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The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby mountain coward » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:49 pm

I see you have a really high opinion of me! :(
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Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby bothybum » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:00 pm

now,now boys calm it down :roll:
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Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby Essan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:11 pm

Having been asked about the correct way to walk to Essan, I've now produced a wee map:


Essan_path.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



For most of the way there is no path. However the Creagan an t-Sagairt / Creag Dearg ridge is dry and fairly easy going with good views all around. Note that the drop down to Essan is quite steep!
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Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:19 am

Hi Essan. What about going in from the east utilising part of the WH route to the Corbett Beinn Mhic Cedidh?
something like this (see below). Any idea what these burns are like to cross generally? I've been looking at a few routes in there taking in the bothy but avoiding the railway. Cheers :D

New_Route (20).gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby al78 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:53 am

How about a train to Glenfinnan, then climb Beinn Odhar Mhor, follow the ridge SW then NW to Beinn Mhic Cedidh (there might be a way up from the shore of loch Shiel). From that summit, descend along the north ridge and turn NW at a col and drop down to the loch will put you a couple of hundred meters from the bothy. I won't claim this is the easiest or best route but you do get to knock off a couple of Corbets en-route.

If the route turns out to be awful, just tell yourself it is character building. :lol:
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Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:16 am

Here is the route I took on 11/11/19 it took about 2 hours from bothy to the road without going on the railway line.

New_Route (23).gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Trip report below.
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=93889
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Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby Bourach » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:30 pm

Both the high level routes you indicate are torturous. That is really rough hill ground and plagued with tussock grass below 1000ft.

The easiest route would be from the west end of Loch Eil crossing at Arienskill and walking low level adjacent, but not on, the railway track. Bracken, which plagues this route in the summer, is dead so progress is easier. Not that you would use the railway because that’s illegal but it’s worth noting that there is plenty untimetabled railway traffic using the line to catch out the unwary.

As for rats, the only rodents you will encounter at Essan is the odd mouse and their numbers are relatively low compared what they used to be in recent years due to ongoing work to the fabric of the bothy, and the regular removal of rubbish.

Be advised that there is little fuel to be found in the vicinity of the bothy so best take something for the fire, and it is quite popular, especially at weekends.

Please complete a bothy report after your stay to keep the MBA informed as to it’s condition.

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Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby Sunset tripper » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:11 pm

Hi Bourach. I've already been. The high level route in from the east was fine (see above map). From the road all the way up to the col there is a rough argo track which passes under the railway and has a bridge not marked on the map across the Allt a' choire Bhuidhe. From the col down to the bothy if you take the right line on the right bank of the burn the ground is fine if a little bit rough in places - normal corbett territory. I had a look at the route you suggest in part and it looks horrendous, I reckon anyone who has tried it would have ended up on the railway line at some point.
How do you get across the water at Arieniskill at the start?

On the MBA website it suggests coming in over the high ground from Lochailort - this is fairly new advice, as it wasnt there when I checked earlier this year. I dont know what that route is like but it's a lot longer than the eastern approach.

We carried in around 8 kilos of coal and a couple of fire logs. There was quite a bit of driftwood (if that's the right word) from the river lying about and we used some of that also.
As you say not many mice, we did hear one but only once.

If you want to walk in avoiding the railway completely, the eastern approach over the top is the quickest and easiest option I would say. Some fantastic views also and very enjoyable if you take the right line down to the bothy.
All the best. :D
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Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby Senja » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:55 pm

This no longer works

I once got dropped off by a train. Quite a leap of faith in the dark as the line is raised.
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Re: The best way to get to Essan bothy?

Postby Essan » Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:53 am

Sunset tripper wrote:How do you get across the water at Arieniskill at the start?


The only way is to cross the railway bridge (not advised) - there's actually an old gate in the fence that would have once provided estate access to the hill, just over the bridge.

On the MBA website it suggests coming in over the high ground from Lochailort - this is fairly new advice, as it wasnt there when I checked earlier this year. I don't know what that route is like but it's a lot longer than the eastern approach.


That's cos I only recently added it :D Partly in response to requests on how to get there. It's the same as the map I produced a while ago, a few posts back.

If you want to walk in avoiding the railway completely, the eastern approach over the top is the quickest and easiest option I would say. Some fantastic views also and very enjoyable if you take the right line down to the bothy.
All the best. :D


The eastern approach is certainly possible and of course the argocat track and bridge under the railway does help - but you do need a bit of luck in finding the best line down from the col and I personally think the Creagan an t-Sagairt route to easier. Also, easier to find a safe place to park in LA. Coming by train obviously also makes more sense from that direction too, especially as these days the the train drivers are less likely to make an unscheduled stop ;)
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