From Spean Bridge take the A86 north for 1 mile to the Comando memorial,
then left (west) onto the B8004.
Take right onto B8005 at Gairlochy after crossing the Caledonian Canal.
Go sharp left at Clunes; then 1.8 miles to start of L. Arkaig.
Then a further 12.4 miles along N side of loch.
Drive as far as possible towards Glendessary,
parking by gate at end of public road NM98769158.
Route: This is a very long walk, but there are several ways to shorten it. In particular, as in Route C, the ridge including the Corbett tops An Eag and Sgurr Beag, the Munro Sgurr Mor and the Corbett Sgurr an Fhuarain might well be done separately, saving 925m of ascent and 5 miles distance on the day, leaving just a reasonable 15 miles and 1500m ascent. With that saving, one could instead go from An Eag over to the Corbett Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoigh, 835m, as in Route B. This yields a slightly shorter walk of 14.6 miles with 1760m ascent. Sgurr Mor with its neighbouring Corbett is given in route D above. For those with an eye to a Corbett completion, adding in the Corbetts in this way saves a lot of ascent in the future.
Note that there are other sensible starting points for Sgurr na Ciche such as Camusrory.
The paths in the valleys (as opposed to the tracks) are often so poor as to be harder than going cross country. It may be better to follow the track on the opposite side of Glen Dessary, by taking the (poorish) left path at Upper Glendessary House, as described below for 24/5/10. (See the SMC Munro guide book.)
Conditions 25/04/06: Strong gusty winds all day (gales), frequent heavy showers of hail. 10°C at car, cloud base 900m in am, then 1000m in pm. Deep, soft wet snow above 800m. Very hard going underfoot at all levels as well as hard weather conditions.
Conditions 24/05/10: Some light drizzle early morning for an hour, else long sunny periods, especially pm. Cloud above tops. 11°C. Stiff cool breeze.
|0530||0450||Park at gate just short of Strathan Barracks||60||0||0.0 miles||NM98779160||No Orange|
|0550||0500||Track W to split above Strathan||65||0.45 miles||NM98059150|
|0610||0520||Track NW to Glendessary Lodge entrance||90||45||1.7 miles||NM96629264|
|0635||0540||Track WNW to Upper Glendessary House.||105||65||2.7 miles||NM95189312|
|0650||—||EITHER Take right path above house NW to
start of forest (not the left one towards river.)
|0725||—||Bridge over Allt Coire nan Uth
(This is down at the forest edge.)
|0745||—||Continue to path join at end of forest||260||235||4.87 miles||NM92309448|
|—||0555||Or (preferred) Left on boggy path to river ftbr
(100m upstream of vehicle ford)
|—||0600||Cross bridge to track, then
right on track to forest edge
(Very boggy in places)
|—||0610||W to highest point on track||135||105||4.04 miles||NM93169297|
|Excellent track W in forest to bridge
(Good for cycling)
|—||0630||Cross bridge & take path by river to path split||140||125||4.7 miles||NM92679328|
|—||0645||Follow R branch NW to path join after forest||260||245||5.3 miles||NM92309448|
|0815||0710||Then WNW to path split near watershed||300||275||5.5 miles||NM91439488|
|0900||0750||Track NW to shoulder of Garbh Chioch Mhor||625||600||6.35 miles||NM90439547|
|0805||Path N under Garbh Chioch Mhor
to Allt Coire na Ciche
|Path NE up stream (gorge) to bealach
(Feadan na Ciche)
|0855||Follow gulleys to left of wall, first W then N
up screes to cairn where path attains ridge
|Ridge WNW to M Sgurr na Ciche
(No trig post; only the plinth remains.)
|1050||0925||E then S back to bealach Feadan na Ciche||845||7.55 miles||NM90629647|
|0930||Follow stone wall S to lochan||895||1065||7.25 miles||NM90679628|
|1110||Follow wall SE to Garbh Chioch Mhor, W top.||1005||1185||7.8 miles||NM90829611|
|E to M Garbh Chioch Mhor||1013||1195||7.9 miles||NM90959606||Orange|
|1130||300m E to minor top||975||1205||8.07 miles||NM91239611|
|200m E to col||940||8.15 miles||NM91379611|
|1145||1015||SE/E to T Garbh Chioch Bheag||968||1230||8.45 miles||NM91809590|
|ESE to minor col||805||8.9 miles||NM92439563|
|1215||100m E to minor top (Garbh Chioch Bheag on map)||825||1255||8.95 miles||NM92529561|
|250m E down to Bealach Coire nan Gall||733||9.15 miles||NM92779560|
|1255||1130||NE to M Sgurr nan Coireachan
(Option to descend ridge due S & return,
giving a total walk of 1500m ascent; 10 miles.)
|440m NE along summit ridge||920||9.7 miles||NM93549611|
|1200||Descend ESE to col Feadan na h-Urchaireach||785||9.95 miles||NM93989596|
|1335||1210||400m ESE to An Eag||873||1560||10.25 miles||NM94349587||Orange|
|1405||1230||NE to bealach (at path traversal)||662||10.9 miles||NM95179642|
|1430||1300||NE to Sgurr Beag||890||1795||11.5 miles||NM95919709|
|NE to col||745||11.8 miles||NM96239744|
|NE to M Sgurr Mor||1003||2055||12.2 miles||NM96529804||Orange|
|1545||—||Either: SW back to col.
(Also possible to go on to next col to descend.)
Descend SE to R. Kingie just below double bend
(heading directly for pass at NM975950.)
|—||Or: E to E top||980||12.4 miles||NM96839803|
|—||1425||SE to col||715||12.95 miles||NM97539757|
|Optionally ENE to C Sgurr an Fhuarain (trig pt)
(Good well built cairn and trig post still complete.)
|—||Return WSW almost to col|
|S down slope to River Kingie||200||15.3 miles||NM97869630|
|1700||1655||Then: Ford R. Kingie
(hard to keep dry feet
when in spate) then SSE to watershed.
|1745||1735||Join path by Allt na Feithe (stay on W bank),
then S to road by Glendessary House
|1810||1800||Road SE to split above Strathan||70||2410||19.0 miles||NM98059150|
|1820||1810||Track E to parking at gate over road.||60||2420||19.45 miles||NM98779160||No Orange|