Colin's Munros


Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird, maps 36, 43
11th July 2003, 24th May 2007 & 20th April 2016

Route from Linn of Quoich: 2100m = 6900'; 30.5 miles; 15hrs 45mins.
Route from Keiloch: 2030m = 6660'; 30.3 miles; 16hrs.

Access: Either drive 3.9 miles from Linn of Dee to Linn of Quoich and park just before bridge in layby on left, or drive along the A93 to Invercauld, take the turning northwards 300 yards east of the bridge there and park on the right after 300 yds.
Both Routes: This is one of the top ridge walks in Scotland, but it is long and arduous whichever start point is chosen if all the Munro tops are included. One route has Linn of Quoich as the starting point. The other has the rather more usual start in Keiloch. However, apart from the walks in and out, the routes are almost identical. In both cases a bike may be of help for about four miles in each direction, and I used a bike on two of the three occasions.
As usual, the route includes all the Munro Tops. Omission of them will shorten the walk by 10 miles, but this would remove much of the pleasure from the full trip. Beinn a' Bhuird currently has three Munro tops and two deleted tops besides its summit. The southernmost top 1177m is deleted, as is A' Chioch 1151m. These two are adjacent to the Munro top of 1179m at NO092986 which is naturally on both variants of this walk. Likewise, the Munro top Cnap a'Chleirich 1172m is en route. However, Beinn a' Bhuird's remaining Munro top, Stob an t'Sluichd 1107m, requires a detour of 2.2 miles. The ridge out to it provides superb views S and SE into Garbh Choire.
The 12 significant tops of Beinn Avon are widely distributed. Currently, the summit is joined by only 4 others classified as Munro tops, the remaining 7 having been deleted. Two of the Munro tops are down the south ridge, as is one of the deleted tops, and so they are naturally on the circular route. The other two, West Meur Gorm Craig and East Meur Gorm Craig are down the north east ridge, which terminates at Meall Gaineimh 912m and is very appealing for inclusion. These two Munro tops add a further 5.2 miles to the distance, and the return takes one naturally over the deleted top Big Brae. The stacks out SE to Stuc Gharbh Mhor are well worth inclusion; they include three of the deleted tops as well as providing some very short, fun scrambles and fine views. The detour north to the deleted top Stob Bac an Fhurain is well rewarded for the little extra effort by the views. The only other deleted top, Stob Dubh an Eas Bhig at NJ133002, is a barn due south of the summit. It's a short detour to visit, but its deleted status seems well-deserved.
The main escape route, should things turn pear-shaped, is the path heading south from the bealach at NJ11800102 between Beinn a' Bhuird and Beinn Avon. The whole route can be broken into two manageable expeditions at this point, one mountain in each part.
Walk in from Linn of Quoich: One can easily walk or cycle from Linn of Quoich up the track on either the east or west side of Glen Quoich (4.1 or 4.7 miles respectively) as far as the easternmost bend at NO092952 where the track fords the Quoich Water. Note, however, that the Quoich Water may be difficult to cross after rainfall. If this might be an issue, walk up the west side to avoid the need to ford the river before heading up hill. If the Quoich cannot be crossed at the end of the day, the circular walk brings one back to the south side of the ford from which one can walk back to the start. That only becomes a problem if there is a bike or other gear to recover on the north side.
For the walk out from the higher ford on the path at NO11139587 to this track bend and ford, there is a much better path on the north side of the Quoich Water than on the south side.
Walk in from Keiloch: This version is probably marginally preferable to that starting at Linn of Quoich. It only uses the higher ford of the Quoich Water which should be a bit easier than the lower one which the other version might use. Also, the path which is used there between the two fording points is of much lower quality than the constructed paths used in the version starting at Keiloch. The difference in ascents is wholly due to there being fewer detours in the Keiloch variant. However, if the detours were the same for both walks, the Keiloch version would be 1.15 miles longer.
Kit: A head torch should be taken as both routes are very long, even for a summer day; gaiters for wet valley vegetation & poles to help over large amounts of descent.

Route from Linn of Quoich:

Weather 24/05/07: Torch required until 04.00; prolonged rain showers 06.30–12.45; increasing wind from light to strong; in cloud 09.30–12.00.

