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Beinn a' Chearcaill Walking

Surrounded by bigger and better known hills, Beinn a' Chearcaill would be easy to ignore; but don't be fooled - this one's far more worthwhile than first appearance suggests. From its prime position above Loch Maree, it offers unusual views of the wild northern flank of the Torridon peaks, and a prime angle on Slioch. More notable still is its remarkable summit, a huge rock pavement scattered with boulders, like a snooker table for giants.

Wishing they'd brought the roller skates on the remarkable tabletop of Beinn a' Chearcaill   © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
Wishing they'd brought the roller skates on the remarkable tabletop of Beinn a' Chearcaill
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Detailed description

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NG9621868027 From the layby walk southeast along the A832 (caution, fast traffic), then turn right up a track to pass a small cottage. A decent stalker's path now leads up Glen Grudie, a steady ascent of about 2km with great views back over Loch Maree to Slioch.
Slioch from the Glen Grudie path  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
Slioch from the Glen Grudie path
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com, Aug 2020

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NG9533766100 Just before the path descends slightly into the mouth of Coire Brise, look for a cairn marking a less-clear trail on the right. Boggy after rain, this path makes a rising traverse across the northern slope of Coire Brise to reach a burn cutting and waterfalls at the head of the corrie. The path climbs beside the north side of the burn to reach easier angled ground above the corrie.

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NG9372765344 Cross the burn near a lochan, then follow your nose roughly south. The angle is relaxed, but the ground very hard going on a mix of boulders and heather, and any trace of path will be fleeting at best. With few definite landmarks, and plenty of bumps and hollows, these broad northern slopes of Beinn a' Chearcaill would need some navigational care in poor visibility. A steady ascent eventually brings you out onto the amazing rock table of the summit plateau.

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NG9310563799 With steep ground on three flanks, the logical return from here is to head back north. Some books advocate making a loop over the subsidiary summit of A' Choineach Beag, but we were happy to just retrace our steps back down to the road.

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Further Routes

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com



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