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  Bridge of Orchy Munros  

Click to view the route on interactive OS 1:50000 maps Click to view the route on Google Earth (requires plug-in)

Bridge of Orchy Munros



Munros

Beinn Dorain (1076m, Munro 64)
Beinn Mhanach (953m, Munro 210)
Beinn a'Chreachain (1081m, Munro 61)
Beinn Achaladair (1038m, Munro 94)
Beinn an Dothaidh (1004m, Munro 129)

Ascent

2560m (8,400ft)

Distance

28km (17.5m)

Time

walking : 11:15hr*, running : 5:45hr
 *Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent


Main route summary


Starting from the Bridge of Orchy railway station, this is a terrific hill-walking circuit, taking in five Munros. All the summits are fine view points, each with a different view.

The slopes of Beinn Dorain sweep directly up from the West Highland Way to form a conical mountain, unmistakable when driving up from the south. It has two large cairns on its summit to confuse walkers in mist ! Beinn Mhanach is a quiet hill, hidden for the most part from the roadside. The impressive mountains of Beinn a'Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair form the northern ramparts of this circuit upon which high-level wide ridge walking can be savoured. Beinn an Dothaidh, the last hill in the circuit, presents the finest views northwards towards the Mamores and Ben Nevis.

Be prepared for a real peat-boggy start to your outing particularly after rain and, if heading out in winter snow and ice, the eastern approach up Beinn Achaladair may require axe and crampons. Finish the day off with a pint back in the Bridge of Orchy Hotel.

start/finish Bridge of Orchy
(grid ref : NN300394)

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maps/guides  OS Landranger 50 - click to buy from Amazon OS Explorer 377 - click to buy from Amazon Pocket Mountains - Southern Highlands - click to buy from Amazon Pocket Mountains - Classic Hill Runs and Races - click to buy from Amazon

GPS data download GPX file of this route

Google Earth  download KML file of this route

terrain
easy Grass and muck lower down, occasional bouldery ground higher up - some loose difficult
navigation
easy Some pathless sections testing
effort
stroll A fairly long day in winter long day
scenery
ok Fine expansive views from the summits stunning
 
meanings Beinn Dorain :
  'hill of the streamlet'
Beinn Mhanach :
  'monks' hill'
Beinn a'Chreachain :
  'scallop-shaped hill'
Beinn Achaladair :
  'hill of the field by the hard water'
Beinn an Dothaidh :
  'hill scorching'
main route outlineprint route
Getting there
  • These hills are best accessed from Bridge of Orchy, 10km north of Tyndrum on the A82. Although parking by hillgoers at Bridge of Orchy Station is discouraged, there is room for several cars. Other parking is available in a large car-park by Bridge of Orchy Hotel.

Beinn Dorain
  • From the railway station car-park, cross the train-line via the underpass. Through a gate, cross the West Highland Way and head up a path around the left of the phone mast. Usually mucky and wet, the path can be icy in winter making for slippy progress.
  • The path, mucky all the way and downright boggy in bits, continues up to Coire an Dothaidh and to the bealach at 744m.
  • At the bealach cairn, turn south-west-south and follow a path uphill.
  • After around 300m of ascent and 1.5km, a large well built cairn is met - in mist you might take this to be Beinn Dorain's summit - it's not !
  • Continue south for a few more minutes, down and up a dip and the main summit is reached. Stunning views in all directions and it's amazing how near the A82 appears below.

Beinn Mhanach
  • Return to the large cairn on Beinn Dorain's north top, then turn east following a wide ridge.
  • After around 300m, start heading north-east, downhill over a short section of scree followed by grassy wet ground to pick up a burn that flows to the Allt Coire a'Ghabhalach at around c500m.
  • After an undemanding crossing of the river (unless in spate), contour below Coire a'Ghabalaich over more grassy wet ground to meet the track below Beinn a'Chuirn.
  • Follow the track up, over a burn and walk around the north side of Beinn a'Chuirn to the bealach between Beinn 'Chuirn and Beinn Mhanach (the direct route up to Beinn a'Chuirn is loose and steep, therefore not recommended unless you are out "top-bagging").
  • From this bealach aim directly east over easy ground and a faint path to Beinn Mhanach's summit.

Beinn a'Chreachain
  • Return to the bealach between Beinn Mhanach and Beinn a'Chuirn, then aim north-west downhill over grassy ground to pick up a burn to follow to the Allt Cailliche.
  • Cross this river (unproblematic) and one or two other burns, then aim uphill for Garbh Mheall, the south arm of Meall Buidhe.
  • Once on Meall Buidhe, pick up and follow the path heading north-east to the bealach below Beinn a'Chreachain.
  • Continue up bouldery ground to the summit ridge, then turn south and follow the rim of the coire to reach the cairn on the summit to take in superb views over Rannoch Moor and beyond.

Beinn Achaladair
  • Return to Meall Buidhe, then continue following the path south-west over easy ground to the mucky bealach below Beinn Achaladair.
  • Cross the bealach and a dilapidated fence-line.
  • Normally an easy walk up, the steep path from the bealach can be quite a challenge in icy conditions, especially if snow covered.
  • Once levelled-out ground is reached the going is straight-forward to Beinn Achaladair's cairns - the second being the summit.

Beinn an Dothaidh
  • Continue following the path heading south-west, then south, ascending a further top with a small cairn on its crest.
  • After a further 1km heading south and downhill, the path starts to turn south-west and head towards the bealach above Coire Daingean.
  • The path crosses the bealach and aims uphill on grassy ground to the south top of Beinn an Dothaidh.
  • The main summit is a few minutes further on, down and up a dip, following the path.

Return
  • From the Beinn an Dothaidh's summit cairn head west to its western top and take in some final views for the day.
  • Aim south then south-west-south downhill to pick up a path to follow to the bealach between Beinn an Dothaidh and Beinn Dorain, then return to Bridge of Orchy via the route up.




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