a high, east-west running ridge with seven peaks; the summit of Cruachan
itself is a finely pointed peak at the apex of four ridges. On the north
side of the ridge steep crags provide winter climbing, while nestling
in the main coire on the south flank is Cruachan Reservoir, the feeder
for the vast underground power station.
road leads west from Dalmally along Loch Awe. Just before the Power Station
find one of several small lay-bys - parking at the Power Station Visitor
Centre for mere walkers is definitely not encouraged. Cross under the
rail line by a small tunnel, go left a bit and find the path running up
on the east side of the Falls of Cruachan Burn. This burn runs down a
steep-sided gorge and is best not fallen into.
the path, a badly sited stile allows a highly exposed crossing of the
deer fence; otherwise, those with a sense of survival may wish to find
a safer way over away from the beckoning gorge! The path eventually gains
the slope under the dam, with a ladder allowing an ascent to the dam itself.
Walk left along the dam, go right a short distance above the west bank
of the reservoir then head up the slopes of Meall Cuanail to gain its
ridge leads to the top at 918m. Now descend steeper ground to the north
for 70m to reach a bealach. Ahead lies the south ridge of Ben Cruachan,
with the path striking through a boulder field to gain the summit at 1126m.
We now head
east, following the ridge at the head of Coire Cruachan, with hopefully
the reservoir visible below. There are a few scrambling spots but no real
difficulty as you descend the east ridge. The ridge leads over the next
top of Drochaid Ghlas at 1009m. This top is a little way north of the
main ridge, on a spur.
the traverse, we gain the next summit, and the second Munro of the day
with Stob Diamh (998m). From here, we turn south and take the ridge leading
to Stob Garbh (980m), unnamed on the 1:50000 map. Some 1400m further on
is a bealach, from which we turn west to descend to the south-east corner
of the reservoir. From here the descent route is picked up, though the
curious may be tempted to carefully explore one of the tunnels supplying
water to the reservoir.