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Beinn Na Caillich

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Contributor: callum
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This is a smashing wee hill set above Loch Leven, with the high mountains of Lochaber to the north and Glencoe to the south. It offers unrivalled views of loch and hill, with the added bonus of starting the walk at an altitude of 240m.

Half a mile west from the aluminium village of Kinlochleven a road climbs steeply southwards towards Mamore Lodge. You can park in the car park for a small fee. Follow the track westwards, passing birch woods with the view opening up below you. Ahead of you stretches Loch Leven, with the Pap of Glencoe particularly prominent. Although there are electricity pylons running parallel to the track, careful framing can minimise their impact on your pictures.

The West Highland Way joins the track at this point, and there are opportunities to capture excellent photographs of waterfalls as your route crosses two major streams.

After 3km leave the main track and follow a smaller path downhill towards a river. The path runs over a bridge then climbs the steep hillside above using zig zags to achieve a very sensible gradient. Paths like this are common in the Highlands to ease the passage of deer stalkers and estate workers.

The best thing to do now is concentrate on getting up to the top of this steep section, where the views open out in all directions and the angle of the slope eases significantly. Behind you lies the Blackwater Reservoir, built to harness hydro electricity for the aluminium smelter that gave birth to the Kinlochleven. To your north you can now see the munroes of Sob Ban and Sgurr a'Mhaim. On the southern skyline runs the marvellous jagged ridge of the Aonach Eagach. To your west is the Pap of Glencoe, a hill whose prominence belies its modest height, and the Ballachulish Horseshoe.

Once on the summit (764 metres) you have the option of continuing along the broad ridge to Mam nam Guallain or returning to Mamore Lodge the way you came.

More of Callum's photography can be seen here.

Beinn Na Caillich Images

The track from Mamore Lodge to Beinn na Caillch
The Pap of Glencoe, sitting proudly above Loch Leven
Looking south through the birch woods towards Kinlochleven
The Glencoe hills from Beinn na Caillich
Looking towards the Mamores from the upper slopes of Beinn na Caillich
Spectacular backlighting on the west ridge of Beinn na Caillich

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