11th March, Stùc a’ Chroin (M182), 3199ft, 975m
Having failed twice by more conventional routes to reach the summit of this mountain I decided to try a different strategy. Firstly, come at it from behind via the ridge from Beinn Each. Secondly, take a compleatist with me.
The forecast was for clearing skies in the afternoon. At the summit we saw the yellow disc of the sun through thin cloud, but all the way up it was misty and still, but not cold. The ascent of Beinn Each from Ardcullarie Farm by Loch Lubnaig is steep and slithery, first through a pine wood next to a ravine, and then over the moor and up onto the ridge. It is however a good way of gaining height quickly. There are all sorts of fascinating knobbles and cliffs, and nooks and crannies mixed in with the melting snow, boulders and peat along this ridge. In the mist, navigation was a challenge, and my Munroist companion took bearings at regular intervals to make sure we were not going in the wrong direction. Luckily there is also the remains of an ancient wrought iron fence perched along the pinnacle of the ridge all the way to the summit of Stùc a’ Chroin from the summit of Beinn Each. There is also a path of reasonable quality alongside this old fence. And I had the very excellent OS app on my iPhone which was able at every moment to pinpoint our exact location. So the challenges of navigation were overcome and we enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon together, easily reaching the summit of Stùc a’ Chroin in about four hours. Our return journey missed out a return to the summit of Beinn Each and dropped diagonally into Glen Ample for the walk out, making a round trip about seven hours.
Thanks to Neil for a great day out.