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3 Munros, Angry Ptarmigan, Wild Camp on Beinn a' Ghlo w Kids

3 Munros, Angry Ptarmigan, Wild Camp on Beinn a' Ghlo w Kids


Postby WalkingWithKids » Sun Jun 18, 2023 2:05 am

Route description: Beinn a' Ghlò

Munros included on this walk: Bràigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, Càrn Liath (Beinn a' Ghlò), Càrn nan Gabhar

Date walked: 14/06/2023

Time taken: 14.9 hours

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 1250m

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Three Beinn a' Ghlo Munros (Blair Atholl) and wild camp with Kids (10, 13 y/o)

Hill no. 161, 162, 163 - Munro no. 14, 15, 16

More a range of hills than a single peak, Beinn a' Ghlo has three Munro summits giving a strenuous day.

A strenuous day? :think: Oh, how true! Especially with a backpack weighing more than 20 kg :roll: and a sunny day with an air temperature above 25 degrees. But it was a very nice hike, we enjoyed it and also had fun with the ptarmigan 8) .

We followed the WH walk Beinn a' Ghlò, but anticlockwise. The length of the hike is 22 km on the WH website. We have never done such a long hike in one day with the kids. Our longest hike so far was Ben Macdui 17.4 km, and the last few kilometers the youngest daughter was very tired. So I decided to split it into two days and combine it with wild camping.

The ideal place for a wild camp seemed to be Bealach an Fhiodha below Carn nan Gabhar that is about halfway through the hike or the ridge between Carn nan Gabhar and Airgiod Bheinn. We followed the WH walk anticlockwise as it is easier and quicker to get to the Bealach this way as the route is not as steep and gradually rises.

Map of our whole route:

Beinn a Ghlo - spojene - route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Elevation profile of our whole route:
Beinn a Ghlo.png


Day 1

The first day we planned to get to Bealach an Fhiodha (perhaps onto the ridge above it), pitch our tents and possibly climb the first munro of Carn nan Gabhar.

Stats:
Ascent - 511 m
Total distance - 10 km
Total time - 5h17m

Map of our route - day 1:

Beinn a Ghlo - day 1.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We arrived at the Beinn a' Ghlo car park around half past two. There is a new 60 space trailhead car park. The car parking fee is £5. One of the Munros - Carn Liath - in the back:
1IMG_20230613_142457847_HDR.jpg


We all had quite heavy backpacks. I have no idea why :D . I had in mine - two tents, sleeping bag, gas canister, gas stove, water filter, some clothes, 4 liters of water, etc. Quite enough to be heavy :lol: . I am not sure if I used everything I carried.

For the first seven kilometres or so we walked on a good track and path.
First on a track, with a few easy burn crossing:
1IMG_4774.JPG

1IMG_20230613_150734056.jpg


Later on an excellent path (Airgiod Bheinn on the right):
1IMG_20230613_160844805_HDR.jpg


It was hot, so after about 6 km and 2 hours of walking we refilled our bottles with water from the Allt Coire na Saobhaidh, just in case. For water filtration, we use the Compressible Filter Bottle MT500 from Decathlon. It is simple and fast.
Water filling station on the Allt Coire na Saobhaidh :) :
1IMG_4805.JPG


After about seven kilometres we took a break for a sandwich and then continued towards the Bealach. The good path ended after about 7 km. The next stretch looks like preparation for path improvement. Good job guys! :thumbup: .
The next stretch of the path:
1IMG_20230613_175055192_HDR.jpg


The path was now more rough, more boggy. After roughly 8 km we needed to cross the Allt Bealach an Fhiodha, which was easy but the WH walk goes the wrong way.
Crossing the Allt Bealach an Fhiodha (OS Grid Ref: NN 95145 71089):
1IMG_4819.JPG


We followed the WH walk and ended pathless at the burn. I do not know maybe I just missed the path. I looked in the map again and there is another path about 50 m higher. It is better to take this path. I do not think it should be a problem when you are walking down because you are following a path.
Wrong way.png


Anyway we found the right path and continued up. The path was now boggy in many places despite the dry sunny weather. The last 500 m to the Bealach was quite steep.
Looking back:
1IMG_20230613_191720142_HDR.jpg


