walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

Four Whiskies and a Munro

Four Whiskies and a Munro


Postby Paul_Antonia » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:31 pm

Route description: Ben Chonzie via Glen Lednock

Munros included on this walk: Ben Chonzie

Date walked: 21/02/2012

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 712m

4 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

This was to be our first trip out since an aborted attempt on Ben Vorlich ( Lomond ) from Ardlui in October. To be fair to Antonia that was probably my fault, she was tired after travelleing back the previous day from a family holiday in Dumfries and Galloway and wasn't really up to tackling a Munro. It quickly became apparent that she wasn't going to make rapid progress that day so rather than have to complete the final descent in the dark I decided to abandon the attempt. It will still be there another day and with more experience for us both, walking in the dark won't be such a consideration.

I'd been planning Ben Chonzie as a suitable winter project from the moment we decided to climb the Munros. From walk reports and route descriptions it appeared to me that it's just a bigger version of the hills around our home in the Borders, no steep rocky scrambles and a good path most of the way up the ascent. All we needed was the opportunity.
With me working in hospitality and Antonia at school, time off together can be difficult to come by, especially at Christmas and New Year so with February half term looming we started to talk about getting out into the hills again. I was sure I'd probably get only one day off that week and Antonia was back at school on Thursday so my request went in for Mon, Tues or Wed, and my fingers were crossed. I was right, and my day off was to be Wednesday. What chance we'd be lucky with the weather too? Again my fingers were crossed. I watched the weather forecasts like a stalker for the few days beforehand and MWIS said the weather should be good except that it would be windy on the summits.
Rucksacks were packed the day before, sandwiches made and I even packed my coleman stove so we could brew up at the summit shelter.
On Tuesday night I finished work at 11pm and we were to be on the road just after 6am. I hardly slept that night. Was it excitement, trepidation or just that I couldn't unwind after my work shift? Either way it was not the best preparation for the day ahead.
Paul: After an uneventful drive up we arrived at the carpark just before 9am. That Glen Lednock road wasn't nearly as poor as I'd expected but there are definitely some potholes that need to be shown due care and respect. However I have to say that the B827 Braco to Comrie road is worse in places and travellers might be better to stick to the A roads via Crieff.
On arrival we were treated to the beautiful sight of the rising sun illuminating the craggs opposite.
1 Crags of Creag Bhuide in the Morning Sun.jpg

We were also greeted by a Red Kite circling overhead looking for its breakfast and the sheep running down the field in a perfect line, following the farmer on his quad. They were having more luck with breakfast than the kite was. It was all starting to feel ike we'd stepped into Doogz TR. Antonia thought the sheep chasing the farmer's quad round the field was the funniest sight this decade and it had her rolling about. :lol:
Antonia:We started off from home at about 6.25 and arrived at the bottom of Ben Chonzie about 9.00 and started walking about 9.15 but before we set off we saw a Red Kite. Paul got the binoculars out but I was too busy watching the sheep because they were chasing the farmer because it was feeding time. I started to laugh because it was so funny. The sun was out but it was still quite cold and a bit windy.
2 Suited and Booted.jpg

Paul: Just before we started out another car pulled in and a fellow Munroist got out. After a brief chat it seemed that he was well versed in the ways of the hills so we expected him to overhaul us fairly quickly. I never did ask his name but I did ask if he uses this site which he doesn't. Oh well.
Coishavachan farm was glowing in the morning sunshine as we started our adventure.
4 Coishavachan farm with Creag Tharsuinn Behind.jpg

I was pleasantly surprised about how rapid our progress was along the track. It's a steady rate of climb and was great conditions underfoot. The views behind were spectacular as we climbed higher.
6 Creag na h-Arairdh and Crappich Hill from track above Invergeldie Lodge copy.jpg

6a View back towards Invergeldie Lodge.jpg

Antonia: We quickly came to a dam where we found a stone that looks like a Liquorice Allsort, so we took some photos of it so I could show my mum. While we were taking photos the other walker caught us up and joined us on the trail.
15 Antonia with Her Rock.jpg

Paul: Arrival at the dam was a complete surprise to me, it had taken a fraction of the time I'd expected. Invergeldie burn wasn't exactly in spate conditions either.
10 Invergeldie Burn Looking towards Glen Lednock.jpg

12 Invergeldie Dam with Antonia.jpg

Our fellow walker joined us on the next stretch of the climb.
The views were opening up with every footstep and soon enough we got our first view of Ben Vorlich and the Loch Earn ranges peeping out and taunting us. " Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough". You'll keep, Vorlich.
16 First view of Ben Vorlich.jpg

We were eventually caught up by another two walkers and finally by a man walking his dog, a local who lives somewhere below Loch Turret. I was to learn a valuable lesson about not listening to the locals before the day was out.
19 Invergeldie Glen with Creag Na h_Lolaire on Left.jpg

