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Beinn a'Chreachain & Beinn Achaladair


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The Bridge of Orchy group is a popular chain of four Munros running north south just east of Loch Tulla. The fit walker with daylight may manage all four in one day, but in winter most are content to take two days. This walk looks at the northerly pair, accessible from Achallader Farm just north of Bridge of Orchy. Turn off the A82 at the north end of Loch Tulla and park at a spacious car park kindly provided by the estate. The decaying tower here was a hunting lodge of the Stuart kings and naturally there are dark stories of how it was wrested from its owners by devious and dirty means.

From the car park continue northeast on foot along the track, and passing where the track crosses the Water of Tulla by a bridge continue by a path leading into Crannach Wood. This is a remnant of the ancient Caledonian Forest. Go up through the wood and cross the railway by a bridge at 349 454. Continue in an easterly direction through gradually thinning wood and so gain open hill slopes below Coire an Lochain.

Climb grassy slopes east to gain the northeast ridge of Beinn a'Chreachain (scallop-shaped hill), just southwest of Point 961m. Follow the ridge southwest to reach the summit, with one short, narrow section. In thick mist be careful with your navigation. From the summit go northwest to a col above Coire an Lochain then climb up to the west to gain the northeast end of the summit ridge of Meall Buidhe. This is fairly level, and leads to the top at 978m with a cairn.

Continue southwest from the cairn to a col at 813m then climb up the steep and rocky east ridge of Beinn Achaladair to gain the north ridge with a top at 1036m. The true summit is two metres higher and lies about 230m southwest. There is not only a steep drop down cliffs next to the summit the view across the vast expanse of the Rannoch Moor is thought-provoking.

The ridge now curves gently southward and leads in 1.25km to the south top of Achaladair at 1002m. From here descend by the easy south ridge to gain the col at the head of Coire Daingean (this latter is pronounced 'tingin'). From the large cairn at the col go north down into this coire. A short steep slope leads to easier ground, though if the ground is frozen the descent can be laborious, with many icy sheets. Paths on either side of the Allt Coire Achaladair lead to footbridges across the railway line just above Achallader Farm and your starting point.

 

Maps: OS Sheet 50 'Glen Orchy & Loch Etive'
Distance: 18 km
Ascent: 1080 m
Time: 6 hours
Food & Drink: The Bridge of Orchy Hotel could not be better placed and offers good food and drink.

 

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