This Route Card accompanies a UKH destination article: http://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/pa...
The Munros circling the head of Loch Monar are some of the least accessible in Scotland, stunning mountains with an inspiring back-of-beyond atmosphere. This is ideal backpacking country. For day trips though, the northern approach from Glen Carron is the quickest (and therefore most popular) way in, with the hills generally being visited in twos or threes. In contrast this route coming in from the east along remote Glen Strathfarrar is a much more considerable undertaking, but aesthetically superior. It allows a neat circuit to be made over all the major hills - five Munros and one Corbett. This extended lap of the loch can be treated either as a mega one-day challenge or a weekend expedition; either has its attractions.
The walk starts from the Loch Monar dam, about 26km from Struy along the private road up Glen Strathfarrar. Vehicle access on this road is restricted at all times of year and particularly difficult in winter. Details can be found on the MCofS website: http://www.mcofs.org.uk/strathfarrar-acc... There is no overnight parking in the glen, but even if trying the circuit in one day most people will want to do it from an overnight camp near the dam. This means cycling in from Struy - a 52km-odd round trip on the bike to add to an already-taxing walk itself. It's a tough weekend, all things considered - but one of the best. Hats off to anyone mad enough to do the whole thing in a single day, cycling included.
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Distance: 27.47 miles (44.21 km)
Total ascent: 3,001m
Steepest Gradient: 48% (1 in 2)
Time: 16 – 20 hours (Walking)
SummitsMaoile Lunndaidh 1005 m
Maoile Lunndaidh - Creag Toll a' Choin 1005 m
Maoile Lunndaidh - Carn nam Fiaclan 996 m
Sgurr a' Chaorachain 1053 m
Sgurr Choinnich 999 m
Beinn Tharsuinn 863 m
Bidein a' Choire Sheasgaich 945 m
Lurg Mhor 987 m
Lurg Mhor - Meall Mor 974 m
Loch Monar dam, north end, NH202394
A bit of everything: on the low ground: stalker's paths, vehicle tracks and trackless bogs. On the hills some clear trails, some rough pathless sections and a short stretch of exposed ridge scrambling at grade 1 / 2. Plenty of interesting route finding.
A very gnarly place in the depths of winter, when the seriousness of the terrain and the air of isolation will be greatly magnified. In heavy winter conditions allow two days on the hills, at least. Snowy ascents of Sgurr a’ Chaorachain and Bidein a’ Choire Sheasgaich need some basic mountaineering competence, and the Lurg Mhor ridge scramble is a grade I/II winter climb.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Northwest Highlands – Met Office: West Highlands
None. Achnashellach station in Glen Carron is the nearest public transport, but no use for the circuit described here.
Great Mountain Days in Scotland, Dan Bailey, pb. Cicerone http://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail...
OS Explorer 429 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 430 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 25 (1:50,000) Directory Listings:
by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
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