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Difficulties of route

Difficulties of route


Postby evansp » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:17 am

Route description: Beinn a' Bha'ach Àrd

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn a' Bha'ach Ard

Date walked: 22/09/2009

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 16 km

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Not a route to be underestimated this one, and I've climbed many easier Munros. The approach to the summit involves a boggy lower track after the dam, then heather bashing on trackless terrain to reach the top. A fine viewpoint is the reward for all the effort, followed by a pleasant ridge walk. There are more boggy sections to tackle on the descent to the lochan, with the old stalking track appearing and disappearing en route. It's a relief to reach the lochan - a very pleasant spot - before the final descent back to the car park. The problems are not over, however. A notice on the gate through the deer fence shortly after the lochan has a notice warning "caution, stags in field". The only alternative is to walk around the perimeter of the deer fence, which we had to do for part of the way at least, through waist-high bracken, after encountering a very large stag in front of us in the middle of the rutting season. Discretion was the better part of valour and we decided not to try to pass him. This is a serious access problem and should really be tackled in consultation with the landowner to remove the risk of someone being hurt and to make the walk a more plesant experience.

See my further comments below after a second ascent of this Corbett.
Last edited by evansp on Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby monty » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:28 pm

Hi Evansp,

Well done on a nice walk, barring the boggy bits :lol:

I just read Pauls site report for this walk and it clearly warns of the dangers the stags in the lower field. Me thinks, short of avoiding the field then there is not much we can do? Return by the way you came or dont go in September/October? :D
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby Paul Webster » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:30 pm

Monty - I should add that Helen added the warning about the stags this morning....

The stags weren't there when I did the route - though the sign was. I don't really know how dangerous a stag is?
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby monty » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:35 pm

Hi Paul,
I think its a good warning to add so thanks for the info evansp.

I saw this on a quick google search;

*******************************************************************
The Guardian, Wednesday 20 October 2004 23.55 BST

"An elderly farmer has been gored to death by a rutting stag, police said yesterday and a second man suffered serious injuries when he attempted to go to the aid of his friend.

The dead man was discovered at Moor Farm at Hunmanby Gap, near Filey, North Yorkshire, on Monday night, at an enclosure where deer were being kept during the mating season, when they usually become aggressive and unpredictable."

*********************************************************************************************************

Guess I will be steering clear of rutting stags :shock:
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby sloosh » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:20 pm

My rule of thumb is if it has pointy things on its head I avoid it. Or pointy teeth. Or pointy claws. Or pointy stingers. Pointy fangs. Hmm. That can be narrowed down to anything pointy. :?
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby mountain coward » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:19 pm

or quite often pointy mountains in my case! :lol:
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:38 am

Paul Webster wrote: I don't really know how dangerous a stag is?


A few years ago a grandmother was showing her grandchild the stags at a deer farm in Perthshire - the child crawled through the fence and a stag started going for the child, so the granny went through the fence to rescue the kid and was gored to death, the child escaped. More recently a gamekeepr was gored in the leg by a stag, it severd his artery and he nearly bled to death before he reached hospital, but recovered. They are usually shy of people but in the rut (roughly Sept - November) they become territorial and aggressive. If one starts harrassing you, don't be shy of chucking rocks at it, but get out of it's territory quickly! I found that howling like a wolf scared them off. You'd think they'd have forgotten by now. Of course you'd have to be carefull not to bellow like a rutting stag, that could lead to problems !
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby beth grant » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:18 pm

Recently on a walk at Laggan, encountered a stag on the wrong side of a deer fence,as there was also a deer fence on both sides and a high gate we were in a fairly tight channel with the beast.We had probably walked approx.1/2 mile along this track to get to this stage and I don't know who was most spooked.We stood still and quiet and the stag kept charging the deer fence trying to get away out,very distressing to witness as it was injuring homself and in danger of getting tangled in the wire.When it ran past us we made for the gate,this was locked and a bit to rickety to clomb over.However I found a loose bit of fencing beside the gate and made a cat flap just wide enough for us to crawl through.No way was I going back the way we came for fear of meeting the stag again.The deer fence appeared new so I'm assuming a stile will be added at some point but I'll contact the estate if I go back to arrange access
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby mountain coward » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:13 pm

My father did a very stupid thing once where a stag was concerned. He was out walking with my mother and they saw a stag (think it was the rutting season too). There was a set of antlers lying around so he stupidly put them up on his head. My mother nearly killed him before the stag got chance to!
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby evansp » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:31 pm

Some interesting (and amusing) deer tales sparked by my report. Having spoken since to a friend who does some stalking, the advice is that a stag could attack at any time, but on open ground the beast is more likely to run away rather than approach. The advisory notice on the gate leaves it up to the walker to decide, but since this is such a good horseshoe - if you can cope with the heather-bashing and bog - it would be nice if a safe alternative descent for the section concerned could be developed, perhaps in consultation with the landowner.
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby Am Bodach » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:02 am

wasted more time looking for path than on it until the final wee pull round some hillock shortly before lochan .Strayed into deer enclosure by accident (all hill facing gates open).A fine hill with unusal view of Ben Wyvis
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby fingeez » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:46 pm

Caberfeidh wrote: don't be shy of chucking rocks at it


almost peeded myself laughing at this!!





seen this vid ages ago, def wouldnt want to tangle with one myself!!!
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Re: Difficulties of route

Postby evansp » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:41 pm

Just to update folks, did this walk again Sat Jan 22, 2011 and this time encountered no stags in the field. The approach track was even boggier than on the first ascent and the heather-bashing on to the hill no easier. A challenge but still enjoyable as a winter outing. The entrance gate to the field has been renewed and there is now NO notice about the stags. The exit gate near the end of the walk, however, does have such a notice and a warning about disturbance to stalking in season. :D
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