- Beinn Tulaichean and Cruach Àrdrain
- January 2020
Physical strength will get you to the start line. But mental strength will get you to the finish line.
We headed into the heart of Rob Roy country for our walk this weekend. We were in the very beautiful Crianlarich area and heading up Beinn Tulaichean and Cruach Ardrain.
We were going to approach these hills from the quiet and picturesque valley at Inverlochlarig along a farm track which would give us a full view of our peaks.
We stayed overnight in the car park at the end of a public road beyond Loch Voil. Next morning we were up and away heading along the track on the north side of the glen to the farm at Inverlochlarig.
Inverlochlarig was the site of the final home of the celebrated outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor following his pardon. He died here in 1736 and his grave can still be visited in Balquhidder churchyard, which we were going to head to later.
It wasn’t long before we were off the farm track, following a dirt track which crossed the bridge over the burn. From here on in we were onto a pathless, boggy and relentlessly steep ascent which was pretty rough going. It seemed to just go on and on straight up.
It was one of those days that looked promising. Weather forecast predicted 60% cloud free Munro’s and SLIGHTLY gusty. On setting out it really did look like it could come true, a slight wind and beautiful blue skies.
Reality soon kicked in however and it turned into one of those days that involved a battle with the elements from start to finish with no let up whatsoever for 6.5 hours.
So we simply climbed and climbed and climbed. We reached a cairn, climbed over a fence and continued to climb up and up.
We eventually reached the summit of our first Munro, Beinn Tulaichean which offered us no views other than the odd glimpse of Ben More and Stob Binnein popping their heads out above the clouds.
We continued walking following the path along the ridge, headed towards Cruach Ardrain.
From the bealach, we had a rather straightforward climb which lead us to our second summit, marked by a small cairn.
Again there were no views to admire. We hung around in freezing conditions as it looked like there was going to be a break in the clouds.
We were privvy to a full three second view until we had enough and retraced our steps back to the bealach where a small cairn stood marking the path leading down the eastern slopes as today we were doing a circuit.
A straight up also meant a straight back down however and we remained on wet boggy and slippery grass. On top of this we continued to battle with the galeforce winds blowing us off our feet on the slippery downwards not forgetting to mention the -10 temperature!
We continued downhill which felt like forever before finally reaching a grassy track on the glen’s floor, which eventually took us all the way back to Inverlochlarig farm and into the farm track to return to the car park where our walk began.
Do not be fooled by my photos as they show quite a different story and were probably the best and only views we got all day for like 3 whole seconds!
However sometimes you need days like these to challenge your physical and mental strength and that feeling of achievement after its all over feels so good. It also makes you appreciate the good view kind of days…when they do happen!
On the way out we drove through Balquhidder, a small village on the north side of Loch Voil. Here sits Balquhidder Church and the resting place of Rob Roy and his family.
Hope you enjoyed the video 👆💙.