A ZIG ZAG approach eases the climb
An historic right of way, that could conceivably have become a main road, heads northwards from Dalnacardoch on the A9, then, enclosed by very steep grassy slopes, goes through the Gaick Pass before descending via Glen Tromie and on to Speyside.
The Gaick side area has much to offer the hillwalker. One such Gaick hill is the well-named 827m/2,713ft An Dun, the fort. A beautifully shaped, grassy and detached hill, its short clipped heathery plateau, a small area above 800m, offers fantastic views. The base of the hill lies between 500m and 600m and beneath the very steep eastern flanks you’ll find the desolate Loch an Duin.
An Dun is normally reached from the south, making use of a track that leads to Sronphadruig Lodge, the route described below.
Park at a lay-by on the south side of the A9, map ref 723703, near Dalnacardoch Lodge, where the Trinafour road joins the A9. Use the Trinafour/A9 road crossing point with extreme caution. Head north on the track through Dalnacardoch Wood, keeping left at a junction, pass a communications mast, and so into open country with the track then following the Edendon Water.
Pass on the left a nameless cairn of stark beauty. Looking north, the first hill is Am Meadar at the north-east end of the south-west ridge of Glas Mheall Mor, the subsidiary top of A’Bhuidheanach Bheag. An Dun comes into view when crossing by the bridge to the west bank of the Edendon Water.
Later a concrete causeway leads back to the east bank; a section by a bend in the river where the track has been washed away. Regain the track by a grassy strip then on to another short stretch of eroded track by a fence marking the immediate boundaries of Sronphadruig Lodge, the derelict shooting lodge.
Continue past the lodge to where the track fords the broad pebbly river; a good resting spot before tackling the hill. It is 5½ miles to this point, a distance easily cycled. It took me 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The right-of-way path, vague at first, leads across the watershed moorland to suddenly disclose Loch an Duin.
By now at 500m, strike up the hill. A zigzag approach, combined with rests looking back down the glen, eases the 1,000ft climb. At the south end of the plateau is a cairn on the Highland/Perth & Kinross boundary, and at one time the summit. However, that is now ½ mile further north, the mapped 827m point.
Rather than retracing steps, continue northwards for another ½ mile then carefully curve eastwards on less steep slopes. A short walk south by the base of the hill leads to the right of way path. It is then a stroll of little more than a mile by the lonely waters of Loch an Duin and so back to the track.
Ordnance Survey map 51, Loch Tay & Glen Dochart
15 miles, of which 11 miles can be cycled
Track, steep grassy slopes and right-of-way path
Junction of minor Trinafour road and A9, map ref 723703
5 hours if cycling, otherwise 7 hours
Recommended refreshment spot
The House of Bruar