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The walk Beinn a' Chrulaiste

Location: Glen Coe

Map: OS Landranger 41 (GR220563)

Distance: 6½ km (4 miles)

Time: 3 hours

Terrain: Hill path

Beinn a' Chrulaiste is the great rounded lump of a hill which sits across the road from Buachaille Etive Mor and, while it is not an eye-catching mountain like its neighbour, it does afford fabulous views of that iconic peak and the rest of the Glen Coe massif. Many people opt for the ascent from the King's House Hotel but the approach from further west at Altnafeadh is perhaps the finer.

Start from the large layby on the A82 at Altnafeadh where the West Highland Way footpath climbs over to Kinlochleven via the Devil's Staircase. From the eastern end of the layby a path leads on to the West Highland Way which is followed alongside the road over two wooden bridges to the end of a small forestry plantation. Climb up the side of this plantation to pass beneath the power lines and head for a gate in the fence which can be seen up to the right. Go through this gate then immediately step over the fence beside it and climb the hillside past some wooden posts to pick up a rough hill path which ascends the edge of the slope overlooking the road.

Height is gained rapidly and fabulous views begin to open out with Buachaille Etive Mor on the other side of the road continually drawing the eye. The steepness soon eases and the path swings away from the edge to pass over the minor bump of Stob Beinn a' Chrulaiste where the view extends north to the peaks of the Mamores and Ben Nevis.

Continue in the direction of these peaks for a short way to bypass a boggy area and some peat hags then swing around and follow the rough path east up grassy slopes to the rocky summit of Beinn a' Chrulaiste (857m; 2811ft).

It is worth walking around the flat summit area to savour the views before probably settling on a perch looking across to the magnificent Buachaille Etive Mor. Although the route back retraces that of the ascent, Glen Coe and its attendant peaks are now spread at one's feet, making this perhaps a more fitting way to leave the mountain.

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