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Report on Ben Lui & Beinn a Chleib
29 August 2010

Today?s Craggys - Irene, Gail and Kenny

Gail and I have been compiling a ?to do? list of Munros we hoped to bag before the winter sets in and Ben Lui was high up on that list.

We decided if the weather was reasonably dry we would attempt Ben Lui (1130m) and Beinn a Chleibh (916m) from the Glen Lochy side. Kenny joined us and agreed to do the driving allowing Gail and I to sit back and enjoy the views.

Nearing our starting point we decided to stop at a layby to check the GPS as the carpark is apparently hidden from the A85. Just over a Km to go so we decided to set off but wondered what this car was doing that stopped directly behind us? We found the Glen Lochy carpark easily and it wasn?t too hidden as there was a visible signpost on the main road. A minute later that same car arrived and parked beside us. It was the Cunninghame Ramblers!!! Yes it was our friend Anne McGuire and The Ramblers who we had met the week before in the Inverbeg Hotel after our Cobbler walk.

Our worry about this walk was the River Lochy to cross which is impossible after rain. So I walked along the path to the river?s edge to inspect what lay ahead. A guy across the river said he waded across but the water level was up to mid calf height. So it was back to the car to break the news to Gail, Kenny and The Ramblers. Kenny and I had come prepared for this ? he had his sandshoes and I brought sandals but Gail had to go barefoot as we paddled across the river with our trousers up to our knees. The water was freezing!!! The Ramblers were very organised by wearing hi viz yellow binbags on their legs?.very odd sight but effective. On the other side we quickly dried off and put on our socks and boots again. Kenny decided to hang his sannies on a fence until we returned knowing no-one would steal them especially as they only cost him ?4 from Primark.

Off we went crossing the railway and up a very muddy path. After a short walk we were on the lookout for a small cairn which we found but then there was a discussion with us, the 5 Ramblers and another 2 guys which way to go. We headed to the right and helped each other to carefully crossed Eas Daimh as it ran into another fast flowing river. Up through the forest and again through mud, mud and more mud! We eventually came to a style and out into the open hillside. We headed up the corrie again over wet grass and mud. On reaching the col between Ben Lui and Beinn a Chleibh the wind picked up which was really cold although the sun was shining. We decided to head up Ben Lui first as it was the highest. On the summit we joined a group of folk of various nationalities. The views were superb with clear visibility. We could only recognise a few other mountains nearby as our sense of direction is hopeless. We managed to get some shelter from the biting wind and enjoyed lunch on the summit. After the usual summit photos we headed down meeting up The Ramblers again as they neared the summit.

Beinn a Chleibh was in our sights but looked tiny in compared to the mighty Ben Lui. It was an easy and quick ascent to the flat summit. At the cairn we looked across at another cairn then wondered which one was the highest. Just to be on the safe side we decided to visit them both by running between them to prepare me for the Great Scottish 10k Run next Sunday!! We found a sheltered spot and had a good rest in the sun eating Gail?s Minstrals and Kenny?s Jelly Babies! Just before we decided to leave The Ramblers appeared yet again? was good to see them.

The walk down the corrie was uneventful except when Gail and I realised we were heading across the hill and not down to the forest where Kenny was waiting. We soon met up at the style and made our way again through the mudfest again. Back at the railway line Gail wondered what it would be like to lie on the tracks and Kenny suggested tying her up. Thankfully this was only a thought cause the next thing the train came rushing by!! Kenny?s sannies were still tied to the fence but we decided just to go for it and waded through with our boots on as they needed cleaned anyway.

Back at the car we got dried off and as the wind had died down the midges appeared. So it was into the car and off to the Drovers for the customary end of walk drink. Thoroughly enjoyed this walk even with the river and mud but not recommended if the river level was any higher?.beware!

Irene Cahill

Gail wading
Kenny's feet are freezing
Crossing Eas Daimh
Irene and Gail at the Ben Lui signpost
Kenny having a wee rest
Kenny sheltering in a rock
Irene Gail and Kenny on summit of Ben Lui
Ben Lui summit with views around
Irene walking the plank
Beinn a Chleibh summit
Views from Beinn a Chleibh
Summit flag on Ben Lui
Looking back at Ben Lui and Beinn a Chleibh from the carpark

Photos: Irene Cahill

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