caisteal & Beinn a’Chroin
Category – Munro(s)
Height – 995 metres (3,264 ft); An Caisteal & 940 metres (3,084 ft); Beinn a’Chroin
Location – Crianlarich
Difficulty Rating – 7.5/10
Approximate Timing – 6 – 8 hours
Pronunciation – Aan Kastail & Byn a Chroin
An Caisteal (the castle) and Beinn a’Chroin (hill of danger) are two of the seven Crianlarich Munros. To get to the starting point, take the usual road to Crianlarich (follow the A84 from Stirling and pass through Callander, Strathyre and Loch Earnhead. Join the A85, pass by the cut off for Killin and head along that road). You’ll pass by where you would park for Ben More & Stob Binnein. Pass through Crianlarich and join the A82, heading South towards Tarbet. Literally 2-3 minutes down that road and you’ll notice a lay-by on the left… park there. , there will be a turn off for Dalrigh, take that and stay left. The large car park should be on your left.
To begin the route, head through the gate and follow the path under the railway. You’ll pass by a building (unsure if it’s a small hydro station) and start heading uphill gradually. It’s a relatively easy walk for the first wee bit. You’ll come to a gate, if you want to follow the Walk Highlands route, you would turn immediately right and follow the small trail along the fence-line. This would tackle An Caisteal first. We opted to go in reverse and take on Beinn a’Chroin first. If you want to check out the Walk Highland route, see HERE.
Follow the path a little longer until you reach a wee dam where the nice path comes to an end. From here, keep heading straight with the stream on your left. There is a faint path which drops in and out but as long as you continue heading along the stream, you’re on the right track. Eventually, just before things get steep, you’ll need to cross the stream and start heading uphill.
As you make your way up the steep ascent, the track becomes more obvious and before long you’ll come to a small dip between two uphill paths. The track to the left (south-east) leads to the summit of Beinn a’Chroin which is marked by a small cairn. Take your photo and have a wee rest to take in the spectacular views over the other Crianlarich Munros and Arrochar Alps then head back down to the dip and up the other side. It levels out a little here and you’ll come to another cairn which is the ‘true’ highest point of the mountain. We took a wee stop at both just to make sure Beinn a’Chroin was well and truly bagged!
To make your way to An Caisteal, follow the path West and it’ll soon be heading steeply down. Be careful on this section as it is very rocky (if doing the other way would require a bit of scrambling). To be honest, I’m quite glad we done it this way, it seemed a lot easier than it would have if we done it the same way as Walk Highlands. Anyway, you’ll reach Bealach Buidhe and then start heading North to the ascent to An Caisteal.
There’s a track West that can take you to Beinn Chabhair however we thought we would save that for another day We spoke to a guy who was doing it and he said it was a 90 minute de-tour. It is quite a steep ascent so take care. Before long you’ll be arriving on the summit of An Caisteal (it should take around 1 hour to make it from the summit of Beinn a’Chroin). Again, at this summit, you get some spectacular views over the surrounding mountains. Once you’ve had your rest and summit photo, head North and begin the descent.
At first, the descent is well marked but it soon comes to grassy slopes and you can see the original path you came up in the distance. As long as you take care and try follow the path where you can, you should be ok. We headed down towards the fence-line and followed that back to the path. When you reach the gate, head through and re-trace your steps all the way back to the lay-by. Another 2 Munros in the bag!
I thoroughly enjoyed both Munros, from the stunning cloud inversion to the enjoyable scrambling sections and the spectacular views, these 2 Munros are definitely worth it. It was good to have someone to chat to on the hike as well. I’m getting too used to hiking myself! The path is a bit hard to follow at times but as long as you use your common sense, you should be alright. Now that these 2 are in the bag, I only have 3 more to do to complete the Crianlarich Munros!
As always, photos are below, and if you have any comments or suggestions about the post, let me know below! I’ve also added new prints to my store from my travels up North… check them out in my Print Shop!
That’s all for another post.
Thanks for reading,