Beinn a' Ghlo Walking

With its many twisting ridges and secretive corries this complex, multi-topped massif offers a superb ridge walk, a long day but of no real difficulty. Rising above Blair Atholl and the trench-like fault of Glen Tilt, Beinn a' Ghlo has the virtue of easy access, yet it's a huge sprawling hill and its inner recesses still feel quite isolated and hidden. From its feet the ground unrolls into the empty expanse of the southern Cairngorms, adding to the sense of remoteness. There's supposed to be an old stalker's legend that a rifle fired in any of the mountain's 19 (!) corries can't be heard from any other; perhaps one for a member of the shooting and fishing brigade to test out.

Looking north from Carn Liath at the other Beinn a' Ghlo peaks  © Dan Bailey -
Looking north from Carn Liath at the other Beinn a' Ghlo peaks
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Detailed description

NN9058367092 Take the track towards Beinn a' Ghlo and where it forks keep right to head over open moorland to a tin-roofed bier. Branch left here, then take the obvious footpath across bogs, climbing towards the squat cone of Carn Liath. the ascent of the southwest spur is steep and the trail badly eroded. Pass a false top to reach the summit trig point and cairn.

NN9359369799 A pleasant, well defined ridge curves left and then back right to loop around the head of a corrie. Beyond the nice level crest of Beinn Mhaol is a sharp descent into a steep-sided litle col. Having clibmed out of this the path cuts rightwards. After making a rising traverse the path follows a stony ridge north to Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain.

NN9455172414 Follow the high ground onto a minor top, where the ridge kinks left. After a couple of hundred metres look out for an obvious path heading roughly east down to the grassy Bealach an Fhiodha, a major col at the head of Glas Leathad. From here the path continues on a rising traverse leftwards onto the skyline between Airgiod Bheinn and Carn nan Gabhar. At the top go left, climbing past a cairn on a stony false summit, and then a misleading trig point, to find the cairn on the true high point of Beinn a'Ghlo's highest Munro.

NN9711373308 Retrace your steps back along the crest, continuing in the same line to climb the ridge onto the narrow, steep-flanked top of Airgiod Bheinn - arguably the best of Beinn a' Ghlo's peaks.

NN9618971994 The way off down the hill's steep and sharply defined southwest ridge is obvious; it's rough underfoot but not difficult. Once down in the glen cross the Allt Bealach an Fhiodha and follow a path on a gradually descending traverse across the lower flanks of Beinn Bheag. Though it's not marked on maps this trail is well used and straightforward to find.

NN9488768541 Having joined an estate track, follow it easily back past the bier (stage 1) to the car park.

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