OS Grid ref: NH 00507 48357
Lat/Long: 57.481424, -05.329374
The overnight stop location proved to be better than I'd
expected. I had coffee and breakfast before setting off for the
short 5mile drive down the A890 & Glen Carron to the muddy cap
parking area by the road below Achnashellach Railway Station. I
find it amazing that this trailway line between Inverness and
the Kyle of Lochalsh still operates. It must be heavily
subsidised. It was still dark when I set off up the private
muddy track to the tiny Railway Platform.
Achnashellach Railway Platform.
There were a few dismal buildings around and one was occupied.
The railway platform was illuminated but nobody was about. There
wasn't even a timetable to be seen. The small 2 seat waiting
shelter was closed because of the plague restrictions. Two seats
inside but both denied use. Shurely one could be used if it's
raining. I crossed the railway line then through the gate to
continue up along the forestry track. It was still fairly dark
and even though I saw a path marker I continued upwards.
Eventually I reached what looked like a mobile phone mast by the
track then realised I climbed too far so had to descend back
down again to the path marker I’d seen earlier.
Waiting/shelter cabin was closed.
That was the way I needed to go so turned left to follow it up
into clearer terrain. A sign directed me left down a narrow path
to the River lair where it continued up the right bank and a
steady climb up the hillside. The path was good and easy to
follow and an enjoyable walk. I was last on this path on Sat
19th May 1984 on a backpacking trek. In my diary I wrote “The
path was a delight.” Which is how I thought today.
Cairn by the path near the high point.
There was no rain but thankfully the cloud was high enough to
give good views of the mountains. I approached the high point of
the trail and came to a tall cairn marking a path junction.
I continued straight on to another junction and headed right and
a steady descent towards Easa Dorcha.
Earlier I’d seen a man walking up the same track as me and
now I could just see him climbing much higher up another path on
the side of Beinn Liath Mhor (Big Grey Hill). My way is much
lower and I descend the wide valley with nice views and a good
path. The map marks a bothy but I had no idea what to expect.
Eventually I saw a green roofed cabin below. It looked too small
to be a bothy but further on I could see a large slated roof. I
was puzzled because the map showed nothing there. I reached
Easan Dorcha and crossed the footbridge to the cabin.
This was the bothy though very small. Guide notes call it ‘The
Teahouse’. Apparently it was visited in 2006 by Michelle
Pfeiffer and Robert de Niro when they were filming Stardust at
nearby Coulin. It was pleasant inside but I wouldn’t want to
stay there. A short way down the track became more substantial
as I reached a new building. It was a hydroelectric generator
and looked very recent. An on-line search shows the Easan Dorcha
Hydro Scheme. Commission Date:17/8/2017. Capacity:995kW 0.995
Through the window.
View from the estate road.
Heading up the Coulin Pass with cable marker on the right.
I continued down the track to a substantial stone bridge on the
right. I crossed it to climb the estate road steadily up the
Coulin Pass. I came to the summit in less than 2 miles at a gate
where the forest started. The track continued steadily down
which great views down into Glen Carron and the distant loch. It
was an easy walk down back to Achnashellach Railway platform
then down back to the car. The parking area was almost full.
Looking down from the pass.
Achanashellach Railway Platform in daylight.
Derelict Phone Box by the road.