Beinn Mhanach – the monk’s hill
Beinn Mhanach is one of the more remoter peaks in the Southern Highlands. Our walk starts from the A82 at the Auch Estate turnoff. The walk follows the track towards the Auch estate where we cross the route of the West Highland Way and head towards the railway viaduct. The track fords the stream coming down from Glen Coralan on the right before passing beneath the railway viaduct and entering Gleann Ach-innis Chalein, more commonly known as the Auch Glen. As we continue along the glen we will ford the river several times. This is possible when water levels are relatively low but is less comfortable when water levels are higher or in spate. After several ford crossings the Allt a ‘Chuirn branch is forded to reach the farm buildings at Ais an t-Sidhean. The great Gaelic poet Duncan Ban MacIntyre lived here in the eighteenth century; he celebrated the beauty of Beinn Dorain on the left in his most famous poem.
We follow the banks of the Allt a’Chuirn passing the small hydro-scheme collection point where we cross the bridge and then leave the track, heading straight up the hillside towards the bealach between Beinn a’Chuirn and Beinn Mhanach. The gradient is quite steep and the route is hard due to a lack of a clearly defined path, however the going is grassy and mostly firm making the ascent quick. As we gain height we will start towards our destination munro and summit. The summit (953m) soon reached affording spectacular views of Loch Lyon and the surrounding peaks. Our route off Beinn Mhanach retraces our stems back to Glen Auch and the car park.
Walk duration - 7hrs. There are no paths on Beinn Mhanach. The approach up the glen is on a good track but fords the river several times, which may not be possible in spate. If the Allt Kinglass water is very high we will climb Beinn Mhanach from the Achallander car park NN313437, via the bealach N338497 Coire Daingean (distance 20.5 kms). An alternative walk in the event of bad weather is to climb Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh (752m) from Glen Orchy (NN242320). Climb up from Eas Urchaidh falls on the beautiful River Orchy, passing alongside an ancient Caledonian pinewood, to gain the open slopes of this rather forgotten Corbett. The summit offers superb views of the higher mountains all around in this part of the Highlands. Distance 13.5kms. Duration 4-5 hrs.
For Medium, Hard and Extra Hard walks we ask walkers to make sure they have full hillwalking gear, by which we mean definitely the following: Boots, warm clothing, warm/quick drying trousers (not denim jeans), waterproof jacket and over trousers, rucsac, hat, gloves, spare fleece, packed lunch, spare food and drink, small personal first aid kit including any medications, mobile phone, headtorch, and bivvy bag if you have one, and possibly also these other items, depending on personal preference: Gaiters, rucsac cover, walking poles, spare socks, map, compass, GPS, lipsalve, camera.
The nature of hill walking potentially involves leaders or other participants in providing close assistance to others. For everybody’s protection those people classified as ‘vulnerable adults’ or young people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an appropriate carer or responsible adult. No special arrangements are available to provide independent supervision for vulnerable people, and the accompanying carer takes full responsibility for them. The carer or parent is best placed to judge the capability of their charges.
We do ask that you only bring children on a walk if you are confident that they will be able to complete it comfortably. At all times, children must be accompanied by an appropriate adult who must take full responsibility for them.
3. Lower age limits.
No children under the age of 16 are allowed on Extra Hard or Hard walks. Children over the age of 12 are permitted on Medium and Easy walks provided that they are accompanied by a responsible adult.
In common with other similar events and in consideration for others, dogs are not allowed (guide dogs excepted).
Please do not smoke on walks, out of consideration to others.