Walk of the week: Beinn Dubhchraig

The view to the west from Beinn Dubhchraig. Picture: Nick Bramhall/Flickr
The view to the west from Beinn Dubhchraig. Picture: Nick Bramhall/Flickr
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Beinn Dubhchraig is usually climbed as a pair with Ben Oss, or as the first or last hill of the four-Munro Ben Lui traverse. However, as the easternmost of the four, it is sometimes tackled as a solo hill.

Beinn Dubhchraig is further from the road than some people realise, yet can look misleadingly close when viewed from the top end of Loch Lomond. This seldom-used long, wet and rough moorland approach, from Glen Falloch via Fionn Ghleann, gives direct access to the surprisingly large Loch Oss, nestling in Coire Garbh beneath the black horseshoe crags of Beinn Dubhchraig and Ben Oss. Bealach Buidhe is but 150m higher to the north-west and on a good dry day various rakes give almost direct approaches to the 978m/3,209ft summit.

The popular approach, from the A82 by Dalrigh, traverses the beautiful ancient pine wood of Coille Coire Chuilc, one of the few remnants of the old Caledonian Forest, and so to the western rim of Coire Dubhchraig. The pine wood path can be muddy in places, but before that there may be problems in crossing the Allt Gleann Auchreoch. The former footbridge at map ref 333284 consists solely of two girders and is definitely not recommended, though it is possible during a dry spell to cross just above on boulders. Further south is another bridge, albeit in disrepair: three girders and some planking to be treated with extreme caution.

As an alternative, the track used at the start of the popular route can be followed into Gleann Auchreoch; a longer but drier, easier and more sheltered way.

Map Ordnance Survey map 50, Glen Orchy & Loch Etive

Distance 11 miles

Height 800m

Terrain Forestry track to grassy hillside

Start point Car park just off the A82 by Dalrigh, map ref 343291

Time 6 to 7 hours

Nearest village Tyndrum

Refreshment spot The Green Welly Restaurant, Tyndrum