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Happiness is...a Warm Bag

Happiness is...a Warm Bag

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:04 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl), Càrn a' Chlamain

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Mheadhonach

Fionas included on this walk: Blath Bhalg

Date walked: 24/10/2021

Distance: 69 km

Ascent: 2900m

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With stag stalking season over for another year I was able to dig out some of the routes that wouldn't have been suitable recently. Sadly for Allison the one I chose was Simm heavy, resulting in only two Munros from the weekend. I managed to get my car fixed in time to get away and we drove up the - by recent standards - short distance up the A9 to Old Bridge of Tilt. Carn a'Chlamain and Beinn Dearg were the targets, Beinn Mheadhonach being usefully positioned between them, and a number of Simms to collect en route. We ate our tea in the darkness of the car in the car park then set off to find a place to camp. I remembered we'd used a spot near the firing range once before, but I couldn't remember where this was, near Gilberts Bridge thought I. The forecast was for gale force winds overnight, so I was keen to be somewhere with a bit of shelter. We found a suitable spot to the west of Gilberts Bridge, but it wasn't where we'd used before...

2021-10-21_2000 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Either the storm passed well over our heads or we slept through it, but we were not weather-troubled overnight. Friday mornign was calm with blue skies as we set off for a long walk up by the River Tilt. Past Clachghlas where the track goes up Carn a'Chlamain, past Forest Lodge, right up to Dun Beag. Some impressive folds in the hillsides, great geological action going on in the past. Keeping on the track, we headed for the first of the Simms, Dun Mhor. A little snow on the highest tops here, but looking north, the Cairngorms were completely white. Back onto track up to Bhraigh Coire na Conlaich then a dip down Creag a'Chrochaidh over tussocks and bog. We then had to plod back uphill to Conlach Mhor. Time was getting on now - we hadn't even got to our first Munro and I was wondering where we'd camp...the forecast was predicting increasing winds from the south, rather than the north overnight, so although the temperature should pick top I didn't want to be blasted about. I reckoned we could either stop in the bealach between Conlaich Mhor and Beag or keep on til the bealach before Bhraigh Sron Ghorm. As it was now around 5pm we opted for the former.

ImageF734566B-ADCC-4B6F-9972-61AAC9F8927E_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image94CDC1C1-23C3-4AB2-947E-DD9C6AAE4CE3_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image6DA1AE07-280F-4020-9D92-307E736AE44B_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image09E98D36-8557-4472-8D9D-DAB4E4317CA4_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image695E0290-3F0F-4C65-9011-AF16CE448947_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image6741055B-CBF9-489B-A2BC-A10013BB919E_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image5FE5FF4A-8127-417C-A32F-6AB1415A6405_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Carn an Righ, Glas Tulaichean
ImageB413C7D4-EC4A-40B9-AF4F-BC74DBA05A9E_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

White Cairngorms in the distance
Image5F38DA9F-0B30-4A35-B078-7EF4D371AED5_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Nice late afternoon sunshine from one of the Simms
Image685E6E2E-224C-4074-8973-2B6E5E0116E9_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Surrounded once more by roaring stags we had our meal while the tent "dried". Actually as soon as we pitched it, the outer skin froze in the cold air. Fingers did much the same. It started off cold during he night, but as the forecast had promised, it warmed up when the southernly wind began. Saturday morning was clag. It didn't take us long to get to the summit of Carn a'Chlamain as we were surprised to see a guy almost at the top when we got there - he'd cycled up the glen knowing the forecast was for worsening weather. We continued on an ATV track to Aonach na Cloiche Mhor then down to Bhraigh Sron Ghorm - I was relieved to see that we could have camped here had we needed to.

Carn a'Chlamain
Image53CF2898-8B49-421B-B8A3-938280413939_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Interesting tussocks - you can all between them
Image6CEAD4DD-CB71-47C1-8333-C6E4BF973D76_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Mheadhonach
ImageD3C2FDE7-FC49-47A8-8E5A-70A1015C9CF0_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Rain had started in addition to the clag. We headed down to cross Feith an Lochain, which was OK at the ox-bow and started up Beinn Mheadhonach. We got to the plateau and I said to Allison 75m more ascent...then it felt like being on an Escher staircase - on and on without ever getting any nearer to the summit, it seemed. At least it was easy walking :roll: We tracked back and descended into Chama Coire, still unable to see much. Up the slopes of Beinn Dearg, wind stronger here. The trig reached, a bit of respite by the wind shelter then down on the path, wet and squidgy. Here's where I made a planning error - we should have continued high tracking east to do Beinn a'Chait which would have meant a modest amount of re-ascent, rather than face almost 300m ascent from the track from the Allt Scheicheachan. In the end, wet and tired, we decided to miss it out and just continue along the track to do the remaining two Simms instead.

Summit Beinn Dearg
Image9B42809B-94BE-4A8C-9D43-8D7DE1EEBA20_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

A nip up Carn Dearg Mhor together, then Allison continued along the track and I headed up Elrig. At the top there's a large circle of stones, a bit like a stone nest. Inside this, as I got near, was an eagle, which flopped up into the air as I got steps away. One of a handful of times I've been within touching distance of an eagle, such a privilege. I caught up with Allison at the edge of the forest, where we' agreed she'd wait. It had been really dark for the last hour or so, due to a very black sky. Was it going to pour again? It was late on enough to look for somewhere to camp, and we found a nice spot just inside the forest and bedded down for the night.

Stone "nest" on Elrig
Image10634804-F30F-46EB-A483-4052E099FC9D_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

There was heavy rain on and off through the night, a definite lack of owls in the surrounding trees. I didn't sleep well as my neck was sore, for some reason. We set off back to the car, taking a minor diversion through the grounds of Blair Castle when I missed the turn for the car park. We were in no especial hurry, having planned a short Graham for later on. Car park - when we eventually got there was busy, various events on in the surrounding area.

Blair Castle
ImageFB182A04-672E-47C2-88B2-69AB2A106967_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageCA9C2DAE-2F40-42C6-8BB3-25C8393D42D5 by Al, on Flickr

2021-10-24_1120 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

We drove the few miles to do Blath Bhalg - the "Warm Bag" of my title. I passed the parking place, which I didn't recognise. In fact I didn't recognise the hill at all. Normally I'd remember bits of any hill I've been up before but not this one. A complete blank. It was five and a half years ago, but even so. There's a clear ATV track uo to the shoulder then a decrepit fence line to follow up to the top - the third bulge along the line. Back the same way - mist obscuring most of the surrounding views. Whetted my appetite for Grahams though - I've only done 4 this year, which surely has to change.

ImageE3F3E0BC-46ED-43BF-B2D3-D3F4E9FC1EB6_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageE3AAEEAB-1A3C-40AD-BC2E-F5AE6FA4AD20_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageF368A2CE-EFAF-43C2-B6FC-DC1AD6FB7E08 by Al, on Flickr
Hill Bagger
Posts: 2436
Munros:277   Corbetts:217
Fionas:197   Donalds:75+31
Sub 2000:391   Hewitts:33
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Happiness is...a Warm Bag

Postby rockhopper » Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:12 am

It's a good way to combine the two munros and the corbett - did a similar route to you (just realised it's over ten years now :shock: how time flies) although I didn't have all your extensions and used a bike for the early bit up the glen. Good to see the weather cleared for part of the time - cheers :)
User avatar
Posts: 7447
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:136   Donalds:89+20
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:20
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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