Colin's Munros


Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich & Lurg Mhor, Map 25
23rd July 2005, 6th Nov 2008 & 28-30th June 2016.

Route 1 (Craig): Ascent: 2100m = 6900'; 18½ miles (7 possible on bike); 10hrs.
Route 2 (Attadale): Ascent: 2020m = 6625'; 24¼ miles (15 possible on bike); 12hrs.

Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich from Beinn Tharsuinn. Lurg Mhor from Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich. Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich from Lurg Mhor.

N.B. (For those doing Munro tops:) The ridge between the tops of Lurg Mhor (the summit and Meall Mor) requires scrambling over rocks which become very slippery when wet. It is much shorter than Aonach Eagach, but of comparable difficulty. The crux is on the west side of the main col between the two ends of the summit ridge. If necessary, it can be avoided by descending sufficiently on the south side and crossing over to or from the south ridge below the main summit.

Choices. There are two possible starting points for these Munros: Craig or Attadale. That from Craig almost inevitably includes the Corbett Beinn Tharsuinn whereas that from Attadale has the Corbett Beinn Dronaig as an optional extra.
For those not interested in the Munro top Meall Mor at the eastern end of Lurg Mhor, a start from Attadale avoids all difficulties. Although several miles longer, there is a huge saving of 570m ascent, the extra miles are along good tracks, and there is less walking on hills. With such a start, the total effort is much less, and adding the Munro top is not excluded.
In 2016 work was being done on a local hydro scheme and the track to Bendronaig lodge was widened with large, loose, rough stones, making cycling along it rather hard. However, it is now re-surfaced with finer material and compacted so that cycling issues are reduced to several rather steep sections where one may be forced to dismount.
Although cycling is possible from Craig to Pollan Buidhe, it is very strenuous and the effort does not seem worthwhile.

Route 1 (from Craig)
Access: Parking is in the trees 25 yards up a track off the A890 at NH04034924 opposite the level crossing at Craig.
Route: Despite the extra ascent, the route from Craig seems to offer more interest and perhaps better mountain scenery, although Loch Calavie is certainly a beautiful sight on the Attadale route. From Craig the walk can be navigated in either direction, each with advantages and disadvantages.
The route makes a challenging day, especially if wet with low cloud. It is not for the faint-hearted as the Munro top of Lurg Mhor is an integral part and the northern slopes of Lurg Mhor are steep. The Corbett Beinn Tharsuinn is also a natural part, as it is difficult to avoid on a necessarily circular route. There are three problem areas for route finding and/or negotiation:
    i) the wire bridge at Pollan Buidhe;
    ii) the N ridge of Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich;
    iii) the N slope of Lurg Mhor; and
    iv) the traverse between the tops of Lurg Mhor.
These are described in a little detail next.
First, in June 2016 the wire bridge at Pollan Buidhe was unstable due to erosion and strain on the foundations at one end. The wires were therefore too slack and not capable of supporting sufficient tension beyond being an aid to fording the river. It is worth checking the internet in advance for any recent repairs if a crossing after heavy rain is expected. WalkHighlands recommends fording the river slightly higher up at NH07644658.
Secondly, the north face of Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich has an intimidating band of cliffs between altitudes 720m and 780m. The path seems to disappear at the cliff base without further progress being possible. However, from the bealach with Beinn Tharsuinn, ascend the path first by the dike, then zigzag directly up, and eventually go up a crack to the base of the main cliff wall, where the path disappears. Go left horizontally until a steep, airy but easy path is found going diagonally right up a grassy gully. The rest of the ascent is completely straight-forward. Descent of this section is easy as a cairn marks where the path descends the grass gully.
Thirdly, the northern slope of Lurg Mhor is very steep and slippery when wet. It has numerous small cliffs, little more than a few feet high, which are difficult to see on descent. This is mainly between 550m and 700m altitude, but it helps to follow a NNE line rather than a N line from the summit of Meall Mor. More specifically, keep east of the burn which runs north from between the two tops. Possibly easiest is the gully running NNE from 500m east of the top of Meall Mor.
Fourthly, the traverse from the summit of Lurg Mhor to its Munro top Meall Mor is rather tricky at the descent eastwards down to the main col. Some scrambling is necessary but it is difficult to spot the footholds from above. It is much easier in the east to west direction when one should keep to the crest of the ridge. As noted above, an escape is possible by descending on the south side. In the anti-clockwise direction, Meall Mor can be omitted entirely by returning from the summit of Lurg Mhor to the NW end of the bealach with Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich, and then continuing with a descent north-eastwards. This option is also available in the opposite direction.
Weather 23/7/05: Hot dry day. Cloudy with many long sunny intervals.

