walkhighlands

Read other users walk reports for the long distance trails - and add your own.

NB. This board is for reports on multi-day long distance routes - reports on simply long walks should be added to the standard boards.

Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way


Postby CrampyChris » Sun May 17, 2015 9:16 pm

Route description: Affric Kintail Way

Date walked: 16/04/2015

Time taken: 4 days

Distance: 71 km

22 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Having walked into Knoydart the previous spring with my pal Bob, we had decided on another spring trip and we settled on the recently opened Affric Kintail Way. We decided to walk it over the four days between Thursday 16th April and Sunday the 19th April. On the Thursday morning we left very early and dropped a car off at the Ranger station at Morvich. After speaking to a very helpful guy who was with a Rangers work party, we got the all clear to leave a car there and also told him the route we were taking and when we were due back. He told us that it was the official opening ceremony on Friday - that did not bother us as we reckoned that the ceremony would be miles from where ever we were :)

We got to Drumnadrochit about eleven and then headed off out of the town and into the woods. At the first sign, beside a magnificent redwood tree, we high tailed it up the hill - at this point Bob realised we should have not done that so we had to double back and rejoin the route - lost in the first half hour! :roll:

This was a pleasant walk on good tracks through the forest and I realised that my heavy boots were probably not the best choice for this walk and I would wear lighter ones next time! After passing the wee settlement of Shenval we eventually hit the main road which we stomped along accompanied by the sounds of chainsaws in the woods! The verge was good on this road so you could get out of the way of oncoming traffic - I suspect that this verge will become a fairly decent path in time.

By tea time we had reached Cannich and the low cloud that had hung about all day had broken and it was nice and sunny. We walked into the camp site and after speaking to the friendly owner we got our tents set up and then high tailed it to the Slaters Arms for a bite to eat and beer :-) We stayed here a while and after a few more beers and a wee night cap we retired to the camp site.

I was woken up very early by a magnificent dawn chorus, it was fabulous, and after listening to it for a while I drifted off to sleep... I awoke again to find it was about 10am - the night cap was very effective :wink: So after having breakfast and packing up we left the camp site, sheepishly, at mid day.

It was a lovely afternoon as we left Cannich the sun was out as we followed the woodland path towards Glen Affric. As we were coming down the hill towards dog Falls we had realised it was getting cloudy again and we decided to stop there for a quick snack. We had noticed a guy with a camera standing there, and he had a proper camera, two in fact and he looked professional... As I took the first bite of my Pepperami a load of vehicles turned up with people in it, Bob and I both realised that this was something to do with the opening ceremony when Cameron Mcneish jumped out and started walking to the bridge with a crowd of folks - I took this sneaky picture.

P4173780.jpg
Cameron Mcneish at Dog Falls going to cut the ribbon


We stayed at our bench trying to keep our head down but a couple of people came over talk to us and ask us if we were walking the route, when we told them we were, they went away and came back with more people who are involved with this route and the opening ceremony. I was handed the excellent Harvey XT40 Affric and Kintail map which I was told was "hot of the press" and I wonder if it was maybe Mrs Harvey who handed it to me!! We then had our picture taken holding this map by the man who runs the website and facebook page (we ended up on the Affric Kintail facebook page :lol: ). After we said our goodbyes (I was like an embarrassed schoolboy) they took off over the bridge probably for another picture opportunity up the hill. After all this excitement we headed off up the hill and trudged on.

P4173792_affric.jpg
Our first view of the way ahead

P4173794.jpg
Bob marching on towards the end of day 2


After finishing stage two, we did not go to the car park but headed further up Glen Affric looking for a place to camp. As we passed the lodge we realised that the loch was fenced off and at the height we were, there appeared little opportunity for camping spots due to the healthy heather and bumpy ground. We did eventually find a spot by a burn and pitched our tents. I had been hoping for something a bit closer to the loch for some sunrise photo opportunities, but by this time I was relieved to have found somewhere in good time.

sunsetcamp.jpg
A nice peg friendly camping spot


campnight.jpg
Watching the sunset whilst eating Supernoodles!


