The Glenfinnan Horseshoe

Submitted by Timwoods on 04 March 2010
OS Explorer Maps: 398 - Loch Morar & Mallaig391 - Ardgour & Strontian
 
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A circular, full-day mountain (above 600m) walk in Scotland starting at Glenfinnan, Highlands, about 24km (roughly 15 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.

As the West Highland Railway heads past Fort William, it stops at a series of small stations that drop you at the start of many great walks. The mountain scenery is finely complemented by views out to the islands, making for an unbeatable walking experience. One of the finest routes in this corner of Scotland is the Glenfinnan Horseshoe, a long day walk with two Munros and a great bothy for overnight trips.

Start: Glenfinnan, OS Grid: NM905808 Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 1869m (6132ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 3771m (12372ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 1902m (6240ft)
Max. Elevation: 890m (2919ft)

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Waypoints
OS Grid: NM905808
Take the train to Glenfinnan (there are buses too). From the station is a road that leads underneath the spectacular Glenfinnan viaduct. Harry Potter fans will no doubt get a bit overexcited - it's the one they use to film the Hogwarts Express.
About 4 km (roughly 3 miles) from 1 OS Grid: NM910843
A track follows the River Finnan up to the Corryhully Bothy - a useful spot to stay overnight if you don't want to rush back for the last train. The stillness of the great outdoors is even more remarkable at evening time, so plan to stay the night if possible.
About 3 km (roughly 2 miles) from 2 OS Grid: NM929864
Cross the stream that runs from the impressive Coire Thollaidh and ascend the grassy slopes of Druim Coire a' Bheithe. This will take you to the first Munro of the day - Sgurr Thuilm (963m).
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 3 OS Grid: NM939876
Drop off the summit to the south and pick up the ridge running west along the rocky ridge. Great views all round.
About 4 km (roughly 3 miles) from 4 OS Grid: NM904879
Past the two smaller tops of Beinn Gharb and Meall an Tarmachain is Sgurr nan Coireachan (956m). This overlooks the dramatic Coire Thollaidh.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 5 OS Grid: NM907869
Drop down to Sgurr a' Choire Riabhaich, admiring the corrie as you go. It's then a simple scramble down to the River Finnan again.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 6 OS Grid: NM918852
After losing the height, return via the same track you came in on.
About 5 km (roughly 3 miles) from 7 OS Grid: NM902808
And it's back to Glenfinnan for the train/bus home. The nearby station museum is worth a visit if you have time to kill before the train - www.glenfinnanstationmuseum.co.uk - or just sit back and gaze at Loch Shiel.
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