Creag Rainich from the east

Creag Rainich from Loch a' Bhraoin

Hillwalking route from Loch a' Bhraoin up the Corbett Creag Rainich

Bagging the grass-covered Corbett hill of Creag Rainich is fairly straightforward if taking a hillwalking route from Loch a' Bhraoin.



Route outline


Corbetts

Creag Rainich

Ascent 840m (2750ft)
Distance 17km (11m)
Time 5:40hr
Start/finish Near Loch a' Bhraoin
Grid Ref : NH161762
Terrain
easy hard
Nav
easy hard
Effort
easy hard
Scenery
ok fab


Creag Rainich is a rather modest and retiring hill standing alone amongst some fine scenery on the eastern edge of Fisherfield.

The approach from the 'destitution road' is the most direct and follows the track above thenorthern shore of Loch a' Bhraoin with a return along Creag Rainich's grass-covered eastern shoulder to Meall an t-Sithe.

If in Fisherfield, perhaps camping with an aim to bag the Fisherfield Big 6 over a day or two, a hike up Creag Rainich from the woodland near Achnegie makes for a lovely way to spend a few hours hiking past some waterfalls approach the summit from the north.



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Route description


1. Getting to Loch a' Bhraoin

Start point heading to Loch a' Bhraoin

Start point heading to Loch a' Bhraoin

Around 12km south of Ullapool, the A832 branches off the main A835 at Braemore junction. This road climbs over moorland and drops to Dundonnell at the southern tip of Little Loch Broom and continues on toward Gairloch.

Around 6km west of Braemore Junction, the A832 sweeps past some forestry, turns north-west and climbs uphill. There is the head of an estate track by the forestry, just west of which is a parking area with room for around 10 vehicles. There is more parking further up the road.


2. Creag Rainich

Lochivraon

Lochivraon

From the parking area, head back downhill towards the top of the estate track, beside which is a right-of-way sign pointing to Loch a' Bhraoin.

Follow this track past forestry until a split in the track is met, not marked on the OS maps. To the left is a bridge and the recently diverted route through forestry and onward to the Fannichs, straight on is to the ruins of an estate lodge with boat-house and to the right is the diverted right-of-way to Loch a' Bhraoin.

Take the right fork and head down to Loch a'Bhraoin's shoreline , then follow the estate track as it travels westwards above the northern banks of the loch.

After hiking for around 5km, with the Graham twins of Groban and Beinn Bheag in view ahead for much of the way, the house and shed of Lochivraon are reached.

Leave the track and strike directly uphill. The hillside is grass-covered and rises gently and consistently for 450m, crossing the remains of a couple of fence-lines on the way.

A small lochan is reached, with the minor summit of Meall Dubh just above. Meall Dubh can be bypassed or gone over to meet with some soggy ground and more lochans (well puddles more like). A final pull up more grassy slopes gains Creag Rainich's summit with its exposed trig point constructed of stones.

On Creag Rainich's summit, Fannichs beyond

On Creag Rainich's summit, Fannichs beyond

A short 150m detour west of Creag Rainich's summit trig point reaches a spot where rather fine views open up to Fisherfield and in particular, the slabs of Sgurr Ban.

On Creag Rainich's summit, Fannichs beyond

On Creag Rainich's summit, Fannichs beyond


3. Return via Meall an t-Sithe

Looking to Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair from Creag Rainich

Looking to Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair from Creag Rainich

If mist is shrouding the tops, the easier and less taxing option is to return the way taken up.

If weather is fine, then instead a continuation along Creag Rainich's eastern crest is to be recommended. This return route is on grass-covered crests, pathless for the most part and quite soggy in bits. In clear conditions navigation is straightforward while enjoying views all round.

To begin a return, re-trace your steps from Creag Rainich's summit over Meall Dubh and to the lochan below its summit.

From the lochan turn north-east and follow the wide grass-covered crest downhill for around 2km to a wide bealach. A slight rise ahead is followed by another drop, where keeping slightly to the south of the crest, deer-trods can be picked up and traced onwards. A short final rise up more grass-covered slopes with some rock reaches the cairn on Meall an t-Sithe summit for one last viewpoint.

Meall an t-Sithe

Meall an t-Sithe

Leaving Meall an t-Sithe behind, initially head south to lose a little height before turning in a more easterly direction to descend to grassy and soggy moorland which is crossed directly back to the layby on the roadside.

Meall an t-Sithe

Meall an t-Sithe


4. Alternative route from Strath na Sealga

Creag Rainich from Strath na Sealga

Creag Rainich from Strath na Sealga

The first time I ended up on the summit of Creag Rainich, we'd been camping in the woodland near Achnegie with the main aim of bagging the Fisherfield Big 6 Munros the next day (it was 1992 and Beinn a' Chlaidheimh hadn't yet been demoted to the Corbett list).

Arriving at camp, we had plenty of daylight left, so a couple of us hiked up Creag Rainich via the Allt nan Righreaon , over Am Fireach and up the shoulder on the western side of Coire na Creag Rainich. Terrain was mainly grass covered and pathless, with the initial climb aside the Allt nan Righreaon through heather.

Not the most exciting of hills or routes, but certainly a fine way to pass a few hours in Fisherfield.





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Alternative and nearby routes »


Fisherfield Big 6

The 5 Munros in Fisherfield, along with the Corbett Beinn a'Chlaidheimh (which used to be a Munro), are affectionately known as the 'Fisherfield Big 6'. Although most hikers backpack in and bag the peaks over two or three days, it is quite feasable to bag them in a day, particularly with the help of a bike on the track in.

Peaks : 5 Munros, 1 Corbett, plus option of more !

Ascent : 2905m (9530ft)
Distance : 44km (27m)
Time : 12:15hr

Western Fannichs

The 5 Munros in the west of the Fannichs mountain range can be approached from the 'destitution road' by the head of Loch a' Bhraoin. On paths most of the way, much of the route traces ridges above steep sided corries. The route can be extended to bag all 9 Munros in the Fannichs.

Peaks : 5 Munros

Ascent : 1840m (6040ft)
Distance : 23km (14m)
Time : 8:50hr

Beinn Enaiglair from Braemore

On the edge of Inverlael, estate tracks lead to the base of Beinn Enaiglair, from where a pathless circular route travels over heather and grass covered slopes to arrive at fine viewpoints.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 740m (2430ft)
Distance : 12km (7m)
Time : 4:15hr









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