A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire (Glen Shiel)

by Andy Speight and Robert Bell

Start Point: Lay-by below a plantation on the A87, 1 km East of the Cluanie Inn.
Grid Reference: OS Sheet 33, GR088121
Time: 8 - 10 hours
View Location: Scalable multimap
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This walk was day one of a long weekend away and involved a very early start, meeting in Crianlarich at 6:30 am then heading up to Glen Shiel in convoy because we decided that we couldn't fit 3 people and all their kit in the one car. We were going to climb A' Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire on the Saturday and Ben Alligin in Torridon on the Sunday with a couple of nights under canvas in Shiel Bridge.

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There were several firsts for me this weekend …… the first time I'd climbed Munros two days running, the first time I'd used my new tent and the first Munro in my new boots. Today I was in my old boots because I didn't want to tempt fate.

There was full cloud cover above us but there were occasional patches of low cloud blowing through leaving us without a view from the summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire. However out of the cloud you could see for miles around, with Ben Nevis standing out to the SE. The weather was even better the following day as can be seen from my photos that accompany the description of Ben Alligin.

This was stalking season so we made sure that we stuck to the known routes. We met a gamekeeper at the second summit who approved of our proposed descent.

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  • Start at the lay-by on the A87, there is off road parking for several vehicles.
  • Walk E along the A87 to the gate for the track up the glen 'An Coarann Mor' (GR092121).
  • Follow the track for 200m and then there's nothing for it but to start the steep ascent NNE up the grassy sloped of Fuaran Mor Chluainidh, aiming for the start of the ridge at 700m (GR098127).
  • Follow the gently rising ridge initially N then swinging NW to the summit of A' Chralaig, 1120m (GR094148) with its large round topped cairn.
  • Descend N from the summit, following the ridge down 150m before a short pull up to the top, Stob Coire na Cralaig, 1008m (GR092164).
  • The path then descends 50m ENE to the col before swinging NNW to follow the steep pinnacled ascent to the Summit of Mullach Fraoch-coire, 1102m (GR095172).
  • To descend retrace your steps to the col ¼ km NE of Stob Coire na Cralaig. It is marked by a very small cairn (GR094164).
  • Descend W down the grassy slopes of Coire Odhar to the path down the Glen. Swing SW on the lower slopes aiming S of the Lochan (GR076162) to avoid having to reascend.
  • Down in the glen follow the path S then SSE following Allt a Chaorainn Mhoir. The path eventually becomes a landrover track in 'An Coarran Mor' and makes it way SSE to the A87.
  • From the gate there's only the walk W along the A87 back to the car. You might consider sending the fittest person ahead with the car keys and wait for them to pick you up.

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