A'Bhuidheanach Bheag from A'Mharconaich

Carn na Caim and A' Bhuidheanach Bheag

Hillwalking route up two Munros east of Drumochter Pass

Carn na Caim, A' Bhuidheanach Bheag are the highest points on the vast expanse east of Drumochter Pass. A fine track leads from the busy A9 onto this expanse, where a line of fence-posts make for straightforward navigation on what would otherwise be very challenging ground.



Route outline


Munros

A' Bhuidheanach Bheag, 

Carn na Caim

Ascent 800m (2620ft)
Distance 16km (10m)
Time 5:30hr
Start/finish 3km south of Dalwhinnie
Grid Ref : NN639821
Terrain
easy hard
Nav
easy hard
Effort
easy hard
Scenery
ok fab


A fine track leads onto the expansive moorland around Carn na Caim and A'Bhuidheanach Bheag. Terrain is fairly easy underfoot, with fence-posts aiding navigation between A'Bhuidheanach Bheag to Carn na Caim. Heather-clad slopes make for a delightful and quick descent at the end of the route.



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Route description


1. Getting to start near Dalwhinnie

On the track heading to A'Bhuidheanach Bheag

On the track heading to A'Bhuidheanach Bheag

This route starts on the east side of the A9, 1km south of the Dalwhinnie junction, where a track heads into a section of forest. There is limited parking available at the roadside here with more in lay-by 87 on the other side of the road a few metres south.


2. A' Bhuidheanach Bheag

A' Bhuidheanach Bheag's summit trig, with Schiehallion distant

A' Bhuidheanach Bheag's summit trig, with Schiehallion distant

From the large gate (often open), go through the planted forest and head up the track.

The track turns south and climbs for 1km, before heading east, then turning south-east for the last 200m ascent up to the plateau.

As it approaches the old quarry, the path seems to disappear into gravel, at this point , contour off to the right (south-east) on a faint path for around 500m. This avoids an unnecessary ascent up to a minor summit (marked 902m on OS maps) and you'll re-join the track again around 300m south of the minor summit, this time beside a line of fence-posts.

Follow the track and fence-posts south, over a bump for 1km to its end , then cross the wet ground and head southwards directly uphill.

After climbing up grassy slopes for another 1km, you should meet up with the line of fence-posts to take you to the summit of A'Bhuidheanach Bheag with its lonely trig point.


3. Carn na Caim

Carn na Caim's summit with Meall Chuaich beyond

Carn na Caim's summit with Meall Chuaich beyond

About-turn at A' Bhuidheanach Bheag's trig point and return north following the fence-posts for 500m to retrace steps downhill from the sharp turn in the fence-line . Rejoin the track heading northwards uphill.

Back over the bump and then where you joined the track, instead continue over the minor summit (marked 902m on OS maps) .

Continue following the fence-posts or track over another minor summit (marked 914m on OS maps) on towards Carn na Caim.

Over undulating ground, around the top of Coire Uilleim , reach a sharp turn in the fence-line just before Carn na Caim's summit. Carn na Caim's summit cairn cannot be seen from the turn in the fence-line, but the worn path on the ground indicates the way.


4. Return to A9 near Dalwhinnie

Following fence posts back along Carn na Caim

Following fence posts back along Carn na Caim

Leave Carn na Caim's summit cairn and retrace your steps for around 1km to the top of Coire Uilleim . Leave the track and begin contouring westwards for around another 1km.

Now keeping to the crest of the shoulder between Coire nan Cisteeachan and Coire Uilleim, enjoy some bounding as you descend over thick heather, back down towards the A9.

Pick up the track and return to the roadside.





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Alternative and nearby routes »


East of Drumochter

Carn na Caim, A'Bhuidheanach Bheag and Meall Chuaich form a linear route on the eastern side of Drumochter Pass. Having a bike or other transport organised will save a long return route as the start and end points are around 11km apart.

Peaks : 3 Munros

Ascent : 1100m (3610ft)
Distance : 25km (16m)
Time : 8:10hr

West of Drumochter Munros

Bags of character and great views, this is a fine high-level route on which to quickly bag the 4 Munros west of the Pass of Drumochter, possibly adding in the Corbett peak of the Sow of Atholl for good measure.

Peaks : 4 Munros, 1 Corbett

Ascent : 1300m (4270ft)
Distance : 24km (15m)
Time : 8:10hr

An Dun and A' Chaoirnich

An enjoyable cycle on estate tracks leads to Loch an Duin from where a fine hike on faint paths and broad crests bags the two remote Corbett peaks of A' Chaoirnich and An Dun.

Peaks : 2 Corbetts

Ascent : 1190m (3900ft)
Distance : 53km (33m)
Time : 5:30hr

Meall na Leithreach from Dalnaspidal

Following estate and ATV tracks, a direct route up Meall na Leitreach covers a distance of only 8km with 450m of ascent. The route can be extended to make a more interesting circuit.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 475m (1560ft)
Distance : 13km (8m)
Time : 4hr









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