Carn Liath from Braigh Choire Chruinn-bhalgain

Beinn a' Ghlo from Blair Atholl

Hillwalking route on the Munros of Beinn a' Ghlo

Beinn a'Ghlo is a massive and complex mountain towering above Blair Atholl and Glen Tilt. Along its crests are three Munro summits, Carn Liath, Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain and Carn nan Gabhar.

Route outline


Carn Liath, 

Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalagain, 

Carn nan Gabhar

Ascent 1350m (4420ft)
Distance 20km (12m)
Time 7:15hr
Start/finish Loch Moraig
Grid Ref : NN905670
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

Access to the Munro summits on Beinn a' Ghlo is along excellent tracks and contructed paths. The climb up Carn Liath is obvious and direct making this one of the easiest Munros to bag. However, beyond this summit and particularly on the divide separating Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain and Carn nan Gabhar, there are sections of pathless terrain where navigation skills will be tested if mist comes down.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Blair Atholl and the walk start

Start by cattle grid and Loch Moraig

Start by cattle grid and Loch Moraig

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 Monzie and a few other places.

Drive up this road and you'll come to a junction - keep right (marked by a Right-of-Way sign to Glen Tilt). The road climbs uphill and comes to another junction, again keep right and towards Monzie Farm. The road now narrow, goes over a cattle-grid and then into open fields, though fenced off with electric-wires. Near the end of the road there is a parking area by another cattle grid aside Loch Moraig which is partially hidden behind some trees.

2. Carn Liath

Carn Liath's summit trig point

Carn Liath's summit trig point

On foot or bike, leave the parking area and head along the road to the gate by a sharp bend at the end of the public road. Through this gate, its onto an estate track which initially climbs then levels off. After around 1.5km two sheds are reached .

By the sheds, cross a fence via stile to get onto open hillside. Drop slightly on to grassy wet ground and cross a small burn. A path develops - follow this up to an old dyke and continue uphill to its end.

The path leaves the side of the dyke then heads directly up the south-west shoulder of Carn Liath. Over grassy terrain and through heather, higher up, the badly erroded scar as seen from the A9 is reached. Up close the errosion is loose quartzite and doesn't seem as bad as expected.

After around 500m of ascent, the steep gradient easies and a small cairn is met - an indicator that Carn Liath's summit cairn is just 300m further on. Fine views are had in all directions.

On its own, Carn Liath is one of the easiest Munros to bag. To get to Carn Laith's summit requires a mere ascent of 640m. If not intending to bag any other Munro peaks on Beinn a' Ghlo, simply about-turn ad re-trace your footsteps back to Loch Moraig.

3. Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain

Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain from Carn Liath

Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain from Carn Liath

Leave Carn Liath's cairn behind and drop north-west along the wide crest of the hill.

An obvious path is followed as the crest twists aiming north-west, then north-east towards the crest of Beinn Mhaol. Sticking to the crest, the route turns once more north-west and drops to a sharp little bealach .

Ahead is Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain's south-west shoulder and the path continues up this, initially scouring a route uphill through heather. Higher up, heather is left behind and more grassy with occasional stoney ground is crossed as the route following the hill's crest gradually turns northwards. Hiking up, the gradient easies as Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain's summit cairn is neared.

4. Carn nan Gabhar

Carn nan Gabhar's summit from its trig point

Carn nan Gabhar's summit from its trig point

In poor visibility, the route from Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain to Carn nan Gabhar can be tricky to navigate as the wide crest is fairly pathless !

From Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain's summit, drop north-east, then east to a flat grassy area. Continue for a further 300m north-east over a slight rise , then bear east and start to loose height. A path is met to follow down through some scree to Bealach an Fhiodha . A more definite path then heads east gradually climbing uphill to the north end of the col between Airgiod Bheinn and Carn nan Gabhar. From this col, head north-east on a faint path up over grassy ground to a bouldery summit with a cairn . This is not Carn nan Gabhar's summit, neither is the trig point 250m further on.

Around 150m further on from the trig point is Carn nan Gabhar's summit , which is marked by a large tidy cairn. Superb views in all directions.

5. Return to Blair Atholl

Back at the sheds below Carn Liath

Back at the sheds below Carn Liath

From Carn nan Gabhar's summit, head south-west back along the crest, passing the trig point and other cairn and drop to the bealach before the climb up Airgiod Bheinn.

If weather is fine, then continue south-east, then south up to Airgiod Bheinn for more summit views. A descent on a faint path leads down stoney ground then heather the Allt Bealach an Fhiodha .

Alternatively, if weather is poor, from the col between Carn nan Gabhar and Airgriod Bheinn, re-trace your steps back to Bealach an Fhiodha , then follow a rough path downhill keeping above the southern bank of the Allt Bealach an Fhiodha. The path converges with the one coming off Airgiod Bheinn.

A fairly new and well constructed path heads sounth from here and contours around Beinn Bheag. The path crosses the Allt Coire na Saobhaidh and comes to a very sharp corner - to the left (north-east) is a rough route heading towards Beinn Vuirich, to the right (south-west) is the return.

Further on, the path heads around the base of Carn Liath, then meets up with the estate track to follow back to the two sheds and return to Loch Moraig.

Route profile »

Maps and GPX downloads »

Other maps :
Explorer OL51
GPX file(s) :
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No Harvey maps are currently available for this area.

Always carry a decent compass.

Information on maps and GPX files is on this page.

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Alternative and nearby routes »

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