Guide book routes are normally good - they are tried and tested and follow the wisdom of many experienced mountaineers over many years...
...but very occasionally you look at a map and the description and it just doesn't look right. The standard head-on approach to Ben Challum is one of those. A straight up and back route on what every description acknowledges is a boring and boggy route. So why do it???
Instead we started at Auchtertyre Farm (SAC research station) and headed up the track up Gleann a' Chlachain - keeping L of the river. This climbs nicely up the glen through some terrain that has been wonderfully fenced from the sheep and deer pest and is regenerating nicely.
At the end of the track a wee climb gains the bealach just below 600m below the good looking NW ridge of Ben Challum. A nice looking ascent and far, far preferable to the usual route (but which makes a perfectly good descent route).
The ascent ends pretty much on the summit of Ben Challum leaving the wonderful summit ridge as a descent towards the lesser top.
Further on, trend R towards the rail viaduct and you can again pass under it - this time on the SE side of the river (L as you are looking down the glen).
Just after you have passed underneath there is a stile and a lovely wee walk down through the woods next to the river to finish through the farm and a bridge back to the NW side of the river and back to the car.
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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.