Cruach Ardrain has a very distinctive outline and is a familiar sight from the Crianlarich and Tyndrum area. Seven of us set out on a fresh and clear Sunday morning, rendezvousing at car park at the end of Loch Voil to tackle Cruach Ardrain and its neighbouring munro of Beinn Tulaichean. The walk was a total of 12.5k with a total ascent of 1087 metres.
Setting off at a meandering pace, we avoided the farm at Inverlochlarig to gain the track with Beinn Tulaichean directly ahead and the summit of Cruach Ardrain peaking over its right shoulder.
Once on the track, we followed for a couple of hundred metres before striking for the hill and making a beeline up the pathless, boggy lower slopes to gain the drier ridge. Dodging the rockier outcrops, we picked our way up the ridge with excellent views of Stob Binnien and Ben More to our right rekindling memories of a recent walk in August.
Dodging some of the trickier sections on the final ascent of the ridge leading to the summit, we reached the cairn at 946 metres after 2hrs 8mins and took shelter from the wind to enjoy a well deserved refreshment.
Setting of for the second summit of Cruach Ardrain, as we picked our way down to the Bealach, the wind increased and began to cause problems, impeding walking. With intermittent respites on the descent, the decision whether to proceed in what were challenging walking conditions became more pressing.
After a short pause and discussion, the decision of the majority was to press ahead, with Clive opting to descent back to the car park.
Ascending the ridge, the impact of the wind was minimal enabling the group to make steady progress to reach the summit cairn of Cruach Ardrain at 1046 metres after 3hrs 38 mins.
The wind began to bite and shelter was in relatively short supply, so after a brief stay, we headed back to the Bealach to begin the descent back to Inverlochlarig.
The track back to the farm was soon reached and sheltered from the wind, an easy and relaxing stroll back to the cars saw the group rendezvousing with Clive after 6hrs 15mins.
A well earned coffee and hot chocolate at Mhor 84 set us up for the short drive back to Glasgow and the end to what was an enjoyable day.