Colin's Munros


Ben Alder & Beinn Bheoil, map 393; 12th Sept 2005 & 6th June 2008

Route: 1250m = 3920' ascent; 9.6 miles on foot + 21 by cycle, 7–8½ hrs

Ben Alder from near Culra Lodge. A closer view of the ascent ridge: a very minor scramble. Looking over at Beinn Bheoil from Ben Alder. Sron Bealach Beithe from Sron Coire na h-Iolaire An outhouse of Ben Alder Lodge

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, being of driveable quality with a smooth compacted surface.
There are two nice approaches to Ben Alder via its north ridge, aided by an excellent path from leaving the Allt a'Chaoil-reidhe up to Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe. 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 east facing spur which stretches down to the north end of Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe.
However, the Allt a' Bhealaich Bheithe is impossible to ford in full spate, making neither of these two suggestions possible. In this case, either cross the bridge at NN5247676452 to Culra Lodge and proceed SW to Bealach Dubh or continue S along a poor path beside Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe to Bealach Breabag.
Weather: (Both days) Clear sky, pleasantly warm, light cool breeze, excellent walking weather.
Mobile: Orange on all three tops and at start/end.

12/9/056/6/08 Description Ht.Asc.Dist.Grid. Ref.
08050915 Park at level crossing by Dalwhinnie station. (Orange) 360   00.0 milesNN63368467
   Cycle track SW along Loch Ericht. At estate lodge gate
(The Shieling) take path along top of wall on right.
360  NN62608413
08450955 Continue SW along track to Ben Alder Lodge 370  605.6 milesNN57147879
0900  Track WSW/WNW to highest pt 465155 NN55377857
 1015 Continue 660yds on track to left at path end 450 7.1 milesNN54837870
   Rougher path SW (not driveable) down
to SE bank of Allt a'Chaoil-reidhe.
425  NN54007782
09301035 Path SW to opposite Culra Lodge 46019010.2 milesNN52407607
09301050 Leave bike S of bothy where path turns away from river. 48021011.0 milesNN51547506
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.
84858012.2 milesNN50657392
1130 — Good path SW up ridge, with 100yds easy scramble,
to top of knife edge ridge/start of plateau.
100073512.8 milesNN49977327
1140 — S to Garbh-choire Beag. 108081513.1 milesNN50007280
 —1125 OR: Continue main path S to Loch a'Bhealaich Bheithe
(Don't cut the corner. It is not worth it.)
720 12.35 milesNN51157281
 —1210 Due W up ridge to Garbh-choire Beag 1080 13.1 milesNN50007280
THEN: S/SW to M Ben Alder (battered trig pt)
114890513.8 milesNN49627185
   SW passed lochan, then S/SSE to col 1080910 NN49637103
12351250 SE to top, Sron Bealach Beithe 110593514.7 milesNN49887078
13001310 From top head directly SE to bealach.
(Do not continue E to end of ridge; no path seen)
833 15.3 milesNN50687023
13201330 Path NE to T Sron Coire na h-Iolaire (Orange) 955105515.8 milesNN51317046
1330  NW/NNE to col 885  NN51297105
1345  NE to rocky outcrop near summit 9801150 NN51467135
Path N to M Beinn Bheoil (Orange) 1019119016.8 milesNN51707171
   Rough stoney ridge N to col 895 17.35 milesNN51917255
 —1440 EITHER: N (little path) to ridge end
then NW to join valley path at corner
640  NN51677427
1425 — OR: WNW to path at end of Loch a'Bhealaich
Bheithe. (Good quality path starts here)
720  NN51107274
1450 THEN: Path N to bike near river 480 19.6 milesNN51547506
 1505 Cycle NE to path opposite Culra Lodge 460 20.4 milesNN52407607
 1525 Path to track 450 23.5 milesNN54837870
1550  NE to highest pt on track 4651230 NN55377857
16001535 Cycle E to Ben Alder Lodge 370 25.0 milesNN57147879
16401610 Track NE to level crossing in Dalwhinnie (Orange) 360125030.6 milesNN63368467

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