Beinn a’ Ghlo Route 6

Treat­ing you to a mam­moth trek to the Cairn­gorms, Ron­ald Turn­bull places you on a com­plex moun­tain com­pa­ra­ble to a power-nap­ping pachy­derm.

Trail (UK) - - CONTENTS -

A mam­moth trek into the Cairn­gorms

Beinn a’ Ghlo it’s the place to go. Wild and woolly, Beinn a’ Ghlo sprawls like a snooz­ing mam­moth across the patch of moun­tain ground along­side Glen Tilt. Okay, the com­par­i­son isn’t ex­act: the mam­moth has only four limbs, while Beinn a’ Ghlo has 18 ridge­lines, di­vid­ing 18 sep­a­rate cor­ries. Peo­ple say that in any one of them you can’t hear a ri­fle fired in the other 17.

The most en­tic­ing of those ridge­lines could be ‘the Mam­moth’s’ whiskery lit­tle curve of a tail. Carn Tor­caidh is named for a wild boar but is anything but a bore. It rises from the green depths of Glen Tilt and curves around a lit­tle hol­low of wa­ter­falls and birch trees to ar­rive, slightly sur­prised, at Braigh Coire Chru­inn-bhal­gain, the mid­dle one of Ghlo’s three Mun­ros. This leaves you well-placed for an en­ter­tain­ing af­ter­noon raid on Munro num­ber three, the awk­ward-to-get-at Carn nan Gab­har.

Any mam­moth hunt in­volves a cer­tain amount of lurk­ing about be­fore­hand. Here the lurk­ing is in lovely Glen Tilt. On the map, 12km of Glen Tilt looks like more love­li­ness than you re­ally need. When you get there, the ar­row-straight val­ley with its green track­way and chuck­ling river lulls you into a sort of Stone Age haze where you just want to keep on walk­ing.

Des­cent is by what has to be the ‘trunk’ route as it’s the stan­dard Munro-gath­erer trail, quite busy and rather peaty. And if you haven’t ac­tu­ally tamed the mam­moth moun­tain (there’s the third Munro, Carn Liath, left for an­other day) you’ve cer­tainly tweaked its tail – for a hill day to trum­pet about.

Blair Cas­tle and Beinn a' Ghlo.

Head­ing up Carn Tor­caidh ridge.

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