Access: The road through Glen Strathfarrar is private with a locked gate at Inchmore some 500m from Struy Bridge. Entry to the glen is given by a gatekeeper who lives in the cottage next to the gate. There are no problems at any time for either walkers or cyclists but cars are only allowed limited access. Roughly, vehicular access is only while British Summer Time is in force, and excludes Tuesdays and the morning of Wednesdays. Otherwise, opening is always at 9am but closing is at 6pm (Apr, Oct), 7pm (May, Sept) or 8pm (June, July, Aug) according to the month. Precise details are arranged by Mountaineering Scotland and advertised here. Also, there is a limit of 25 vehicles allowed in the glen. The gatehouse was closed for lunch 1300–1330 when I was last there, but that may have changed. (The glen is apparently maintained by Scottish National Heritage, but they do not seem to publicise official opening times or any long term commitment to allow vehicular access.) Traditionally there is no deer stalking on Sundays, but it might be a problem on other days during the stag stalking season (1st July to 20th October) – see here.
The road along Glen Strathfarrar is metalled as far as the parking point by the power station at NH183381,
which is the farthest point that vehicular access is currently allowed and the starting point for this walk.
It is an 18 mile drive which takes one over the two dams of Loch Monar and takes about 45 minutes each way.
I had to move quickly to complete the walk within the opening hours of the estate.
Another choice to complete these Munros involves starting from the dam at Loch Mullardoch – see here – and involves either a two-day circuit of Loch Mullardoch or a long walk out at the end of the day along the north shore of the loch. Although the latter is a 20 mile walk, such a route would give greater flexibility timewise, there is better provision of paths, and the scenery is arguably better.
Weather: Cloud at 900m; Rain 13:00-14:00; Snow at 15:00 for 10 mins.
|0915||From Struy, take Glen Strathfarrar road
to gatehouse, and collect permit
|1000||Drive 18 miles along road passed Monar Dams
to power station where metalled road stops.
|1015||Track W to sluice/dam, 1km above power station.||245||30||0.7 miles||NH17273793|
|1115||Path WSW along N side of Allt an Fheadain to path end||500||285||3.0 miles||NH13823658|
|1130||WSW to watershed||525||310||3.5 miles||NH13233626|
|Head SW directly for An Socach, contouring upwards
into Coire Gorm Mor.
|1300||Either: Ascend S to Bealach Bholla||860||645||5.87 miles||NH11053350|
|1330||then W to M An Socach trig pt||1069||(875)||(6.5 miles)||NH10053327|
|—||Or (preferred): Ascend W to ridge, then
S to M An Socach trig pt
|1355||Then: ENE to Bealach Bholla||860||875||7.1 miles||NH11053350|
|1420||E/NE to T An Riabhachan W Top||1040||1055||7.57 miles||NH11683384|
|SE to col||1005||7/75 miles||NH11923365|
|1435||SE to T An Riabhachan SW Top||1086||1140||8.0 miles||NH12293362|
|NE to col||1060||8.15 miles||NH12473373|
|1500||NE to M An Riabhachan (main top)||1129||1210||8.9 miles||NH13373449|
|Continue ENE to col||1105||9.05 miles||NH13593469|
|1510||ENE to An Riabhachan NE Top at ridge end||1117||1230||9.3 miles||NH13943480|
|Descend due N then NE to Meall Garbh||830||9.85 miles||NH14143558|
|1600||Steep, mossy descent NE to plateau, then
deep peat bog over to path at plateau edge (or
head down further north before turning east to path).
|1615||Path NW down to ford Allt an-Fheadain||350||11.25 miles||NH15703705|
|1625||Cross river to path junction||350||1235||11.5 miles||NH15943732|
|1645||Path ENE to sluice/dam at top of track||240||12.4 miles||NH17273793|
|Track E to parking by power station||215||1235||13.1 miles||NH18313814|