We walked along the burn and I thought about refilling the water bottles. I saw on the map that the burn starts at the Bealach so I left it for later. That was a mistake! The burn in the Bealach was dry and I had to descend about 100 meters in height to refill the water bottles. :D

After 5 hours we finally reached Bealach an Fhiodha and desided not to continue. We managed to find a spot sheltered from the wind for a wild camp and to pitch our tents:
1IMG_20230614_044405806_HDR_01.jpg

Looking north:
1IMG_4833.jpg


We made tea, had a sandwich and quickly fell asleep tired from the busy day.
Making tea:
1IMG_4839.jpg



Day 2

Our plan was to climb Carn nan Gabhar without backpacks early in the morning to see the sunrise at 4.27 am, then have breakfast and pack our tents before climbing the next two Munros to complete the hike. The plan almost worked out, only we woke up at 4.15 am, so of course we missed the sunrise. :lol:

Stats:
Ascent - 739 m
Total distance - 14 km
Total time - 9h38m

Map of our route - day 2:

Beinn a Ghlo - day 2.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



First we climbed up to the ridge. There is a good path to the ridge, but the way to the summit is very stony, partially avoidably on grassy areas.

Ptarmigan attack

We walked along the path to the saddle at about 4.45 am. Suddenly I noticed something moving on the path. It was some kind of little chick. I came closer to take a picture of it, but then a protective mother ptarmigan :evil: started towards me. She was crouched in the middle of the path at a stone, so I did not notice her at all. There were about 6-8 chicks with her. I ran back down the path about 10-20 m pursued by the angry mother ptarmigan, brandishing my jacket just in case :D , trying to reassure her that we did not want to hurt her. I am not sure if she understood me :D , but she was already less aggressive, but still made lunges in our direction, trying to chase us away. We went around the place, while she accompanied us the whole time. When we were far enough away, in her opinion, she returned to the chicks.
What a stressful morning :lol: .

Protective mother ptarmigan 8) :
1IMG_4852.jpg

IMG_4856-orez.jpg


After having fun with the ptarmigan we continued to the summit of Carn nan Gabhar.
Conni on the summit cairn, looking towards the other two Beinn a' Ghlo Munros. On the left - a trig pillar:
1IMG_20230614_054735650_HDR.jpg


Looking SSE. Loch Valigan in the middle, Corbetts - Ben Vuirich on the left and Ben Vrackie on the right, back:
1IMG_4897.jpg


We returned the same way to our tents. We had a breakfast, packed up our tents and headed for the next Munro.

The last view from the tent:
1IMG_4906.JPG


The ascent from Bealach an Fhiodha to the ridge of Bràigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain is steep, we walked slowly.
Looking back - Carn nan Gabhar on the left:
1IMG_4910.JPG


Once on the ridge the ascent is gentle and the walking is easy.
Looking NW from the ridge across Glen Tilt - Munro Càrn a' Chlamain and the track to its summit:
1IMG_4914.jpg


Conni on the top of Bràigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain.
Looking south, towards Carn Liath, Ben Vrackie on the left:
1IMG_20230614_101935509_HDR_01.jpg


Looking west, towards Carn nan Gabhar. Airgiod Bheinn on the right:
1IMG_20230614_102008936_HDR_01.jpg


From here we continued down to the bealach. The path is on grass, on stony ground and the stretch before the bealach is covered with scree, which is very uncomfortable.

Carn Liath, the last Munro of the day:
1IMG_4938.jpg


We needed to refill the water. A suitable place for this seemed to be a short distance before the bealach, from the Allt Coire Chruim. The burn is only 100-200 meters away from the path. We used the water filter bottle again.

Water filling station 2. Red arrow = me :) :
1IMG_4943.JPG


After refilling the water we continued to the bealach and from there a steep climb to the ridge of the last munro. The path was full of scree, it was difficult to walk on it, so we walked zigzag next to the path. The path along the ridge was already much better.

Looking back - our second Munro Bràigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain on the left and our first Munro Carn nan Gabhar on the right:
1IMG_4957.jpg


Conni on the summit cairn of Carn Liath. Looking NE, towards Bràigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain and Carn nan Gabhar:
1IMG_20230614_133709047_HDR.jpg


Bràigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain and Carn nan Gabhar:
IMG_20230614_133842966.jpg


We took a break at the top and then started to descend Carn Liath. First we walked on a scree path. That was not very good, so we walked alongside the path.

