Scottish Winter Climbing And Mountaineering Routes in Scotland UKScottish Winter Climbing And Mountaineering Routes in Scotland UK
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Heading towards West Gully,  which is the obvious deep cleft slanting left to right.
Beinn an Dothaidh Map Photos
Viewed from the road, the hills lying east of Bridge of Orchy appear rounded and of little interest to mountaineers. However, when approached from the north, Beinn an Dothaidh reveals its true colours; an impressive north face and a hidden corrie containing a number of winter climbs. This route tackles West Gully, a deep cleft between the cliffs which takes you through great scenery and can also be commended for the short approach!
Area: Southern Highlands
Grade: Winter I   what does that mean?
Total Distance: 10 km
Total Ascent: 890 m
Time: 6 hours
  • Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 Sheet 50
  • Ordnance Survey Explorer 377 1:25,000
  • Avalanche hazard: Avoid West Gully in new snow or thaw conditions. In avalanche prone conditions, gain the north ridge, which bounds the 'hidden' corrie to the west and gain the summit from there, stopping to look cautiously into West Gully as you pass by. The north ridge makes for an enjoyable winter walk.
    Avalanche Forecast area: SAIS do not currently issue a forecast covering this area. The nearest forecast area is Glencoe.   more
    Gear: A 50-metre rope, a and a couple of slings. Nuts wouldn't help much on the compact rock but the gully is not steep. Wear a helmet on the approach to and in West Gully.
    Alternatives: If you were feeling energetic, you could include a there-and-back trip to Beinn Achalladair (1038 m). Add an hour and 45 minutes.

    From the A82 north of Bridge of Orchy, take a small farm road signposted for Achallader Farm. Follow the parking signs to the farm, where there is a good-sized car park.

    Grid Reference NN322443


    Follow the 'To Hill' signs through the farm and pick up the path heading in the direction of the bealach separating Beinn Achalladair and Beinn an Dothaidh. The path crosses the railway line over a bridge and sticks to the left (west) bank of the burn. Leave the path after about 2 km and head up over bluffs towards a rocky knoll (NN328416) that marks the entrance to the 'hidden' NE corrie of Beinn an Dothaidh. Stay left of the knoll to reach the corrie floor.

    West Gully 

    Climb in a south-westerly direction up steep slopes towards an obvious deep cleft slanting left-to-right. This is West Gully and is not as steep as it first appears!

    Climb the gully, which is about 180 m in height. The cornice can usually be bypassed on the left-hand side to reach the summit ridge of Beinn an Dothaidh.

    Escape Route!
    From the top of the gully, you can descend rapidly via the north ridge. However, the ridge peters out at about 800m and care should be taken to find the easiest route down the steeper ground beyond. The best descent is to head north then NNE, picking your way between crags and gullies to reach flatter ground leading back to the farm.

    Beinn an Dothaidh (1004 m) 

    Follow broken ground to a subsidiary summit (1000 m), watching out for crags on the left, and continue over a dip to the main summit (1004 m). Then turn sharply south and head towards another subsidiary summit (993 m) before descending the SE ridge to the large bealach separating Beinn Achalladair and Beinn an Dothaidh.


    From the bealach , descend left into into Coire Daingean, sticking to the higher ground to avoid the possibility of stepping in a bog. Cross the burn and pick up the route back down Coire Achalladair used on the approach.

    © 2007