Walk: Caisteal & Chroin - Crianlarich variety show

[An Caisteal's scrambly descent route, seen from Beinn a' Chroin]

Despite an unpromising start (by a construction site in 2016), an ascent of An Caisteal together with its neighbour Beinn a' Chroin must be one of the best, most varied day walks in the Crianlarich Hills. An Caisteal (The Castle) takes the form of a rewarding ridge route, although with a bit of a slog beforehand: the summit does indeed have a fortress-like profile on the gentle northern approach. The descent ridge is shorter but much steeper with a couple of hands-on moments once the crest loses definition; this mirrored by the equally direct ascent to Beinn a' Chroin. Once you've visited all the knobbly summits (just to make sure, you know...), an easier ridge drops into the upper reaches of Glen Falloch. Wet feet nearly compulsory here: on a hot day in one of countless clear pools, on a rainy day, in bog traversed by the rather soggy path (although no problems after a dry spell).

[The return through the glen is a delight if the weather's good and the ground dry]

Name: Walk: Caisteal & Chroin - Crianlarich variety show ★★☆
Length: 14 km / 9 miles
Ascent: 1050 metres
Main summits: Sròn Garbh (709 metres); An Caisteal (995 metres, Munro); Beinn a' Chroin (942 metres, Munro)
Start / finish: Layby on the A82 a mile south-west of Crianlarich, G.R.: NN 369239 / desiring bulges tarnished

Route: Start - leave track after fence at NN 377228 - Sròn Garbh - An Caisteal - Bealach Buidhe - Beinn a' Chroin - cross River Falloch at NN 390203 - follow west bank until outward track regained - start.
Terrain: Gravel path to underpass than good track for first mile. Paths elsewhere: very faint to gain the ridge and also for some of the descent from Beinn a' Chroin. Some bog in the glen but drier and clearer paths everywhere else. A few easy scrambles on descent of An Caisteal and ascent of Beinn a' Chroin. Crossing the River Falloch on the descent could be difficult in spate.
Wildlife today: Cows blocking the path at the very start; wheatears plus sheep and lambs in the glen.
Weather today: Unbroken sunshine with a cool, gentle northerly breeze - perfect! 10C at start and mid-teens on return, but only just above freezing on the summits. Several snow patches higher up but none on the path.

[Mountains as far as the eye can see: this is north with Ben Lui, Ben Cruachan & Ben Nevis all in view]


Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)

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