Loch Moraig and the car park in distance:
1IMG_4970.jpg


I think this descent was the steepest part of our hike :crazy: . Luckily we soon reached an improved path, which made the descent much easier:
1IMG_20230614_144329271.jpg


The path was improved by recycling the old dyke below the hill. In some sections, the path goes on the dyke:
1IMG_4974.jpg


We rejoined the track leading from the car park near a wooden hut below Carn Liath and then retraced our steps to the car park.

It was a nice hike but the combination of a few steep sections, heavy backpacks and the heat made it challenging. I am proud of my kids for doing it. :thumbup:
WalkingWithKids
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Re: 3 Munros, Angry Ptarmigan, Wild Camp on Beinn a' Ghlo w

Postby JWCW2014 » Sun Jun 18, 2023 10:00 am

Well done to the kids, it’s not easy walking in the heat especially with extra gear for camping!
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Re: 3 Munros, Angry Ptarmigan, Wild Camp on Beinn a' Ghlo w

Postby Giant Stoneater » Sun Jun 18, 2023 6:46 pm

Well done, glad you made it back in the heat, spoke to as i was on the way down from Carn nan Gabhar think it was about 5am, i was quite surprised to see anyone never mind a family.
Great to see kids enjoying themselves, well i think they were :wink:
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Re: 3 Munros, Angry Ptarmigan, Wild Camp on Beinn a' Ghlo w

Postby WalkingWithKids » Mon Jun 19, 2023 11:19 pm

JWCW2014 wrote:Well done to the kids, it’s not easy walking in the heat especially with extra gear for camping!


Thanks! It was definitely challenging, but on the other side the kids were excited about their zip off trousers :) and the possibility to walk in shorts and a T-shirt, as we usually walk in long trousers due to pathless :roll: walking. 8)


Giant Stoneater wrote:Well done, glad you made it back in the heat, spoke to as i was on the way down from Carn nan Gabhar think it was about 5am, i was quite surprised to see anyone never mind a family.
Great to see kids enjoying themselves, well i think they were :wink:


Thanks! We were also surprised :) to see someone walking down the hill so early in the morning.
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Re: 3 Munros, Angry Ptarmigan, Wild Camp on Beinn a' Ghlo w

Postby weaselmaster » Wed Jun 21, 2023 4:56 pm

That’s a nice thing to do with your kids. Much more exciting than camping in the back garden :lol:
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Re: 3 Munros, Angry Ptarmigan, Wild Camp on Beinn a' Ghlo w

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jun 21, 2023 6:24 pm

What a fabulous two days with your kids. Well done to them and to you for organising everything and enabling them to do it! What a change to the parking. When I was there last summer we arrived at 8.30 to find the parking area full, with several overnighting campervans and occupants sitting round a table having breakfast. I wonder if a £5 tariff will be enough to make this overnight spot less attractive. :eh:
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Re: 3 Munros, Angry Ptarmigan, Wild Camp on Beinn a' Ghlo w

Postby WalkingWithKids » Thu Jun 22, 2023 8:41 pm

weaselmaster wrote:That’s a nice thing to do with your kids. Much more exciting than camping in the back garden :lol:


Thanks! It is definitely better than the back garden 8) . And ptarmigan certainly will not chase you in the garden! :lol:
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Re: 3 Munros, Angry Ptarmigan, Wild Camp on Beinn a' Ghlo w

Postby WalkingWithKids » Thu Jun 22, 2023 8:43 pm

dogplodder wrote:What a fabulous two days with your kids. Well done to them and to you for organising everything and enabling them to do it! What a change to the parking. When I was there last summer we arrived at 8.30 to find the parking area full, with several overnighting campervans and occupants sitting round a table having breakfast. I wonder if a £5 tariff will be enough to make this overnight spot less attractive. :eh:


Thanks! In fact the parking fee £5 is per car per day. For motor homes, it is £8 per day. This means if they stay overnight they should pay £16.

IMG_20230613_140736784_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg
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