From the east ridge of Bruach na Frithe Am Basteir (left), Sgurr a' Fionn Choire (right), Sgurr nan Gillean (behind)

It is often said that Bruach na Frithe is the easiest Munro summit on the Cuillin Ridge, and one of the best viewpoints. It is hard to disagree with either of these opinions.

This is a wonderful trip to the top of Britain's only true mountain range, and it is not too difficult for anyone who is at least a competent hillwalker. That said, the weather will make all the difference. Unless you are skilled and experienced, stay well away in all but good settled conditions. The summit, which has the only trig point on the ridge, is 958m high, and can be reached without putting your hands on the rock. (You might choose to occasionally though!)  There is no significant exposure, but you do get to gaze down some big drops in places.

 

The view south from Bruach na Frithe summit

This is not the only route to the top, but it is the most straightforward and least exposed one. Start from the road just west of the Sligachan Hotel, at the lay-by at NG479297. The walk begins along the motor track towards Alltdearg House, branching right just before the house onto a good path over a bog. The path soon reaches and follows the left bank (right side) of the Allt Dearg Mor. Continue up here, passing beautiful waterfalls and pools all the way, until you reach a couple of cairns at NG454277, marking the start of the path up into Fionn Choire. Cross the Allt Dearg Mor here and follow the clear path up the right bank (left side) of the Allt an Fionn-choire. This steepens as it rises to the front lip of the corrie which, when you reach it, you will find to be surprisingly flat, grassy and pleasant to stroll across.

Head towards the back left of the grassy bowl and you will pick up a rough path that zig-zags up through scree and boulders to reach the ridge at the Bealach nan Lice.

Am Basteir and the Bhasteir Tooth from Bealach nan Lice

The bealach is amazing. As you reach it, everything happens at once. You see the view south, into and over Lotta Coire, to Bla Bheinn, Elgol and Rum. The massive summit of Am Basteir is right beside you. It is 'The Executioner' in English - and you can sense why it's called that. A few yards north takes you onto the ridge leading out to Sgurr a' Bhasteir, from where you get a great prospect of Sgurr nan Gillean's Pinnacle Ridge. To your right at the head of the corrie is Sgurr a' Fionn Choire, and Bruach na Frithe itself.

Take time to enjoy the Bealach nan Lice before taking a level path that runs along the back wall of Fionn Choire, below the peak of Sgurr a' Fionn Choire. This leads to the east ridge of Bruach na Frithe and a clear and straightforward path to the summit. There is plenty of space on the top to sit and take in the panorama without it feeling too precarious. The view of the ridge snaking away to the south is excellent.

The final rise to the summit of Bruach na Frithe

The simplest return is by the same route, although on a good day following the north-west ridge down to the foot of Fionn Choire is a great option. The Seamus Bar at the Sligachan Hotel is now calling. Black Cuillin beer anyone?