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Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Ben Avon on foot the whole way


Postby steverabone » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:02 pm

Route description: Ben Avon via Gleann an-Slugain

Munros included on this walk: Ben Avon

Date walked: 09/06/2016

Time taken: 10 hours

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For my third walk in June 2016 I decided on one of the 'big' ones, Ben Avon (roughly pronounced Ben Aan ) from Keiloch near Invercauld Bridge. It's a 21 mile walk with 1004 metres of ascent according to the Walk Highlands website.

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Setting off from Keiloch (the current car park charge is £2.50) the first few miles are along a tarmac road...

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...but at least there are good views of Beinn a' Bhuird.

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The road goes through trees with..

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...a rather surprising sculpture visible in the grounds of Invercauld House.

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Shortly beyond the house the road splits and the green right of way sign points the way uphill to Linn of Qouich and Glen Slugain.

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Eventually there's another sign off to the left....

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...and then a right turn to along this road to...

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...reach a junction which has a signpost to Linn of Quoich pointing to the left. Surprisingly, the way to Glen Slugain isn't signposted, but the route goes off to the right on a straight course through the trees. It's easy to be fooled here so careful map reading is necessary here.

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The track comes out of the trees above the Allt an t-Slugain and follows it..

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....before the first view of the open glen appears

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The track continues by the side of a very elaborate deer fence......

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...and it's a really enjoyable walk on a superb track. No wonder many walkers cycle up here.

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The track continues to rise above the burn but...

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....eventually, there is a decision to be made. At a small cairn a path goes down to the ruined building seen in the gorge below. The main track curves round to the right. After a few hundred yards the two paths will merge again. (see later)

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I decided to take the rough path down to the ruin....

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....which lies in what looks like a small gorge.

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There's a pool of water but no stream, so presumably this drains away through the rocks.

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The two paths merge and eventually......

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....the vehicle track ends and turns into a well....

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....prepared footpath. Ahead lie Beinn a' Bhuird on the left and Ben Avon on the right.

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The path continues for a considerable distance across the moor...

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....and this view shows how extensive and remote this area is.

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The path is rising gently all the time as it heads towards the corries around Beinn a' Bhuird's east face.

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The sky looked rather threatening and, in view of my experiences a few days earlier with thunderstorms, I was considering turning back if the weather deterioated.Ahead is the zig zag of the path up the spur of Clach a Cleirich

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The path crosses the Glas Allt Mor, which could be impassable I suspect if it was in spate.

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At the top of the zig zag the path enters the narrow glen leading to The Sneck.

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There are several streams to cross...

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..and the path twists and turns for nearly a mile before...

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...the rocky tors of The Sneck come into view.

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Despite what the O.S. maps show there is a good path the whole way.

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There's another stream to cross with snow still lying in early June.

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The Sneck

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The enormous corrie of Garbh Choire took my breath away when I saw it. It is almost a mile an half across at the widest point.

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Looking from The Sneck towards Beinn a'Bhuird.

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The weather had improved so I started the climb to Ben Avon. The path appears quite heavily eroded but in actually fact presented no difficulties on the descent. The climb goes from 986m at The Sneck up to 1171m at the summit tor.

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Looking back the way up to Beinn a' Bhuird is obvious, but that will be a walk for another day! I did walk part of the way with another walker who climbed both hills - he had used a bike though. He'd left the car park about an hour after me and arrived back at the same time as myself.

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The eroded surface of the path is obvious as the first summit at 1138m is approached.

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I couldn't resist putting in another panoramic photo looking back to Beinn a' Bhuird and the corries that surround it.

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The impressive tor on the summit of Ben Avon pops into view. (The summit name is shown on O.S. maps as Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuide but Ben Avon is a lot easier!)

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Two paths head across the tundra to the summit.

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It's difficult to convey the size of the rocks until you look on the left at the group descending. They were a D of E group and most of them seemed to have scrambled up to the top.

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The path loops round to the back of the tor and ends....

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..at this cleft. As I was on my own I decided that there was no need for me to reach the top and risk a slip. Anyway as far as I'm concerned |I've climbed Ben Avon!! The walk had taken me 5 and a half hours with a couple of short breaks, just a few minutes longer than I'd expected.

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Looking east from the summit there are a several smaller tors - I later met a couple who were bagging them all! After a short break it was time to head off back downhill as it's a long way back!!

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I've included a couple of photos of the high level section of the track near the ruin.

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Looking down into the gorge.

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The track begins to drop downhill...

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...and twists round to the point where the path to the ruin starts.

The return walk took exactly four hours, giving a total of a few minutes under ten hours including lots of short breaks.
Last edited by steverabone on Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby past my sell by date » Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:31 pm

Nice pictorial guide to this hill - obviously an easy but very long walk as long as the weather remains fair. I need to do this soon as it's my penultimate Munro, Thanks for posting
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby gammy leg walker » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:55 pm

All that way and never reached the summit :?
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby steverabone » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:54 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:All that way and never reached the summit :?

