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The MunrosThe Munros
The south facing crags of An Caisteal
The south facing crags of An Caisteal
Country: Scotland
Location: Glen Falloch
Accommodation: Hotel, B&B and Youth Hostel at Crianlarich.
Transport: There is a railway station at Crianlarich. Buses between Glasgow and Fort William stop here.
Maps: Landranger Map 0050: Glen Orchy & Loch Etive
Trip Date: 7 June 1993
Introduction

There are four good Munros standing around the headwaters of the River Falloch. The two southern ones are An Caisteal (the castle, 995m) and Beinn a'Chroin (hill of harm or danger, 941m). The best view of these rugged peaks is from the head of Glen Falloch - follow the West Highland Way until it crosses a deer fence on an enormous stile and then climb up the hill to the north and look back over the head of the glen. An Caisteal has a well-defined summit at the junction of its northern and north-west ridges both of which can be used as access routes. The northern ridge (known as Twistin Hill - note the missing 'g') is the usual route taken. Beinn a'Chroin has a long flat summit ridge with the West Top over a steep col from An Caisteal and the East Top a kilometre to the east.

Route

Start at the carpark in Glen Falloch next to the obvious bend in the river. This is an easy 2 kilometre walk from Crianlarich along the A82 road. Take the landrover track from the carpark, under the railway line and over a bridge to gain the south-west banks of the river. To head for An Caisteal first, leave the track after about a kilometre (just beyond the end of the forest on the northern banks) for a climb south up steepening grass slopes. There is no path so just aim for the distinct knoll of Sron Gharbh.

Your's truely on An Caisteal
Mr. Ian Fisk on An Caisteal. Beinn a'Chroin is the peak on the right (the East Top touches the clouds on the left).

Head SE through the grass to cross over the top of the knoll (at 708m) and gain a distinct path along the Twistin Hill ridge. The path is level for a while and then climbs past a curious cleft in the ridge and over a rocky knob to reach the summit of An Caisteal at 995m. There is a fairly big, disorganised cairn here. The climb should take about 2.5 hours from the carpark.

To continue to Beinn a'Chroin, drop down the ridge to the south of the summit. This is grassy to start with but a path lower down winds through rocky outcrops. There does not seem any way forward from the col up the vertical north-west end of Beinn a'Chroin at first glance. However a path (faint at first) climbs to the left and then zigzags to the right in order to avoid the worst of the crags. The path skirts around the slopes of the West Top to gain the ridge crest. Backtrack to the top which became the summit of Beinn a'Chroin in 1999 when its height was measured again and found to be 1 metre higher then the East Top. This takes about an hour from An Caisteal

The East Top may be worth a visit for views in good weather. Continue along the undulating ridge past a couple of cairns, some odd rock formations and a final little climb to the other top of Beinn a'Chroin.

The final climb up to Beinn a'Chroin
The final climb up to Beinn a'Chroin's East Top

The usual exit route is to head north from the East Top cairn down a grassy ridge which descends to a stream junction in the Coire Earb (the headwaters of the River Falloch). The stream is then followed down the corrie to the landrover track and easy walking back to the carpark.

However I decided to wander back along the summit ridge since the weather was clearing. This gave me the chance to grab a couple of photos of misty mountains in the distance with the distinctive rock formations in the foreground. The summit then provided more photo opportunities (including the photo at the top of the page) before I dropped north down the stream from the col between the two Munros. This was steep to begin with but soon levelled out as it reached the stream junction in the Coire Earb and the stroll down the corrie.


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