Walk up Beinn Alligin
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A superb traverse of the Beinn Alligin massif with spectacular views of the Torridon mountains and beyond.
Route Start Location: Parking area on the left of the road approximately 3kms to the west of Torridon village.
|11.33 km||1192 m||5-7 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Activivity Type: Hard Walk
Summits and Places on this Route
Toilets and cafe at the Torridon youth hostel.
The traverse of the three Horns of Alligin is optional and should only be attempted by confident scramblers. In winter conditions it is an alpine route requiring the appropriate equipment and experience.
Between June and September, the Highland midge can really spoil your day if you are not well-protected. There are various products available but Smidge seems to be effective for most people (https://www.smidgeup.com/smidge/)
Parking : n/a
Large car park approximately 3 kms west of Torridon village
Public transport: None to the start of the route. Very infrequent bus service to Torridon village. Check with https://www.travelinescotland.com
Walk up Beinn Alligin
One of the Torridon ‘Big Three’, Beinn Alligin is a classic round and includes the Munros of Tom na Gruagaich and Sgurr Mhor.
Walk up Beinn Alligin Route Description
Park in the large car park approximately 3km to the west of Torridon village
Cross the road and take the path on the west (left hand) side of the river. The path rises quickly through woodland before emerging on the open moorland. Cross the ladder stile over the deer fence and continue on the good path which passes over a couple of rock bands.
The moorland section before the rise over the rock bandsContinue to the mouth of Coire nan Laogh where the huge head wall of the corrie presents a seemingly impossible escape route.
However, the pitched path soon swings north and climbs very steeply to the left of the burn, eventually passing over more gentle ground to reach the trig point on Tom na Gruagaich at 922m.
Drop down from the summit and descend over some rocky outcrops with easier sections between them to reach the broad saddle before rising again over a minor top.
Drop down slightly to a second saddle and pass the deep cleft of Eag Dubh on the right before the easy ascent to the summit cairn of Sgurr Mhor, the higher of the two Munros at 986m.
Again, the views in all directions are outstanding but the eyes are drawn to the remainder of the ridge and the three ‘Horns of Alligin’.
A decision must now be made. In winter conditions the traverse of the Horns is an alpine route and requires the appropriate gear and experience. At other times of the year the scramble across the three tops is relatively straightforward but a head for heights is required and in misty conditions you should be confident in your route finding and navigation. If in doubt, turn back along the ridge and retrace the outbound route.
If you are continuing, drop down steeply from the summit of Sgurr Mhor to the narrow col and climb the relatively easy but steep slope to the summit at 866m. In windy conditions it is probably best to continue on the slightly lower path on the north side of the narrow ridge but otherwise enjoy the exposure as you walk across the rocky top and descend to the base of the second Horn.
More simple scrambling gains the second summit before descending briefly to the base of the third and final Horn.
It is necessary to keep to the right of the ridge where a steep section blocks progress but look for the worn rock steps which rise on the left and lead up to the summit ridge.
There now follows the long and steep descent down the south-east ridge. This takes the form of a series of steep rock bands with slightly less steep sections between them. Some down climbing may be required but there is no exposure. Reach the small cairn at the bottom of the ridge and give the knees a well-deserved rest.
There is now a good path which soon joins another coming in from the left. Cross two bridges and continue down the glen where there are several waterfalls and pools to enjoy whilst also looking back up to see the whole of the ridge on the skyline.
The path soon enters a wooded area and shortly after arrives at the road. Turn right and cross the bridge to return to the car park.