Hills: A' Chraileag, Stob Coire na Craileag and Mullach Fraoch-choire
Date: Thursday 3rd June 2021
Company: Myself and Ann-Marie
Distance: 15.7km, Ascent: 1035m
Time: 6Hrs 15Mins

Thanks to Ann-Marie for picking me up at 4am this morning and driving to Glen Shiel for an ascent of A' Chraileag and Mullach Fraoch-choire. I last ascended these hills in January 2003 when I undertook a winter traverse.

All going well, summiting these hills would take Ann-Marie's Munro count to 150 and my second round Munro count to 250.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Instead of following the standard initial route from the start of the An Caorunn Mor, I opted to start from around one kilometre further east to make use of a zig-zagging landrover track that I spotted on the online 1:25000 OS map which isn't shown on the 1:50000 OS map. This turned out to be a good plan as it made the initial ascent somewhat easier.

While the views from the outset were good, the weather was not as nice as had been forecast.

Looking back to Loch Cluanie during initial ascent:

During tha ascent it was nice to pass Marsh Lousewort, Milkwort, Butterwort, Tormentil, Sundew and numerous Common Orchid.

Common Orchid:

Loch Cluanie:

Glen Shiel is a fantastic glen packed full of Munros. During the ascent we stopped briefly to identify many of these hills. I was also a bit sad looking across to the South Glen Shiel Ridge which I had walked with a friend who recently died in a hillwalking accident.

South Glen Shiel Ridge and the Cluanie Inn:

Once onto the wide ridge the gradient was fairly pleasant to the summit.

Onto A' Chraileag's ridge:

Looking back during ascent of A' Chraileag:

On reaching the summit of A' Chraileag, which is marked by an oversized cairn, we stopped to take a few photos before continuing on along the ridge.

Large cairn at the summit of A' Chraileag:

At the summit of A' Chraileag:

Due to a colder than average April and May we passed a number of snow cornices as we progressed along the ridge. The cornices were mostly below the path so there was almost no need to walk on snow.

Heading out to Mullach Fraoch-choire:

As we progressed along the ridge we got great views across to Ciste Dhubh, a hill I also last ascended with Ann-Marie.

Looking across to Ciste Dhubh:

Much of the ridge between A' Chraileag and Mullach Fraoch-choire could if desired be walked with hands in pockets i.e. without difficulty. However the final ridge leading to the summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire requires a bit more care.

Mullach Fraoch-choire:

Looking back to A' Chraileag:

On reaching the Munro Top, Stob Coire na Craileag, we stopped for a bite to eat and a good drink before tackling the 'interesting' ridge ahead.

Ridge leading to summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire:

Looking back to A' Chraileag:

Mullach Fraoch-choire:

Almost all of the rock pinnacles passed en-route to the summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire can be bypassed. If sticking to the bypass paths there is almost no hands-on involved. However, the bypass paths have lots of loose gravel so care is needed as a slip could have significant consequences. The route is trickier in winter conditions.

Onto Mullach Fraoch-choire's ridge:

Easy hands-on:

Passing a pinnacle:

As we progressed along the ridge, I stopped to take a number of photographs.

Ann-Marie on the ridge:

Looking back along the pinnacles:

On reaching the summit we again had a brief stop to take photographs and another drink. I regularly don't drink enough fluids while on the hill but as today was very warm I made sure I drank plenty (3 litres).

At the summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire:

The summit provides great views down to Glen Affric, an area I have visited many times in recent years.

View from the summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire:

View from the summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire:

A' Chraileag from Mullach Fraoch-choire:

From the summit we returned back along the ridge taking even greater care in descent.

Heading back along the ridge:

A cairn on the ridge marks the start of the descent into Coire Odhar. We followed the intermittent track down to An Caorunn Mor.


Thanks to over a week of warm weather, the underfoot conditions in An Caorunn Mor were not too bad. This is usually a very wet glen.

Looking back to Mullach Fraoch-choire from An Caorann Mor:

We followed the rough track and then the landrover track back out to the A87 and then walked the circa 1km back along the road to the car.

A nice day out .