Hills: Beinn a' Chaorainn South Top, Beinn a' Chaorainn, Beinn a' Chaorainn North Top, Beinn Teallach
Date: Friday 12th July 2019
Company: Myself and Cuillin
Distance: 17.5km, Ascent: 1205m
Time: 6Hrs 5Mins

On Thursday evening, I drove to just beyond Roybridge parking up for the evening in lovely Glen Roy. On Friday morning, I drove to nearby Roughburn for an ascent of Beinn a' Chaorainn and Beinn Teallach. I last summitted these hills in May 2000. I could recall almost nothing from my previous ascent, so it would be like doing new hills .

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the large verge by the gate at Roughburn, we set off along the forest track towards the base of the hills. As yet, I had not decided whether to undertake a clockwise or anti-clockwise circuit.

Track through the forest:

On passing an area of recent tree-felling, I saw a cairn at the side of the track marking a possible starting point. The terrain beyond looked grim so I decided to ignore the cairn instead progressing further along the track. A short distance before the Allt a' Chaorainn, I spotted a faint track making its way up Beinn a' Chaorainn. As this was the hardest of the two hills, I decided to make use of this track and ascend Beinn a' Chaorainn first.

As the cloud was down to 350m, there were no views during the ascent. I followed the faint track and then found several other faint tracks. Not sure if there is a wider track but if there is, I didn't find it.

At a height of around 750m, we stopped for a short break.

A short break during ascent of Beinn a' Chaorainn:

On continuing-on, something happened that I was not expecting. We popped-out above the clouds . It wasn't the best cloud inversion I have seen but it was great to get out of the cloud and see further than ten metres ahead.

Above the clouds:

As is often the case with cloud inversion, it tends to rise as the temperature increases at the same time as you gain height. We were therefore back in cloud on reaching Beinn a' Chaorainn's South Top. Other than stopping for a photo at the tops and summit, our walk henceforth was continuous.

Cuillin at the summit of Beinn a' Chaorainn South Top:

The summit of Beinn a' Chaorainn is not far from the South Top and there is not much of a drop. It therefore did not take long to reach the summit.

I was however aware of the cliffs to my right. In poor weather, when there is snow on the ground, this is a hill where you have to be careful not to walk out onto a cornice.

Heading towards the summit of Beinn a' Chaorainn:

Again, views from the summit were limited due to low cloud. Cuillin is however quite photogenic .

Cuillin at the summit of Beinn a' Chaorainn:

Looking back to Beinn a' Chaorainn South Top from the summit of Beinn a' Chaorainn:

The North Top of Beinn a' Chaorainn is also not to distant from the summit, so it also didn't take long to reach the North Top.

Looking back to the summit of Beinn a' Chaorainn from the summit of Beinn a' Chaorainn North Top:

I was not particularly looking forward to the next section of walk as you have to lose circa 450m height before ascending the second Munro. I didn't find a track descending to the col but the ground is mostly grassy and not too steep, so it was a fairly pleasant descent.

Beinn Teallach from the col:

Beyond the col, we started our ascent of Beinn Teallach. I found the ascent quite gruelling due to the heat. Throughout the walk, I had been stopping at every stream and puddle for Cuillin to keep hydrated and cool. I was also carrying water and a bowl for him.

As Beinn Teallach, is quite a bit lower than Beinn a' Chaorainn you don't have to regain all the lost height.

Final ascent of Beinn Teallach:

On reaching the summit we got reasonable views across to the hills surrounding Loch Treig. As this is a twin-topped hill, we visited both tops to ensure we visited the high-point.

Cuillin at the summit of Beinn Teallach:

View from Beinn Teallach:

Looking back to the summit of Beinn Teallach from its twin-top:

While the descent was easy-angled and on grass, it was very wet underfoot. I was looking forward to getting back onto good track. Cuillin was now muckit!

View during descent:

The Allt was thankfully straight-forward to cross, so much so we actually walked along the middle of the Allt for circa twenty metres to get Cuillin clean and hopefully remove any as yet unattached ticks.

On getting back to the van, Cuillin was already clean but I was in desperate need of a shower. I therefore visited the Trucker's Diner in Newtonmore where you can have a superb warm shower for 50p!!! Their all day breakfasts are also very good .

A wee post-hillwalk snack:

Subsequent to the walk, given we would be staying in the van for a further couple of nights, I gave Cuillin a thorough check for ticks. He had picked up one tick which I took off with a tick twister and subsequently killed. While I love nature, that does not extend to ticks.

A good day out despite the lack of views.