0515 11/07/03: Depart Braemar on bike 3300.0 milesNO15199146
  Cycle W & cross R. Dee at Victoria Bridge 3353.8 milesNO10228956
  E to Linn of Quoich 3755.2 milesNO11419109
0715 N up W side Glen Quoich to easternmost
bend in track where track crosses
Quoich Water and park bike.
4659.8 milesNO09149524

11/7/0324/5/07 Description Ht.Asc.Dist.Grid Ref.
 2355 Park at Linn of Quoich 330   00.0 milesNO11709102
EITHER Walk a few hundred yards N up the path on the E
bank of the Quoich Water to small house & bridge, then right
up hill to the track. Follow track N for 1 mile. Then fork left
along edge of forestry instead of going up hill. Continue to
eastern-most bend in track. Cross Quoich Water at track ford.
4651854.1 milesNO09219520
0715 — OR Cycle 3.8 miles N up the track on the W bank
of the Quoich Water and then take right fork after bridge.
Continue E to ford at eastern-most bend in track.
4651854.7 milesNO09219520
   (The following mileages assume the shorter east bank route)   4.1 milesNO09219520
THEN Head N up ridge to X Beinn a'Bhuird, south S Top.
(No path visible, & first 500' is thick heather.)
11778805.8 milesNO09029790
08300340 N on plateau to T Beinn a'Bhuird, S Top 11799006.3 milesNO09279864
   NW to main (first) col 1128 6.67 milesNO08889912
N over plateau to M Beinn a'Bhuird, N Top 11979807.7 milesNJ09250059
09500500 NE to T Stob an t'Sluichd (Wartime aircraft remains & memorial) 110710359.6 milesNJ11210274
10250530 Return S/SW, then S/SSE to T Cnap a'Chleirich 1174120511.0 milesNJ10780101
1035  Optional detour S to Cnap a'Chleirich (S top) 1125  NJ109006
11000550 E to bealach 975121511.6 milesNJ11800102
 0615 E up to plateau, then NE to X Ben Avon, SW top 1135138512.2 milesNJ12590135
NE to M Ben Avon, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe,
and ascend stack (on N side) to claim summit.
1171144012.7 milesNJ13190188
11450700 NNE/NE ½ mile to next stack. 1136146013.22 milesNJ13730247
12100720 NE/N/NNW to X Stob Bac an Fhurain 1076147213.9 milesNJ13690332
   Contour round SE/S & partly reascend Mullach Lochan
nan Gabhar before descending to col
985148214.9 milesNJ15090299
12450755 NE to T West Meur Gorm Craig 1023152215.3 milesNJ15360363
13050820 E to stream, then N to T East Meur Gorm Craig 935155216.05 milesNJ15950422
1325 — EITHER: S back to West Meur Gorm Craig 1023  NJ15360363
1355 — Continue to stack Clach Chousaich 1105   NJ14320185
1405 — S to X Stuc Gharbh Mhor 1120  NJ14730125
OR: Cross country via X Big Brae 942m
on direct bearing to X Stuc Gharbh Mhor
1120176718.15 milesNJ14730125
THEN N/NW to stack Clach Chousaich 1105180218.7 milesNJ14320185
14251015 N to stack X Mullach Lochan nan Gabhar 1122183018.85 milesNJ14330214
14351030 N then W to Stack 1136187519.4 milesNJ13730247
14451045 SW back to M Ben Avon, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe 1171193019.9 milesNJ13190188
14551100 SW back to X Ben Avon S. top 1138195520.4 milesNJ12590135
1505 — Optionally SE to stack X Stob Dubh an Eas Bhig 1061   NJ134003
15301130 S to T Carn Eas 1089197521.8 milesNO12259926
   SE down to bealach 905 22.45 milesNO12969851
16101200 SSE to T Creag an Dail Mhor 972204522.67 milesNO13179822
16401240 Ridge WSW then descend W to path junction in valley 610205024.05 milesNO11679672
17351355 Path S/SW back to track ford at Quoich Water 465 26.35 milesNO09219520
18401540 Track W/S/SE back to Parking at Linn of Quoich 330210030.5 milesNO11709102

1735 11/07/03: Bike at Quoich Water ford 465 0.0 milesNO09149524
1840 Cycle S by E bank of Quoich to Linn of Quoich 330 4.2 milesNO11949131
1900 W through Mar Estate to Victoria Bridge 335 5.6 milesNO10228956
1920 E to Braemar 330 9.4 milesNO15199146

Route from Keiloch:

Weather 20/04/16: Warm in sun, very light breeze, cloudless all day except ¾hr from 1700, dry; full moon. Slow progress due to heavy, melting soft snow on plateau above 3000ft. Wasted over an hour following wrong turn on bike up a forest track.

