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New Corbett: Beinn Airigh Charr

Written by Fiona

April 23 2022

I love it when a plan comes together and is even better than you imagine it might be. I had arranged to meet a friend, Tansy, from the Isle of Skye, and her friend, Lauren, from Kyle of Lochalsh, for a cheeky Friday away from our desks on Scotland’s north-west coast.

We were staying the night near Poolewe and, when we each checked our Corbett maps, we realised none of us had walked Beinn Airigh Charr. 

The description of the walk seemed ideal, with a bike ride along a road and then a rough track before a walk to the 791m summit. The views were also meant to be amazing.

Cycling to Beinn Airigh Charr

The route starts from the west coast village of Poolewe and heads south alongside the River Ewe. The track winds up fairly steadily to about 100m elevation, although there are a few undulations and some steeper sections. It’s an easy-going cycle and we felt no pressure to go faster than chatting pace.

As we cycled further along the glen, we enjoyed the ever widening views, especially along Loch Maree. The weather had not looked too promising earlier in the week, but we ended up being blessed with warm-for-April conditions and some blue sky.

Close to the ruins of an old sheep fold after around 7.5km, we left the bikes locked to a fence and headed further uphill on foot. 

Walking to Beinn Airigh Charr summit

We crossed some boggy moorland and a river before climbing into Coire nan Dearcag. There was a path to follow for most of the route although it does come and go a bit.

At the end of Coire nan Dearcag, you can see a faint path heading up a steeper headwall. We chose to follow the left side of the Allt Aconair, although there was another path of sorts to the right. I expect people have simply made their own routes up this section and the one that is now most walked is the one that has a stronger outline.

The steeper path eventually gives way to gentler slopes and we contoured SSE to then climb again in a more easterly direction. There were bits and pieces of trods on a mix of grass and heather as we walked towards a bealach between a neighbouring summit of Spidean nan Clach and Beinn Airigh Charr. 

From here the summit of the Corbett is to the east. We ascended a steep-ish section of scree to the right of cliffs. The slope eases slightly towards the final climb where there is a cairn.

The views truly are superb from this high point. We could see into the Fisherfield Forest – read about my two-day walk of the Fisherfield mountains –  and the Torridon mountains in the distance over Loch Maree, as well as the fabulous coast and its islands. 

To return, we retraced our steps and then rode back down the track.

Details: Beinn Airigh Charr

Distance: 25.5km

Total ascent:  1302m

Route: Strava and OS Maps 

Corbetts bagged: 84

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