Gentle start to 2013 - Cuddly Chonzie from Comrie
by weaselmaster » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:58 pm
Route description: Ben Chonzie via Glen Lednock
Munros included on this walk: Ben Chonzie
Date walked: 01/01/2013
Time taken: 5.59 hours
Distance: 28.8 km
Ascent: 1246m5 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).
Had the day off and thought of going up Ben Cruachan but windspeed forecast and weather being worse in the West made me re-think. Ben Chonzie hadn't been tackled yet, so thought I'd go and see whether it was dull or dandy.
Got away at 7.45, aware that the Perthshire roads might be icy as opposed to just plain wet like they were in Greenock. And indeed they were - as soon as I'd hit the B827 from Braco the road was white and ungritted. Down to a safe 30mph and a bit of wondering what to do. I'm a bit of a feartie when it comes to driving on icy roads as me we car doesn't like them. I had read about the single track road up to Invergeldie being a bit narrow and I chickened out - decided to park in Comrie and just walk in. Well, it was forecast to be a nice day, and it was only going to add 5 miles or so to each leg of the journey
New year's Morning in Comrie by 23weasels, on Flickr
Got away from the car park beside the church, crossed the river and went to the start of Monument Road - where there was another car park Decided to walk along the roadside and really it wasn't too bad - looks like it's been recently resurfaced, and there were only some patches of black ice, so I could have probably conquered my fears without a tailspin
Up the road by 23weasels, on Flickr
But - after a wee shower of rain - it was shaping up to be a nice sunny day and I was with my dug.
Further up the road by 23weasels, on Flickr
Very little traffic passed me by, enjoyed the peaceful morning and eventually the parking area at Invergeldie came into view. Maybe 6-8 cars there, room for more. Headed up to the two cottages and kept to the path to the right, then up the gentle incline up towards the hill itself which popped into view as a snow coated dome.
Chonzie from Invergeldie by 23weasels, on Flickr
Chonzie by 23weasels, on Flickr
The path was quite stony and hard on the feet - which weren't feeling too clever - 5 miles of tarmac with rigid soled winter boots is a bit painful for me
Water intake by 23weasels, on Flickr
After a couple of miles the track started to get icy/snow covered, but this just made the going easier.
Gentle white curves by 23weasels, on Flickr
P1000562 by 23weasels, on Flickr
The WH track takes a sharp turn to the North after a wee stream and I missed this initially, as other folk that had been out had just kept straight on - although I did re-trace the WH route it looked like the more direct path was quicker.
P1000564 by 23weasels, on Flickr
P1000569 by 23weasels, on Flickr
Looking west by 23weasels, on Flickr
Looking North by 23weasels, on Flickr
P1000574 by 23weasels, on Flickr
After the easiest of slopes up the flat top of the hill opened out, with the familiar frozen fence poles to follow. After basking in winter sunshine, the wind at the top was a bit of a shock to the system - there'd been barely a breath of wind coming up, but suddenly it was like standing under one of those turbo hand-driers, only on a massive scale and blowing distinctly cold air
Struggled against the wind near to the top before deciding to stop at one of the (many) cairns that dot the approach and have something to eat in relative shelter. Dog had a lie down too.
Shelter from the wind! by 23weasels, on Flickr
Almost there by 23weasels, on Flickr
Looking SW from near summit by 23weasels, on Flickr
Some ice residue by 23weasels, on Flickr
Refreshed it was back into the blast to reach the large cairn. Snow was being blown off the hill towards the South - actually I was surprised how shallow the snow drifts on Chonzie were today after reading about waist deep snow in some recent reports - I think it's all blown somewhere else. Didn't hang about too ling at the top because of the wind, and did feel grateful that I hadn't chosen to do Cruachan today as I wouldn't have fancied a ridge walk in wind of that speed. I had toyed with the idea of keeping on along Chonzie and heading NE over to Auchnafree Hill, but the windblast made up my mind just to get back.
Looking SE by 23weasels, on Flickr
Fenceposts! by 23weasels, on Flickr
Looking SE by 23weasels, on Flickr
Cairn & Cloud by 23weasels, on Flickr
Hills to the South of Chonzie against the sun by 23weasels, on Flickr
The descent was uneventful apart from the one obligatory slip-and-end-up-on-your-bum, which was quite sore I also found myself speeding down a hard snow patch and struggling to come to a stop - had only been using my pole today as there seemed little need for axe on a pussy of a hill like this one - and the worst that would have happened if I hadn't been able to stop would have been a roll in the heather
Lot of the ice on the path had melted in the warm sun and that made going down easier. Got back to the car park area and decided that rather than follow the road down, I would try the public footpaths - from Funtulich the track heads along the Lednock river down towards the Deil's Cauldron "via the Shaky bridge" which sounded fun. And as it was a lovely afternoon, more like autumn than winter, it was no hardship at all to head that way.
Sign at Funtulich by 23weasels, on Flickr
Finn against the wee hillocks by 23weasels, on Flickr
Lovely sunny afternoon! by 23weasels, on Flickr
Only tricksy bit was a river crossing south of Lurg which could have been wet if there hadn't been a reasonable selection of stepping stones.
The "Shaky" Bridge by 23weasels, on Flickr
The river Earn by 23weasels, on Flickr
Then it was down the farm road to Balmuick and down the field from there to the Cauldron and a pleasant walk through the oaks of Laggan wood.
Laggan Woods by 23weasels, on Flickr
Walkway thru Laggan woods by 23weasels, on Flickr
Came across lots of families out for their New Year's Day walk and felt a bit "overdressed" - although was quite happy to be in boots & gaiters when it came to the muddy puddles that the "ordinary people" were struggling to get around in trainers & jeans - I could just stomp straight ahead. Back into Comrie village about 3.15 as the sun was beginning to go down. Fortunately the sunshine had melted any ice on the B827 back to Braco, so my homeward journey was less tentative than earlier on.
Comrie Church in the sunset by 23weasels, on Flickr
Really glad that I had the extra bit of walking up to the hill today - made it somehow a more complete day and a good length of time to be out on such a sunny winter's day.
by gyles » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:07 pm
by weaselmaster » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:14 pm
by Gordie12 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:07 pm
My grandparents were from Comrie and I spent most of my weekends walking our dogs in the woods around the Shaky Bridge and in the hills on the other side of the road so I know the area really well. Good effort to do Ben Chonzie from the village rather than the car park up the glen!!!!!!!!!
Looks like you had a great day and I loved the pics of the Shaky Bridge (I always had to carry our collie over the bridge as he was spooked by seeing the running water between the slats) and the Laggan Woods.
by heatheronthehills » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:03 am
by IndoorMunroist » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:46 pm
by IndoorMunroist » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:47 pm