I had already done this linear route in east-west direction, but for a change I led a group from my local club in the opposite direction, starting at Alva Glen car park and finishing at the Tormaukin Hotel at Glendevon.
The order of the tops encountered was: Blairdenon, Ben Buck, Ben Ever, Ben Cleuch, The Law, Andrew Gannel Hill, King's Seat, Tarmangie, Whitewisp, Innerdownie.
At the start, park at Alva Glen car park, and follow the track up the burn. Cross the bridge below the impressive waterfall and then up the steps, and under the old water pipe , bearing left and then after a few yards right to find the gate which leads acrooss the back of the farm below along a clear narrow track. After a steady climb of about 1 km the hard track is met and this is followed through a several turns until another track is seen coming in from the left. This takes you round the S of the Nebit and then heads N and carries on up the Alva Glen with the burn on your W below. Near the top of the track, a gate is crossed and the track starts to head SW. Very quickly the track heads down towards the burn and turn N again, with some sheep pens nearby in the valley. Just before this, look out for a grassy quad track heading up over small hills known as The Cloves and at the top, head E towards a gate with a fenceline running along the N of Craighorn.
From here, the most difficult part, due to the lack of a clear track for most of the way, and some pretty boggy terrain for the last hour or so (along with no recognisable track!) is the approach to Blairdenon.
Be prepared for plenty of ground-testing and walking around the extra boggy parts, as several burns are born and converge in this area identified as Menstrie Moss on the map. After the Blairdenon and Ben Buck section, the route becomes fairly easy to follow, as the tops can be easily identified and an approach planned as long as the visibility is decent. However, tracks are few and far between , as these hills are not heavily walked (I am glad to say), although a weekend will always bring a few fellow hikers, particularly on the central few tops including the highest point of Ben Cleuch. During the week, you might have most of the hills to yourself. I often do.
A splendid day out all in all, and a reasonable fitness and endurance test, but with no technical sections, although the steepness of some parts might surprise some who are unfamiliar with these lovely hills.
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