Beinn a' Chrulaiste - 857m
Sunday 19th January 2014

Weather/Conditions: Benign for winter - snow and mist on top but no real issues of any sort. The hills in a state of thaw - just look at the pictures of the Buachaille.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 6.1km / 600m / 2h 30m
Accompanying: Struan

Struan and I woke up at A' Chuil in Glen Dessarry. Our intention had been to climb some Corbetts above the bothy, but the cold, damp and darkness made us feel like going elsewhere. But it wasn't spoken originally, and we packed up with a half-intention to make the summits. Glen Dessarry was a bloody drab place, not quite what I expected either. We headed over to the Upper cottage on the far side of the glen, where we'd make out mind up about what to do. Bidein a' Chabhair looked impressive, wreathed in mist, a spire of a mountain. I hadn't expected it at all and it's immediacy was shocking and awe-inspiring. Of course the photos are not quite as impressive as I remember it!

Following a short route-finding error in the glen, we arrived at the foot of Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoidh. But today wasn't our day, we just wanted to get back to the car. Perhaps if we'd slept at the car park and had the luxury of camping out of a car, we might have been more 'raring to go'. But instead we decided to get back to the car, then see what we felt like doing. The walk down the track was unbroken and quick - we were soon driving back down Loch Arkaig. The place was stunning and we constantly stopped for photographs.

An hour or two later we were standing under Beinn a' Chrulaiste in Glen Coe as our consolation hill. The "feel" in Glen Coe was completely different. Glen Dessarry was such an isolated, empty place, yet here there was the glen buzz of folk out for a Sunday walk, of the hotel, and the hum of the main road nearby.

We did an up-and-down from Kingshouse, a pretty short route all things considered. Folk were passing by, making the same Sunday hill day as we were, probably on their way home too. We reached the trig in the mist, then went back the way we came. The highlight was really the Buachaille, with the dark cliffs interspersed by snow, a wild mountain. But again, this day on Chrulaiste is another trip that has faded into memory, despite being a very nice afternoon out. It's always the hard times that stay lodged in memory, while the efficient, easy days fade...

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(2.00) 2.10pm Kingshouse Hotel
(1.15) 3.25pm Beinn a' Chrulaiste
(2.30) c. 4.40pm Kingshouse Hotel

Written: 2015-11-13