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.

First snowy walk - Carn Chuinneag

First snowy walk - Carn Chuinneag


Postby BlackPanther » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:25 pm

Route description: Carn Chuinneag, Strath Carron, Ardgay

Corbetts included on this walk: Carn Chuinneag

Date walked: 03/11/2012

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 18.5 km

Ascent: 800m

10 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 have developed a habit of celebrating my b'day with a mountain or two. The weekend before the big day looked good so I scanned maps and books for a suitable hill. I knew that snow was about - quite early this year. I was all happy to have my first snow experience this autumn-winter. On the other hand, because days are much shorter now, I didn't want to plan a 20 mile walk with 2000m of ascent :lol: :lol: but something doable in 5-6 hours, with good views and not too wet if possible.
Carn Chuinneag stroke me as a perfect choice. The whole walk is on good paths/tracks and with the culling season over we didn't have to worry about disturbing stalkers.
It turned out simply a superb day - though cold. I must say, Carn Chuinneag is one of easier Corbetts, even regarding the distance (9 km from the starting point to the summit) and a perfect one to tackle in winter conditions. Stalker's paths are well marked and the final pathless 100m of ascent is a straightforward jaunt up the heathery slope (snowy slope in our case). So a huge recommendation for this one for anybody, even for beginners! As the big cold time is coming, Carn Chuinneag may see more visitors :D
The starting point with a good parking area is at the end of the public road leading towards Glen Calvie.
Our route:

Track_03-NOV-12 ARDGAY.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


We walked towards Glencalvie Lodge. Here WH description proved very useful - we were not sure if the private road was accessible for public use.
Crossing Glencalvie Bridge:
Image
River Calvie from the bridge:
Image
The tree house:
Image
We followed the track past Glencalvie Lodge (there are "public path" indicators). The day was shaping up nicely and the surrounding lower hills brightened up with autumn colours:
Image
The track is excellent all the way to the bottom of the hill. It can be cycled to save time, but honestly, a fit person can walk the distance in less than 2 hours.
Image
The track follows the lovely, quiet Glen Calvie, with our target hill in sight all the time:
Image
We stopped for a short time by this footbridge - it leads to Diebidale Lodge:
Image
All cloud burned off and the sky was now blue, our hopes for excellent views from higher ground rising...
Image
Diebidale Lodge and the neighbouring lower hill Cnoc na Tuirbhe:
Image
At the bottom of our Corbett we left the track and picked up a good stalkers path, zig-zagging up the northern shoulder, A'Chioch. Going was generally easy but after the first 100m ice appeared on the path - we slowed down and made sure we didn't experience any somersaulting on slippery ground :lol: :lol:
It was getting even colder and as soon as we emerged on the top of the shoulder, we stopped to dress up. Here, the first good views showed up. Oooh, I loved this, even with the frost pinching my nose!
The climb would continue in a minute...
Image
...but at the moment let's see what's in store :lol: :lol: Conival-Ben More Assynt and Braebag:
Image
Carn a' Choin Deirg:
Image
Close-up:
Image
Glen Diebidale:
Image
Cul Mor:
Image
We moved on after 10 minutes, our limbs were freezing. Brrrr! It was well below zero already and with fresh wind picking up, I was worried that the summit will give us a very frosty welcome!
The path continued in S direction up the slope, not too steep and the annoying ice was now replaced with snow. The higher we climbed the more fluffy stuff :lol: :lol: It was beginning to look like real winter!
Image
The path turned sharply NE and we followed this branch as it was the shortest way to the summit:
Image
The best views were still west and north, especially towards the massive bulk of Beinn Dearg and surrounding Munros:
Image

Image

Image
Even wrapped in multiple layers, windproof jacket, hat and gloves,I still felt pretty coooold :( :( but at the same time, we walked through the true winter wonderland:
Image
Looking back to Carn Ban and Carn a' Choin Deirg, with Cul Mor and Cul Beag in the distance:
Image
Glen Calvie from above:
Image
For the final 100m of ascent we left the path (it doesn't reach the summit) and cut straight up the slope to the top of the Corbett. Here the winter wonderland experience was even better!
Image
We reached the summit area with big smiles but they soon faded as our bodies weren't very happy with the Arctic temperature... Our initial plan was of course a hot cuppa & freshly baked cake picnic by the trig point but sadly, we had to give up the idea. It was simply too cold :(
Still, we spent enough time on the summit to take lots of photos and admire the beautiful landscape around us. I must say, Carn Chuinneag in an UNUSUAL viewpoint, most of the surrounding mountains seen from an odd angle. We promised ourselves, we will re-do this hill some time in the future, in higher temperatures, and have our planned picnic on the summit!
So here they are, the weird angles :lol: :lol:
View east, maybe not the most interesting side of the hill, but notice Dornoch Firth to the left and Cromarty Firth to the right!
Image
Suilven peeking out from behind Carn a' Choin Deirg:
Image
Ben Dearg group again:
Image

