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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Winter walking on Ben Chonzie


Postby SMRussell » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:05 pm

Route description: Ben Chonzie via Glen Lednock

Munros included on this walk: Ben Chonzie

Date walked: 11/12/2011

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 712m

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We'd purposefully been saving Ben Chonzie for winter given its relative ease and for various reasons Sunday the 11th became the day for it. However we'd also been umming and ahhing about whether we should do the straight forward Glen Lednock walk, a circular walk from the dam at Loch Turret or an even longer circular walk from the dam but including the Corbett Auchnafree Hill. In the end I'd been working late Saturday night (only making it to bed at 04.20) which meant I only crawled out of bed at 09.40 - given the small number of day light hours and my minimal amount of sleep we thought the straight forward walk would be the best option. We were not alone in taking on this route passing about 14 other people that day.

Friends of ours had bagged An Socach (Braemar) the day before and having heard tales of a snowy wonderland we were hoping the Perthshire hills would be as magical as the Cairngorms. To begin with things didn't look too promising we could see lots of brown and black poking out through what snow we could see and the ground was very icy, but the higher we ascended the better it got with some patches of snow up to my waist (I'm only 5"2 so not really that big a deal). I think my partner - who I'v witnessed losing a leg into a sink-hole on more than one occasion - enjoyed watching me disappear into the snow, he particularly enjoyed my rather ungraceful crab-crawl to get out of the deepest sections :lol:

This was our first bagging experience in icy conditions - my Kahtoola MICROspikes were on pretty sharpish and worked a treat I might add. My walking partner put on his crampons for a while due to the ice but soon had to take them off once we gained some height and thus softer snow - my spikes stayed on the whole time.
11.12.11 A550 5.jpg
An icy start
11.12.11 A550 13.jpg
some softer snow


As my partner was removing the crampons we noted a rather ominous snow cloud approaching. We were only about 50 mins from the top when the cloud caught us and resulted in poor viability.
11.12.11 A550 7.jpg
That snow cloud


The wind picked up and once we'd got to the fence posts close to the summit (which really were helpful in those conditions) my goggles were on - and with the cold wind stayed on for a few hours. The summit was really icy and at first we weren't treated to any views but eventually the clouds cleared and we got a glimpse of Loch Turret.
11.12.11 A550 19.jpg
Handy fence posts to guide us
11.12.11 A550 24.jpg
Me on the top
11.12.11 A550 23.jpg
The top
11.12.11 A550 29.jpg
The cloud clearing
11.12.11 A550 32.jpg
A glimpse of Loch Turret


With the snow cloud having passed over the walk back down enabled us to take in the views we missed on the way up and finding ourselves alone on the hill we took a little time to play around in the deep snow and take some snaps
11.12.11 A550 52.jpg
Modeling the winter look
11.12.11 A550 38.jpg
Views on the way down


This was a nice walk and I'm glad it was done under winter conditions as I think the Glen Lednock route would have been a tad on the dull side if it wasn't for the ice and snow. If it had been a long warm summer day the longer circular route would probably have been the way to go - perhaps next year.
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby monty » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:49 pm

Nice report Smrussell,
Ben Chonzie looks so much better in the snow. :D
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:58 pm

Well done on such a great report. :D

I was up there in June and saw absolutely nothing!!! Not even the fenceposts until I was about 10 feet away from them :lol:

Hope you had a good sleep when you went home :D
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby SMRussell » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:37 pm

pollyh33 wrote:I was up there in June and saw absolutely nothing!!! Not even the fenceposts until I was about 10 feet away from them :lol:

Hope you had a good sleep when you went home :D



The fog this summer was awful (as most of my walk reports will show! I'm still bitter about Ben MacDui :lol: ). Thanks Polly despite the gross lack of sleep I just about managed to stay awake on the way home and through a shop at Tesco (must have looked like a zombie) before zonking out at home. Great little winter walk though.
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby Fudgie » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:43 pm

Looks like you had similar weather to what I had today although it looks to have cleared for your descent. I could tell there had been a lot of people on the hill by the number of footprints. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it as much as I did.
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby dooterbang » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:35 pm

Always great fun to be playing around in the snow - we had a sledge out with us on Saturday :D
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby SMRussell » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:42 pm

dooterbang wrote:Always great fun to be playing around in the snow - we had a sledge out with us on Saturday :D



Sledging on Munros sounds ace. We were just rolling around in it like a pair of hyper children on Christmas morning but think I might just have to invest in a wee sledge to take with me this weekend!
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby smudger71 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:03 pm

I was up there with my son on sunday, i remember seeing you and your partner (wearing a yellow waterproof jacket) making your way up. we got lucky and must have had one of the few clear moments on the summit that day and even got to practice Ice axe arrests on the way down...

its not a bad route to do in the winter although the ice made it interesting at the start. you looked to be motoring up in those ice spikes...

My son was moaning that i didnt let him wear his crampons and you guys had yours on!
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby SMRussell » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:37 pm

smudger71 wrote:I was up there with my son on sunday, i remember seeing you and your partner (wearing a yellow waterproof jacket) making your way up. we got lucky and must have had one of the few clear moments on the summit that day and even got to practice Ice axe arrests on the way down...

its not a bad route to do in the winter although the ice made it interesting at the start. you looked to be motoring up in those ice spikes...

My son was moaning that i didnt let him wear his crampons and you guys had yours on!


Ha! That's brilliant! I remember passing you and your boy - I commented to my yellow jacket wearing partner that it was good to see a little one out in the hills! How many of the big ones has be bagged?

I certainly was on a mission once my spikes were on! With all that ice lower down I'm a little surprised you two didn't crampon up - or maybe we aren't as hardy and sturdy as the smudgers!
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby smudger71 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:38 pm

ha ha. we managed to avoid most of the ice on the way up by going off piste...and then it got slushy higher up and didnt need them...i am sure by this weekend it will be a lot crispier and we will get plenty of opportunities to use them through the rest of the winter!!!

Chonzie was his 101st munro! which he proudly tells everyone who asks!
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby SMRussell » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:49 pm

smudger71 wrote: Chonzie was his 101st munro! which he proudly tells everyone who asks!


And I'm sure his father proudly tells everyone who asks also :lol:

That's great - must have been walking from quite a young age. Makes my 43 seem pitiful :( :lol:
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby dogplodder » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:54 pm

Nice to see this one with winter coat on. :D

Quite a contrast to how it looked in May!
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Re: Winter walking on Ben Chonzie

Postby smudger71 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:20 am

ha ha... dont know wot your talking about.....

to be honest i forget how young he is...he is already demanding to go out again next week!!!!

43 will soon turn into 143 ill bet....
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