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billbaggins: Track/5023 in area near The Sow of Atholl [Meall an Dobharchain], Loch Ericht to Gle (Britain)
The Sow, The Boar and three Munros
Ascent: 1171m, Length: 21.4km, Creator time taken: 7h 8m
Descent: 1173m, Time predicted from Naismith's rule: 6h 14m + breaks
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Places Start at NN64486 73331, The Sow of Atholl [Meall an Dobharchain], Sgairneach Mhor, Sgairneach Mhor (old GR), Beinn Udlamain, A'Mharconaich, Bruach nan Iomairean (1974 position), An Torc, end at Start
Track Rating ..
[RWD version 1 ] Travelling along the A9 through the Pass of Drumochter on a clear day, it is impossible not to have your attention drawn to the hills to the west, 4 Munros and a Corbett, the Sow of Atholl, also known as Meall an Dobharchain. Perhaps not the most majestic of Scotland’s hills, and located beside the busy A9, they nonetheless provide excellent walking on good ground.
The 4 Munros, Geal-Chàrn, A’Mharconaich, Beinn Udlamain and Sgairneach Mhòr, can be visited together during a long (~24km, ~1150m ascent) day, on a clockwise or an anticlockwise circuit. The line of the old A9 lies to the west of the current A9 and can be used to return to the start point either on foot or by bicycle. Another option is to visit the Munros in pairs, combining Geal-Chàrn with A’Mharconaich from Balsporran Cottages and Beinn Udlamain with Sgairneach Mhòr from one of four laybys on the A9. (Laybys #79, #80, #81 or #82).
This track is a record of a hike that visited three of the Munros, Sgairneach Mhòr, Beinn Udlamain and A’Mharconaich together with the Corbett, Meall and Dobharchain (The Sow of Atholl) from Dalnaspidal
There is ample parking at Dalnaspidal, NN643 734, access to Dalnaspidal is at NN645 733 on the A9. Heading east from the parking area for about 150m, the route turns right at a junction signed Dalnaspidal Lodge and Farm, crosses a bridge, and then heads south past Dalnaspidal Lodge to a railway level crossing. After crossing the railway, it turns right at the next junction beside farm buildings, crosses another bridge and continues alongside a man-made channel towards a bridge across the Allt Coire Luidhearnaidh. The route does not cross this bridge but stays on the north bank of the Allt before leaving the track at NN633 726 onto an ATV track ascending Meall an Dobharchain. The ATV track passes some grouse butts before it peters out and the route continues to the summit at 803m, NN6214 7365. picture 1 for track/5023

Grouse Butt
The views from the summit of Meall an Dobharchain were extensive, northwest across the pass to A’Bhuidheanach Bheag and west to Sgairneach Mhòr and Beinn Udlamain. picture 2 for track/5023

Summit Cairn Meall an Dobharchain with Sgairneach Mhòr and Beinn Udlamain beyond.
Sgairneach Mhòr, 991m, NN5988 7313, was reached via its northeast ridge, around the Coire Creagach. The views were again extensive, southeast to Schiehallion, southwest towards Glencoe and west towards Ben Alder. picture 3 for track/5023

Summit Area Sgairneach Mhòr
A straightforward descent, southwest initially, then west to the col at the top of Coire Dhomhain, before the ascent of the south ridge of Beinn Udlamain to its summit, 1011m, NN5795 7396. The ascent of Beinn Udlamain gave good views of Loch Ericht, Beinn Bheòil and Ben Alder.
The route continued to A’Mharconaich, northeast initially, then southeast to a col before heading northeast again, ascending the southwest ridge of A’Mharconaich to its summit at 975m, NN6042 7628. There were excellent views on the ascent to the west, across to Loch Pattack, the Loch Ossian and the Arverikie Hills, with Creag Meagaidh on the horizon. picture 4 for track/5023

Looking west to the Loch Ossian and the Arverikie Hills
After a short excursion past the summit to enjoy the views to the northwest, the route returned along the ascent ridge of A’Mharconaich to its south top, Bruach nan Iomairean and a descent southeast to the col at NN612 754 before ascending northeast to An Torc, The Boar of Badenoch and its summit 739m, NN6212 7629. picture 5 for track/5023

Boar of Badenoch summit cairn with Sgairneach Mhòr beyond
The southerly descent to the land rover track in Coire Dhomhain was rough enough due to high heather on the steep lower slopes. The land rover track was followed east, then south to a railway underpass at NN6329 7505 and onto the old A9 cycleway / footpath. This was followed south for 2kms back to the start point.
Editing Details for track/5023
NOTE: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on the speed of the slowest plus break time and your mode of transport.
NOTE: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.
Uploaded on: Thu, 25 Jan 2024 (10:34:15), Linkback:
* Note: A GPS Height in the elevation profile is sourced from the device that recorded the track. An "SRTM" height is derived from a model of elevations for parts of the earth. More detail
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