Walk: Ben Cruachan - Hollow Mountain Ridge

[Cruachan Reservoir dam and Ben Cruachan summit (behind pylon)]

The hillside above Lochawe is criss-crossed by power lines, carrying electricity from turbines deep underground - Scottish Power have christened Ben Cruachan the "Hollow Mountain". Thankfully the pylons do little to detract from this magnificent, rough horseshoe walk, taking in two Munros as well as several other minor summits. Ben Cruachan is the highest of the ring of peaks, but the superb views begin almost at the car park. Arran, Jura and Mull are the highlights of the western panorama, but on a clear day it's theoretically possible to see as far as Northern Ireland and Galloway, nearly a hundred miles away.

[The route between Ben Cruachan and Drochaid Ghlas offers brilliant ridge walking]

Name: Walk: Ben Cruachan - Hollow Mountain Ridge ★★★☆
Length: 14 km / 9 miles
Ascent: 1380 metres
Main summits: Ben Cruachan (1126 metres, Munro); Drochaid Ghlas (1009 metres); Stob Diamh (998 metres, Munro); Stob Garbh (980 metres)
Points of interest: Cruachan Reservoir
Start / finish: Layby on A85 at Falls of Cruachan Station, G.R.: NN 080268 / voltage fluffed prickly

Route: Start - Cruachan Reservoir dam - west side of reservoir - Bealach an Lochain - Ben Cruachan - Drochaid Ghlas - Stob Diamh - Stob Garbh - Lairig Torran - east side of reservoir - reservoir dam - return by outward route
Terrain: Largely rough, steep hill paths - hands briefly required on descent from Ben Cruachan. Sloping rock slab soon after could be problematic if wet, but can be bypassed lower down to right hand side. West side of reservoir has a good track, but path on the east side is boggy. Brief pathless section descending Lairig Torran.
Wildlife today: Frogs and lizards lower down, sheep higher up.
Weather today: Sunshine and scattered clouds, with heavy showers on all sides never reaching us. A little temporary low cloud at Ben Cruachan summit. Fairly light breeze, probably about ten degrees on the ridge. Corries still holding snow patches.
Anything else? Parking is fairly limited - arrive early or prepare to park a kilometre further down the road to the west.

[Drochaid Ghlas has the best views back to Ben Cruachan (centre)]


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