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Remote hill, white horses and a surprise kindness

Remote hill, white horses and a surprise kindness


Postby dogplodder » Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:12 pm

Route description: Leathad an Taobhain and Càrn Dearg Mòr

Corbetts included on this walk: Leathad an Taobhain

Date walked: 29/05/2021

Distance: 31 km

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After an early start we met up 1km north of Achlean to find the car park already well filled, partly down to overnight campervans. The increasing number of these vehicles is threatening to become a problem for walkers turning up early to find parking areas full of overnighters!

Once booted up we headed south on the tarmac road as far as where a path to the left skirts round Achlean farm. It was a familiar route for Moira and me from when we climbed Carn Dearg Mor. This time we'd come to pay a visit to CDM's southern and more remote sidekick, Leathad an Taobhain, which we omitted to climb the first time.

Grandson Finlay and Keira at start of path round farm
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The burn to be crossed was fuller than the previous time and since I didn't want to risk wet boots early in the day I took them off and paddled across. We continued on the path towards the bridge over the River Feshie.

Rest of the squad on bridge
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River Feshie looking north
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From the bridge we veered right to follow steps up to meet the tarmac road that runs along the glen and turned left along it. As we walked we could see flood damage which had swept the path away on the far side.

Bank erosion on east side of Feshie
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At some point Ian decided it was time to leave us and he headed straight up the hillside to find the route to CDM, which he planned to climb first and would join us later on Leathad an Taobhain.

Cottages at Carnachuin
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We passed the entrance to Glen Feshie Lodge where the road surface changed from tarmac to gravel and continued for about another 2km to reach the right fork towards the Slochd Mor.

Glen Feshie looking south
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Slochd Mor looking east to Mullach Clach a' Bhlair
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Lochan an t-Sluic
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After our first bit of proper ascent we all agreed Lochan an t-Sluic was a good stopping point to take on some fuel before the rest of the climb.

Pit stop at lochan
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On our way again
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At the top of the Slochd Mor we turned left and a bit further along the track Finlay (who was in the lead) caught up with Ian, who since leaving us had been over Carn Dearg Mor. We must have sat too long over coffee at the lochan!

Group reunited and still climbing (Linda's pic)
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Zoomed NW to Meallach Mhor
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Looking across to Meallach Mhor reminded me of the day of many squashed toads - or were they frogs?
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=71112

At the end of the main track there was a turning area and a small cairn marking the start of an old path heading SW.

Still a bit to go
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Someone once lived here
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We passed a stone ruin which was reassuring as WH mentioned it, then crossed a short boggy bit before a briefly steeper climb up a heather slope to find a more level path again. This path seemed to be following a line a bit east of the summit trig point, which I first spotted because Finlay was already there and waving.

Boy and dog with Cairngorms backdrop
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Leathad an Taobhain summit
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Zoomed to Braeriach, Angel's Peak and Cairn Toul
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We sat down in socially distanced fashion, although I'm sure in a wide open place like this, on one of the more remote Corbetts, we were at considerably less risk of transmitting covid than anywhere in Scotland. Keira got her usual carrot but that doesn't stop her hoping she'll be sharing my lunch too (which she did!).

Summit lunch (Linda's pic)
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After lunch all that was left to do was retrace our steps back to Achlean. Sounds simple enough but it was quite a long way. When it's a long trek I find it helps to break it up into shorter sections to be ticked off in my head as we go. The first bit was straight across the moor in the direction of the ruin, no bother with the path this time.

Steep descent back to ruin
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Last remnants of snow
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Nearing top of the Slochd Mor
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Lochan again
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On the way in we had spotted white horses grazing a long way off. By the afternoon they had worked their way over to meet us coming down the track.

White horses of Glen Feshie
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They seemed very comfortable with having their photos taken
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Long homeward trudge
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Bright sunshine under a dark sky
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There was still a fair distance to cover before we reached the bridge and Finlay didn't have the same bounce in his step he'd had earlier. This would be the longest walk he'd ever done and I wondered if it had been too far. Moira also mentioned that her ankle was complaining. A few minutes later a vehicle drew level, the driver enquiring if the lad was okay and offering a lift. We hadn't seen anyone all day and didn't expect any vehicle to pass. And in the context of covid this offer was remarkable! He had just driven up from England and was on his way to Kingussie station to pick up his family.

Before they had any chance to object I said it would be great if he could give Finlay and Moira a lift along the road as far as the bridge..... and they obediently got in. This enabled the rest of us to speed up and by the time we reached the stream crossing we saw them waiting on the other side. I didn't bother to take boots off this time and managed to cross on boulders under close supervision from Linda. When you're tired it's good not to have to work it out for yourself but just do what you're told!

We all agreed it had been a fabulous day in a beautiful glen with a new Corbett for all of us and two for Ian. Not to mention a surprise kindness at the end, exactly when it was needed.
Last edited by dogplodder on Wed Dec 01, 2021 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Remote hill, white horses and a surprise kindness

Postby gld73 » Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:40 pm

I see you did it earlier in the summer - I parked at Auchlean / Achlean last month and there were signs up in the car park saying no overnight parking of campervans and motorhomes. I wonder if that's just happened recently because of the overwhelming influx of them this summer?
Maybe whoever runs the car park (Nature Scot?) got tired of complaints from people driving all the way to the car park specified on the NatureScot website for visiting Invereshie and Inshriach NNR, only to find it was being used as a free campsite by motorhomes and no room left for people going for the day or a few hours...
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Re: Remote hill, white horses and a surprise kindness

Postby dogplodder » Tue Aug 31, 2021 2:36 pm

gld73 wrote:I see you did it earlier in the summer - I parked at Auchlean / Achlean last month and there were signs up in the car park saying no overnight parking of campervans and motorhomes. I wonder if that's just happened recently because of the overwhelming influx of them this summer?
Maybe whoever runs the car park (Nature Scot?) got tired of complaints from people driving all the way to the car park specified on the NatureScot website for visiting Invereshie and Inshriach NNR, only to find it was being used as a free campsite by motorhomes and no room left for people going for the day or a few hours...


I didn't complain as we got parked - but can imagine the annoyance of driving a long way to find the place full of overnight campervans. :(
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Re: Remote hill, white horses and a surprise kindness

Postby shredder » Thu Dec 02, 2021 3:27 pm

I must have missed this before but well done to the young lad for a very long walk and well done that driver who stopped to offer a lift. :clap:

Those white horses are certainly eye-catching and look well used to standing for photos in that beautiful glen.
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Re: Remote hill, white horses and a surprise kindness

Postby dogplodder » Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:00 pm

shredder wrote:I must have missed this before but well done to the young lad for a very long walk and well done that driver who stopped to offer a lift. :clap:

Those white horses are certainly eye-catching and look well used to standing for photos in that beautiful glen.


It was a magical day for all sorts of reasons. :D
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