I settled down for the night and went to sleep. I woke up about one and poked my head out to marvel at the stars as the sky was crystal clear, I also realised that it was cold and the tents were covered in frost. I decided then that my 2kg (!) four season sleeping bag had been worth the bulk and weight as I was toasty. I had set my alarm for 6am and after I had breakfast I took the opportunity to take some pictures in the glorious early morning light.

P4183857.jpg
A frosty tent!

affricmorning.jpg
A beautiful morning at Glen Affric

sunrise.jpg
Here comes the sun :-)

morningtree.jpg
The sun appears over the hill...

Sgurr na Lapaich.jpg
Sgurr na Lapaich from our camp site


Due to the heavy frost on the tents we decided to hang around for a while and let the sun do its thing so we didn't pack frosty tents. We set off a bit later than expected but this stage seemed quite short so we could afford the delay. As we marched onwards looking over Loch Affric, the sun got warmer and we realised that the forecast for cloud was not going to happen, it was a beautiful still and sunny day and the loch was like a mirror. As I like to take photos I winced a bit at having to go somewhere as I could have spent all day here taking pictures - I will be back, but I will be lucky if it is like this again!
P4183917.jpg
Loch Affric, like a mirror


We marched onward and the sun got hotter, it was also following us and my left ear was getting BBQ'd. I had not bought any sunscreen due to weight and the forecast of cloud :? We marched on in the heat, past Strawberry cottage on our way to Alltbeithe.
P4183925.jpg
Heading for Alltbeithe

P4183930.jpg
Nearly there!

Alltbeithe.jpg
Made it!


We stopped at the youth hostel briefly and spoke to the resident there, we then headed on in the heat towards our stop for the night - Camban Bothy, on the way we stopped to speak to a heavily laden man who was sweating in the heat and was heading to Ullapool! We carried on and I took pictures on the way.
P4183942_pregamma_1_mantiuk08_auto_luminancecolorsaturation_1_contrastenhancement_1.jpg
A hot day!

P4183945_pregamma_1_mantiuk06_contrast_mapping_0.1_saturation_factor_0.8_detail_factor_1.jpg
Approaching Camban Bothy

steading.jpg
A ruin near Camban Bothy

We reached the bothy and we were the only folks there, it was still early so we killed some time drying the tents and I took some pics.
P4183967.jpg
Camban Bothy

P4183957.jpg
Room with a view

P4183958__hdr_preview.jpg
The front door

A cyclist joined us in the bothy with his dog just as night fell and he was planning a circular the next day, we just had the final leg to do and we wanted to leave early so we could get back in good time for the drive home.

We headed off about 8am for the final leg and this bit was my favourite as the rough path was easier on my feet than flat tracks or road, the walking was also entertaining too with some steep drops at the gorge.
kintail.jpg
Glorious Kintail

P4194012.jpg
An entertaining path

P4194010.jpg
A steep drop

After we descended past Glenlicht House, we knew we did not have far to go. We walked right into the middle of lambing time so we negotiated Gleann Lichd with caution as we did not want to upset the wee ones and come between them and their mums, it was really busy here!

We finally reached the Rangers station - it was time to go back to civilisation and work the next day! We were very lucky with the weather and the scenery was fantastic - I certainly enjoyed myself. The Harvey map we received when we bumped into the opening ceremony was excellent too, I have it as a memento now :D
P4194026.jpg
The end - back to the car and the long drive home.
CrampyChris
 
Posts: 10
Munros:23   Corbetts:2
Grahams:2   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: May 11, 2014

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby Lastofthesummerwine » Mon May 18, 2015 10:47 am

Thanks for the story and pics. Love the ones of Aultbeithe and Camban. Don't think I will ever be there myself but I can imagine it from your story.
User avatar
Lastofthesummerwine
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Dec 26, 2011
Location: Near Aberlour, Morayshire

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby Mal Grey » Mon May 18, 2015 11:33 am

Great stuff. Affric is one of the very best glens.
User avatar
Mal Grey
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2622
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby Ossian22 » Mon May 18, 2015 8:12 pm

Great report and excellent photos.......you missed out the photo of my attempt at best ever tent pitch though
DSCF3441.jpg
Ossian22
Walker
 
Posts: 27
Munros:108   
Joined: Jan 24, 2013

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby CrampyChris » Mon May 18, 2015 10:33 pm

Thanks for the nice comments, I am glad to have had the opportunity to walk the length of this beautiful glen, I could spend a lifetime taking pictures here and hopefully I can revisit here again for more pictures and to explore the hills too.

