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Climb the awesome January Jigsaw in Glen Coe -

Beinn Trilleachan

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To walk up this Corbett is to fully savour the wonderful mix of mountain, sea and loch for which the west coast of Scotland is justly famed. You do have to drive down twisty Glen Etive however, unless you can take a boat up Loch Etive.

Start about 300m short of the road end, at the forest edge (111453). The start is muddy but at about 200m above sea level you can leave the path (which incidentally is an old route joining the heads of lochs Etive and Creran) to ascend the NE ridge of the hill.

Pass over a top at 590m (Meall nan Gobhar, the rounded hill of the goat) and continue over increasingly rocky but easy ground. About half way along the ridge, moving over a second top at 767m, you cannot fail to notice the exposure on the Etive side, as you are now above the famous Trilleachan Slabs, playground of the bold rock climber. Do not dislodge any stones!

A short dip of about 70m, then a gentle rise leads finally to the summit, from where on a good day it will be difficult to leave the views. The range of Cruachan is almost exactly south, some 13km away and is particularly fine.

The photo shows an interesting feature on Beinn Trilleachan, The Chasm, which lies about two kilometres south of the summit. This striking feature must have claimed a good many deer and sheep over the years and I would not go looking for it in poor visibility! The Chasm begins as a gully, some three kilometres south of the Trilleachan Slabs. It is indicated on the map with the rocky feature named Teanga Dubh (black tongue), which is a rocky buttress splitting the gully.

To return, retrace your route back to the road. An alternative is to continue south from the summit, carefully avoid falling into the Chasm, then once safely past The Chasm head SE down the slope to pick up the path on the lochside. Follow this up to the head of the loch and so regain the road.


Maps: OS Sheet 50 'Glen Orchy & Loch Etive'
Distance: 8 km
Ascent: 920 m
Time: 4 hours
Food & Drink: The Kingshouse Hotel is the closest watering hole, with other choices in Glencoe. Bridge of Orchy Hotel, south on the A82, is popular.


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