Of course it all depends on mean by climbing a hill!!

Anyway my main concern is always is it likely that I may have an accident and for the sake of ten or fifteen feet in altitude I really don't think it's always worth it. When you're on your own I feel that is especially so.

Not everybody feels the same of course which is fine. Great walk though!
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby angusb » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:59 pm

I had planned to do Avon today, and reading your report beforehand, especially with all the pictures, helped greatly. For once this 'summer', It turned out a good day after all, and the excellent tracks and paths helped as well. Blowing a hooley on the tor (yes, I did go to the top, but had safety with another pair of folk there at the same time). And yes, I also walked it all as well, 5 hours up and 4 back down, but, boy, was I weary by the end! So thank you for your report.
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby weedavie » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:09 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:All that way and never reached the summit :?

The first time I was on Ben Avon I decided not to climb the tor as I was alone in cloud and a howling gale. I didn't count it as an ascent. I went on to Beinn a'Bhuird where, I reckon within 50 metres of the trig, I dropped my compass. I was totally bricking it, but I got the wind on my shoulder and worked my way back towards the Sneck. I missed it by 500 metres but recognised where I was when I emerged from the cloud. Big walk, safely back to bike, but no ticking!
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby past my sell by date » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:30 pm

The sad thing is that in just hopping up to to the summit tor, you miss out on a huge amount of what this superb hill has to offer :( :(
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:44 pm

steverabone wrote:
gammy leg walker wrote:All that way and never reached the summit :?

Of course it all depends on mean by climbing a hill!!

Anyway my main concern is always is it likely that I may have an accident and for the sake of ten or fifteen feet in altitude I really don't think it's always worth it. When you're on your own I feel that is especially so.

Not everybody feels the same of course which is fine. Great walk though!


Ah but one look at your Munro map suggest you have claimed the summit,that's unless you have returned and reached the summit on an other occasion
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby Grisu » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:16 pm

I like the picture documentation. Thanks for that!
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby Moriarty » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:28 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:All that way and never reached the summit :?


gammy leg walker wrote:Ah but one look at your Munro map suggest you have claimed the summit,that's unless you have returned and reached the summit on an other occasion


I reckon you'd seriously reduce the number of registered Munro Compleators if you insisted anyone that had failed to climb the Bolster Stone of the In Pinn relinquished their number.

Although I'm sure anyone critiquing others' summiting habits would definitely have stood proudly right on top of it before doing so. :wink:
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:54 pm

Moriarty wrote:
gammy leg walker wrote:All that way and never reached the summit :?


gammy leg walker wrote:Ah but one look at your Munro map suggest you have claimed the summit,that's unless you have returned and reached the summit on an other occasion


I reckon you'd seriously reduce the number of registered Munro Compleators if you insisted anyone that had failed to climb the Bolster Stone of the In Pinn relinquished their number.

Although I'm sure anyone critiquing others' summiting habits would definitely have stood proudly right on top of it before doing so. :wink:



I'm pretty sure 98% of people who have compleated never stood on the Bolster Stone on the In Pinn,but have stood on the true summit of Ben Avon,I'm not being over critical I hope it was just an observation tbh..........The question is do I fall into the 98% or the 2% :wink: :wink: .
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby kleighton » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:52 pm

Hi.
Great report with wonderful pictures! Well done! I would definitely count that as summitting. I did this long walk on my own in July this year and took a wee bit longer. Your photos reminded me what an amazing hillwalk this is. The scramble to the top of the tor was straightforward but I can understand your thoughts about doing it solo. There were a couple of walkers at the summit when I arrived and they gave me some tips. Also there was very little wind.
I have still to do Beinn a'Bhuird. I was wondering whether to go via the Sneck or follow the Walkhighlands route. Any thoughts?
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby Moriarty » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:02 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:I'm pretty sure 98% of people who have compleated never stood on the Bolster Stone on the In Pinn,but have stood on the true summit of Ben Avon,I'm not being over critical I hope it was just an observation tbh..........The question is do I fall into the 98% or the 2% :wink: :wink: .


Based on your report and "summit" pic from the In Pinn I'd say you're in the "People in Glass Houses"%. :wink:
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Re: Ben Avon on foot the whole way

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:04 pm

Moriarty wrote:
gammy leg walker wrote:I'm pretty sure 98% of people who have compleated never stood on the Bolster Stone on the In Pinn,but have stood on the true summit of Ben Avon,I'm not being over critical I hope it was just an observation tbh..........The question is do I fall into the 98% or the 2% :wink: :wink: .


Based on your report and "summit" pic from the In Pinn I'd say you're in the "People in Glass Houses"%. :wink:



Ah,but I may have a different picture, maybe :D :D
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