Hill: Carn na Breabaig
Date: Thursday 13th October 2016
Company: Myself and Joanne
Distance: 32.1km, Ascent: 1300m
Time: 8Hrs 40Mins

With a day off booked yesterday, I was keen to get out on the hills to ascend one of my remaining Grahams. As the North-West Highlands forecast looked best, I had to choose from An Cruachan, Carn na Breabaig, Druim Fada or Slat Bheinn. I opted for Carn na Breabaig. Joanne kindly offered to accompany me.

An early start saw us arrive at Killilan around sunrise. Prior to arriving at Killilan I stopped briefly to take a photograph of the early morning reflections on Loch Long.

Loch Long reflections:

With thirteen kilometres of vehicle track ahead of us just to reach the base of the hill, and the same in return, we opted to wear trail shoes for the walk along Glen Elchaig, carrying our boots in our packs for the ascent of the hill beyond.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

During the first hour or so of walking, I took few photographs as the telegraph poles either side of the track are somewhat unsightly as is the proliferation of Rhododendron bushes.

Beyond Faddoch the views and wildlife improved somewhat. Despite having previously ascended Sguman Coinntich, Faochaig and Aonach Bhuidhe, this was the first time I had walked along Glen Elchaig. I tackled these Corbetts from Glen Ling. I had however been along Glen Elchaig once previously, on bicycle, to visit the Falls of Glomach and ascend A' Ghlas-bheinn back in 2002.

Looking back along Glen Elchaig:

As we progressed along Glen Elchaig, I was impressed with a small rocky hill which was without name on my OS map. Having since looked up the hill in the Database of British Hills, I now know it is called Sgurr na Creige. It is a Tump.

On the Glen Elchaig track approaching Sgurr na Creige:

There is evidence of rockfall from Sgurr na Creige with large rocks lying below blank rock scars. However I suspect some of the much larger boulders well below are in fact erratics that have been moved at some point in the past by a glacier.

Sgurr na Creige:

Looking back along the Glen Elchaig track:

We stopped briefly at Loch na Leitreach for a quick photo and again briefly at Carnach. Carnach is a lovely location for a wee house.

Joanne at Loch na Leitreich:


As we progressed from Carnach to Iron Lodge, Joanne spotted three Buzzards overhead. On our journey along Glen Elchaig we also spotted an Eagle soaring gracefully very high above, a couple of Heron and a Red Deer.


On reaching Iron Lodge, we stopped on the bridge to change out of our trail shoes and into our boots. After many years of looking at Iron Lodge on the map, and in photos on the internet, at last I was here visiting it .

From Iron Lodge we ascended the path zig-zagging up the south-west ridge of Carn na Breabaig.

Looking across to Maol Bhuidhe from the lower slopes of Carn na Breabaig:

The view back from the initial slopes is wonderful. Glen Elchaig is a lovely glen.

Beautiful view down to Iron Lodge and along Glen Elchaig to Loch na Leitreach and Carnan Cruithneachd:

On reaching the track high-point we took to the hillside trying our best to avoid the longest grass and tussocks.

Ascending Carn na Breabaig:

Circa 150m below the summit, I spotted a lone stag standing on the skyline. From first spotting the stag we were able to get circa 50m closer to it before it decided to turn around and run away from us. It was a wonderful sight.

Lone stag on the skyline of Carn na Breabaig:

Looking towards the summit of Carn na Breabaig:

Approaching the summit of Carn na Breabaig:

After 16km of walking, we reached the summit of Carn na Breabaig. After taking a few photos and having a quick drink, we commenced our return to the car.

Joanne at the summit of Carn na Breabaig:

My impression of the young stag was probably closer to one of an "old dear" !

"Young stag" at the summit of Carn na Breabaig:

On seeing Loch Mullardoch from the summit, I kind of wished we could have carried on walking through to the Mullardoch Dam but alas we did not have a car at each end.

Loch Mullardoch from the summit of Carn na Breabaig:

It was nice to see An Cruachan still some distance beyond. An Cruachan is a really remote Graham when approached from the West.

An Cruachan from Carn na Breabaig:

From the summit of Carn na Breabaig we also got good views of the Cuillin ridge on Skye.

Cuillin Ridge from Carn na Breabaig:

Sguman Coinntich and Faochaig from Carn na Breabaig:

The descent of Carn na Breabaig was easy enough. On reaching Iron Lodge we again changed our footwear, this time packing away the boots and putting back on our trail shoes.

Looking back to zig-zagging ascending Carn na Breabaig from Iron Lodge:

During the walk back we saw more wildlife including a Dipper, two Stonechat and what I think was a flock of Redwing.

A Dipper in Loch na Leitreach:

During the return, I had to stop to put on Compeed as I unusually had a blister on the ball of each foot. I suspect this was caused by rubbing due to there being a small quantity of beach sand in my trail shoes.

Circa 1km from Killilan, we were shouted at to get off the road as a herd of H'lan Coos were making their way towards us. H'lan Coos are generally nice and docile compared with some other varieties of cattle.

H'lan Coos:

On reaching the car, Joanne started jumping, I suspect with joy?!

Jumping Joanne:

We stopped briefly at Eilean Donan for a few photos before returning home.

Eilean Donan castle:

20 Grahams now remaining, most of them long-uns!