No one, except perhaps a windfarm developer or a grouse botherer, would claim the Monadhliath were Scotland's most promising mountains. Sprawling soggily over almost an entire OS Landranger map sheet, the area's chief distinction for hill fans is arguably its empty spaciousness. On its southern fringe however the land tilts up into a series of bigger and more attractive hills. Combining easy access and wide horizons, this round of the three Munros above Newtonmore is an enjoyable moorland stride with a remote feel. Though a fairly big circuit, it's not too taxing underfoot, making it a reasonably achievable day.
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Distance: 14.48 miles (23.30 km)
Total ascent: 968m
Time: 6:30 – 7:30 hours (Walking)
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SummitsCarn Dearg - Southeast Top 923 m
Carn Dearg 945 m
Carn Dearg - Carn Ban 942 m
Carn Dearg - Carn Ballach 917 m
Carn Sgulain 920 m
A' Chailleach 930 m
Car park at the end of the public tarmac road in Glen Banchor, NN692997
Vehicle tracks to start and finish, but once off the gravel the lower grounds tends to be boggy - especially the approach section through upper Gleann Ballach. Easy striding up on the hills, on a mix of grass, stones, and occasional peat. The worst ground is the leg from Carn Sgulain to the foot of A' Chailleach.
As described here, the steep ascent on the east flank of Carn Dearg would need care in winter conditions, and it may be sensible to bypass it via the more circuitous standard path from Gleann Ballach onto Carn Dearg's main top. The remainder of the day would be very straightforward in winter, though it's a long way if the snow is deep, and there's little shelter on the high tops.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Cairngorms & Monadhliath – Met Office: East Highlands
Bus or train to Newtonmore. From the station it's around a 3km road walk to the start of the route, making this a very viable Munro round by public transport.
The Munros (SMC)
OS Explorer 402 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 35 (1:50,000) Directory Listings:
Find more Listings near this route Tourist info:
Kingussie (0845 22 55 121); Aviemore (0845 22 55 121)
by Dan Bailey UKH
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