Your National Park adventure starts IN CALLANDER

Ben Challum Walk

Length: 7.75 miles (6 hours)
Kirkton farm, layby, 2.5 m west of Crianlarich.

Ben Challum (Callum's hill) has two summits, the main summit being out of sight until the first top is reached. The going can be a little wet lower down and the lower grassy slopes can lead to a wet behind on the way down.

This is a much under-rated hill which, although requiring little in the way of climbing skills, offers excellent and unusual views to some of the better known hills in the area. These include: Ben More, Stobinian, Cruach Ardrain, Ben Oss, Ben Lui and Ben Dorain. There is no clearly marked track on the open hill so a degree of navigation skill is required in the higher stages, especially in poor visibility, and the expression 'follow the old fence' doesn't help much as the fences disappear higher up the hill. 3260 feet.

The Route

From the lay-by cross the road to the Kirkton Farm track and follow over the bridge and up to the farm. Almost at the farm buildings, turn left and pass through a gate beside an old burial ground - the remains of St Fillan's Chapel are on the left. Continue on this farm track, passing another burial ground on the left as the track starts to climb up to cross the railway line at a level crossing.

After the railway crossing the track veers away to the north west - DON'T FOLLOW THE TRACK. Leave the track at the first bend and head up the slopes over rough ground in a north east direction until you meet a modern fence - stay on the west side of the fence and follow it up the hillside. After passing some large rocks on your left the going eases for a short way - a bit boggy here in places - before crossing a fence by a ladder-stile. Continue up the slopes still following the line of the fence.

Eventually the barely visible track crosses a little knoll before the start of a long steep slog up rock strewn slopes before easing to a gentle stroll to the first top.

Navigation note. The first top is at NN386316. In clear conditions the way on to the main summit is obvious.

In whiteout or very thick cloud the (logical) temptation is to continue due north, knowing that the summit is north of the first top, but due north and east of the fist top the ground drops away steeply to dangerous crags.

The correct and safe route at the first top is to turn due west down a steep bank to cross a little hollow and onto a ridge leading north which now offers a safe route to the summit GR NN387323.

From the summit clear views can be had to many of Scotland's best known peaks in the Tyndrum / Crianlarich area.

The safe return is by the same route. There are no other peaks of any significance to be accessed readily from Ben Challum.