0825 Park at P on A890 at Craig  85   00.0 milesNH03984926
0835 Cross railway and bike track E to
bridge over R. Carron
 65    50.6 milesNH04784930
0910 ESE to highest pt on track. 2852252.1 milesNH06894867
  Track SSE to lowest pt 260 2.6 milesNH07154802
0925 Track S to path at Pollan Buidhe & leave bike. 2702503.4 milesNH07394682
0930 Walk path S from track to wire bridge
over Allt a'Chonais.
2852653.6 milesNH07484664
1015 Path S/SW to Bealach Bhearnais 5955705.3 milesNH06004490
1100 SW up ridge to C Beinn Tharsuinn 8639156.6 milesNH05524334
1135 SW to lochan & col, then down to bealach 5459157.5 milesNH04664233
  Ascend path SSE to top (See details above) 85212307.9 milesNH04894175
1230 S to M Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich 94513458.25 milesNH04924126
1250 SE to bealach 735 8.8 milesNH05454069
1315 SE/E to M Lurg Mhor 98616059.5 milesNH06494046
  SE/E to col (tricky descent) 915 9.7 milesNH06794039
ENE to T Meall Mor   (See remarks above) 974165010.0 milesNH07234059
1450 Direct descent due N to the river at
about 270m.   (See remarks above.)
270 10.7 milesNH07034177
  Path N by Allt Bealach Crudhain to
Bealach Crudhain
637201512.8 milesNH06234477
1630 NW to path at Bealach Bhearnais 596 12.95 milesNH06004490
1730 Path NE to wire bridge at Pollan Buidhe 285 14.65 milesNH07484664
1740 Path N to collect bike at track 270 14.8 milesNH07394682
  Cycle N to lowest pt on track 255 15.6 milesNH07154802
  Walk N with bike to highest pt 285205016.15 milesNH06894867
1835 Return at walking speed to Craig car park.
(Could have cycled.)
  85208518.2 milesNH03984926

Route 6/11/08: This version is taken in the opposite direction from the version above. Note the various comments above about the route. A torch was necessary at this time of year, with sunrise at approx 0730 & sunset at approx 1630.
Weather 6/11/08: 6°C at car at start; clouds down on all tops & ridges. Dry, light fresh breeze.

0555 Parking at P on A890 at Craig  85    00.0 milesNH03984926
0605 Cross railway and take track E to
bridge over R. Carron
 65    50.6 milesNH04784930
  Take left fork after bridge, then
left fork after further ½ mile
1651051.3 milesNH05794907
0635 Continue up track to gate in deer fence 2551951.9 milesNH06684873
0640 Track ESE to highest pt on track. 2852202.1 milesNH06894867
  Track SSE to lowest pt 255 2.6 milesNH07154802
  Track S to first wire bridge. (If this is used,
gloves are needed as the upper wire is thin.)
255 3.2 milesNH0722247096
0710 Track S to path for 2nd wire bridge. 2752503.4 milesNH0740846833
Path S from track to 2nd wire bridge over Allt
2852653.6 milesNH07484664
0810 Path SW to Bealach Bhearnais 5955705.3 milesNH06004490
0820 Path SE to Bealach Crudhain 640600 milesNH06234477
0915 Path SSE on E side of Bealach Crudhain to
ford Allt Bealach Crudhain at about 280m
280 7.0 milesNH07264247
0920 Cross 1st path      
0925 Cross 2nd path      
0930 Cross Allt Bealach an Sgoltaidh 250 7.45 milesNH07364182
1105 Steep ascent due S up diagonal gully to Ridge
(There are alternatives: easier
ascent further E, many more cliffs further W.)
88012408.3 milesNH07764076
WSW to T Meall Mor 97413358.6 milesNH07234059
  Interesting ridge with some minor scrambling
E to Col (difficult if wet – see above)
915 8.95 milesNH06794039
W to M Lurg Mhor 98613959.1 milesNH06494046
1220 W/NW to bealach 735 9.8 milesNH05454069
NW/NNE to M Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich 945161510.3 milesNH04924126
1305 N to lochan on col 825 10.6 milesNH05004163
  S to top 852163510.7 milesNH04894175
1320 Due N to cairn at cliff top      
1345 Taking time to zig-zag back and forth to
find path as necessary, path down gullies SW
to path through dike at Bealach an Sgoltaidh
545 11.1 milesNH04664233
1415 NNE to col on Beinn Tharsuinn 700179511.5 milesNH04924291
1430 E to lochan 765185511.8 milesNH05334303
N to C Beinn Tharsuinn 863196012.0 milesNH05524334
  NNW to col 775 12.25 milesNH05404372
1500 N to top 817200012.35 milesNH05354387
  NE over bumps to ridge end 750203512.85 milesNH05844449
1525 Steep descent to Bealach Crudhain 640 13.15 milesNH06234477
1535 Path NW to Bealach Bhearnais 595 13.3 milesNH06004490
1615 Path NE/N to wire bridge at Pollan Buidhe 285 15.0 milesNH07484664
Path NW to track 275 15.2 milesNH0740846833
1630 Track N to 2nd wire bridge 255 15.4 milesNH0722247096
  Track N to lowest pt 255204016.0 milesNH07154802
1650 Track NNW to highest pt 285207016.55 milesNH06894867
1655 NW to gate in deer fence 255 16.67 milesNH06684873
1720 Track WNW to Bridge over R Carron   65 18.0 milesNH04784930
1730 Track WSW/N to car park at Craig   92210518.6 milesNH03984926

