Ben Alder (Gaelic: Beinn Eallair) is the highest mountain in the remote area of the Scottish Highlands between Loch Ericht and Glen Spean. The vast summit plateau is home of one of Britain's highest bodies of standing water, Lochan a' Garbh Coire. It is the 25th highest Munro, and due to its remote location, one of the less frequently visited. Situated 19 km from Dalwhinnie and 15 km from Corrour railway station, it is commonly climbed in a two day expedition, usually taking in its lower neighbour, Beinn Bheoil. There are two bothies near to the mountain: Culra Lodge to the northeast and Ben Alder Cottage to the south, both potentially providing shelter for walkers in the area. Ben Alder Cottage is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a ghillie who hanged himself from the rafters.
If a mountain bicycle is used on, or permission is obtained to drive on the track along the north west shore of Loch Ericht, Ben Alder is one of six Munros that a fit climber may be able to summit on a single late spring or early summer day.
The North ridge of Ben Alder provides scrambles of low grade providing quick, easy, access to this fine summit. The east ridge is known as the Short Leachas, whilst the north east continuation of the north ridge is the Long Leachas. On a traditional approach from Culra Bothy and the North this provides the first scrambling option and easy ascent to this isolated peak.
As befits such a remote mountain, all approaches to it are very long, and the ascent of Ben Alder has something of the feeling of an expedition. From Dalwhinnie the route goes along the side of Loch Ericht past Benalder Lodge to Loch Pattack. A bicycle may be possible thus far. Continue up the Allt a' Chaoil-reidhe to Culra and take the path leading to the pass between Ben Alder and Beinn Bheoil. Leave the path to climb either of the two fine narrow ridges, the Long Leachas or the Short Leachas, to reach the plateau of Ben Alder and go south across it to the summit.
Continue round the edge of the Garbh Choire, descend to the Bealach Breabag and traverse north over Sron Coire na h-Iolaire and along a fine ridge to Beinn Bheoil. Descend down the long north ridge, leaving it after 2 kilometres to rejoin the ascent path which leads back to Culra and Loch Pattack
|Best months for climbing:||Jan, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec|
|Nearest major airport:||Glasgow|
Thanks to justin.norman for adding this peak.
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NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name
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