20 Antonia on path below Creag Dubh an t-Sileidh.jpg

As the views opened up we could see mountains and ranges that we couldn't easily identify although we were trying. One in particular was a conical shaped peak in the distance, westwards of Vorlich. Our newfound colleague announced that he has an app on his android that will identify peaks but he needed to calibrate the compass first. This involved him spinning round and round on the spot whilst holding his phone skywards, then a quick image of the peak and it pronounced it to be "Schiehallion". " Not in that Direction " I said,pointing, "Sciehallion is over in that direction". After resorting to the oldfashioned method of map and compass work he agreed. Our best guess for its identity is Ben More. It was definitely a big 'un. Anyone want to proffer their opinion?
Antonia:When we got further up Paul wanted us to go the way the route said but all the other walkers were going a different way. Going up Paul's route was harder and steeper so it took us longer than he wanted it to.
Paul: At the bend in the track by the little cairn I said " This way Antonia", but she wasn't keen. The other walkers and the dog were all carrying on along the track. The local guy explained that although the prescribed route does leave the track here its actually less steep and easier walking to follow the track to its end and then pick up the line of fence posts from there. But no. I had to insist that we follow the published route didn't I? I'm funny like that. It would've been cheating to go the other way. We bade them all farewell and offered a race to the top, Doh!! :oops:
The going was much harder up our route and we could see the others making great progress until they disappeared over the horizon although I'll bet they didn't see as many hares as we did.
23 Antonia on path below Creag Dubh an t-Sileidh2.jpg

By now the views were stunning.
26 Looking back from Creag Dubh an t-Sileidh with Loch Earn Ranges in Background.jpg

29 Fence Posts.jpg

Antonia: It took us three hours to get to the top and as soon as we arrived we sat down in the shelter, out of the wind, for our sandwiches and Paul got his stove out to boil water for a pot noodle.
Paul: After picking up the fence line we could see the other walkers coming back from the summit. I decided that this time I was going to put aside my pride and we headed out over the snow field to cut the corner to the summit ridge. Antonia wasn't very steady on her feet and announced that she didn't like the snow. Eventually we hit the top in 3 hours 15min. A good effort I thought. All in all we spent nearly an hour at the top in the shelter. I took a few photos but not as many as I might have done if the wind was less strong.
31 Antonia on snow field just below summit2.jpg

32 Ciste Buide a Claidheimh nestling in the valley.jpg

35 Antonia in Summit Shelter.jpg

36 Paul at Summit Shelter.jpg

37 Loch Turret and Meall na Seide viewed from The Summit.jpg

38 View NW from Summit copy.jpg

Antonia: When we stood up from the shelter we nearly got blown over because it was so windy. Paul said we needed to get off the top and then the wind would be less, which it was. I had so much fun coming down, jumping in the snow to leave my footprints.
Paul: The descent was straight forward but I have to admit to being quite scared for Antonia in that wind at the top. It was nearly blowing me off my feet at times and she weighs half what I do. I agreed that we would follow the easier route down to pick up the top of the path and having done so I felt a bit foolish for insisting that we went the other way on the ascent. Large slice of humble pie for tea then. :lol:
40 Looking Back to Ben Chonzie From Col below Summit.jpg

We only had one teary moment from Antonia just down from the summit because her hands were too cold. I realised that what she'd done was to put on two pairs of gloves so that they were really tight on her fingers and she was gripping her poles really tightly too. After convincing her to just use one pair and to relax she soon warmed up again.
How Fickle can kids be? On the way up Antonia was treading very carefully on the snowy patches, but on the way down she was running all over the place to jump in virgin snow and leave her prints. She was even cajoling me to join in.
" you're missing all the fun." she said, to which my reply was " No I'm not, I'm watching all the fun". She did eventually talk me into drawing smiley faces in one drift but we couldn't get a decent vantage point to photograph them.
Antonia: I had a really good time on Ben Chonzie because it was good weather and I liked jumping in the snow drifts. It was much easier than the other Munros we've done because it's not so steep and rocky.
Paul: All in all a succesful day on a mountain that doesn't deserve it's reputation. We had a great time and I learned some valuable lessons. We were up and down it by 4pm so we were home in time for me to go to our local whisky shop tasting session. Glenlivet 12yrs, 15yrs and 18yrs plus The Tweeddale Blend which is put together by a magician in Coldstream, a very satisfactory dram if you can get some.
Climbed a munro and then home in time for a whisky tasting, now that's how to have a day off from work.
Last edited by Paul_Antonia on Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:45 pm, edited 7 times in total.
User avatar
Paul_Antonia
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 68
Munros:5   
Grahams:1   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jun 5, 2011

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby morag1 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:14 pm

