walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor


Postby malky_c » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:32 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Creag Dhubh (Newtonmore), Creag Liath

Date walked: 27/03/2011

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 17.5 km

Ascent: 1070m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Grahams: Creag Dubh, Creag Liath
Date walked: 27/03/2011
Distance: 17.5km
Ascent: 1070m
Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Weather: Overcast with sunny spells

A strange weekend really. My initial plans of spending Friday night in Duinish bothy, followed by a trip around some hills that way on Saturday, followed by a stop-in at Aviemore to join the Scottishhills meet for a meal, were thrown in the air when I discovered I would be off to work in Abu Dhabi at the end of the week, for 2 or 3 months. A rush down to Glasgow to renew my passport followed, leaving me with the option of a short day trip either on Saturday or Sunday.

I had Fuar Tholl in my sights for a bit, as I'd wanted to repeat this for ages, and it seemed like a great spot for what was likely to be my last walk before the end of June, but the weather forecast intervened, dumping lots of rain and low cloud on the west coast, so I was back to the east again. I had been looking at Creag Dubh and Creag Liath for quite some time, and they fitted the bill nicely, being easily accessible by public transport. Ironically this left me pretty close to the meet which I had just aborted!


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Bus and train both serve Newtonmore very well, and for a similar cost, but I picked the bus as the timetable suited better. I was a litte wary that my rough calculation of 5 hours for the walk matched almost exactly with the window in the timetable. I had a feeling I would be slightly faster, but not much leeway there :?

Creag Dubh from Newtonmore:
Image

Off the bus just before 9:30am, I walked out of Newtonmore in the direction of Laggan, planning to do Creag Dubh first. I made one of my increasingly typical river crossing errors here - instead of walking over the road bridge and up the track on the far side, I went past the graveyard in search of a smaller bridge shown on my map. It wasn't there, and I ended up wading in order to save backtracking to the road bridge :oops: . I was glad of my lightweight choice of shorts and trainers, as I dried out almost immediately. I passed Biallaid and picked up a vehicle track which zigzagged up towards the NE ridge of Creag Dubh. A trodden path led off the track after a short while and passed through pleasant woodland. Even nicer once the leaves are out, I would have thought. This led more steeply through broken crags and onto the end of the ridge proper.

Ascent of Creag Dubh:
Image

I kept losing the path on the ascent, as it contoured round the bumps on the ridge rather than over them. The only significant re-ascent was at An Torr. The going was boggy in places, but pretty easy, and the views opened up. Sadly the Cairngorms didn't ever fully reveal themselves, but the views across to Carn Dearg, Creag Liath and A Chailleach were good.

Shower over Strathspey:
Image

Newtonmore and where the Cairngorms would be if it was clear:
Image

Carn Dearg, Creag Liath and Glen Fionndrigh:
Image

I was surprised not to meet anyone else up here, as Creag Dubh appears to be one of the more popular Grahams, being very prominent and easy to access. In fact I didn't meet anyone until I reached the car park at the end of Glen Banchor, near the end of my walk.

The summit was reached in a little over an hour, but I didn't hang around for long as there was a threat of rain, and many of the higher summits were in the clag. Still there were nice views up and down Strathspey. The SW ridge appeared to be better defined and more interesting than the one I had just ascended, so I started down the top part of this.

SW from Creag Dubh:
Image

SW ridge of Creag Dubh:
Image

Across to Carn Dearg and Creag Liath again:
Image

Upper Strathspey - Creag Ruadh in center:
Image

There was a path again, and it was drier than the one I had come up. No proper scrambling, but there was the occasional need to put hand to rock for balance. Definitely the superior way up Creag Dubh, if you have to choose one over the other.

Back up the SW ridge of Creag Dubh:
Image

The ridge led me away from my next destination so I cut NW towards Creag Shiaraidh. Back in more familiar Graham territory here (bog, heather, tussocks). There is a fence to cross here, but it is only waist high, and there is no barbed wire. I went along to a gate, only to discover it was higher than the fence! Just stepped over the fence instead. I disturbed a large herd of deer over here. They scarpered onto the slopes opposite as I crashed down to Glen Banchor. Maybe I miss lots of wildlife because I'm too noisy :lol:

Deer on Creag Shiaraidh:
Image

The Calder was pretty easy to cross, barely ankle deep. There was a sandy bank where I crossed.

River Calder:
Image

Carn Dearg and Carn Ban:
Image

Easy walking over the valley bottom, then I was onto Creag Liath. I fancied climbing this by the prominent S ridge (Uinneag Coire Each). Bit of a heathery scramble lower down but a faint path developed higher up, possibly coming from Dalballoch. I scattered another herd of deer.

Creag Dubh from the ascent of Creag Liath:
Image

Creag Liath is very hemmed in by the surrounding hills, so doesn't offer much in the way of long range views. However, it does give superb close-ups of the surrounding Monadhliath, which are rockier and more intricate than you might expect. I hadn't been this close to these hills in years.

