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Carn Daimh - on cloud number nine
by BlackPanther » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:19 pm
Route description: Carn Daimh, Glenconglas
Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Carn Daimh
Date walked: 21/10/2012
Time taken: 4 hours
Distance: 13.4 km
Ascent: 473m4 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).
I wish I could write as well as this but these aren't exactly my words, just a couple of sentences quoted from my favourite historic book. With the initial date changed to fit my story
We didn't need swords and horses to have a great adventure that Sunday, but the early hours of the day were full of strange sightings in the sky and as we drove from Beauly to Inverness over Kessock Bridge, we felt like the world was turned upside-down for a short time...
To start with, we were treated to an interesting cloud inversion over Beauly Firth:
The cloud began to form some odd shapes:
The morning felt somehow different...
...as we entered a patch of mist...
...until we suddenly emerged back in the sunlight right on the bridge!
The early experience suggested it was going to be a weird day but this whole "strangeness in the air" had a positive taste to it... All I needed now was Merlin or the Wizzard of Oz, waving a magic wand and saying hokus-pokus...
Whatever it was we encountered, the magic worked in our favour and when we eventually reached the star of our route, the weather was simply PERFECT!
A few words about the planned stroll - a Sub2000 hill called Carn Daimh. This route definitely deserves some advertising - it's easy even for very lazy walkers and on good tracks/paths most of the time (only one boggy section). A first-class rate viewpoint in all directions and a real treat it would be in winter conditions!
The hill is "wedged" between Cromdale Grahams and the Coryhabbie-Cook's Cairn group, with open views to the Cairngorms. It can be climbed from two different starting points, northern or southern (combining both would make a great traverse) and it's also a part of the Speyside Way. We chose the southern approach from Glencoglas near Tomintoul as it saved us a bit of driving. At the end of the day we added a couple of km to the original WH route, just to make the day last, but this walk can easily be done in 3 hours.
The southern approach begins at a small car park near Glenconglas cottage (on minor roads, 2.5km N of Tomintoul). There is no way one could miss the beginning of the walk as the wide track is pretty obvious:
We were offered a kind welcome by the local tenants - but soon the returned to their own business...
...and family activities
This area is a part of the Crown Estate of Glenlivet, so access to the hills is easy and well signposted. We enjoyed the fresh morning air:
Our hill seemed only a short walk away...
Surprisingly, apart from one family with small kids on the very beginning of the walk, we didn't meet a single soul. We had this lovely autumn stroll all to ourselves!!!
The track follows the little stream, Chabet Water, eventually it turns right and starts climbing the hill through lovely woodland. Plus great, autumnal views to Cromdale hills:
The taste of autumn...
Higher up, some of the forest has been recently cut and the views are even more extensive:
The first glimpse to the Cairngorms:
The high cloud in the sky still had that weird touch...
Sad to see the trees gone, but such is the fate of all the commercial forests...
The best views were now towards the rollin-rollin hills of Cromdale...
The final climb follows the track through one more stretch of forest and eventually we emerged on the heathery summit plateau, just to see more excellent views:
Looking behind me, I spotted an old friend - Ben Rinnes:
Snow on the Cairngorms:
The very summit is, as mentioned before, an excellent viewpoint. At 570m, it is classified as sub2000 Marylin and though I'm not really a sub2000 bagger, I was glad to add this one to my collection.
For those not familiar with the surrounding mountains, there is a view indicator to help:
...and I helped myself to a seat
We have had plenty of strange encounters so far but... the indicator ghost???
Now we had the summit to ourselves, weather was superb though maybe a bit chilly, and we decided to take a loooong break here, I couldn't get enough of the fantastic panoramas Simply cloud number nine!
The low cloud over the Cairngorms formed strange shapes and the sky had a slight pink touch to it, like just before sunset... Hard to believe it was the middle of the day!
UFO landing places in front of Ben Rinnes???
Corryhabbie-Cook's Cairn group:
Always looking on the bright side...
Panoramic views from the summit:
Kevin was still playing with his GPS so I had a chance to use the better camera
The indicator, the panorama and the weird clouds...
Eventually we had to move on but the rollin-rollin experience was far from over, even on the descent path we still had good views around:
Back to the summit:
Lower down, the return route to close the circuit enters the forest - here the track becomes somehow muddy Most of the time it was easy enough to avoid the puddles but at the edge of the forest...
The track splits here with one branch leading to Tomnavoulin and the other one back to the starting point in Glencoglas. We carefully manoeuvred through the boggy patch (it wasn't even half as bad as the mud-dancing on the Three Lochs circuit the previous day) and soon we found ourselves out in the open again:
The final bit is a straightforward march down the slope but it was still early and I begged Kevin to prolong our stroll... pleeease.... just a little bit longer!
With views like that, who would want to go home???
More rollin-rollin landscape...
Here on the very right side of this photo, you can spot a path branching off the main descent - this is the way to go when you want to quickly return to the car park. We took the longer (and much wetter to be honest) route along the Speyside Way:
A glimpse back to the forest behind us. the path isn't too bad to start with...
...and lower down, when the ground becomes very squelchy, a wooden walkway is provided:
The farm at Glencoglas:
We had to cross this boggy gorge (luckily, a footbridge is available )
We continued slightly uphill on the right of way, but I must admit, I was soon annoyed with the glump-glump-glump-squelch of the wet mud under my feet and started looking for the best opportunity to return to more civil conditions
Carn Daimh from the right of way:
We spotted a passage through a pasture, there were gates to cross and a small herd of cattle in the way...
We walked carefully across the meadow to the second gate. The cows didn't mind us too much. A few of them watched us with some interest but they didn't even bother to stand up, just continued to chew the grass One said "MOOOOOOOO" which could mean anything from "Good MOOOOOrning" to "Get out of my meadow you MOOOOOrons!" I'll never know the truth behind the MOOOOO
We ended up on the tarmac road next to Croughly farm:
...and the final stretch of the walk was now a formality, as we followed the track back to Glencoglas where our car was already waiting. On the way, we tried to decipher the MOOOOO language but unsuccessfully and we gave up in the end, let the cows keep their secrets
Back in Glencoglas:
As we still had some time to spare, I suggested visiting two interesting ruins situated nearby. They are fascinating enough to post a separate story about them - surely this TR is too long already!
So we had a great time with a weird twist to the day, an experience to remember
I'd like to dedicate this little story to our fellow Walkhighlander Chris who's so busy conquering the wilderness of Canada - but I bet he misses the magic of the rollin-rollin landscape I had so much fun reading about your trips, hope this one will be a good way to return the favour Meow!
by ChrisW » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:10 pm
Some wonderful photos of a hike I would have loved to make myself, squelchy bits and all
by The Rodmiester » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:00 pm
by Gordie12 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:48 pm
Looks like you had a similar day to me with the visibility and great views from the top of Carn Daimh. After a long dry spell the wooded section after Carn Daimh heading towards Tomintoul was a lotter drier for me than for your walk.
Thanks for posting.
by denfinella » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:05 pm
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