Well done on a great day out :thumbup:

Hope you do another Munro soon, any ideas which one??
morag1
 

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby Paul_Antonia » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:03 pm

Apologies to those like Morag who have looked at this report. I'm editing it at the moment and had a numpty moment with the "submit" and " add photo" buttons. Complete report will appear shortly.
:oops:
User avatar
Paul_Antonia
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 68
Munros:5   
Grahams:1   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jun 5, 2011

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby Paul_Antonia » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:52 pm

Ok that's the final report everyone. What a marathon. My internet kept crashing so I had to edit a bit, add a couple of pics and then submit before repeating the process. For some reason it doesn't like my panorama of the Loch Earn Ranges at all. Not to worry, I don't think it added much anyway.
User avatar
Paul_Antonia
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 68
Munros:5   
Grahams:1   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jun 5, 2011

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby SusieThePensioner » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:33 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your report and some fantastic photos of those great views you had :D
User avatar
SusieThePensioner
 
Posts: 1543
Munros:6   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:156   
Joined: Sep 7, 2011
Location: County Durham

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:04 pm

Looks like a fine day was had by all.
User avatar
gammy leg walker
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3321
Munros:261   Corbetts:7
Grahams:3   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Islands:7
Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Location: Central Region

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby Paul_Antonia » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:14 pm

morag1 wrote:Hope you do another Munro soon, any ideas which one??

Thanks for the comments folks.
Morag, Not sure which will be next. We have plenty of unfinished business in and around Arrochar. Probably won't get much chance of a day off together until Easter Hols unless I get a very rare day off at a weekend. A lot will depend on the weather. If there's still plenty of snow around then I'll be looking for something more like Ben Chonzie than the Arrochar Alps. Maybe someone would be kind enough to suggest one?
User avatar
Paul_Antonia
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 68
Munros:5   
Grahams:1   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jun 5, 2011

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby soulminer » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:20 pm

Your report quite clearly shows how boring this hill isn't :) I thought that the first time up, the second totally dispelled the myth. You both looked as if you had a ball up there, and indeed that is the purpose of the walk after all 8)
Cheers.
User avatar
soulminer
 
Posts: 804
Joined: Mar 18, 2010
Location: Johnstone

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby mrssanta » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:48 pm

fantastic. what a lovely day.
User avatar
mrssanta
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3010
Munros:245   Corbetts:10
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby morag1 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:30 pm

Full report has only just appeared on my screen

Lovely colours in the photos :D
morag1
 

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby lomondwalkers » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:21 pm

Great report & photos :D We did this 2 Sundays ago with a bit more snow on it and thoroughly enjoyed it. The views behind you as you walk up are fantastic!! Unfortunately, the summit was just in the clag so we missed the summit views, so thanks for showing us what we missed :D
User avatar
lomondwalkers
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 835
Munros:118   Corbetts:44
Grahams:47   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: May 5, 2010
Location: Bishopbriggs

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby Alan S » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:06 pm

soulminer wrote:Your report quite clearly shows how boring this hill isn't

Got to agree with that :D I really enjoyed ben chonzie and your pics and report do it justice :D
User avatar
Alan S
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1461
Munros:207   Corbetts:4
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:4   
Islands:12
Joined: Nov 10, 2008
Location: Stirlingshire
Walk wish-list

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby Alastair S » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:01 pm

What a beautiful day - but then you can't feel the wind sat snug here at home. Lots of lovely photos. Great stuff :thumbup:
User avatar
Alastair S
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1283
Munros:78   Corbetts:13
Grahams:6   
Sub 2000:13   
Islands:22
Joined: Dec 14, 2008
Location: Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:46 am

Fantastic report- well done you too :thumbup:

Your photographs are amazing, thank you for posting them. I was up there last June and saw absolutely nothing from pretty much start to finish :( :( :( Not even the fenceline!!!


Looking forward to more of your ace reporting :D :D

PS I hate having cold fingers, so I changed from gloves to mitts- what a difference!!! Don't forget to buy the ones with wrist straps, less chance of losing them when you take them off and they blow away !! :lol: :lol:
User avatar
pollyh33
Walker
 
Posts: 2577
Munros:282   Corbetts:18
Grahams:5   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Mar 30, 2011
Location: Rutherglen

Re: Four Whiskies and a Munro

Postby Paul_Antonia » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:47 pm

Thanks for all the kind comments everyone, it's really appreciated.
Never thought of mitts Polly33, what a great idea. We'll be steadily upgrading our kit over time so I'll keep a look out for some good goretex ( or similar ) ones for us.
User avatar
Paul_Antonia
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 68
Munros:5   
Grahams:1   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jun 5, 2011

4 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: IreneM, Johnoneill1916, Relugas, RomanCh, Rossi and 101 guests