Beinn Bhreac and neighbours

Beinn Bhreac and neighbours

Hillwalking route from Atholl, heading to Beinn Bhreac via Beinn Mheadhonach and Beinn Dearg

Cycling along estate tracks from Glen Tilt reaches the base of Beinn Dearg's southern shoulder, from where a very 'off-piste' circular route bags the Corbetts of Beinn Mheadhonach and Beinn Bhreac.



Route outline


Munros

Beinn Dearg

Corbetts

Beinn Mheadhonach, 

Beinn Bhreac

Walk ascent 1275m (4180ft)
         distance 24km (15m)
         time 8:10hr
Bike ascent 360m (1180ft)
         distance 13km (8m)
         time 1:10hr
Start/finish Old Blair, Glen Tilt car-park
Grid Ref : NN874663
Terrain
easy hard
Nav
easy hard
Effort
easy hard
Scenery
ok fab


Beinn Bhreac is a rather uninspiring Corbett hill, quite featureless and covered for the most part in deep heather. Sitting in a remote moorland setting above Tarf and Atholl, Beinn Bhreac is far from road-ends with no paths getting anywhere near its base.

Heading via Beinn Mheadhonach and the Munro, Beinn Dearg, this circular route tries to introduce a bit of interest on the way to Beinn Bhreac. A bike can be used for the first 7km in from Blair Atholl and on foot thereafter, stalkers tracks are used to get further. Beyond Beinn Mheadhonach to Beinn Dearg, there are no paths to follow and some rough terrain is encountered while hiking through heather and over peat-hags.



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Route description


1. Getting to Glen Tilt car-park

Glen Tilt car-park

Glen Tilt car-park

The village of Blair Atholl sits aside the A9, north of Perth. Near the centre of the village, immediately east of the bridge over the River Tilt, there is a road junction with sign pointing the way to Glen Tilt car-park and a few other places.

Head up the indicated road to a crossroads by a group of houses, turn left, drive downhill over the River Tilt, under an old footbridge, beyond which Glen Tilt car-park is well signposted on the left.

Quite a few walking routes start from here, including a fine little wander in the woodlands on a circular route up and down the banks of the Tilt from Old Bruar to Blair Atholl and back.


2. Cycle up Glen Tilt to the Allt Slanaidh

Heading up the track in Glen Tilt

Heading up the track in Glen Tilt

From car-park, head back up to the road, cross it and to the right of a house, cycle uphill on rough road through forestry. The road travels in and out of woodland a few times and after around 1.5km comes to a junction .

Veer left at the junction and now on a more grass-covered and less used track head through more forestry. Further on, this track twists and turns and climbs uphill to meet with another forestry road which approaches from Blair Castle.

On the forestry road, turn left (turning right will lead to a rifle range). A few metres on, another forestry road is seen heading back off to the right - take this ! Cycle along this road as it heads through a gate in a deer fence and becomes more of a track, gentle climbing uphill above and around a rifle range.

Hut by the Allt Slanaidh and below Beinn a' Chait

Hut by the Allt Slanaidh and below Beinn a' Chait

Through another gate, the track gradually turns towards a more north-westerly direction as it heads out of forestry and onto open hillside. Around 2km after leaving the forestry behind, the track meets a hut by the Allt Slanaidh, just beyond which is a ford in the river (possibly tricky to cross in spate). Once over the river, leave your bike by the start of a soggy path heading north-east uphill.

Hut by the Allt Slanaidh and below Beinn a' Chait

Hut by the Allt Slanaidh and below Beinn a' Chait


3. Beinn Mheadhonach

Beinn Mheadhonach comes into view

Beinn Mheadhonach comes into view

Leaving your bike, hike up a rather soggy and tired path making progress through heather as it heads northwards aiming for the col between Elrig and Beinn a' Chait. Approaching this col, Beinn Mheadhonach comes into view ahead, with the path reaching its highest point at around 570m .

Keep following the path as it begins to drop down into Gleann Diridh and ends by a small lochan just north of the remains of an old wall that crosses the glen. Keeping to the western bank of Allt Diridh, some faint deer-trods can be traced while following the river upstream for another 1km or so to a point where it can be crossed safely.

