Drumochter Hills

Geal Charn, A' Mharconaich, Beinn Udlamain, Sgairneach Mhor

Start Point:  
Grid Reference: OS sheet 42 GR 628792
Time: 6 - 8 hours.
View Location: Click for scalable multimap
Buy OS Map: Buy Map at MapsWorldWide


Introduction

In the same way that Muriel Gray talks about the Bridge of Orchy hills in her book "The First Fifty", I have always driven past these Drumochter hills with a real longing to tackle them. The huge humps and hollows appear like massive natural moguls during the winter - hopefully next year I'll hike up with a snowboard and take on the Sow of Atholl and the Boar of Badenoch......

Looking back up Coire Dhomhain

Daydreaming aside, the weather on our hill walk was interesting for early June, varying between driven rain and snow. Fortunately, we all had reasonable kit with us and so stayed reasonably warm. Strangely, we only met one other group of walkers during the whole day...... I guess that's one positive for walking in miserable weather, at least you pretty much get the hills to yourself!

There are good views along Loch Ericht, the end of which is just visible from the A9. The group of four munros can easily be broken down into 2 shorter expeditions.

 

Route

  • The starting point is at the car park at Balsporran Cottages just off the A9, GR628792. Multimap.

  • From the car park follow the clearly worn path through the heather that runs along the NE ridge of the first munro, Geal charn. The cairn that can be clearly seen from the road is a false summit with the actual summit (GR597783, 917m) located approximately 1 km to the west of this wee teaser.

  • From Geal charn head south to the bealach at GR593766, before pushing up the grassy slopes in a SE direction to get to the main ridge for the second munro. Once on the ridge head NE for about 800m to get to the top of the second munro, A' Mharconaich (GR605763, 975m) which is perched high above a steep scree filled corrie

Anne, Neil, Chris and Steve at the summit of Beinn Udlamain
  • From A' Mharconaich retrace your steps over the top Bruach nan lomairean and from this point you can follow the fence posts all the way to the top of the Beinn Udlamain (GR579739, 1011m). This, as always, leads to the question - who is the complete nutter who felt the need to put a line of fence posts along the top of a hill? ..... could he not just have agreed with his neighbour that they could go for a low level boundary thereby saving a lot of serious humpfing?

   
  • From Beinn Udlamain continue to follow the fence posts for about 1 km before heading east to the wide bealach at GR582730. From this point continue east to the summit of Sgairneach Mhor (GR598732, 991m) which is also marked with a trig point.
  • From Sgairneach Mhor follow the ridge east along the top of the steep corrie then the easiest way home is to head north east until you reach the path that runs alongside Allt Coire Dhomhain. This path will lead you right back to the beckoning A9, where thankfully there is a new cycle path for the 4 km walk back to the car

   
This time the weather was rotten, so I feel like I've got a great excuse to experiment with Scottish back country boarding on these hills next March. Hopefully then these mountains will smile on me with fresh powder and blue sky...... it's not as if I'm asking for much!
Looking from A'Mharconaich towards Beinn Udlamain

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