As for the tent, I did forget to take that picture - Luckily you captured it though :lol:
CrampyChris
 
Posts: 10
Munros:23   Corbetts:2
Grahams:2   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: May 11, 2014

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby will0001 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:26 am

Hi Great pics!

You mention you met a cyclist at Camban - which way was he travelling (west -> east or east -> west)? I'm curios a I quite fancy cycle touring in the area and using the path from Glen Licht up to Glen Afrric as a short cut towards Inverness (via the Beauly Firth).

Do you think I could push a touring bike up that pass, with a tent and panniers?

Your thoughts on the steepness of the path would be appreciated.

Regards

Will
User avatar
will0001
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 23
Munros:2   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:27   
Joined: Feb 9, 2010

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby CrampyChris » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:46 pm

will0001 wrote:Hi Great pics!

You mention you met a cyclist at Camban - which way was he travelling (west -> east or east -> west)? I'm curios a I quite fancy cycle touring in the area and using the path from Glen Licht up to Glen Afrric as a short cut towards Inverness (via the Beauly Firth).

Do you think I could push a touring bike up that pass, with a tent and panniers?

Your thoughts on the steepness of the path would be appreciated.

Regards

Will


Thanks, he came from Morvich and was planning a circular route back there the next day, he seemed pretty hard core and was from Skye. The worst part is the falls at the top of Gleann Lichd, which I would push personally push a bike up with care. Check the official Affric Kintail website though as they recently reported a land slide at the falls and the picture made it look a bit more difficult - I am not sure if it has been repaired yet.

By the time you get to Camban the path is fairly good and improves all the way down Glen Affric, it would be a very enjoyable cycle IMHO.
CrampyChris
 
Posts: 10
Munros:23   Corbetts:2
Grahams:2   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: May 11, 2014

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby ronnie962 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:45 am

Thanks for submitting report Chris. Walking over 4 days with other half and dog. Was going to ask about wild camping spots by the Camban Bothy but the subsequent comments have answered my query . . . I think!! :shock:
ronnie962
Walker
 
Posts: 2
Munros:3   Corbetts:2
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Aug 9, 2013

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby CrampyChris » Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:47 am

ronnie962 wrote:Thanks for submitting report Chris. Walking over 4 days with other half and dog. Was going to ask about wild camping spots by the Camban Bothy but the subsequent comments have answered my query . . . I think!! :shock:


That was pitched to dry the tent so the angle did not matter :D. There is a some nice ground around the bothy where you could pitch a tent :)
CrampyChris
 
Posts: 10
Munros:23   Corbetts:2
Grahams:2   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: May 11, 2014

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby Rainer » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:03 pm

Thanks for that fine report and the great pics. Just booked the flight to Inverness for end of september to go the way and take pics. After reading i now look very forward.
Rainer
Rainer
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 16, 2010

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby sprintster » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:41 pm

Great report. I'm doing it in 2 weeks time raring to go now! :)
sprintster
Walker
 
Posts: 26
Munros:113   Corbetts:16
Grahams:4   
Sub 2000:8   
Joined: Sep 28, 2014
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby sabyt » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:48 pm

Very interesting review Chris. Thanks!

I'm planning doing this next week but transport there and back is a concern for me, how did you get from your car in Morvich to Drumnadrochit? Public transport or did you have a second car?
sabyt
Walker
 
Posts: 1
Munros:3   
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Apr 11, 2016

Re: Frost, sunburn and a free map on the Affric Kintail Way

Postby CrampyChris » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:30 pm

Hi,

We had the two cars which made things a bit easier. I think that there is a bus also that goes between Skye and Inverness, but not sure of times. Enjoy your walk!
CrampyChris
 
Posts: 10
Munros:23   Corbetts:2
Grahams:2   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: May 11, 2014

22 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free.

Can you help support the site and community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Long Distance routes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests