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Vehicle access to Strathfarrar

Please read the information below to find out how Mountaineering Scotland members can access Glen Strathfarrar by vehicle during the winter months.

Please note, there is no access available on the following dates:

  • 25 & 26 December
  • 1 & 2 January

The Land Reform Scotland (2003) Act and Scottish Outdoor Access Code do not confer a right of vehicle access to the private road through Glen Strathfarrar.

Mountaineering Scotland has worked closely with Braulen Estate and East Monar Estate to reinstate the concession which allows vehicle access over the winter period (approx. 1st November to 31st March) when the private glen road is closed to public vehicles. This arrangement with the estates applies only to Mountaineering Scotland members who should submit requests to access the glen by vehicle at least 2 working days before their intended visit.

Please note that if accessing the glen by foot or bike, you can do so without registering your visit with Mountaineering Scotland.

The winter vehicle access arrangements include conditions which apply to hillwalkers and climbers wishing to take advantage of the arrangement. Members should be aware that the road is neither cleared of snow or gritted during this period so particular care will be required when driving along the glen in winter conditions.

It is important to strictly observe all the conditions below, otherwise the arrangement is jeopardised for other members of Mountaineering Scotland.

Estate staff undertake extensive deer stalking during the winter, with challenging deer hind cull targets to meet in winter conditions. The conditions attached to vehicular access are requested by estate staff to avoid potentially disrupting this stalking, making it harder to meet deer management targets.

There are significant sensitivities around ongoing provision, due in the main to the behaviour of some individuals who have previously ignored conditions. The arrangement will therefore be subject to a review for continuity following this winter season.

The main condition is that vehicular access is limited to the following destinations only:

  • The four Strathfarrer Munros of Sgurr Fhuar-thuill; Sgurr a' Choire Ghlais; Carn nan Gobhar; Sgurr na Ruaidhe;
  • Two Munros south of Loch Monar: Sgurr na Lapaich; An Riabhachan
  • The Corbett An Sidhean and the Munro Maoile Lunndaidh, north of Loch Monar
  • The winter climbing crags of Sgurr na Muice; Sgurr na Fearstaig; Sgurr Fhuar-thuill; Creag Ghorm a'Bhealaich;, plus An Riabhachan; Creagan Toll an Lochain; Sgurr na Lapaich.


Cars may be parked at four agreed locations only (see further info below):

  • Mhullie Greens / Allt Coire Mhuillidh
  • Start of the Allt Toll a'Mhuic,
  • Loch Monar dam head,
  • The Power Station at Gleann Innis an Loichel

Disturbance to deer is a serious issue for the estates and to reduce disturbance to critical deer culling we strongly advise that members follow the main routes and ridges to get to and from the summits and climbing crags as listed above. This arrangement for vehicular access does not extend to lower level walks in the glen during the winter period and members who do not follow the main routes may put this agreement at risk.

It is important to note that, in accordance with the requirements of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, members should be prepared to take reasonable advice on the day from estate staff and may be asked to change their plans.

Before you go:

  • The membership benefit of vehicular access is only for day access to the listed summits and crags, not low-level walks in the glen or other summits or overnight parking.
  • All members of your party must have current membership of Mountaineering Scotland.
  • Please provide the requested details to the Mountaineering Scotland office at least 2 working days in advance of your visit (see below for more detail).
  • It is essential to keep to the agreed details, or if needing to change them do so well in advance of arrival.

During your visit:

  • DO NOT enter the glen by vehicle before 8am.
  • Please park only at the designated locations and do not park overnight in the glen.
  • PLEASE DO NOT contact the gatehouse during your visit, nor telephone glen residents for any reason, unless in an emergency of life and limb.  A padlock that is stuck is not regarded as an emergency!
  • Remember the padlock code, and scramble it after use.
  • Take de-icer with you as the padlock can get frozen.
  • It is in everyone’s interest to take care and not drag the chain of padlocks on the ground as they can get damaged.


Mountaineering Scotland members can fill in the online request form, making sure to include all the information requested. If experiencing difficulty with this you may email us at info@mountaineering.scot or call 01738 493942. You will receive email confirmation of the details along with the padlock code and how to access the glen.

How much notice is required?

Requests for access should be submitted by 1pm at least 2 working-days’ notice in advance of your intended day of visit, so that we can pass on the information to the estates in good time for the stalkers to take it into account. Please note our office is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

So, for example if your intended visit is on a Thursday, please submit your request by 1pm on the Tuesday at the latest; If you would like to visit the glen on a weekend or Monday, please let us know by 1pm the preceeding Thursday at the latest. If you contact us on a Friday or on the day of your intended visit, we may not be able to inform estate staff in time for your visit and vehicle access will not be allowed.

Please note a maximum of 3 cars per day will be permitted into the glen.

What information should be provided?

