Ben Challum

Ben Challum

Ben Challum is typically climbed from Strath Fillan, beside Kirkton Farm. It is a solitary top, and this ascent will probably be more interesting in winter conditions than in the summer. It can also be a busy climb.

The route begins from St. Fillan’s Priory, near Kirkton Farm, where a track heads uphill and crosses the West Highland Railway Line either by a footbridge or an uncontrolled level crossing (be very careful here). There is not really a path to speak of heading uphill, but eventually the south-west ridge will become discernible and this can be followed up to the south top, and then north to the main summit of Ben Challum, at 1025 metres.

Retrace your route of ascent to return to Kirkton Farm, down in Strath Fillan. Be careful of the electric fence on the hillside.

Safety first

These mountains may not have the height of Alpine peaks, but you should not underestimate them or the very changeable weather they are subjected to.  It is not unheard of to have warm sunshine, rain, snow and fog all on the same day – even in the Summer!

You must be prepared for the terrain and for these weather changes.  You should only climb in sturdy hiking or climbing boots, and you must take waterproofs and emergency supplies.  Also take plenty of food and water – it is generally safe to drink from mountain streams, which are usually very clean, but you do so at your own risk.  A map, compass, and proficiency in their use, are a necessity.

Always check the mountain weather forecast before you head into the hills, and if it is winter or there has  been any snow falling or forecast, you should also check the avalanche forecast.  The area is served by an excellent mountain rescue team, but it is your responsibility to ensure you minimise the chances of an emergency which endangers their lives too.

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