Route: An extended version of this walk, which includes the Munros Beinn a' Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac,
is given on the previous page. No-one climbing Beinn Mheadhoin should omit
the Munro top Stacan Dubha. It requires virtually no extra effort – perhaps 25m more ascent –
but has wonderful views, particularly over Loch Avon and its surrounding mountains and cliffs.
Except in strong winds, the summit stack or barn of Beinn Mheadhoin is straightforward to ascend.
Just go round it until an easy route is found.
If taking the western path up Glen Derry, you can start off up the wheeled vehicle track but take care to go right at the rather indistinct fork at NO04149379 for otherwise you will continue onto a rather boggy ATV track one or two hundred yards to the west of the walkers' path. However, note also that the upper bridge over the Derry Burn at NO03979577 is officially closed. (Last checked in March 2019.) It is described as dangerous, apparently because of flood damage to the eastern pier (see CairngormWanderer).
The OS 1:25k map shows two enclosures without trees in Glen Derry. The surrounding deer fences have been removed and there are now mature scots pines there.
North of these plantations, there is a potentially difficult ford of the Glas Allt Mor at NO03599869 where a bridge is surely needed. Otherwise, be aware that weather conditions such as high winds can make it dangerous to ascend the exposed summit barn of Beinn Mheadhoin.
Evaluation: Stacan Dubha is arguably the best of all the Munro tops for views. Some of the above photographs were taken from there, and I would certainly ensure to include the top on every return visit to Beinn Mheadhoin.
Weather: Warm with sunny intervals; 30 mins (12:20-12:50) with cloud down to 4000' & light drizzle. Cool, strong breeze on top.
Access: Bike used but only helpful from Linn of Dee to Derry Lodge. The time & effort to go much further was not worth it, especially as path construction has made crossing burns very difficult without dismounting. The authorities should re-build these paths. Mountain bikers are not a problem here, and the paths are unnecessarily difficult for the disabled. I cycled as far up Glen Derry as possible (to N end of second plantation) but it is probably faster/easier by only cycling to a little beyond Derry Lodge. I would expect to walk that track at about 3mph, so I saved only about 20 minutes by cycling beyond Derry Lodge, and it took more mental and physical effort than walking, leaving less time and opportunity to enjoy the scenery of that most beautiful of glens.
|0925||Park at Linn of Dee||375||0||0.0 miles||NO0627289820|
|0935||Cycle to bridge over Lui Water||400||42||1.2 miles||NO06359145|
|0955||Cycle to Derry Lodge||425||72||3.1 miles||NO0410793414|
|1025||Cross to W side of Derry Burn & path N up Glen
Derry. (The E side is probably marginally easier.)
Cycle N to footbridge over Derry Burn (unsafe?)
|1055||Leave bike 110yds N of 2nd plantation||535||190||6.3 miles|
|1105||Path N up Glen Derry to split||600||250||0.55 miles||NO03539905|
|Path N up Lairig an Laoigh to boundary||740||395||1.4 miles||NJ0333100490|
|1205||Branch WNW (steep but easy ascent) to
T Stob Coire Etchachan NJ024005
|NW to col||1056||2.2 miles||NJ02180068|
|Contour round N and up to col||1144||825||2.65 miles||NJ02280144|
|1230||N to M Beinn Mheadhoin and ascend barn.||1182||860||2.87 miles||NJ02460169|
|Return SSW to col||1144||3.1 miles||NJ02280144|
|SSW skirting top with barn, then W to col||1147||3.3 miles||NJ02020123|
|1250||SW to Beinn Mheadhoin S top (cairn)||1163||880||3.4 miles||NJ01850117|
SW for 250yds, then down easy fast "scree"
composed of coarse granite sand to col.
|1305||NW to T Stacan Dubha||1013||905||4.0 miles||NJ01190153|
|1325||S to path at county boundary, then SSE to
path confluence at Little Loch Etchachan
|1340||Path ESE down to Hutchison Memorial Hut||700||5.55 miles||NO0229999792|
|1355||E to footbridge||625||6.15 miles||NO03209948|
|1400||SE to junction with Lairig an Laoigh path||600||6.55 miles||NO0353599050|
|1410||Path S to bike near deer fence enclosure.||535||915||7.1 miles|
|1435||Cycle S to level with bridge over Derry.||520||935||1.55 miles||NO04059578|
|1455||Take track on E bank to Derry Lodge||425||955||3.4 miles||NO0410793414|
|1510||S to bridge over Lui Water||400||955||5.3 miles||NO06359145|
|1520||P at Linn of Dee||375||970||6.5 miles||NO0627289820|