Access: Use of a bike makes life so much easier for this, one of the most remote Munros.
It enables the hill to be climbed easily in one day without any camping.
Route: Cycle from Dalwhinnie Station to about 1 mile after Culra Lodge, just after path leaves river edge. The track to Ben Alder Lodge is excellent for cycling: of driveable quality with a smooth compacted surface.
There are two nice approaches to Ben Alder via its north ridge. One is up the NE-most spur which starts at a point with height 848m and involves some very minor scrambling. The other is up an E-facing spur which stretches down to the north end of Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe.
Weather: (Both days) Clear sky, pleasantly warm, light cool breeze, excellent walking weather.
Mobile: Orange on all three tops and at start/end.
|0805||0915||Park at level crossing by Dalwhinnie station. (Orange)||360||0||0.0 miles||NN63368467|
|Cycle track SW along Loch Ericht.
At estate lodge gate
(The Shieling) take path along top of wall on right.
|0845||0955||Continue SW along track to Ben Alder Lodge||370||60||5.6 miles||NN57147879|
|0900||Track WSW/WNW to highest pt||465||155||NN55377857|
|1015||Continue 660yds on track to left at path end||450||7.1 miles||NN54837870|
|Rougher path SW (not driveable) down
to SE bank of Allt a'Chaoil-reidhe.
|0930||1035||Path SW to opposite Culra Lodge||460||190||10.2 miles||NN52407607|
|0930||1050||Leave bike S of bothy where path turns away from river.||480||210||11.0 miles||NN51547506|
|1100||—||EITHER: Ascend NE ridge to pt 848.
There are two routes to here: One is via the path along
the SE bank of the river. A large white painted stone
on a bend at NN515745 marks a small path over to the
ridge. The other approach is via the path on the NW
bank as far as NN503745.
|1130||—||Good path SW up ridge, with 100yds easy scramble,
to top of knife edge ridge/start of plateau.
|1140||—||S to Garbh-choire Beag.||1080||815||13.1 miles||NN50007280|
|—||1125||OR: Continue main path S to Loch a'Bhealaich Bheithe
(Don't cut the corner. It is not worth it.)
|—||1210||Due W up ridge to Garbh-choire Beag||1080||13.1 miles||NN50007280|
|THEN: S/SW to M Ben Alder (battered trig pt)
|SW passed lochan, then S/SSE to col||1080||910||NN49637103|
|1235||1250||SE to top, Sron Bealach Beithe||1105||935||14.7 miles||NN49887078|
|1300||1310||From top head directly SE to bealach.
(Do not continue E to end of ridge; no path seen)
|1320||1330||Path NE to T Sron Coire na h-Iolaire (Orange)||955||1055||15.8 miles||NN51317046|
|1330||NW/NNE to col||885||NN51297105|
|1345||NE to rocky outcrop near summit||980||1150||NN51467135|
|Path N to M Beinn Bheoil (Orange)||1019||1190||16.8 miles||NN51707171|
|Rough stoney ridge N to col||895||17.35 miles||NN51917255|
|—||1440||EITHER: N (little path) to ridge end
then NW to join valley path at corner
|1425||—||OR: WNW to path at end of Loch a'Bhealaich
Bheithe. (Good quality path starts here)
|1450||THEN: Path N to bike near river||480||19.6 miles||NN51547506|
|1505||Cycle NE to path opposite Culra Lodge||460||20.4 miles||NN52407607|
|1525||Path to track||450||23.5 miles||NN54837870|
|1550||NE to highest pt on track||465||1230||NN55377857|
|1600||1535||Cycle E to Ben Alder Lodge||370||25.0 miles||NN57147879|
|1640||1610||Track NE to level crossing in Dalwhinnie (Orange)||360||1250||30.6 miles||NN63368467|