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Some More Old Pals

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2023 10:48 am
by Gordie12
Parking at the car park at Auchallater at 7:20am the temperature reading was -3.5 with not a cloud in the sky - promises to be a great day.

I set a steady pace up the gradual climb to Loch Callater knowing full well that after the loch the track steepens sharply and that this would be my toughest climb of the day. As usual, the climb didn't disappoint but with a good track I was quickly well above the loch and able to get a good view back down the glen.

Heading towards Loch Callater

Looking back down Glen Callater

Target 1 in view

Still some patches of snow around

It didn't take long for the sun to start to warm things up so it was a quick change to short sleeves for the rest of the day. I arrived at the top of Carn an Tuirc in just under 2 hours which is about my normal pace for this hill. A quick photo at the summit and it was on to Cairn of Claise.

Summit of Carn an Tuirc

A few patches of snow between the first two hills but still very easy walking and it didn't take long to reach the top of Cairn of Claise.

Summit of Cairn of Claise with Monega Hill in the background

Monega Hill zoomed

Looking east at some of the hills ahead of me

The lower ground between Cairn of Claise and Tommy Boyd was a bit on the squelchy side but once on the lower slopes of Tommy Boyd it was dry underfoot and hill 3 was done.

Heading up Tom Buidhe

Summit of Tom Buidhe looking over to Tolmount

A fair amount of snow melt dampness between Tommy Boyd and Tolmount and a steep little climb to start the ascent before a nice easy gradient to the top of Tolmount.

Easy final climb to the top of Tolmount

Summit of Tolmount

A longer walk now to reach target 5 (Broad Cairn). There is a faint path that comes out between Carn ant Sagairt Mor and Cairn Bannoch but today I chose a pathless route that would take me over Cairn of Gowal. It meant a steep climb through the heather over Cairn of Gowal but had the positive of a fast flowing burn of ice cold water that I could drink from. On this climb I felt my jelly legs kicking in for the first time and my pace definitely slowed at this point. I rejoined the Cairn Bannoch to Broad Cairn path about two hundred yards from the foot of the climb and in a few minutes number 5 was done.

Summit of Broad Cairn with Loch Muick below

Ahead to Cairn Bannoch

A few snow patches still lying between Broad Cairn and Cairn Bannoch, I dodged some and plodded through others. I'm always surprised that Cairn Bannoch qualifies as a Munro with so little ascent but anyway no 6 in the bag and the big whales back of Carn ant Sagairt Mor looms ahead of me.

Final few steps to the top of Cairn Bannoch

Carn ant Sagairt Mor next

Having suffered a bout of jelly legs on pathless Cairn of Gowal I was surprised to find that I was able to get to the top of CASM fairly quickly, perhaps buoyed by the knowledge that this was the final climb of the day.

Nearly forgot to take a summit photo - just remembered before dropping down off the top

The narrow path down to Loch Callater was as enjoyable as usual as it swings round the side of the hill and Loch Callater comes in to view.

Last look back at CASM

Looking down on Loch Callater

Back down at Lochcallater Lodge I stopped to grab a sandwich and realised that other than a few quick photos this was my first proper stop (5 minutes) of the day. I was using this walk as training for a long distance walk I start in a month so I was after a long day with a fair amount of climbing and this route hit the spot.

Back at the car, -3.5 was forgotten as it was now 18.5.

A brilliant day to be out in the hills.