Beinn a'Chlachair from Geal Charn

Ardverikie and Loch Laggan Munros

Hillwalking route up Beinn a'Chlachair, Geal Charn and Creag Pitridh

Lying between Laggan and Alder, the Ardverikie Forest is a wild area containing three Munro peaks, Beinn a'Chlachair, Geal Charn and Creag Pitridh.

Route outline


Beinn a' Chlachair, 

Geal Charn, 

Creag Pitridh

Walk ascent 1200m (3930ft)
         distance 15km (9m)
         time 6:00hr
Bike ascent 150m (490ft)
         distance 11km (7m)
         time 1:00hr
Start/finish Luiblea
Grid Ref : NN432830
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

The Ardverikie Munros lie in a fairly compact group with good tracks and paths linking the ground below them. Creag Pitridh is a rough little hill, linked to much larger Geal Charn via a grassy col with a re-ascent of only 100m. Beinn a'Chlachair is the dominant mountain in the group - vast, complex, fairly pathless and requires respect when mist is down !

The track in from Luiblea is suitable for cycling (mountain-bike recommended, but a hybrid bike will probably cope) and will considerably cut down on time needed, the return free-wheel is a hoot ! Higher up, the vast plateaux of Geal Charn and Beinn a'Chlachair will test navigation skills in mist and white-out conditions !

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to the start by Luiblea

Reaching Lochn na h-Earba by bike

Reaching Lochn na h-Earba by bike

The route starts by Luiblea, from a long lay-by on the A86, 22km east of Spean Bridge. Although there is plenty parking available, this is a popular group of hills and the lay-by can be full early on.

More parking is available 300m west of the track access.

2. Lochan na h-Earba

Beinn a'Chlachair from by Lochan na h-Earba

Beinn a'Chlachair from by Lochan na h-Earba

From the roadside, head over the bridge over the River Spean to a junction in the track , turn left and through a deer-fence. The track continues for 1km up to some forestry and another junction - turn sharp right.

Bike up another 1.5km to another junction beside a reservoir - this time keep on the main track and continue up to the bridge by Lochan na h-Earba . In summer this is a beautiful place to stop for a bit - the beach over the bridge seems quite exotic and strangely somewhat out of place. Cross the bridge and head for around 200m to where a small cairn denotes the start of the stalker's path . Leave bikes by this cairn (e-bikes will get further uphill).

3. Beinn a'Chlachair

Heading up Beinn a' Chlachair

Heading up Beinn a' Chlachair

Head up the stalkers path for around 1km, then leave the path and cross the Allt Coire Pitridh (which should be relatively straightforward). Now on pathless tussocky ground head due south and aim for the eastern rim of Coire Mor Chlachair. The ground gets steeper and heathery. As it starts to level out, the wind has stunted the heather and going underfoot becomes easier.

Once on the plateau , head south-west over grassy ground with obvious path around Coire Mor Chlachair to reach more bouldery ground for the final climb to the summit of Beinn a'Chlachair with its large cairn. Fine views in all direction from this summit.

4. Geal Charn

Creag Pitridh and Geal Charn from the top of the stalker's path

Creag Pitridh and Geal Charn from the top of the stalker's path

If in mist, your navigation and timing will now be put to test. If not in mist, the route is obvious !

Leave Beinn a'Chlachair's cairn and return to the plateau south of Coire Mor Chlachair .

Follow the path (very faint in bits) north-east around Coire Beag a'Chlachair and climb up the east top , marked 972m on OS maps.

North-east again, gradually dropping height, a small burn is picked up just before the ground ahead starts to drop steeply away. A small cairn marks the start of the route down, which is not very obvious, but worn sections of path can be picked out that zig-zag around the crags down to the stalker's path below.

Use the stalkers path to cross the bealach and start climbing north. Once the ground on the right starts to look a bit drier, leave the path and aim north-east up Geal Charn.

Further up, don't stick to the bouldery crest, keep on the east side where the ground is grass covered and much easier underfoot.

The summit plateau of Geal Charn is reached and the large cairn marking the top can be seen ahead. The views are excellent and slightly better than that seen from the hulk of Beinn a'Chlachair. There's even a cylindrical trig point - perfect for balancing a camera ontop of for a group photo !

5. Creag Pitridh

On Creag Pitridh's summit with Geal Charn beyond

On Creag Pitridh's summit with Geal Charn beyond

Return along the bouldery crest for 300m, then start to drop westwards on grassy ground. Creag Pitridh is seen ahead, looking fairly insignificant compared to the other Munros around.

Drop to the bealach between Creag Pitridh and Geal Charn, there's no obvious path to follow. On approaching the bealach, a stalkers path is crossed and a fainter path is picked up to cross the bealach. This path continues up the south-east side of Creag Pitridh, zig-zagging to avoid some slabs to reach the bouldery summit .

6. Return to Luiblea

Freewheeling back to Luiblea, Beinn a'Chlachair behind

Freewheeling back to Luiblea, Beinn a'Chlachair behind

From Creag Pitridh's summit, head south-west initially following a path. The path disappears quite quickly into long grass and boulders, but lower down the ground is just perfect for running quickly downhill !

Further down a faint path can be traced, which meets up with the main stalkers path at the junction of the burns .

Once onto the path return to your bike and head back to Luiblea.

Route profile »

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Alternative and nearby routes »

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