Once on the east bank of the Allt Diridh, continue travelling northwards and pass below some crags on the west face of Beinn Mheadhonach. Beyond the crags, strike directly uphill on Beinn Mheadhonach's steep grassy hillside. A sharp but manageable climb on fairly firm ground, gains 300m of ascent before the gradient begins to ease and Beinn Mheadhonach's flat plateau is reached.

Carn a' Chlamain from Beinn Mheadhonach's summit

Carn a' Chlamain from Beinn Mheadhonach's summit

A small cairn on sits on Beinn Mheadhonach's summit , with another cairn on a rise to the south - worthy of a detour for fine views southwards.

Carn a' Chlamain from Beinn Mheadhonach's summit

Carn a' Chlamain from Beinn Mheadhonach's summit


4. Beinn Bhreac

BeinnBhreac behind Carn a' Chiaraidh

BeinnBhreac behind Carn a' Chiaraidh

From Beinn Mheadhonach's small summit cairn, aim northwards along the Corbett's wide and grass-covered crest for around 1km, dropping to a bealach below Carn a'Chiaraidh. Head up and over the rocky and heathery lump of Carn a'Chiaraidh , then drop down a grassy hillside to reach the heather and peat hag ground east of Elrig 'ic an Toisich.

Keeping to a fairly level traverse, continue northwards - if weather is clear, you'll see Beinn Bhreac ahead. After much tough bounding over peat and through dense heather, Tarf Water is reached below Beinn Bhreac's southern slopes.

Leathad an Taobhain from Beinn Bhreac

Leathad an Taobhain from Beinn Bhreac

Cross Tarf Water (should be easier than the Allt Diridh earlier) and look for a green grassy strip heading up through the heather on Beinn Bhreac's southern lower slopes - hike up this. Stunted heather is crossed for the last haul up onto Beinn Bhreac's broad, grass-covered flat summit plateau, where small tidy cairn of granite boulders sits .

Leathad an Taobhain from Beinn Bhreac

Leathad an Taobhain from Beinn Bhreac


5. Beinn Dearg

Beinn Dearg from the southern slopes of Beinn Bhreac

Beinn Dearg from the southern slopes of Beinn Bhreac

Aim south-west from Beinn Bhreac's summit cairn and begin to descend through more heather. You should be able to find another grassy belt to ease your descent back to Tarf Water around 1km upstream from where it was crossed earlier.

Having crossed the river, Beinn Dearg is directly ahead above more heather. Fortunately the heather ahead is less dense than the eastern flank of Elrig 'ic an Toisich crossed earlier and progress uphill is quite painless.

Straight uphill and onto Beinn Dearg's stone-covered northern top. OS mapping suggests a steep scree ascent for the last 100m or so up this, it's not nearly as frightening or difficult as you'd think. A tiny cairn denotes the summit .

Ahead, a faint path can picked up and followed southwards along Beinn Dearg's wide plateau. Amongst the boulders, Beinn Dearg's summit is marked by a trig point sheltered by a stone dyke.

On Beinn Dearg's summit looking south

On Beinn Dearg's summit looking south

Standing alone high above surrounding moorlands and with a fairly prominent summit, there are fine views to be savoured in all directions from Beinn Dearg's top.

On Beinn Dearg's summit looking south

On Beinn Dearg's summit looking south


6. Return to Glen Tilt

Sharp turn in the track below Beinn Dearg

Sharp turn in the track below Beinn Dearg

From Beinn Dearg's trig point, head south-south-west for 1km on the obvious path down through red granite boulders and stones to a flat grass and heather covered area.

Follow the path as it climbs a little to a small cairn, then further on turns south-east and begins to lose a bit of height. The path comes to the flat area of Meall Dubh nan Dearcag, where a small cairn marks a distinct direction change of the path as it turns south-west.

Staying on the path zig-zags down hill, but incurs an extra 50m of ascent later. Instead, leave the path at the cairn and continue to head south-east, then descend down steep heather-clad slopes into a coire surrounding the higher reaches of the Allt Sheicheachan .

Descending the track back to the Allt Slanaidh

Descending the track back to the Allt Slanaidh

Cross the Allt Sheicheachan and pick up faint path above its southern bank heading south-west. As the path exits the coire, it meets up with a track coming uphill , which is then followed downhill as it converges with the Allt Slanaidh and returns to where your bike was stashed earlier.

Descending the track back to the Allt Slanaidh

Descending the track back to the Allt Slanaidh





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Alternative and nearby routes »


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