Route 2 (from Attadale)
Access: Parking is on the right immediately after turning into the Attadale Estate from the A896 at NG92423875.
Route: There is much scope for varying this route but take note of the remarks above regarding the Munro top Meall Mor. Use of a bike saves only a small amount of time but may be worthwhile if you are carrying overnight gear as well. Leave the bike by the bridge and path split after Bendronaig Lodge at NH01823919, for eaxmple. Bendronaig has a bothy but this was still padlocked on 7th May 2021 because of the pandemic. The walk can be done in one day by fit persons.

1950 Walker’s car park at entrance to Attadale Estate  2   00.0 milesNG92423875
  Cycle on track 175yds by river, then NW to jn  2 0.33 milesNG92843893
2015 Rt on track SE to bridge  36 341.6 milesNG94483794
2055 Track by forest edge to Loch an Droighinn 2552553.03 milesNG95953644
2115 Track NE to Loch na Caillich 2852853.7 milesNG96863693
2130 Track NE to flat bealach 3453454.33 milesNG97573760
2155 Track ENE down to bridge 195 6.33 milesNH00283819
2210 Track ESE to Dronaig Lodge & leave bike. 2153657.3 milesNH01373884
0600 Depart Dronaig Lodge on foot 2153657.3 milesNH01373884
  Ascend SE to ridge 6758258.2 milesNH02493786
0755-00 Ridge E to C Beinn Dronaig trig pt 7979459.0 milesNH03713819
0900-10 Ridge E then path N to ford of loch outlet
(wet feet)
345 10.75milesNH05903831
0930 NE to near Shieling 36596511.0 milesNH06223850
1145-05 ENE across ridge to T Meall Mor (E top) 974159012.6 milesNH07254061
1235-40 WSW over difficult col to M Lurg Mhor
(See warnings above)
1315 W to bealach 735 13.93milesNH05474069
1355-00 NW/NNE to M Bidean a Choire Shea. 945185514.5 milesNH04924128
1440 SSW/SW to Sail Riabhach 771187515.43milesNH03744048
1525 SSW to valley path 350 16.2 milesNH03183936
1550 Path W to valley track at bridge 225 17.0 milesNH01823919
1600-25 Track S to Lodge. Pick up cycle 215 17.4 milesNH01373884
1635 Cycle on track W/SW to bridge 195 18.33milesNH00283819
1740 Track W/WSW to flat bealach 345202020.33milesNG97573760
  Track SW to forest edge 255 21.33milesNG96353671
1810 Track NW to bridge  36 23.1 milesNG94483794
  Track WNW to junction  2 24.33milesNG92843893
1822 Left then right at river back to A896  2202024.67milesNG92423875

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