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Your guide to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Tarmachan Ridge Walk

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Length: 8 miles (options exist, 4-6 hours)
Start: Car park at Lawers nature reserve 3 miles east of Killin

Always a strenuous walk, even in good weather, this becomes hazardous in winter conditions with  icy surfaces and severe drifting in gale force winds. The final ascent to Tarmachan summit will often require crampons and ice axe after heavy snow. Height 3440 ft.

This walk takes in 4 peaks, 1 Munroe and 3 'Munro tops' . The 4 peaks are: Meall nan Tarmachan (M) (3440ft), Meall Garbh (3380 ft), Bein nan Eachan (3300ft) and optionally, Craig na Callich (3020ft).

At a dip just east of Meal Garbh a safe descent can be made down the south sloping shoulder leading to the water authority track. Care is still required at some craggy areas.

The Route

From the Lawers car park, exit to the road, turning right for about 400 yds then left onto a rough land rover track. Pass through a gate and take a path to the right after about 300 yds. This path leads up to a gate in the deer fence then  follows the ridge northwest to a small un-named summit. Continue past this summit decending to a stile over the deer fence in the bealach.

Continue over the bealach and start climbing up a steep gully (often filled with snow and icy in winter) leading to a short walk north east to the summit of Tarmachan. From here on, care is required as the path is often narrow with short grassy slopes dropping off into steep cliffs, especially to the south and east.

At the summit, walk south about 100 yds before turning south west to follow a well defined path leading to the summit of Meal Garbh.

The track becomes narrow now and a little airy with steep drops to both sides. After a short while the path drops via a series of zigzags to a sudden tricky descent to a bealach. Some scrambling skill is useful here and a slip could be serious (the tricky bit can be by-passed by a steep faint track to the right as you face the bealach).

Cross the bealach and continue in a westerly direction over some lumpy ground before reaching the round top of Bein nan Eachan.

Over the top now and descending  about 1500ft to yet another bealach from which the climb is southwest to several possible summits of Craig na Callich.

Two descent options possible now:


Continue past an exposed traverse above an big drop and southwards about half a mile before heading southwest to avoid more cliffs. Once on leveler ground turn east to find the land rover track which leads back to the start.

Turn back and descent to the bealach then right at the lowest point to descend by very wet ground generally heading southeast to find the land rover track. BEWARE the old quarry - fenced off but still a potential hazzard.

Continue on the LR track to the starting point.
 

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