Access: Use of a bike makes life so much easier for this, one of the most remote Munros.
It enables the hill to be climbed easily in one day without any camping.
Route: Cycle from Dalwhinnie Station to about 1 mile after Culra Lodge, just after path leaves river edge. The track to Ben Alder Lodge is excellent for cycling, being of driveable quality with a smooth compacted surface.
There are two nice approaches to Ben Alder via its north ridge, aided by an excellent path from leaving the Allt a'Chaoil-reidhe up to Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe. One is up the NE-most spur which starts at a point with height 848m and involves some very minor scrambling. The other is up an east facing spur which stretches down to the north end of Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe.
However, the Allt a' Bhealaich Bheithe is impossible to ford in full spate, making neither of these two suggestions possible. In this case, either cross the bridge at NN5247676452 to Culra Lodge and proceed SW to Bealach Dubh or continue S along a poor path beside Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe to Bealach Breabag.
Weather: (Both days) Clear sky, pleasantly warm, light cool breeze, excellent walking weather.
Mobile: Orange on all three tops and at start/end.
|0805||0915||Park at level crossing by Dalwhinnie station. (Orange)||360||0||0.0 miles||NN63368467|
|Cycle track SW along Loch Ericht.
At estate lodge gate
(The Shieling) take path along top of wall on right.
|0845||0955||Continue SW along track to Ben Alder Lodge||370||60||5.6 miles||NN57147879|
|0900||Track WSW/WNW to highest pt||465||155||NN55377857|
|1015||Continue 660yds on track to left at path end||450||7.1 miles||NN54837870|
|Rougher path SW (not driveable) down
to SE bank of Allt a'Chaoil-reidhe.
|0930||1035||Path SW to opposite Culra Lodge||460||190||10.2 miles||NN52407607|
|0930||1050||Leave bike S of bothy where path turns away from river.||480||210||11.0 miles||NN51547506|
|1100||—||EITHER: Ascend NE ridge to pt 848.
There are two routes to here: One is via the path along
the SE bank of the river. A large white painted stone
on a bend at NN515745 marks a small path over to the
ridge. The other approach is via the path on the NW
bank as far as NN503745.
|1130||—||Good path SW up ridge, with 100yds easy scramble,
to top of knife edge ridge/start of plateau.
|1140||—||S to Garbh-choire Beag.||1080||815||13.1 miles||NN50007280|
|—||1125||OR: Continue main path S to Loch a'Bhealaich Bheithe
(Don't cut the corner. It is not worth it.)
|—||1210||Due W up ridge to Garbh-choire Beag||1080||13.1 miles||NN50007280|
|THEN: S/SW to M Ben Alder (battered trig pt)
|SW passed lochan, then S/SSE to col||1080||910||NN49637103|
|1235||1250||SE to top, Sron Bealach Beithe||1105||935||14.7 miles||NN49887078|
|1300||1310||From top head directly SE to bealach.
(Do not continue E to end of ridge; no path seen)
|1320||1330||Path NE to T Sron Coire na h-Iolaire (Orange)||955||1055||15.8 miles||NN51317046|
|1330||NW/NNE to col||885||NN51297105|
|1345||NE to rocky outcrop near summit||980||1150||NN51467135|
|Path N to M Beinn Bheoil (Orange)||1019||1190||16.8 miles||NN51707171|
|Rough stoney ridge N to col||895||17.35 miles||NN51917255|
|—||1440||EITHER: N (little path) to ridge end
then NW to join valley path at corner
|1425||—||OR: WNW to path at end of Loch a'Bhealaich
Bheithe. (Good quality path starts here)
|1450||THEN: Path N to bike near river||480||19.6 miles||NN51547506|
|1505||Cycle NE to path opposite Culra Lodge||460||20.4 miles||NN52407607|
|1525||Path to track||450||23.5 miles||NN54837870|
|1550||NE to highest pt on track||465||1230||NN55377857|
|1600||1535||Cycle E to Ben Alder Lodge||370||25.0 miles||NN57147879|
|1640||1610||Track NE to level crossing in Dalwhinnie (Orange)||360||1250||30.6 miles||NN63368467|