This fine hill lies up Glen Calvie and is an excellent hill to climb at any time of the year...hence I've climbed it six times in all weathers and all seasons!
Glen Calvie is the route I tend to choose as the walk or cycle in through Glen Calvie is very scenic and evocative if you know about the Highland Clearances..Croick church etc etc.
In the four day heatwave that we had at the end of June I seized the chance to go and have a fine walk here, as the last attempt in January I was fighting a howling gale and walking with my dog, who promtly sat down and refused to budge..gave me the sign that it was a no-no that day!
As I know this area well I climbed several hills in the area I like to get out in all weathers as I paint and draw landscapes and I have got to know this area well..and when I get cabin fever this is where I head to.
So, on this day (26 June 09 ), I drove up to Glen Calvie lodge , parked the car and cycled in through Glen Calvie to the base of the hill where there is a fork in the estate road.This takes about 1 hour.
On route I almost ran over a young Adder but they can fairly move when they want to. I ditched the bike here and followed the path that zig zags it's way up onto the first knoll where it levels out and heads in a south westerly direction. I've always found this part of the hill windswept but today..not a breath of wind and I was suffering in the heat, not something we complain about too much on the Highland hills!
From here the path basically zig zags it's way up the hill before traversing to the col between the two peaks.
However on this day and knowing the hill I decided just to head straight up onto the summit, but a few times I lay down and took a short siesta as the day was roasting and the reflection from the boulders that I was now walking over was draining my energy fast.( serves me right for taking the shortest/steepest route at this point). While I was sitting something caught my eye and a few feet away three Ptarmigan were well camoflaged against the boulders. In my filming of various wildlife I've realised with Ptarmigan that their plumage is suited to the hill that is their habitat whether it's a rocky hill or heather clad hill. With hardly a cloud in the sky and no wind at all, I could rest for frequently and soon enough made the summit and glorious views 360.
Once here at the summit, my views westward to the Dearg group and Seana Bhraigh were amazing and further round to the NW, Ben More/Conival. To the south were the Strathfarrer hills and slightly eastwards Ben Wyvis. The view north takes in Loch Chuinneag and Carn Salachaidh and beyond this the Dornoch firth and beyond. The hills of Eatser Ross I call my backyard as I have wandered over them for the past twenty years so I tend to wander of the beaten track to explore the flora away from where man treads.
So from this western summit I strolled over to the true summit and trig point which takes no more than 20mins and views towards the Struie hills and my winter playground!
So, still on the summit at 7pm I explored the hill summit/trig point and the lower peak of Carn Maire
Gradually made my descent down to the estate track and a small area of woodland.
From here, collecting my bike it was a downhill free wheel all the way back to Glen Calvie lodge. Top class day out. I will return to do a winter walk. The gardens around Glen Calvie lodge are amazing with various exotic plants/trees.
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