This is an alternative, circular route which also takes in Glen Lichd, climbs all three Munros while avoiding most of the scrambling, and gets you back to your start point whilst completely avoiding the A87. Sorry there are no photos as I lost my camera on the ridge (7th June, am). Please get in touch if you may have found it!
Start in Allt a Chruin, basically following the "official" Walk Highlands route in reverse. The main navigational difficulty in following the instructions in reverse is finding the start. As you come into the village from the A87, you will see a walkers carpark on your left. You can park there, walk into the village crossing the bridge over the stream and shortly after that walk up a kind of driveway on the right leading up to some houses. As you approach what looks like the last house, you see a paved path with lots of grass growing through it passing in front of the house. Take this path and it leads up to the waterworks mentioned in the official route and the stalkers path.
After you climb past the gorge and the path levels out, look out for a largem but flattened cairn on your right. This is the point to cross the stream and head across country to the west ridge of Beinn Buidhe, where you will soon find a path heading steeply up the true right of a stream. This is the steepest bit of the climb, the path continues until near the top of Beinn Buidhe, where it veers right to gain the ridge whilst avoiding the Beinn Buidhe scramble.
You then have the most spectacular part of the ridge walk past Sgurr nan Saighead (with a bypass path if you want to save your energy), even if you bypass the summit you will still get fantastic views down both sides of the ridge on this walk. You then proceed along the ridge, on a path which eventually brings you to an intersection with Sgurr Fhuaran's west ridge a few hundred metres short of the summit, as explained (in reverse) in the official route. You gain the summit of Sgurr Fhuaran without having had to deal with any difficult terrain at all. Those so inclined could just turn around and go back at this point and you would have had a fantastic, though not particularly difficult, hillwalk.
Continuing, the descent of Sgurr Fhuaran is very steep, and the ground is a little bit loose in places, though overall it feels stable and safe and you have paths throughout. It looks horrendous when you look back to it from further on in the route, but as usual it's not as bad as it looks.
You then have the ascent of Sgurr na Carnach which involves a short scramble described by Walk Highlands as "very easy". That's subjective, personally I'd describe it as fairly easy, though I had to stop and think about it. At least with this version of the route you are going up, rather than down, which many people prefer. After that scrambly bit, the rest of the ascent to Sgurr nan Carnach, then down to the next col, then up Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe, is very straightforward.
If you were to complete the normal ridgewalk from here, you would have to deal with the scramble onto Sgurr nan Spainteach (described by WalkHighlands as "easy" rather than "very easy") then descend from Bealach Lapain, and either hitch back to your car or pay the extortionate bus fare.
The alternative I suggest is returning to the col between Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe and Sgurr nan Carnach, and then descending down the Allt Coire Dhomdain to the east. At first this is quite steep, over boulders, but the ground is stable and there are no difficulties. As you descend, you will see that the terrain is easier on one side of the stream or the other , as it is a steep sided valley. At first it's easy to cross the stream back and forth. As you get lower down, the stream becomes more river-like and the easier terrrain is on the true right, so stay on that side. Eventually just before you come to the confluence of the Allt Coire Dhomdain and the Allt an Lapain it is easy to cross to the true left of the Allt Coire Dhomdain. You then head north to pick up the track that leads past Glenlicht House and a herd of placid cattle and then a very pleasnt and easy 6km or so walking down Glen Licht past bleating sheep until you arrive at a quiet minor road about 1.5km from where you parked your car. Turn left, and then left again, and you're back where you started. It should take about 9 hours if you're a strongish walker.
Travel and Coronavirus
Temporary Coronavirus restrictions and travel advice applies until 2nd November, when new guidance will be introduced.
Click for details
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.