When you contact us, please provide the following details:

  • Your name, Mountaineering Scotland membership number, email address and telephone number.
  • Specific date of your intended visit and hillwalking or climbing objective for the day – note that a date “week commencing … “ is not acceptable to the estates.
  • Vehicle registration number, or state 'hire car' if taking a rented vehicle.
  • Names of other occupants of your vehicle, their Mountaineering Scotland membership numbers.

We will pass this information to estate staff.

Need to change the date or other details?

Please ensure you advise us of the change before you go, in order that we can inform estate staff. Similarly, if you change your vehicle or the members of your party change, please let us know as soon as possible

Winter vehicle access is conditional upon members parking in the following designated locations to walk or climb the following routes or crags:


Park at Mhullie Greens / Allt Coire Mhuillidh (grid ref: NH 283386) for:

  • Strathfarrar Munros: Sgurr na Ruaidhe, Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr a' Choire Ghlais and Sgurr Fhuar-thuill

 

Park at start of the Allt Toll a'Mhuic (grid ref: NH 223392) for:

  • Strathfarrar Munros: Sgurr na Ruaidhe, Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr a' Choire Ghlais and Sgurr Fhuar-thuill
  • Sgurr na Muice: GR: NH228416 (covers SE, E and NE faces)
  • South top of Sgurr na Fearstaig: GR: NH225426 (covers E and NE faces)
  • Sgurr Fhuar-thuill NE face GR: NH236438
  • Ce reag Ghorm a' Bhealaich N and NE faces GR: NH245434

 

Park at the Power Station at Gleann Innis an Loichel (grid ref: NH 183381) for:

  • Sgurr na Lapaich – plus E face GR: NH 162342 E and NE faces above the Garbh-choire GR:NH161349
  • Sgurr nan Clachan Geala (the south top of Sgurr na Lapaich) GR:NH162343
  • Creagan Toll an Lochain N Face: GR NH143 -150347

 

Park before Loch Monar dam head (grid ref NH 203394) for:

  • Maoile Lunndaidh and An Sidhean

The blue padlock has a 4-digit code (see photo). To operate the padlock:

  • Turn the dials to the correct combination.
  • Press the black button located on the bottom of the padlock to release.
  • Please ensure you close and scramble the padlock code digits on both your entry in to the glen and on exit.
  • Please do not let the locks drag along the ground as it damages them.
  • There is a second gate part way up the glen. If it is locked, the same combination can be used again on an identical blue padlock.
  • Please do not pass the padlock code to any third party, as doing so without us being able to confirm vehicle details to the estate will jeopardise continuity of winter vehicle access.

The gatekeeper is not available to provide advice or assistance during the winter access period and you SHOULD NOT contact the gatehouse cottage nor telephone glen residents for any reason unless in an emergency of life and limb.

The private road is tarmac but is not gritted or cleared of snow and there may be areas of rough surface or potholes which could damage your vehicle if you do not exercise appropriate care. A related condition of the provision of winter vehicle access is that the estate will not accept any liability for damage to people or property caused in any way whatsoever by road or other conditions.

Be aware that estate staff and residents are not able to provide assistance to drivers and there is limited or no mobile phone signal in the glen at the time of writing (October 2023).

As with any other visitor to the glen you are asked to take litter home.

Members are reminded that continuity of this arrangement relies on them not breaking the conditions stated on this website. Access by members' vehicles is monitored closely by us and the estate, and failure to follow the conditions will put the continuation of this arrangement at risk. We have worked closely with the estate to maintain these arrangements and in the event that their staff make a formal complaint about a member we will deal with the matter through the Mountaineering Scotland Complaints Policy, which may result in sanctions being applied.


Deer management takes place on the Strathfarrar estates and may have implications for your walking or climbing plans. Please follow signs and notices provided by the estate about deer stalking.


It is within your access rights to access the glen using non-motorised (disabled transport excepted) at all times of day or night, including wild camping (away from road and buildings). Please camp responsibly under the guidance in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.  

Your access rights do not, however, extend to your car, and, overnight parking is not permitted in Strathfarrar. If you wish to stay in the glen overnight you should either walk in, bike in, or arrange for someone to drop you off in the glen and then drive the vehicle out of the glen. Abuse of this arrangement could result in access to the glen for vehicles being revoked by the estate.


During the summer season (2 April 2023 to end of October) vehicle access is available to everyone, though controlled by a gate-keeper and subject to a number of conditions (see below). You do not need to advise Mountaineering Scotland if you wish to visit the glen during the summer access period.

  • The glen is closed to vehicles all day Tuesday, and closed Wednesday until 1.30pm

  • Daily opening times are:

    April               9am - 6pm
    May                9am - 7pm
    June                9am - 8pm
    July                  9am - 8pm
    August            9am - 8pm
    September     9am - 7pm
    October          9am - 6pm

  • Last vehicle access is one hour before closing time. 

  • A maximum of 25 vehicles are permitted in the glen on a given day. 

  • Vehicles can be parked at Mhullie Greens, just past Deanie power station at NH283386.