Summit ridge of Creag Liath:
Image

Sron nan Laogh between Carn Macoul and Carn Dearg:
Image

The summit was a little breezy, but the sun came out and gave the best weather of the day. I had a leisurely stop for lunch here. Although I hadn't been rushing, I was ahead of schedule, so had no concerns about missing the bus. I found a nice little perch out of the wind, overlooking the craggy E face.

Carn Dearg, Carn Ban and Gleann Ballach:
Image

Carn Ballach:
Image

Creag na h-Iolaire from Creag Liath:
Image

Carn Liath summit looking SW:
Image

Geal Charn:
Image

Carn Dearg:
Image

Cuillin was up here only a week previously, and conditions were very different (report). I only crossed a couple of small snow patches in the entire walk. I'm not sure exactly which way he came up, but I have a feeling I took a similar line down, following a small stream which drops into Glen Fionndrigh. It was steep and heathery, but delivered me to the last river crossing of the day in about 15 minutes.

Looking up Glen Fionndrigh:
Image

And again:
Image

Creag Dubh from Glen Fionndrigh:
Image

Creag nan Abhag:
Image

It was an easy walk down the track in the glen, and I cut a corner, missing the house at Glenballoch.

Back to Creag Liath:
Image

Creag Liath again:
Image

I passed my first people of the day, a couple of ladies packing up their car after a walk. I wonder if they were on the Scottishhills meet? There were more people on the road down to Newtonmore. Seems like a popular spot for an afternoon stroll.

Glen Banchor and the western Cairngorms:
Image

Lower Glen Banchor:
Image

I enjoyed my walk back down the road. Strange how your perception changes with your mode of transport. If I had been in the car, I'd never have parked in the village and walked up the road, but walking back to the bus stop in no great hurry was very pleasant. Given more time, I might have gone cross country to Loch Gynack, ascended Creag Bheag, and got the next bus home from Kingussie. However with other commitments that wasn't an option.

South across Strathspey:
Image

Was back with half an hour to spare, which gave me plenty of time to change out of my smelly trainers into some drier ones. I also had the usual quandry - look for a cafe or not? There was time to kill, but not quite enough to risk being caught halfway through a cup of tea, so I didn't bother. The cloud lifted temporarily on the way home, giving me a view to the summit of Braeriach. Later in the evening it was bucketing down.

An enjoyable little round, although not what I would have chosen as my 'last walk' had the weather been better out west. My much anticipated easter bothying trip is now on hold, but the hills aren't going anywhere!
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5848
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:252   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:102   Islands:33
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby dooterbang » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:11 pm

great report Malky - you do time it well for public transport.

I look forward to trip reports from afar :D ....should be interesting.

Good luck and all the best with your time abroad.

We can get a big walk in when your home - blow away the cobwebs.
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
Munros:255   Corbetts:57
Grahams:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby Alastair S » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:37 pm

So we can look forward to quality reports from Abu Dhabi? :lol: Hope you have a good time (& a revolution doesn't break out!).

Interesting tracks all across the hillside in that Creag na h-Iolaire from Creag Liath photo. Must be a busy deer route?
User avatar
Alastair S
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1283
Munros:78   Corbetts:12
Grahams:6   
Sub 2000:13   
Islands:22
Joined: Dec 14, 2008
Location: Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby monty » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:17 pm

Nice report malky.
Unlike you to be wading rivers,, Not :lol: Looks like a good walk of the beaten track. Good set of pictures too.

Enjoy your holidays in Abu Dhabi. :D
monty
 

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby rockhopper » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:37 pm

Good to see reports away from the norm - and you got some reasonable weather :D Mountain biked in this area a good few years ago but not walked yet.

Wondered how your better half was taking the news of your 2 or 3 months away - think I know what mine would say ! :lol:

Hope all goes well and no doubt you'll post from time to time 8)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6401
Munros:282   Corbetts:207
Grahams:60   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby ChrisW » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:59 pm

Great report and some stunning pics, maybe you should consider changing your name to 'deerscarer' :lol: good luck with working away and if you get any walking in out there it would be great to see a report :D
User avatar
ChrisW
Scrambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby mountainstar » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:51 am

In 2 minds whether to report you to the moderator using the Scottishhills word twice, as if I would ever go over there :oops: :shh: :wink:
Interesting little (for you) round that.
Got some pictures of Duinish Bothy for you to see, I was there last March....

