Walk of the Week: Gairneach Mhor, Beinn Udlamain and a’ Mharconaich, Drumochter
THIS walk is all about the views. A stroll along the tops makes you feel you can see every mountain in Scotland, and you can take in three Munros in a day.
At first you can pick out Ben Vrackie above Pitlochry, with the Beinn a’Ghlo range behind, then the Cairngorms to the north-east come into sight. To the south lies Schiehallion and moving west is the Ben Lawers range, Ben More above Crianlarich and then the Black Mount. Across Loch Ericht, Ben Alder looks stunning, so save this walk for good weather.
DISTANCE 11 miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED 2,960ft.
TIME 6 to 7 hours.
MAP OS Landranger 42.
PARK In lay-by 79 on the northbound side of the A9 at the Pass of Drumochter.
IN SUMMARY Go through a gate at the far end of the lay-by and follow a track to the left. Take a rougher track on the right to pass under the railway line then go right, veer left and go up Coire Dhomhain.
After about a mile look for a small cairn on the side of the track, indicating a path off to the left, down to the burn, which you cross where the water is low. On the other side, follow a path through heather to the right of a burn. The path veers right to reach the east ridge of Sgairneach Mhòr. Follow the ridge up then go along the rim of Coire Creagach to the trig point, surrounded by a small wall.
Go south-west from the summit to just before a small cairn, where you go right (north-west). After about 500 yards go left (south-west) to drop to the head of Coire Dhomhain.
Cross some burns and follow a faint path to the south ridge of Beinn Udlamain. Go right and follow metal fence posts to the ridge, which becomes quite stony before you reach the large stone shelter at the summit – the highest point of the Drumochter Munros at 3,317ft.
Keep following the fence posts, which veer right and down to a bealach. Follow a path up the other side, still by fence posts. Keep on the path, away from the fence posts, which start to follow a line to the right, and skirt the south top of A’Mharconaich. Just beyond is the summit.
Make your way back but aim for the south top to regain the fence posts. Follow these down a steep grass and heather slope to a bealach below the Boar of Badenoch (also known as An Torc).
Aim for the right of the bealach to avoid bogs and drop down grass and heather slopes (there is no path) to the track in Coire Dhomhain. Go left to return to the lay-by at the start.
Note: this walk is probably best left for a clear day as navigation can be difficult in low cloud or mist.
REFRESH A few miles down the A9 is the House of Bruar, just before Blair Atholl, which serves really good food.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east