Walking the Corbetts Vol 1 South of the Great Glen
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Walking the Corbetts describes routes up all 112 Scottish Corbetts (Scotland's 2500-2999ft mountains) south of the Great Glen, covering the Southern Uplands, Southern Highlands, Cairngorms, Jura and Arran. These Scottish hills are every bit as interesting as the Munros, and often clear when the Munros are in cloud. Part of a 2-volume set.
SeasonsThe Corbetts can be climbed at any time of year, but this guide assumes readers are climbing when the hills are free of snow.
CentresSouthern Uplands, Southern Highlands, Cairngorms, Jura and Arran
DifficultyMany of the Corbetts are rarely climbed which means that often the only paths are animal tracks. This does mean that the going can be relatively tough and navigation can be demanding in mist. Very few of the Corbetts in this volume involve any scrambling, but many involve ascents and descents on steep slopes.
Must See112 highlights in 95 routes, including Merrick, The Cobbler, Goatfell, Morven and Ben Vrackie
The Corbetts – Scotland’s mountains between 2500 and 2999ft in height – are less visited but in most cases more accessible than the ever-popular Munros, and frequently offer better views when the 3000ers are shrouded in cloud. Their lower altitude also means the walks tend to be shorter meaning they can be tackled easily between breakfast and dinner and during the short daylight hours in winter.
However, many of the Corbetts are very remote from road access and will still give a demanding hike. What is more, between many of the peaks listed as Munros, there is little drop, so you can often climb several in one day. By contrast, the requirement for a 500ft drop on all sides between listed Corbetts means that there are few occasions where Corbetts can be linked together. Subsidiary summits of Munros and Corbetts between 2500 and 2999ft high with a drop of at least 30m on all sides are known as Corbett Tops.
Also mentioned in the route descriptions are Grahams, which are mountains between 2000 and 2499ft, and Donalds, which are hills over 2000ft in Southern Scotland. The routes described here are not necessarily for the peak bagger who just wants the shortest and easiest way up the mountain; they’re for the walker who wants the best, most interesting route up the wildest glen or along the most dramatic ridges.
This first volume of a two-volume guidebook to all the Scottish Corbetts describes the best ascents of the 112 Corbetts south of the Great Glen, in 95 routes. Volume 2 describes routes on the 109 Corbetts north of the Great Glen.
- includes the Southern Uplands, Southern Highlands, Cairngorms and also the islands of Jura and Arran
- divided into 11 sections, each walkable in a fortnight
illustrated with 1:100,000 custom mapping based on OS data
What are the Corbetts?
Human history in the Highlands
The natural environment
Walking the Corbetts
When to go
Areas in this guide
Using this guide
1 The Southern Uplands
Route 1 Merrick
Route 2 Shalloch on Minnoch
Route 3 Corserine
Route 4 Cairnsmore of Carsphairn
Route 5 Hart Fell
Route 6 White Coomb
Route 7 Broad Law
2 Arran and Jura
Route 8 Goatfell
Route 9 Beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail and Cir Mhor
Route 10 Beinn an Oir (The Paps of Jura)
3 West of Loch Lomond (Arrochar Alps)
Route 11 Beinn Bheula
Route 12 Ben Donich and The Brack
Route 13 The Cobbler
Route 14 Beinn Luibhean
Route 15 Beinn an Lochain
Route 16 Stob Coire Creagach (Binnein an Fhidhleir)
Route 17 Meall an Fhudair
4 East of Loch Lomond (The Trossachs)
Route 18 Beinn a’ Choin
Route 19 Ben Ledi and Benvane
Route 20 Beinn Each
Route 21 Stob a’ Choin
Route 22 Stob Fear-tomhais
Route 23 Meall an t-Seallaidh and Creag MacRanaich
Route 24 Meall na Fearna
Route 25 Creag Uchdag
Route 26 Auchnafree Hill
5 South-West Grampians (Tyndrum and Dalmally)
Route 27 Beinn a’ Bhuiridh
Route 28 Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh
Route 29 Beinn Udlaidh and Beinn Bhreac-liath
Route 30 Beinn Chuirn
Route 31 Beinn Odhar, Beinn Chaorach, Cam Chreag, Beinn nam Fuaran and Beinn a’ Chaisteil
6 The Southern Grampians (Loch Tay and Glen Lyon)
Route 32 Beinn nan Imirean
Route 33 Meall nan Subh
Route 34 Sron a’ Choire Chnapanich and Meall Buidhe
Route 35 Beinn nan Oighreag
Route 36 Meall nam Maigheach
Route 37 Cam Chreag
Route 38 Beinn Dearg
Route 39 Creagan na Beinne
7 The Western Grampians (Glen Coe and Kinlochleven)
Route 40 Creach Bheinn
Route 41 Fraochaidh
Route 42 Meall Lighiche
Route 43 Beinn Trilleachan
Route 44 Stob Dubh
Route 45 Beinn Maol Chaluim
Route 46 Beinn Mhic Chasgaig
Route 47 Beinn a’ Chrulaiste
Route 48 Garbh Bheinn
Route 49 Mam na Gualainn
Route 50 Glas Bheinn
8 The Central Grampians (Pitlochry and Loch Rannoch)
Route 51 Leum Uilleim
Route 52 Meall na Meoig of Beinn Pharlagain
Route 53 Stob an Aonaich Mhoir
Route 54 Beinn a’ Chuallaich
Route 55 Meall Tairneachan and Farragon Hill
Route 56 Ben Vrackie
Route 57 Ben Vuirich
Route 58 Beinn Mheadhonach
Route 59 Beinn Bhreac
Route 60 An Dun and Maol Creag an Loch (A’ Chaoirnich)
Route 61 Meall na Leitreach
Route 62 Beinn Mholach
Route 63 The Sow of Atholl
Route 64 The Fara
9 Badenoch (Spean Bridge to Kingussie)
Route 65 Sgurr Innse and Cruach Innse
Route 66 Beinn Iaruinn
Route 67 Carn Dearg (Glen Roy)
Route 68 Carn Dearg (N of Gleann Eachach) and Carn Dearg (S of Gleann Eachach)
Route 69 Carn a’ Chuillinn
Route 70 Gairbeinn
Route 71 Meall na h-Aisre
Route 72 Carn an Fhreiceadain
Route 73 Meallach Mhor
Route 74 Leathad an Taobhain and Carn Dearg Mor
