After the Gold Rush

Ben Lui is regarded by many as one of Scotland’s finest mountains. It is a complex peak, containing a number of ridges and the renowned Coire Ghaotach.

To reach the summit the best approach begins from the village of Tyndrum, which is split in two by the A82 trunk road. Several shops, cafes and pubs means Tyndrum is a popular stopping point for many travellers including those walking the West Highland Way.

Translating simply from Gaelic as ‘the house on the ridge’ the village is perhaps best known for its close correlation with mining. This dates back some 600 years when the withdrawal of precious metals from the local landscape supplied King James I with silver. Lead was discovered here in 1740 and the Tyndrum Mining Company was established a year later. Lead, silver and gold mining continued into the 20th century, and gold mining still continues on the outskirts of Tyndrum today.

It is a long walk through Glen Lochay South and then a steep climb to reach the top. Ben Lui means Mountain of the Calf due to Stob an Tighe Aird and Stob Garbh resembling two horns. Its summit sits directly above the amazing Coire Ghaotach and the precipitous cliffs of Central Gully are incredibly popular with climbers, particularly during the winter.

The summit also grants a remarkable outlook, one that extends across much of the Southern and Central Highlands with Glen Etive, the Black Mount, the Crianlarich Hills and Ben Nevis particularly prominent.

A small lochan at the head of the Allt Coire Laoigh, some 700 metres up on the southwest slopes of Ben Lui, is regarded as the source of the River Tay.

Ben Lui and Coire Ghaotach
Ben Lui and Coire Ghaotach

 

Ben Lui and the Allt Coire Laoigh
Ben Lui and the Allt Coire Laoigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

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