Duinish Bothy (600 x 294).jpg


Duinish Bothy (2) (600 x 230).jpg


Duinish Bothy (3) (580 x 600).jpg


Good bothy, you will enjoy it. :D
User avatar
mountainstar
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2467
Munros:282   Corbetts:221
Grahams:24   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:218
Wainwrights:214   Islands:24
Joined: Dec 7, 2009
Location: Wrexham

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby Paul Webster » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:59 am

Good luck in Abu Dhabi malky. 2-3 months isn't giving the rest of us long to catch up your hill count though :)
User avatar
Paul Webster
Site Admin
Walker
 
Posts: 5235
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:64   Donalds:39
Sub 2000:113   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:134   Islands:92
Joined: Jan 6, 2007
Location: Nr Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby HighlandSC » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:47 pm

Good stuff Malky. Your determination to use public transport is inspiring!
All the best for the Abu Dhabi trip. Hopefully I'll get some good hill days in this summer and be able to keep up with you if/when we get another day out! I hope to settle the score with Meall a' Ghiubhais very soon!
User avatar
HighlandSC
 
Posts: 2179
Munros:33   Corbetts:4
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:13   
Islands:8
Joined: Jul 12, 2009
Location: USA (formerly Inverness)

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby kinley » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:26 pm

Nice walk - looking at pairing one of those with some munros.

I'll be sure and take a picture of every snow patch I see for the next few months just for you! :lol:
User avatar
kinley
 
Posts: 2898
Munros:282   Corbetts:215
Grahams:146   Donalds:25
Sub 2000:39   
Joined: May 12, 2009

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby Merry-walker » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:38 pm

What an area to walk in, grand report and pictures.

Best wishes :)
User avatar
Merry-walker
Walker
 
Posts: 1771
Munros:65   Corbetts:53
Grahams:12   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Location: Scotland

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby malky_c » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:21 pm

Cheers all, I'll probably continue to bore one and all with some more retrospective reports over the next cople of months :wink: . If I'm lucky I might manage something a like the recent reports that Tango has been writing. Pretty flat and dusty for about 200 miles around though :shock:

rockhopper wrote: Wondered how your better half was taking the news of your 2 or 3 months away - think I know what mine would say ! :lol:


Funnily enough she was more concerned when I decided to stay overnight for the last WH meet :lol:

mountainstar wrote:In 2 minds whether to report you to the moderator using the Scottishhills word twice, as if I would ever go over there :oops: :shh: :wink:
Interesting little (for you) round that.
Got some pictures of Duinish Bothy for you to see, I was there last March....
Good bothy, you will enjoy it. :D


Keep meaning to delete the references before posting on here but then I tend to forget...
I doubt I'll ever get to Duinish at this rate. That's twice I've called off the trip at short notice now.

HighlandSC wrote: Hopefully I'll get some good hill days in this summer and be able to keep up with you if/when we get another day out! I hope to settle the score with Meall a' Ghiubhais very soon!


You're off in September, is that right? Should be back in June so might see you at some point. I may well have lost most of my hill fitness by then :lol: . Was hoping to see you and Michelle at the Aviemore meet but that didn't work out. Good luck with the re-match :wink:

kinley wrote:I'll be sure and take a picture of every snow patch I see for the next few months just for you! :lol:


I'm done with snow this year, although that attitude may rapidly change after one too many days of 35+ degree temperatures :lol:
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5848
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:252   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:102   Islands:33
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby kevsbald » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:55 pm

Enjoy Abu Dhabi - see if you can encourage some wealthy businessmen over there to come and spend their money in Scotland!
User avatar
kevsbald
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2151
Munros:260   Corbetts:115
Grahams:76   Donalds:51
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby HighlandSC » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:16 pm

malky_c wrote:
HighlandSC wrote: Hopefully I'll get some good hill days in this summer and be able to keep up with you if/when we get another day out! I hope to settle the score with Meall a' Ghiubhais very soon!


You're off in September, is that right? Should be back in June so might see you at some point. I may well have lost most of my hill fitness by then :lol: . Was hoping to see you and Michelle at the Aviemore meet but that didn't work out. Good luck with the re-match :wink:

More likely after Jan 2012 before I'm away properly (unless my US Visa goes through much faster than expected!), so I've got this year to get a few hill days in yet. I'm away to US for a holiday early July. Michelle over here for a holiday in Sep. Have a good holiday/work trip. Will catch you when you're back for sure :)
User avatar
HighlandSC
 
Posts: 2179
Munros:33   Corbetts:4
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:13   
Islands:8
Joined: Jul 12, 2009
Location: USA (formerly Inverness)

Re: Last chance saloon - a short round of Glen Banchor

Postby kinley » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:30 pm

malky_c wrote:
kinley wrote:I'll be sure and take a picture of every snow patch I see for the next few months just for you! :lol:


I'm done with snow this year, although that attitude may rapidly change after one too many days of 35+ degree temperatures :lol:


I'm betting a man who walks in shorts in a Scottish winter will be reminiscing about snow in about 2 days :lol:
User avatar
kinley
 
Posts: 2898
Munros:282   Corbetts:215
Grahams:146   Donalds:25
Sub 2000:39   
Joined: May 12, 2009

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

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: the bearded wanderer and 28 guests