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Saturday 31st July 2004

Ten of us left the car park just off the A85 - 500m east of Crianlarich.  We set off under overcast skies to cries of "Where are the blue skies you promised? , we said we were only coming if it was sunny, bet it's sunny in Arran, etc….".

A good forest road lulled us into a false sense of security but not for long, soon we had to make our way up through a firebreak in the forest to find the path that would take us up Grey Height. This firebreak was very boggy and became an obstacle course as we limboed under trees and balanced on branches to try to avoid sinking thigh deep into the bog.

We successfully emerged from the bog and had our first break of the day as the skies began to clear and spectacular views emerged from the clouds. I mean the mountains not Stevie, Michael and Kenny who had now taken off their t-shirts - in fact I'm surprised the sun didn't beat a hasty retreat.

Soon after finding the path up to Grey Height we bumped into Keith and Anita who had been unsuccessful in finding a parking space for their planned walk and were now heading for a different peak by way of Cruach Ardrain. They continued to walk with us over Grey Height onto Meall Dhamh. We stopped for lunch here just before the final ascent up Cruach Ardrain. Keith and Anita then went off to climb their summit and we made the final ascent of Cruach Ardrain.

We were on the summit for 2.30pm to celebrate Maureen's very first Munro. Unfortunately, no champagne, just Glayva from Kenny's hipflask!

A steep rocky descent saw us taking care to reach the bealach at the head of Coire Ardrain and then yet more ups and downs over Stob Garbh, Stob Coire Bhuidhe and Creag na-h-lolaine. The final descent was very tricky, we had to make our way down very steep grassy slopes to a firebreak in the forest and again pick our way through bogs this time catching Caroline out as she sank up to her shorts in one bit.

We finally reached the forest road and returned very sun burnt and tired to the cars at 7.00pm.
We headed home via the Rod and Reel - unhelpful bar staff but refreshing beer.

The walk was not as easy as I had promised on the website but a great circular route with superb views and fantastic weather (at last!!).

Kathryn Gaffney

Take a look at John Darroch's Panorama View from Cruach Ardrain

The Paps of Crianlarich Oil of Ulay my ar** Now 3334 feet
Photos: John Darroch, Stephen Browning and Irene Cahill

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