Evaluation: 4* circuit, and suitable for winter walking.
Access: Park at Loch Laggan/Creag Meagaidh Nature Reserve Car Park.
Route: To start, take the first left on the path 200m after leaving the car park (at NN4813587412) and follow it west to a bridge over the river at NN47558747. Fork right where the track splits, and continue on the ATV track up to 550m at NN46248795 where you may pick up a path taking a direct line up at least most of the rest of Sron a' Ghoire.
There are little used narrow paths out to the minor tops, but clear easy going fast paths round the main ridge, although not heavily used. At the end, the path down from Carn Liath is variable in quality and not always easy to follow – it eventually joins the main valley path at a cairn. The descent path is easy to miss, in which case there are several hundred yards of thick plantation to negotiate before reaching the valley path. There is delicate moss over much of the terrain, so please stick to these paths.
The route can be shortened in several ways. The excursion to Coire Dubh is optional and is just there to collect the Munro top. Its deletion would save 4 miles walking and 175m of ascent. Unfortunately, the fragile moss along this ridge is being severely damaged by ATVs coming up from near Garvamore. There are also two more outlying tops which can be omitted to leave a superb, not too taxing round.
Conditions: Morning mist on tops until 1115, then cloud-free with no wind until front came in from S at 1430; in cloud on Carn Liath; front receded 1530; cloud-free thereafter. Moderate cold breeze from 1500. 0°C at car at start; 4°C at finish.
Ridges were mostly clear of snow; continuous firmish snow fields over Creag Meagaidh itself from 1000m up, but the snow became rather soft after 1230.
|0840||Creag Meagaidh Nature Reserve Car Park
|0850||W to Footbridge NN475875 (directions above)||295||35|
|W to T Sron a' Ghoire||1001||740||2.4 miles|
|1040||SW/W to 1st cairn of Puist Coire Ardair||1065|
|1045||W to 2nd cairn of Puist Coire Ardair (Creag Mhor)|
|1100||NW ti 3rd, flat insignificant cairn of
T Stob Puist Coire Ardair (No Orange)
|SW/S/SE to T Meall Coire Choille-rais (5* view, Orange)||1027||900||4.5 miles|
|Return NW, then W/SW to T An Cearcallach (Orange)||993||940||5.6 miles|
|1255||Return N/NE to col then N towards E top of
Creag Meagaidh, 300m from large cairn.
(Can be omitted by taking a direct line to Creag Meagaidh.)
|W to M Creag Meagaidh (Orange 10m SE of top)||1128||1130||7.6 miles|
|1320||ENE to large cairn near E top of Creag Meagaidh
(the small circular contour on the map at NN423877.)
|1340||E/NE/N/NW to col Uinneag Coire Ardair
(Path goes to W end of pass)
|1350||NE to M Poite Coire Ardair, SW end (Orange)
(There are two cairns 100m apart)
|1405||E to Cairn at E end of Poite Coire Ardair (Orange)||1051|
|1425||ENE to T Coire a Chriochairein (No Orange)||991||1280||10.6 miles|
|1445||ENE to T Meall an t-Snaim (No Orange)||969||1325||11.4 miles|
|SE/E to M Carn Liath (Orange)||1006||1415||12.2 miles|
|1530||ENE along A' Bhuidheanach||967||13.0 miles|
|ENE to T Coire Dubh (Orange)||916||1455||14.2 miles|
|1620||Return WSW to A' Bhuidheanach||967||15.4 miles|
|WSW to M Carn Liath (Orange)||1006||1585||16.2 miles|
|Descend 300m SW from cairn, then SSE down ridge
to track on E bank of Allt Coire Ardair.
|1750||Path S/SE to Aberarder House||270|
|1755||Road SE to car park (Orange)||260||1585||18.3 miles|