Image
I guess these steep, rocky cliffs must be the eastern face of Seana Braigh:
Image

Image
Looking north from the summit, into the vast emptiness of Sutherland:
Image
Only Ben Wyvis looks identical from every angle. Always the same long-ish, bulky shape, reminding me of an upturned coffin :shock:
Image
Cul Beag (left) and Ben Mor Coigach (right):
Image
The summit cairn looking very moody:
Image
My summit photo - the big smile says it all. My Corbett no. 45 and officially 20% of the Corbett list ticked off :lol: :lol: :lol: Am I 1/5 of a Corbeteer now?
Image
One last glimpse west towards the great views and it was time to go back...
Image
On a warmer day we would probably fancy returning over the lower top (829m) but with our limbs freezing we decided to retrace our steps back to the stalkers path. We walked half way down the mountain and eventually found a relatively sheltered spot, with a flat rock to sit on. Hot tea and a piece of cake were now a nice treat!
We returned to the car after 5 hours, would have been faster but for the ice on the path, but I must say this is another modest hill with grand panoramas, so if you decide to follow our footsteps, take your time to climb it and enjoy every moment! Meow!
Sunday looked good as well so on the next day we woke up ready for more - and we headed for Glen Shiel :D If Carn Chuinneag was a winter treat, our Sunday walk has to be called a winter adventure, with lots of snow trudging involved! TR to follow :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3118
Munros:258   Corbetts:162
Grahams:110   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: First snowy walk - Carn Chuinneag

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:41 pm

Great report and magnificent pics :clap: Can't wait for the next instalment.
User avatar
johnkaysleftleg
Walker
 
Posts: 3002
Munros:24   Corbetts:9
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: First snowy walk - Carn Chuinneag

Postby mrssanta » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:45 pm

what a wonderful day for a birthday treat!
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2930
Munros:240   Corbetts:10
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: First snowy walk - Carn Chuinneag

Postby gaffr » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:41 pm

Must say that I enjoyed my walk out to Carn Chuinneag......some years ago. The estate is very well looked after and the views out to the bigger hills are fine. That stalker's track is a bit special as is the wee loch that can be reached on the return journey. I don't know if you managed to visit the wee church at Croick? It is a special kind of place highlighting the gross injustices of the time when sheep were considered more important than people. The names scratched on the church window are a testament to this terrible act. :(
User avatar
gaffr
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1639
Munros:281   Corbetts:203
Grahams:33   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:11   Hewitts:25
Wainwrights:11   
Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Location: Highland.

Re: First snowy walk - Carn Chuinneag

Postby ChrisW » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:40 pm

You can't beat a cold Corbett BP and this one is clearly a stunner, some beautiful views across an ever wintering landscape, cold noses most days from now on :wink:
User avatar
ChrisW
Scrambler
 
Posts: 4938
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: First snowy walk - Carn Chuinneag

Postby danielsutherland » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:09 pm

Fantastic report, amazing views for such an overlooked Corbett, it's moved higher up the to do list, thanks. :D
danielsutherland
 
Posts: 30
Munros:125   Corbetts:38
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:61
Wainwrights:69   
Joined: Jul 6, 2010
Location: Muir of Ord

Re: First snowy walk - Carn Chuinneag

Postby Gable Gable End » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:28 am

Cracking report and pics. First class.
User avatar
Gable Gable End
Walker
 
Posts: 568
Munros:64   Corbetts:6
Grahams:4   
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Apr 28, 2009
Location: Houston, TX

Re: First snowy walk - Carn Chuinneag

Postby heatheronthehills » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:35 pm

Nice report BP and stunning pics. We are hoping to do this one tomorrow . Hope we get the same good views :)
User avatar
heatheronthehills
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 164
Munros:207   Corbetts:78
Grahams:56   
Sub 2000:53   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:2   
Joined: Mar 5, 2012

10 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is now 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: No registered users and 40 guests