The car park at Achaladair farm was busy when I arrived with a few groups of walkers heading up through the farm yard taking the anti-clockwise route, I'm glad I didn't follow them although I was tempted. The walk highlands guide for these two Munros gives the option of a clockwise or anti-clockwise route; clockwise was my choice as the alternative is to spend the first couple of hours climbing to the Bealach at the top of Coire Achaladair through a bog. It was hard enough coming down that way at the end of the walk but to start the walk up through a bog must be energy sapping. The Mountain Weather forecast was spot on as it always is and there was broken cloud giving good visibility all around.
The route out of the car park was easy to follow with a well marked track heading NE across the field towards the fording place across the Allt Coire Achaladair, I managed to get across without getting my feet wet. The path is a bit boggy in places but very easy to follow keeping to the south side of the Water of Tulla until you reach the bridge over the river just below the ruined farm of Tom na Grobh.
From the bridge its a good track for about 2K until you reach the smaller bridge back over the river and into the Black Wood of Rannoch; there's a faint track which takes you east for a while and then adjacent to a pylon there is an under pass under the rail line.
The path up alongside the Allt Coire an Lochain is very easy to follow as it climbs steadily up, follow the path all the way to the Lochain before crossing the burn and heading up to the low point on the ridge just NE of Beinn a'Chreachain. The views from here are fantastic especially on a clear day like this. It certainly wasn't a cold as I expected and the fleece I was wearing for the first 10 minutes of the walk was now back in my pack where it stayed until I stopped for a sandwich later on.
From the ridge it's an easy walk to the summit of Beinn a'Chreachain with a great view south over Loch Lyon and the surrounding mountains.
The view back down into Lochain Chreachain from near the summit of Beinn a'Chreachain on its own made the walk worthwhile, being so clear was a real bonus you could see for miles in every direction. From the summit of Beinn a'Chreachain the path towards Meall Buidhe starts of quite rocky but it improves as you drop down and soon becomes a good path up to the top of the ridge. From Meall Buidhe there is a good view back to Beinn a'Chreachain and on to the next Munro Beinn Achaladair.
The climb up to the summit of Beinn Achaladair is a great part of this walk as it climbs steeply up through the rocks, I must admit by the time I reached the top my legs were starting to feel it, so just off the ridge I stopped for coffee and a couple of sandwiches. Its amazing what some food and a drink does for you, I soon felt as good as new (well almost)
From Beinn Achaladair the path down towards the Bealach is very easy to follow and the views in all directions are amazing. If it had been a summer month with longer day light hours I would have considered adding Beinn Mhanach to the walk but with the sun fast heading down behind Beinn Dothaidh it was perhaps a mountain too far.
There is a great view from Beinn Achaladair down to my starting and finishing point at Achaladair Farm, it looks so near but there was still a good distance to go before the walk was over.
From the Bealach the path back to the farm starts off looking really good but don't be fooled it soon becomes an almost trackless bog and its a long bog as 90% of the path back to the farm is the same. As I said at the start of the walk I'm glad I was walking down it rather than having to walk up it.
I reached the car park back at the farm at 3.45 exactly 6 hours after I started, it was another great day out in the hills I just hope this mild weather lasts a bit longer as the last two weekends have been fantastic for hill walking. Everyone I spoke to on the hills was really enjoying it and looking forward to the next weekend walk.
Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.