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Mutt Munro Live at Drumochter

Mutt Munro Live at Drumochter


Postby laconic surf » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:11 am

Route description: A' Mharconaich and Geal Charn, Drumochter

Munros included on this walk: A' Mharconaich, Geal-charn (Drumochter)

Date walked: 02/06/2012

Time taken: 3.66 hours

Distance: 11.5 km

Ascent: 731m

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Had very limited time to get a walk done, I couldn't leave the house till 10 and needed to be back for 6.
Figured if I could find a hill within a 2 hour each way drive, I would have time for a 4 hour walk. I also decided to take my dog, Harvey, with me for his first munro. Having lived on both the Ayrshire and Lothian coasts my boxer dog is more of a salty sea dog than a mountain goat so I wasn't sure how he would get on so I didn't want to choose anything too challenging. After scouring WH I settled on these two munros at Drumochter, at the beginning of the Cairngorms National Park.

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Harvey ready to go


Parked up at Balsporran Cottages, gear on, dog chomping at the bit. Crossed at the level crossing and headed up the path where I saw a notice from the estate to keep all dogs on leads. Had been planning to do this anyway as whilst he is not interested in sheep he will chase grouse and hares if they shoot across his path and with the cliffs on A'Mharconaich later I didn't want to take any risks. We took the second right turn off the path which heads straight up the slopes towards the summit of Geal-Charn.

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Track towards Geal-Charn


The path soon peters out to become a grass/mud track as height is gained. As within any direct path to a munro summit it was steep in places and could potentially be boggy after sustained bad weather. The recent dry spell meant it was little more than walking on churned up wet grass, for the most part straightforward going.

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early pace gets tongues wagging


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muddy track to false summit


The sun was quite strong so we stopped at the false summit where a cairn and wind shelter sit to have a water break. Harvey was still bursting with energy and having no problem with the climb, I poured some water over his head just to keep him cool to be on the safe side as there is no water on this munro.

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on false summit


Refreshed we continued on the short, easy pull up to the true summit. Harvey's first munro in the bag.

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nearly there!


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Geal-Charn bagged


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summit cairn


Ready to push onto number two. I could imagine that in thick clag it could be a wee bit tricky to navigate as it is a large rocky plateau. A bearing SW from the summit cairn leads to an easy descent off the munro top to head towards the beleach that joins to the neighbouring munro of A'Mharconaich. This is a nice easy descent path, such a change from some of the stone bone crunching paths I've descended off recently. 8)

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Looking over to A'Mharconaich


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View over Loch Ericht


There is a cairn marking the turn off the path onto a track leading up the slopes of A'Mharconaich, this is at a nice gradient, although not the most direct route. As we got just over half way up the munro, I could see a sheep with its lamb further along the path. Having the dog I decided to leave the path at this point and take a more direct, steeper line up to the broad ridge above. This was the toughest part on a fairly easy afternoon's climb. Reaching the path at the top signalled the end of the ascent for the day with just a gentle track leading to the summit. Harvey was doing well as we reached the second and final summit of the day.

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gentle track to the summit


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summit of A'Mharconaich looking over to Ben Alder area


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Job done, time to admire the scenery


Time to head down we carefully made our way down off the steep pathless side avoiding the precipitous cliffs on our right and headed along the spur where we stopped briefly for food and water. Lovely views along this nice descent before we hit a boggier section - could have been a lot trickier but for the drying out it will have had recently, care was taken as there was tell tale signs of peat hags about but we managed just fine.

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Looking back from spur to summit of A'Mharconaich


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Looking across to first munro Geal-Charn


I left the path and veered left knowing I could get back onto the outward track by crossing the Allt Coire Fhar burn. This would allow the dog to have a dip and a long cool drink, which he thoroughly enjoyed. We then walked the short trip back to the car. A short but lovely walk. Great to know the dog enjoyed it and was more than capable of completing these hills, I look forward to taking him with me again soon.

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Another two in the bag
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laconic surf
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Re: Mutt Munro Live at Drumochter

Postby Graeme D » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:07 pm

Not the most glamorous pair of Munros, but great views from Geal Charn in particular, and A'Mharconnaich was good enough for my 100th last year! :D
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Re: Mutt Munro Live at Drumochter

Postby 2dalmatians » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:00 pm

Cracking report and great pics of Harvey too! Look forward to reaading more of his adventures :lol:
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Re: Mutt Munro Live at Drumochter

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:36 pm

Good to see Harvey enjoying himself and glad I'm not the only one to pour water on my mutt's head! :lol:
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Re: Mutt Munro Live at Drumochter

Postby laconic surf » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:14 pm

Graeme D wrote:Not the most glamorous pair of Munros, but great views from Geal Charn in particular, and A'Mharconnaich was good enough for my 100th last year! :D


Thanks Graeme. Aye, the views were wonderful. As you say, not the most beautiful hills but a great short walk :D

2dalmatians wrote:Cracking report and great pics of Harvey too! Look forward to reaading more of his adventures :lol:


Cheers 2d. He really enjoyed himself. I'll not take him on anything scrambly just yet but on the more straightforward hills he'll be with me :D

dogplodder wrote:Good to see Harvey enjoying himself and glad I'm not the only one to pour water on my mutt's head! :lol:


Thanks Dogplodder. I remember reading somewhere that as well as cool water, wetting a dog's head helps to prevent heat stroke in hot weather. I just have to quickly stand back and try and avoid the resulting spray when he shakes himself :lol:
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