Meaning: Hill of Rock and Water
Munro Region: Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht
Munro Number: 24
Height in Metres: 1148
Height in Feet: 3766
OS Map Reference OS Sheet 42; 496718
Ben Alder is one of the great remote mountains of Scotland, a vast high plateau surrounded by steep corries in the heart of the central highlands that might justify it being described as the finest mountain between Ben Nevis and the Cairngorms. From a distance its character is well seen from Dalwhinnie, the great expanse of its north-east corries and flat summit plateau dominating the view along Loch Ericht. By comparison, Beinn Bheoil is a much more modest hill, forming a long ridge running from north to south between Ben Alder and Loch Ericht, but its slopes dropping directly into the loch are remarkably steep and wild. 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.