|Ben Lui & Beinn a'
Chleibh from Glen Lochy
Ben Lui Beinn a' Chleibh
|Estimated net time||4-6 hours|
|Difficulty||No real difficulties, but crossing the river close to trail head is definitely cumbersome (wading), as well as the wading under the railway bridge. Higher up the path is likely to be boggy in places.|
|Drinking water||Running water from streams up to approximately 600m.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage up to approximately 500m, and also around the saddle (April 2014).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at trail head car park.|
|Start height||185 metres|
|Vertical metres||1090 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||10.5 km|
Ben Lui trail head in Glen Lochy.
From the village Crianlarich, where roads A82 and A85 merge, in the Scottish Highlands, drive 7.9 km (4.9 mi) north towards Tyndrum. From Tyndrum village centre drive another 200 metres and fork left onto A85 signed for Oban. Drive 10.6 km (6.6 mi) and park on the car park on the left hand side of the road where signed "Glen Lochy".
Start you hike by walking 80 metres down to the river, from the lower end of the car park. Turn right and follow the path another 170 metres. You now need to cross the river, and the rail-way. If there's little water in the river you might be able to balance across on stones, but most likely you have to take off the shoes and wade across. Crossing the rail-way should be done by wading under the small rail-way bridge, and then get back on land on the left hand side of the stream. Put shoes back on and continue up the partly wet and boggy path. 440 metres after having got to the right side of the rail-way, where the stream forks, head down to the stream and cross the left branch. Continue another 60 metres and cross also the other branch f the stream. Cross the fence through the gate and follow the forest road 330 metres up to a much wider forest road, which will save you from some boggy sections of the path. Turn left and walk 300 metres along this road.
Turn right onto a path immediately after having crossed a wooden bridge, and follow this path, again wet and boggy, up to where you get out of the forest at 490m. Go through the gate and follow the path, which is vague in places, up to the saddle between Ben Lui and Beinn a' Chleibh. Leave the path left and head towards Ben Lui a little below the saddle. You will soon pick up a path which will take you up to Ben Lui's summit area. Turn right when you get to the edge and walk the final 50 metres to the summit cairn.
From Ben Lui descend back down to the saddle and continue uphill on the other side. This path will take you all the way to Beinn a' Chleibh's summit, which is marked by a pile of stones.
Descend to the saddle and reverse your ascent route back down to the car park, including wading the river.
26. April 2014
Saturday and another pretty miserable day in the Scottish Highlands. I had initially planned to hike Ben Lui, but wasn't keen to take it on in rain and mist, but anyway drove in the direction of Glen Lochy after breakfast at The Royal Dunkeld Hotel. When I got closer to my planned trail head along A85 the weather had improved so I decided to take on Ben Lui and Beinn a' Chleibh.
I was happy to find a good path leading down to the river, and then along it, but also quickly understood that the only way of crossing the river would be by taking off my shoes and wade across. This proved straight forward since the river was only 30-40 cm deep. The next step of getting across the railway left me with two options; either wade under the low railway bridge or simply walk across the railway. There was a sign stating that a fine of £1000 waited for anyone crossing the railway, but at the same time it's a simple walk across with long stretches of visibility of the railway on either side of the crossing point. My choice of route was obvious.
After getting to the other side of the railway I followed the slightly boggy path through the forest, almost missed the crossing of the stream at 230m, and then found a forest road taking me up to 300m. From here it was more boggy path, but relatively easy going, and the weather was gradually improving.
As I started my ascent of Ben Lui up from the saddle at 770m the weather again got worse, with strong wind, rain and mist, and at 990m I had to find shelter and change into the heavy duty jacket. From here on it was rough going up to the summit, where I had practically no visibility.
When descending Ben Lui the weather improved slightly and I got a little visibility, enabling me to navigate easily to Beinn a' Chleibh, from where I had a touch of views in most direction. But there was no reason to hang around for long and after a short summit stop I headed back down, waded the river, and back to the car. I then drove back to outside Glasgow in order to meet Sigurd the next day.