Beinn na Lap is one of the easiest Munros to ascend and as a result is often the last on a baggers’ round because it allows them to take along family and friends who may be less devoted to the mountains. However, it is a firm favourite, not least because of the start.
Only estate tracks lead to Corrour, so you need to take the train across wild expanses of remote Highland scenery. As you leave the station with the carriages disappearing in the distance the sense of isolation is wonderful – there is nothing left but to walk in the hills, reaching a view including the huge ranges of Ben Nevis and Ben Alder as well as a host of other peaks, as a long as you are lucky enough to avoid the mist which has enveloped me on my two walks up to the top.
DISTANCE: 6½ miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED: 1,850ft.
TIME: 3½ to 4½ hours.
MAP: OS Landranger 41.
PARK: You can’t access the start of the walk by car. Take the train to Corrour – from the south Crianlarich is a good point to start to allow time to enjoy the views of the empty, mountainous country. From the north starting at Fort William is a good idea. Make sure you check times for the return, unless staying at the Loch Ossian Youth Hostel.
WALK: Leave the station and walk past the Corrour Station House Restaurant to follow a track with a sign for the Loch Ossian Youth Hostel. After just less than a mile, before you reach the hostel on the edge of the loch, follow the track to the left. Then, just after crossing a wooden bridge, take a track on the left. A little further on, at a left-hand bend, go right to leave the track and follow a boggy path.
The path goes straight up the side of the mountain. As the gradient increases this section is something of a slog so take plenty of time to look back at views of Loch Ossian. As the path reaches the long broad ridge of Beinn na Lap it bears right then continues past stone shelters and a small lochan to the summit cairn.
For most it is best to return the same way but you can continue in a north east direction then, after leaving the ridge, east to return via Strath Ossian to the loch.