West Mounth Munros Walking

The rolling uplands west of Glen Shee may lack in-yer-face scenic grandeur, but they make up for it with a sense of wild emptiness and the liberation of wide open spaces. This is a great area to get away from it all for a couple of days, with the near certainty of solitude. The route described here visits several summits - five Munros and one Corbett if you're counting. It is perhaps best enjoyed with a night out along the way, and the precise line I've chosen is based around the premise of a base camp roughly mid way. A one-day take on this route would allow you to straighten out some of the wiggles.

Beinn Iutharn Bheag & An Socach from Glas Tulaichean   © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
Beinn Iutharn Bheag & An Socach from Glas Tulaichean
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Detailed description

NO0909471256 Follow the continuation of the hotel drive towards Glen Lochsie. At a sign beyond the trees go left onto a grassy path to avoid private houses, then rejoin the track to follow the Glen Lochsie Burn upstream. Where the track descends to ford the burn cut up right to a dismantled railway (some 1920s laird type built it to ferry his pals in the huntin n fishin set - seriously).

NO0753572091 Having crossed an old railway bridge go right straight away, to follow a vague trail steeply uphill. At first shadow the west bank of a burn, then bear left to climb the broad southern spur of Creag a’ Bhreac.

NO0699773627 Pass over this summit and the next (spot height 827m or 829m, depending which map you have), then join an old stalker’s track to climb over a third rounded top. The track now runs up the east-southeast ridge of Glas Tulaichean, following the edge of Glas Choire Mhor to reach the summit trig point.

NO0507976000 A trail heads northeast along the ridge above Glas Choire Mhor, then descends around the rim of Glas Choire Bheag. Pass over a broad minor top (point 858m), then descend to the shore of Loch nan Eun. You might want to pitch a tent somewhere hereabouts, and if there's plenty of time left in the day then spare gear can be stashed here while you do an afternoon round of the next three Munros.

NO0637477838 From the southeast end of Loch nan Eun go roughly west through bogs into upper Gleann Mòr. Find a path on the north bank of the burn and contour under the flank of Mam nan Càrn to reach a col beneath Carn an Righ.

NO0383677147 An eroded path climbs Carn an Righ’s eastern slopes to reach the cairn on its domed summit, one of the most isolated and hard-to-reach in the area.

NO0286777256 Drop back down to the col. From here a path climbs towards Mam nan Càrn. At a junction go left to make a rising traverse across the steep western flank of this minor summit (easier than climbing it). When the trail fades hold much the same course across grassy slopes to the col just south of Beinn Iutharn Mhòr. An obvious path now makes the steady ascent onto this summit, another remote one.

NO0456479255 Go back south to the higher col where you join a feint path traversing the north flank of Mam nan Carn. You soon reach a saddle just above Loch nan Eun, and can probably see the tent (it'd be easy to call it a day here). Ahead is the minor top of Beinn Iutharn Bheag, which it's easier to climb than to skirt. A stony path shows the way.

NO0649479064 Here's a tough bit. From the summit cairn go east-northeast, descending a steep heathery spur to avoid scree slopes. Down in the deep trough at the head of Glen Ey it's all hummocks and peat hags, with no path to speak of. Cross a burn and climb to the broad shoulder above. Here meet a path for the direct slog up the steep, rubbly southern side of An Socach.

NO0794580012 Return the same way to the broad shoulder, and briefly stay with the vague path as it trends south. If you are basing yourself at Loch nan Eun for the night then when the path begins to rise towards the rolling hills ahead (more on them in a bit), head off right. Contour across boggy, pathless ground to the northern end of the loch; there's a path on its east shore if you've camped further around.

NO0640877843 Perhaps it'll be day 2 now. From the loch head east for the easy pathless climb onto the minor summit of Carn a’ Chlarsaich. Follow the well-drained high ground that forms the rim of a shallow boggy corrie, passing over two more little rolling tops. From the third summit it’s tempting to bear straight for Carn a’ Gheoidh, but it’s drier underfoot to first cut north-northeast, where a quad bike track is briefly followed down a vague spur. Pass a group of grouse butts to descend to the bog-riddled bealach at the head of the Baddoch Burn.

NO0899777817 Cross the bealach, then attack the pathless grassy hillside beyond. Soon reach a broad shoulder on the ridge mid-way between Carn a’ Gheoidh and its satellite summit Carn Bhinnein. A path is joined here for the climb east up the ridge onto the table top of Carn a’ Gheoidh.

NO1069676700 From the summit wind shelter go south-southwest to descend a short rocky slope leading down to the wide col just south of the mountain. Here a gravel-topped 4WD track is met, and the going changes from boggy slog to easy stride. Follow the track south and then southeast along the ridge, staying left at a junction and then passing a small bothy to reach the plateau top of Carn Mòr.

NO1095474998 The track continues down the heathery ridge, then just before reaching the minor top of Creagan Bheithe it bears slightly right, descending more steeply to the low bealach that separates the nice-but-unremarkable Corbett Ben Gulabin from the rest of the range. You might as well climb it now you're here.

NO1056773075 Stay briefly with the main track, then turn right onto a newly-excavated side track (it’s a bit of a mess) that makes an unnaturally head-on ascent of Ben Gulabin’s steep northeast flank. The stark new track ends just before the summit ridge, and a more landscape-sensitive hillwalker’s path then leads west to the Corbett’s high point.

NO1003072206 Dalmunzie Castle hotel is now nearby, but the direct route is pretty steep. It’s less awkward to head northeast down open slopes back to the low bealach. Here go left into Coire Shith. Cross the burn to pick up a trail on its north bank which goes steeply down the narrow glen to reach the wide floor of Gleann Taitneach. Head west to cross a footbridge over the river, then follow its west bank southwards.

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