Access: From A9 N, take turn off for Newtonmore, join A86, then go immediately left
up the hill (Old Glen Road) and bear left onto Glen Road,
or take second left (Glen Road), and continue to Glen Banchor.
Park after 1.75 miles at the end of the road, NN69289978.
Route Tips: Carn Dearg can be ascended by going either side of, or over, Carn Macoul. The route via Loch Dubh may be a little more scenic but is slightly longer.
• Note that the Allt Ballach has to be forded. This should be OK even when in spate, although perhaps only with wet feet.
• Note also that, when in spate, the Allt an Lochain Duibh splits into three parts with two not insubstantial streams to the east of the main river. These may be inadvertantly crossed to the west side only to need re-crossing back to the east side. In very wet weather walk up to Dalballoch and then NW rather than W to the main river.
• All the paths are wet and boggy, but watch out particularly for the deep peat bog at the col just east of Meall a' Bhothain at NH67130565.
• The last river to cross is the Allt a'Chaorainn towards the end of the walk. This can be too dangerous to ford when in spate. However, there is a bridge at NH6906501279. Although somewhat unsafe in April 2018, it was in the process of being renewed then, with fresh timbers already on site.
• Navigation is easy in cloud: the route just follows the boundary fence posts between Carn Ban and Carn Sgulain.
Weather 19/11/05: Cold; full cloud cover, cloud base 3000' & falling; dry; E wind veering to SW; –4°C at start, rising to +2°C at end. 24/07/08: Dull & windy, but warm & dry.
Terrain 19/11/05: Tracks OK, but paths all very poor – extremely wet & terribly boggy. Much improved by being frozen, but then paths all slippery with large ice patches. 24/07/08: Tracks OK, but paths still wet & boggy even after 4+ days of hot, dry weather.
|0845||0950||Park in Glen Banchor at end of road||300||0||0.0 miles||NN69279976||Orange|
|0900||1005||Track W by R. Calder to Glenballoch||320||20||1.0 miles||NN67989927|
|0935||1045||Poor, boggy path SW/W from SW corner of
Glenballoch to straight-forward ford near Dalballoch
Path up Gleann Lochain to just SE of L. Dubh.
(A new track goes up conveniently to E of loch.)
|1050||–||Leave track & head due E to ridge.||770||5.6 miles||NH63900110|
|–||1115||OR: Animal track 1.2 miles NNW up Gleann Ballach|
|–||1155||Over rough moor NW to col N of Carn Macoul
(An ascent of Carn Macoul is possible.)
|1120||1220||THEN: N up ridge to T Carn Dearg S Top||923||625||6.0 miles||NH63760176||Orange|
|N to col||905||NH63630209|
|1130||1230||N to M Carn Dearg||945||665||6.4 miles||NH63550240||Orange|
|NNW to col||885||NH63280267|
|1150||1245||N to T Carn Ban (Carn Mairg) From here
to Carn Sgulain, follow boundary fence posts.
|1210||1300||NE to col just E of Lochan Uisge||875||7.5 miles||NH63640387|
|1225||1315||NE to T Carn Ballach SW Top||920||770||8.1 miles||NH64350449||No Orange|
|NE to X Carn Ballach NE Top||920||780||NH64780477|
|NE along ups and downs following fence posts to the
3 tops of Meall na Creughaich around a small lochan
|1345||ENE to minor bump at boundary bend||905||815||NH65680563|
|E to col||875||9.5 miles||NH66060551|
|1310||1355||E to Meall a' Bhothain||911||850||9.7 miles||NH66370565|
|1325||1410||E to col. (Beware of treacherous peat bog here)||850||10.25 miles||NH67130565|
|1335||1420||E to minor top||908||910||NH67650565||Orange|
|E to shallow col||890||NH67990563|
|1400||1430||ENE to M Carn Sgulain
Small cairn first, then main cairn after 50yds.
|1430||1500||Return WSW almost to minor top, then follow straight
line S over extensive very wet peat bog to pass.
(Head directly towards the top of A'Chailleach.
Don't bother to seek out the highest pt of the pass.)
|S to M A'Chailleach||930||1055||12.35 miles||NH68120416|
|1535||1550||Initially WSW down ridge then, after 300 yds,
SE down path to house.
(The path heads directly towards the track end.)
||SE to cross Allt a'Chaorainn at 500m or
if necessary, continue S to footbridge at 400m
|S to track end by Allt a'Chaorainn||480||14.8 miles||NH69150135|
|1620||1645||S down track to P at road end in Glen Banchor.||310||1055||15.95 miles||NN69279976||Orange|