Overlooking Rannoch Moor at the entrance to Glen Coe, Beinn a' Chrulaiste offers more scenic bang for your buck than its tame appearance suggests, including arguably the most impressive angle on Buachaille Etive Mor. But there's more to this hill than its views. Seek out the Pink Rib - it's easier climbed than found - for a delightful scramble on the sunny south side of the hill. This brilliant little grade 1 route would be ideal for beginners, its only downside being that there isn't more of it. The south side of Beinn a' Chrulaiste is steep and rock-scattered, but from close quarters the possible lines are hard to spot. So much so, in fact, that I only climbed the correct route on my third ascent. By my second attempt I'd remembered to bring a guidebook, but even so... With a nagging sense of doubt I returned to the glen, and suddenly there it was, the Pink Rib. Obvious, when you know where to look.
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Distance: 4.78 miles (7.70 km)
Total ascent: 646m
Time: 2 – 3 hours (Walking)
SummitsBeinn a' Chrulaiste 857 m
Rough path-less ground leads to the Pink Rib, an easy grade 1 scramble with limited exposure and no unavoidable difficulties. The descent is steep and rough, and then boggy in its lower reaches.
Low-lying, slabby and south-facing, this would not be a good winter mountaineering route. However Beinn a' Chrulaiste is well worth climbing in the snow, and straightforward the via non-scrambling routes up either its west flank or east flank.
Weather and Hill Conditions: SAIS: Glencoe – mwis: Northwest Highlands – Met Office: West Highlands
Citylink buses from Glasgow to Fort William pass through Glen Coe. Get out at the Kingshouse Hotel.
Highland Scrambles South (SMC)
OS Explorer 384 (1:25,000), Harvey/BMC Ben Nevis (1:40,000), OS Landranger 41 (1:50,000) Directory Listings:
Ballachulish (08452 255 121); Fort William (0845 22 55 121)
by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
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