A circular route on Ben Each (Hill of the Horse) utilising a well trodden path for an easy ascent, followed by a more challenging off path descent. This is a high level walk and you should ensure that you are properly kitted out for a hill walk including map/compass and the skills to use them.
- Distance: 8 km / 5 miles
- Ascent: 700 m / 2300 feet
- Terrain: rough hill paths with path-less descent on grassy slopes.
- Start / finish: near Strathyre, layby on the A84 at NN 583 136,
The walk starts at a convenient layby on the A84 at a point marked as Ardchullarie More on the OS map (grid ref NN 583 136). This is the southern end of the popular Glen Ample through route. The start of the path is indicated by a green Scotways signpost pointing the way alongside a house / garage. The path enters the woodland beyond the house and follows the burn as it quickly gains height. This section can be quite muddy and at the time of writing (Summer 2017) there were some fallen trees to negotiate. The path climbs through the forest for about 500m crossing a first forest track and then meeting a second forest track. At this second track go left heading northwards through the forest towards Glen Ample.
Approaching the edge of the forest the track passes through a gate in a deer fence and starts to leave the trees behind. You are now surrounded by hills on both sides of the glen. Approximately 750m after the gate a signpost indicates the start of the path up Ben Each to your right.
The path is unsurfaced and uneven created by the multitude of footsteps that have passed this way. Initially the path follows the north side of the burn that tumbles down from the hill before turning north to pass across the top of a craggy area. The path then turns right to follow a knobbly ridge towards the summit. A couple of hillocks and a pointy rock are passed before reaching the summit area with its small cairn.
The easiest way of return is to use the outward route. However, for the more adventurous it is possible to head along the ridge towards the munro of Stùc a, Chroin, before descending down into Glen Ample. This route is quite rough, involves some rocky steps and steep downhill off path walking.
Don’t try to descend directly from the summit cairn to the ridge as there are small rocky cliffs at this point. A route down through the crags starts before the summit cairn is reached. A rocky step needs to be negotiated before joining a path along the ridge. The occasional old fence post indicates the line of the path but it is easy enough to follow without these markers.
Stay on the knobbly and sometimes rocky ridge until a large rocky outcrop bars the way and the path starts to swing right to avoid it. Leave the path heading west (to your left) downhill. Pick your way down the rough hillside keeping to the left of a burn to avoid the crags. The descent starts off on steep grassy slopes which become more heathery as height is lost. You may be able to make use of deer tracks to ease your passage through the heather. Some patchy bracken clads the lowest part of the slope. Choose your route so as to rejoin the Glen Ample track close to the summit of the pass.
Return south along the Glen Ample path, passing the signpost that you followed earlier, to reach the gate into the forest and then the path leading back down to the roadside.