Beinn Eibhinn, Aonach Beag & Geal-charn

by Andy Speight & Robert Bell

Start Point: Corrour Halt railway station, West Highland Railway line
Grid Reference: OS Sheet 41, GR356664 & will also need
OS Sheet 42 showing the hills.
Time: 11-13 hours
View Location: Scalable multimap
Buy OS Map:

Buy Map at MapsWorldWide (41)
Buy Map at MapsWorldWide (42)

Introduction

We'd been talking about this weekend away for over a year and our beds in the station bunkhouse had been booked six months in advance. We caught the train in on the Friday night and were going to walk on both Saturday and Sunday before heading back home on Sunday evening. In the end, the low cloud and showers passing itself off for the summer of 2002 beat us and we caught the first train out on the Sunday - the irony of having booked our beds so far in advance hammered home... you just cant plan for the weather! This is Saturday's walk.

 
Click photos for full size images

Please note: this walk refers to a bunk house at Corrour Railway Station,
that is unfortunately no longer available.
Please bear this in mind if planning this walk.


Following careful scrutiny of maps and walking guides we'd noticed that it was possible to add Geal-charn onto the walk up Beinn Eibhinn and Aonach Beag. This particular combination wasn't mentioned in any of the guides and with hindsight we know why. There is no obvious descent from Geal-charn (at least not in low cloud) and it added distance to what was already a long walk. The way we chose and described below looked OK on the map but led us into very slippy scree not indicated on the map.

Anyone with a view from the summit might spot a path (they can also tell us what a wonderful view if the coire on Beinn Eibhinn we missed). Our route resulted in a slow descent and a very long walk out. There were a few tears and a retirement from hillwalking along the way. Needless to say if the sun ever comes out again we'll be back.

I'm happy to report that the retirement only lasted for four weeks. (I've included the cheery morning picture of breakfast in the bunkhouse - as much to show what a cracking bunkhouse it was, as to avoid a multitude of pictures of the inside of a cloud.)

Route

  • Start at Corrour rail halt. Cross the tracks and head ENE along the bulldozed track towards Loch Ossian.

  • At the 'Right of Way Society' post (GR 368669) the track splits. Follow the waymarked bulldozed track along the North shore of Loch Ossian.

  • At the memorial at the East end of the Loch (GR411698), head SSE and round the back of the refurbished shooting lodge.

  • Around the back of the lodge (GR413696) follow the path heading NE, cross River Ossian and skirt the copse (GR414698) before heading into open country to the bridge across the Uisge Labhair (GR418702).
  • From the bridge follow some fairly obvious 4x4 tracks NNE up Creagan an Amair. (NB This route was a group decision on the day, giving a gentler ascent, the SMC guidebook recommended climbing the ridge of Meall Glas Choire).

  • Once the path disappears head N along the gentle lower slopes of Mullach Coire nan Nead before following Allt Feith a' Mheallain NE up past the lochans (GR434733) between Mullach Coire nan Nead and Meall Glas Choire.

Click photo for full size image
 
  • From the bridge follow some fairly obvious 4x4 tracks NNE up Creagan an Amair. (NB This route was a group decision on the day, giving a gentler ascent, the SMC guidebook recommended climbing the ridge of Meall Glas Choire).
  • Once the path disappears head N along the gentle lower slopes of Mullach Coire nan Nead before following Allt Feith a' Mheallain NE up past the lochans (GR434733) between Mullach Coire nan Nead and Meall Glas Choire.
  • Ascend ENE towards the top (GR439735) before swinging E up the gentle final pull to the summit of Beinn Eibhinn (1102m GR449733) with it's cairn close to the steep drop into the coire.

  • Descend 120m SE following the well-worn path down the ridge before ascending NE to the summit of Aonach Beag 1116m (GR458742).

  • Descend 100m E following another obvious path down the ridge before ascending ENE to the summit of Geal-charn1132m (GR470746).

  • Descend S to the start of the stream (GR471741) and follow the stream down to the 600m contour line (GR466728) from there cut the corner heading SW over boggy ground to meet up with the path marked on the OS Sheet alongside the Uisge Labhair (GR460722). NB The upper eastern bank of the stream is covered in very loose scree, it is advised to keep to the western bank.

Click photo for full size image
  • To begin the long haul home follow the path which is boggy in places for 5km back to the bridge (GR418702) and then all you have to do retrace your steps 7.5 km to the rail halt.

  • This walk can be achieved between first and last trains (check current timetable, Sundays excepted) but an overnight stay is advisable.

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