10 The Southern Cairngorms
Route 75 Mount Battock
Route 76 Ben Tirran
Route 77 Monamenach
Route 78 Ben Gulabin
Route 79 Creag nan Gabhar
Route 80 Morrone
Route 81 Sgor Mor
Route 82 Carn na Drochaide
Route 83 Carn Liath and Culardoch
Route 84 Conachcraig
Route 85 Morven
11 The Northern Cairngorms
Route 86 Brown Cow Hill
Route 87 Carn Ealasaid
Route 88 Carn Mor
Route 89 Corryhabbie Hill
Route 90 Ben Rinnes
Route 91 Geal Charn
Route 92 Meall a’ Bhuachaille
Route 93 Creag Mhor
Route 94 Geal-charn Mor
Route 95 Carn na Saobhaidhe
Appendix A Alphabetical list of the Corbetts
Appendix B Useful information
The 1:100,000 maps in this guide are good for planning purposes and will give you a general idea of the route, but they don’t give enough detail for accurate navigation in difficult conditions. For this reason it is essential that you carry the relevant maps.
The Ordnance Survey (OS) 1:50,000 maps, available in paper form or for GPS devices, are very good and should be all you need to follow the recommended routes. In popular areas updated OS 1:25,000 maps are available but not really necessary. Probably the best maps are the Harvey maps (mainly 1:40,000) but they don’t have full coverage of the Scottish Highlands.
The contour lines on all of these maps are remarkably accurate and should be seen as your main navigational tool. Inexperienced walkers going out in good visibility should learn to relate contours to the ground so they are better prepared if they get caught out in mist.
You should always carry a good compass (those produced for orienteering by Silva and Suunto are probably the best). In good visibility it should be sufficient to use the compass to orientate the map, so that north on the map lines up with north on the ground. At present, magnetic north is near enough to grid north not to have to adjust for magnetic variation. Learn to take bearings from a map and follow them using the compass in clear conditions, before you find yourself having to navigate in mist.
The most difficult thing in navigation is knowing how far you have travelled, which can be important when navigating in mist on Scottish hills. In extreme conditions it may be necessary to pace-count to measure distance – practise this skill in good conditions, so that you are prepared.
Probably the most common navigational error is to head in the wrong direction when leaving a mountain summit. It is a good habit to always check your compass when leaving a mountain summit, even in clear conditions.
If you are experienced at using map and compass, a GPS device is not essential for navigating the Corbetts. However, even experienced mountain navigators will find it can make navigation easier in mist and the less experienced might find that using a GPS device allows them to navigate safely in poor visibility.
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Following a survey by John Barnard and Graham Jackson, Cnoc Coinnich has been upgraded from Graham to Corbett status. The new height has been accepted by the Scottish Mountaineering Club, the guardians of the tables, and by the Ordnance Survey.
Cnoc Coinnich (NN 22346 00772): Formerly 761m, now 764m. It is situated about 3km E of Lochgoilhead which provides the easiest approach to the mountain. It is joined to the Brack by a saddle at about 476m and a strong walker could combine it with Ben Donich and The Brack using the route described in the Route 12 of the guide.
‘A comprehensive guide that covers ascents of the 112 Corbetts – peaks between 2,500 and 2,999 feet in height – south of the Great Glen. There are 95 routes in all, from the Southern Uplands to the Cairngorms, Jura and Arran, with many likely to convince even the most committed Munroist that there is life below 3,000 feet.’
Scotland Outdoors, Autumn 2012
...This is an excellent guide and would be very useful for both the casual hillwalker visiting Scotland for the first time and the serious Munro bagger looking to broaden his (or her) horizons.
Irish Mountain Log, Autumn 2012
…the guide is as much about exploring the glens as it is about climbing the peaks.
The guide achieves Cicerone’s usual high standard of presentation, with helpful maps and plenty of photographs to whet the appetite.
Mountain Rescue, October 2012
'Detailed route descriptions are backed up with information about the history and environment. Also included is a wealth of practical advice and information about local accommodation and other amenities, to enable one to plan a holiday based on these walks.'
Strider, December 2012
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Since taking early retirement from his career as a physics and sports teacher, Brian Johnson has found time for three thru-hikes of the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2700-mile round-Britain walk, three hikes across the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean as well as a single summer compleation of the Munros and has climbed all the Corbetts in Scotland. He has also completed a 2200-mile cycle tour of Spain and France and done multi-week canoe tours in Sweden, France, Spain and Portugal. A keen climber and hiker, he has led school groups in Britain, the Alps, the Pyrenees and California and has completed ten traverses from Atlantic to Mediterranean on the Pyrenean High-Level Route, GR11 or GR10. As a fanatical sportsman and games player, he has competed to a high standard at cricket, hockey, bridge and chess. His crowning achievement was winning the 1995/96 World Amateur Chess Championships.View Articles and Books by Brian Johnson