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.
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.