An Caisteal Sunday 21st April 2024


Thirty walkers – 29 members and one guest – left Blairgowrie at 7.30am a wee bit anxious about what the weather might have in store for them south of Crianlarich, especially up high. In the event the A and B groups both had to climb through rain and cloud high up, to reach their summits but were then treated to fine views above the lower cloud cover. Early on the weather was very mixed but cleared later, the descent being rain free and often sunny.

The A party climbed two Munros, firstly An Caisteal then on to Beinn a Chroin, after enjoying the unfolding views from their first summit, the five walkers dropped down to the bealach between the two hills, this was quite a scrambly section often involving the use of all four limbs and immediately followed by the ascent of Beinn a Chroin along a narrow path with a steep drop on one side. The way down was on a grassy slope that eventually led back to the lay-by and awaiting coach.

The B, and largest group, climbed the flanks of An Caisteal at a leisurely pace through rain and cloud, via Sron Garbh and then the aptly named Twistin Hill, by this time the weather was improving. The views opened up with snow capped peeks appearing out of the cloud. The views extended as far as the Glencoe hills and the peaks of Arran and Mull.

The way down from the summit was along a good path initially but the lower half was purgatorial, slippery and often boggy.

The C group was dropped off on the shores of Loch Lomond at Ardlui where they were forced to split owing to the small size of the ferry which was to take them to the east bank and onto the West Highland Way. The first group across became the C+ party who followed the WHW all the way to Crianlarich. The second group (C) were well over half an hour behind by the time that they got their boots onto the WHW, this group walked to the coach without the section of path to Crianlarich. The C parties enjoyed a lovely undulating walk along Glen Falloch, the path took them through wooded areas studded with hundreds of clumps of primroses before dropping down to the river Falloch with all its sections of fast-moving water and its many spectacular water falls and slides. Those speeding along the nearby A82 are completely oblivious to the spectacular gorge just below them.

Three of the four groups arrived back at the coach within minutes of each other, the fourth party (C+) was picked up in Crianlarich where they had been enjoying refreshments at the Rod & Line café.