Walk: Beinn a' Ghlo-rious
|[Lesser-known Airgiod Bheinn provides a steep descent to the long stalkers' path back to the start (foreground)]|
This is a Cairngorms classic. More massif than mountain, Beinn a' Ghlo comprises a fine trio of Munros along a magnificent, sinuous and initially hidden ridge above Blair Atholl, surrounded by no less than 19 coires. In fact this is probably the best ridge walk in the southern Cairngorms, with easy high-level walking bookended by a steep ascent and descent. Airgiod Bheinn's sculpted form is the silver lining in the long return, literally - the name translates as Silver Hill. Speaking of the return, half of the 6 km home run along the valley floor is on a soft stalkers' path which provides a relaxing finish if the ground is dry, but notorious for bog following heavy rain.
|[Midway along the ridge, looking towards Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain (left) and Carn nan Gabhar (right distance)]|
Name: Walk: Beinn a' Ghlo-rious ★★★★☆
Length: 22 km / 14 miles
Ascent: 1300 metres
Main summits: Carn Liath (976 metres, Munro); Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain (1070 metres, Munro); Carn nan Gabhar (1121 metres, Munro); Airgiod Bheinn (1061 metres)
Start / finish: Car park at end of minor road by Loch Moraig, G.R.: NN 906671 ///ever.merely.classics
Route: Car park - Carn Liath - Beinn Mhaol - Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain - Bealach an Fhiodha - Carn nan Gabhar - Airgiod Bheinn - cross Allt na Beinne Bige north-east of Beinn Bheag - start
Terrain: Track near car park, otherwise paths throughout. Two soggy creeks to be crossed / jumped after leaving track at a wooden hut; long return from Airgiod Bheinn potentially boggy. Steep, loose gradients to Carn Liath and from Airgiod Bheinn. Otherwise excellent ridge walking, although path briefly faint before Bealach an Fhiodha.
Wildlife today: Roaring of stags and later gunfire in the coires either side of the ridge - stalking season! Thousands of migrating birds on the drive to the start. Grouse calls, numerous spindly spiders.
Weather today: Murky and overcast to west, sunshine to east, and light winds. Temperatures in single figures until late in the day.
|[The first summit, Carn Liath, seen from near the start]|
Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)