Taking to the hills

With most of my efforts focussed on climbing over the last two years, I realised it had been a while since I had managed to get up the hills, and it had been even longer since I had gone out alone.  So, with the husband working night shifts over the weekend I decided to peruse my munro book, pack my rucksack and head for the hills.

I had fancied the Ben Cruachan ridge for a while but had never got round to it for one reason or another, so, with a glorious sunny day ahead of me I set off.  I arrived at the Cruachan power station at about 10.30am and headed up to the reservoir.  There were a couple ahead of me who powered on up and I realised one of the joys of walking on your own is enjoying your own pace, I didn’t feel under pressure to keep up with anyone, could take as many rests as I liked but equally if I wanted to walk a bit faster, I could.  When I reached the reservoir I saw the couple in the distance heading left for the Ben Cruachan summit.  I decided to head right and walk the ridge east to west, taking in the summit of Stob Diamh first.

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Ben Cruachan from the reservoir

As I headed round the reservoir and up the grassy slopes of Stob Diamh, I was in a complete world of my own, thoroughly enjoying myself and realising how much I loved getting out in the hills.  I crossed a stream and nearlly walked right into a fellow walker, I was in such a daze I thought I had the hill to myself and did not expect to see anyone – the walker looked equally surprised to come across someone!

As I slowly tramped up to the summit, I began to see the mountain peaks on the other side of the ridge slowly come into view and I felt excited about reaching the top and the views to come.  I wasn’t disappointed – as I reached the summit cairn, I could see for miles, with Ben Nevis in the distance, over to the islands off the west coast as well as the ridge stretching towards Ben Cruachan a mile and half or so long.

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Looking towards Ben Nevis from the summit of Stob Diamh

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The ridge leading from Stob Diamh to Ben Cruachan

I spent a bit of time at the summit rehydrating before heading off along the ridge. It was a lovely walk with the option of some easy scrambling towards the end.  I was pleased I had decided to walk from east to west and also started a little later in the day, as the further along the ridge I got the less people I saw, and by the time I reached the summit of Ben Cruachan I was able to enjoy the views with not a soul around.  It was such a spectacular day I didn’t want to head down!

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Views across Loch Etive from the summit of Ben Cruachan

 Eventually I tore myself away from the summit and headed back to the car.  I drove home very satisfied after a most enjoyable day, and reminded myself to get out in the hills more often.  I also had the added bonus of ticking off another two munros – yes, I am a (now not so) secret munro bagger!

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