20/4/16 Description Ht.Asc.Dist.Grid Ref.
2355 Park at Keiloch 320   00.0 milesNO18819119
  Track NW to Invercauld Ho
(Straight on after 300m)
345251.25 milesNO17439255
  Left at Altdourie 360401.9 milesNO16649318
  Incorrctly turned right here instead of going straight on. 350 502.25 milesNO16109326
  Took wrong track uphill to its end      
0620 Descended back to valley path. (Wrong turn cost ~1hr) 350   NO16109326
0725 Leave bike at path split
(Not worth the effort of ascending steep section)
4801804.6 milesNO12909500
0745 Follow track up E bank to ruin 5752755.22 milesNO11939520
0755 Path E to bealach 5952955.4 milesNO11759547
0800 Track NW for 300m to path at corner 5902955.6 milesNO11559569
0815 NW to tricky ford on path 535 5.9 milesNO11119588
0905 Path NW/N to end on col
(Lost path over ½mile between river and mountain)
7605207.05 milesNO10199707
1030 NNW over small bump to T A'Chioch 11799408.2 milesNO09279864
  NW to main (first) col 1128 8.6 milesNO08889912
N over plateau to M Beinn a'Bhuird, N Top 119710159.6 milesNJ09250059
1220 NE to T Stob an t'Sluichd
(Wartime aircraft remains & memorial)
1107107011.5 milesNJ11210274
1315 Return S/SW, then S/SSE to T Cnap a'Chleirich 1174124012.9 milesNJ10780101
E to bealach, “The Sneck” 986125513.5 milesNJ11800102
  E up to plateau, then NE to X Ben Avon, SW top 1138142014.1 milesNJ12590135
1500 NE to M Ben Avon, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe,
and ascend stack (on N side) to claim summit.
1171147714.6 milesNJ13190188
1525 NNE/NE ½ mile to next stack. 1136150015.1 milesNJ13730247
  NE/ENE to col 983151016.1 milesNJ15090299
1600 NE to T West Meur Gorm Craig 1023155016.5 milesNJ15360363
1615 E to stream 905 16.85 milesNJ15920362
N to T East Meur Gorm Craig 935158017.25 milesNJ15950422
1325 S back to stream 905 17.6 milesNJ15920362
1645 S to near X Big Brae 942161517.8 milesNJ15840330
1700 W back to col 983165518.7 milesNJ15090299
1715 WSW to ridge end 1075175018.6 milesNJ14640284
  SW/WSW to Stack 1136182019.25 milesNJ13730247
1750 SW back to M Ben Avon, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe 1171187519.8 milesNJ13190188
1805 SW back to X Ben Avon S. top 1138190020.3 milesNJ12590135
  SE to col 1067 21.0 milesNJ12520024
SSW to T Carn Eas 1089192021.65 milesNO12259926
1915 SE down to bealach 905 22.3 milesNO12969851
1930 SSE to T Creag an Dail Mhor 972199022.55 milesNO13179822
2000 Ridge WSW then descend W to path junction in valley 62023.7 milesNO11679672
2005 Path S to cairn at first split 610199523.9 milesNO11679672
2015 Path S to second split 580199524.4 milesNO11629592
2025 Path S to bealach 595201024.75 milesNO11759547
2030 Track SE round to above ruin 600 24.95 milesNO11989527
E to bike at path split. 480 25.55 milesNO12909500
  Cycle on track by moonlight SE to forest 395 27.25 milesNO15189413
  Track SE to Altdourie 360 28.4 milesNO16649318
2150 Track SE back to Keiloch car park 320203030.3 milesNO18819119

Previous Top Next