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Beinn Dearg

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A short way south of Seana Bhraigh, this fine mountain is conveniently linked with an ascent of Cona' Mheall (978 m, 275 816). The pair lie between Loch Glascarnoch, from where the picture is taken, and the head of Loch Broom.

Start at the A835 road close by the southeast end of Loch Droma, and go north over rough moor to pick up a path. This leads over a low ridge and down to an abandoned shieling at the northwest end of Loch a'Gharbhrain. The burn issuing from this, the Allt a'Gharbhrain, may be impossible to cross if in spate.

Once over the burn, continue northwards over the moor, heading for Loch Coire Lair. About halfway along the loch, begin the climb towards Coire Ghranda; the burn spills down bare slabs and the climb is steep to gain the coire.

From Coire Ghranda, the impressive rock scenery of Beinn Dearg looms over the loch. The route continues by taking to steep rock and grass on the south ridge of Cona' Mheall, which gradually levels out to form a narrow crest. A few dips and rises lead to bouldery ground and the summit.

Now drop down west to gain the bealach at the head of Coire Ghranda. A stone dyke at its west end leads uphill, southwest towards Beinn Dearg, then south up the plateau (quitting the dyke which turns right here) to gain the summit cairn.

To descend, find the ridge a few metres east of the summit, dropping steeply southeast at first towards Coire Ghranda, then south above the steep cliffs overlooking Loch a' Choire Ghranda.

Passing a flat col, take in a rounded, stony top and continue southwest for a further 500 m to reach and descend an open, grassy gully. This leads southeast to gain the south end of Loch nan Eilan. The route now continues down the east bank of the burn issuing from the loch then along the Allt a' Gharbhrain to reach the abandoned shieling and so back along the path to the starting point at the road.


Maps: OS Sheet 20 'Beinn Dearg & Loch Broom, Ben Wyvis'
Distance: 19 km
Ascent: 1000m
Time: 7 hours
Food & Drink: To the northwest, Ullapool is the biggest centre, with several choices of refreshment. Further south is Garve, with hotel.


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