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Sgurr a'Chaorachain

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Just south of the Torridon giants lies the peninsula of Applecross, an area of ancient rocks of Torridonian sandstone. The great age of these rocks is even more impressive when we recall that being metamorphic they have been formed from even older rocks. The view from the head of Loch Kishorn shows a superb vista of steep rock walls and buttresses, the features of the appropriately named Coire nan Arr, the Giants' Corrie.

Sgurr a'Chaorachain is the Corbett at the south end of the Beinn Bhan massif, and is easily accessible from the Bealach na Ba road, the A896 leading to Shieldaig. Start at the Russell Bridge (NG 814 413) and parallel the Russell Burn up to the head of Loch Coire nan Arr. Turn west up the hillside below the A'Chioch tower, steep at first then relenting into the corrie which is backed by the horseshoe ridge of Sgurr a'Chaorachain.

There is a tiny lochan here useful for a final drink before tackling the steep hillside of grass and rocks on the left (south) flank. This slope soon leads to the grassy col on the summit ridge. The summit is less than one km to the west with fine views over to the Tower. Surprisingly, despite the steep angle of the Chioch, a route of about Very Difficult standard takes its rocks, with terrifying exposure.

Impressed, our walking route now heads ESE down the broad ridge, with many small cliffs and grass ledges. When it steepens, continue in a SE direction, and providing a little care is taken, there are no great difficulties. Eventually, a series of short easy walls broken by grass ledges leads to the lower slopes and a walk east gains the road again close to the starting point near the Russell Burn.



Maps: OS Sheet 24 'Raasay & Applecross, Loch Torridon & Plockton'
Distance: 5km
Ascent: 690m
Time: 3 hours
Food & Drink: There are hotels at Lochcarron and Shieldaig, with the latter being a particularly scenic spot. Expect that certain 'West Coast Relaxation' factor and allow yourself to be slowed down! Some camping adjacent to the Bealach na Ba road, opposite the cliffs on the south flank of Sgurr a'Chaorachain. Desperate midges in summer.


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