Glas Maol from Creag Leacach

East of Glenshee

Hillwalking route over the 4 Munros east of Glenshee

Compared to the Munros west of Glenshee, the Munros to the east dominated by Glas Maol, are higher, more vast and have less paths or tracks to follow. The route can be extended to include the Corbett Creag nan Gabhar.

Route outline


Creag Leacach, 

Glas Maol, 

Cairn of Claise, 

Carn an Tuirc


Creag nan Gabhar

Ascent 910m (2980ft)
Distance 15km (9m)
Time 5:15hr
Start Car-park, 2km south of Glenshee Ski Centre
Grid Ref : NO139757
Finish Car-park, 2km north of Glenshee Ski Centre
Grid Ref : NO148800
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

Glas Maol is the great hulk of a mountain overlooking Glenshee Ski Centre. Along with its neighbouring Munros, these make for a fine hike over grass-covered terrain. There is a fair amount of boulderfield to contend with on the summits of Creag Leacach, Cairn of Claise and Carn an Tuirc.

Although there are paths and tracks to follow for most of the route, the crests are fairly featureless and particularly in winter conditions, careful navigation will be required. Also in winter, mountain-hares on Creag Leacach abound, darting with ease over the crisp snow and much of the ugly scars that have been created by the many ski-tows are hidden.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to the start by Spittal of Glenshee

Heading up from Glenshee Ski Centre

Heading up from Glenshee Ski Centre

On the A93 around 6km north of Spittal of Glenshee and 2km south of Glenshee Ski Centre, there is a car-park on a bend in the road. There is ample room for several cars here and there's an information notice board.

2. Creag Leacach

Following the wall to Creag Leacach

Following the wall to Creag Leacach

From the car-park, look for an obvious path heading downhill that crosses the burns flowing down from Glas Maol and Creag Leacach. Cross one burn, then keeping to the north bank of the second burn, hike above its northern bank. The path begins to climb uphill, leave it at this point and cross the burn then begin uphill over heather-clad slopes.

Aim for the col between the minor bump of Meall Gorm and Creag Leacach, the terrain becomes less heather clad and more grass covered as height is gained. Once at the col, pick up an obvious path to follow up the western shoulder of Creag Leacach, over a minor bump with fine views. The path enters bouldery ground and a wall is picked up to follow to the cairn on Creag Leacach's summit .

3. Glas Maol

On Creag Leacach's summit

On Creag Leacach's summit

Leave Creag Leacach heading north-east over bouldery ground, following the wall. There are a couple of minor rises before dropping to a small shelter at a sharp turn in the wall .

Now aiming north, the wall disappears and now on grassy ground, you'll be following a line of posts - watch out to avoid tripping over hidden wires in the grass ! The fence-posts end and a cairn is met , you'll see a split in the path - take the faint path on the right, then continue following sporadic posts most of way up Glas Maol.

Turn east just before the hill flattens, then follow another line of posts to the Glas Maol's large summit cairn surrounding a trig point. The views are slightly masked by the bulk of the summit dome !

4. Cairn of Claise

Heading to Cairn of Claise on the Glenshee 9 hill race

Heading to Cairn of Claise on the Glenshee 9 hill race

Leaving Glas Maol's summit behind, aim sligthly east of north, descending a gentle incline on grassy and pathless ground.You should meet up with ATV track coming from the south-east . Stick to this track travelling north, passing the top of the Glas Maol Poma on your left.

Shortly after passing the top of the tows, the track turns sharp right (north-east) and drops to the bealach between Glas Maol and Cairn of Claise. The bealach can be rather soggy, particularly after rain.

The track has running been aside a sporadic line of fence-posts, but shortly after starting to climb, the line of posts leave the track and instead head for the south-west crest of Cairn of Claise. This leads onto boulderfield and meets up with a wall all of which can be hard work, so better to stick with the ATV track instead.

The ATV track traces a route just under the crest keeping boots on grassy terrain. On approaching the summit of Cairn of Claise, leave the track and cross a short section of boulderfield for around 100m or so to gain the summit . Cairn of Claise's summit has a large, well-constructed symetrical cairn rising from a wall that runs along the crest of the Munro.

5. Carn an Tuirc

Descending Carn an Tuirc, looking to Carn Aosda

Descending Carn an Tuirc, looking to Carn Aosda

From Cairn of Claise's summit, follow the wall north-eastwards to its end , from where some ATV tracks lead over grass-covered (and some soggy) ground northwards to drop to the bealach between Cairn of Claise and Carn an Tuirc.

Just beyond to col, the track aims uphill, with a path heading slightly to the left - follow this path over easy ground to a large flat summit area, where the terrain becomes boulder and scree covered. A faint path can be picked up making a way through boulders and stones to the summit cairn of Carn an Tuirc . There is a circular stone shelter a short distance west of the summit.

6. Return

Descending Carn an Tuirc by the Allt Ghairbh coire

Descending Carn an Tuirc by the Allt Ghairbh coire

Leaving Carn an Tuirc's cairn behind, initially head west-north-west to find a path that picks its way through scree, then the heather, downhill. As the ground levels out, the going underfoot becomes sodden until the Allt a'Gharbh-choire is reached. Crossing this can be testing in spate !

Beyond the burn-crossing, a good path winds its way following the northern bank of the burn to an old bridge and to the car-park where hopefully you've arrangeed some transport to return you over to the other side of Glenshee Ski Centre.

7. Detour over Creag nan Gabhar

Creag nan Gabhar

Creag nan Gabhar

Creag nan Gabhar is a grass and heather covered Corbett hill to the north of Carn an Tuirc.

From Carn an Tuirc's cairn, head north-east along the hill's bouldery crest until a break in the boulderfield is met, at which point turn northwards and descend a grassy bank aside a burn.

Pick up some ATV tracks and follow these over Carn Dubh and to meet with the top of the track coming up from Glen Callater, passing a series of grouse-butts on the way. Fainter tracks continue onto the crest of Creag nan Gabhar and onto the summit where a small cairn rests.

Ideally you'll have left a vehicle or bike for the return along the A93 to the start point - there is a long lay-by north-west of Creag nan Gabhar's summit. To descend to this layby, firstly aim north-east following a faint path for 300m. The path turns northwards and drops to a height of just over 700m, at which point leave the path and aiming east, bound down grass and heather (no path) back to the roadside.

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