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Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain


Postby dogplodder » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:14 pm

Route description: Càrn an Fhreiceadain from Kingussie

Corbetts included on this walk: Càrn an Fhreiceadain

Date walked: 05/01/2013

Distance: 17 km

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It was time to get out and make a dent on festive season acquired extra calories! :? It would need to be on a route that would be safe without ice axe and crampons since between the five of us only one has an axe - and said axe is a vintage model of substantial dimensions and weight. :shock: I'm aware any kind of hill walking between November and June potentially requires use of crampons and axe but I reckoned with the recent mild spell Carn an Fhreiceadain would be substantially free of snow and since the whole route is on road or vehicle track with no steepness involved we would be okay. I suggested to gizmogirl it might be worth her acquiring microspikes incase the track had hard packed snow and ice further up, advice which she heeded, but we hardly encountered any snow underfoot and there was no ice at all so we didn't need them.

Moira, Kath and I met Evelyn and Linda in the car park behind the Duke of Gordon Hotel in Kingussie shortly after 9.00 am. We drove up Gynack Road and parked in the car park just before the Golf Club as suggested by Derek Pyper in my Corbett book. We were the only cars in the overflow car park so were happy we were causing no problem for golfers - but of course in the summer this might be a different story. :wink:

Booted and ready for off
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We could have walked straight up past the club house as that was the direction we were heading but felt it would be more polite to walk back down the road the short distance to the foot bridge over the Gynack Burn.

Bridge over burn
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Once over the burn we turned left up the minor road which goes through a white gate on to a private road and crosses over part of the golf course.

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At Pitmain Lodge we didn't cross the bridge but continued on the track to the right which follows the burn upstream.

Pitmain Lodge which we passed in front of on the return
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The track leads out on to open moorland
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Looking back towards Craig Bheag on east side of Loch Gynack
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View from further up across Strathspey to the western hills of the Cairngorm massif
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The gradient steepens a little as it approaches Green Bothy, a grouse-shooters' hut and by this time we'd donned hats and gloves and were feeling the effects of the wind in terms of wind chill, making it feel colder than it was. The hut was equipped with wood burning stove, table and chairs so we stopped there for a coffee and very nice it was too. Thank you to the grouse-shooting fraternity for leaving it open for walkers to use! :clap:

The girls at Green Bothy
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At the side of the bothy was what at first glance looked like a patch of snow. But on closer inspection it wasn't snow but a neat row of recently shot hares resplendent in their winter coats. :( Good thing my dog Jack wasn't with me or he'd have assumed this was his lunch thoughtfully laid out for him.

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It seems at this time of year the grouse-shooters' hut turns into a hare-shooters' hut and we saw a large vehicle and quad bike moving up the track ahead of us. We didn't hear any shots though the wind was so strong we might not have and I suspect they were shooting as several hares ran desperately towards us looking horribly vulnerable in their white coats on the brown hillside. As carnivores it would be hypocritical to say anything against it if they're taken out with a clean shot and better this way than being reared for food in cages. But all the same you can't help hoping this animal so brilliantly designed for speed and its upland habitat will get away to run another day on the wide open hillside. :o

Mountain hares have historically been regarded as "small game" but shooting is becoming increasingly commercialised. I read of a case in which a refrigerated van was brought over to Scotland by a party of Italians who hoped to shoot 1,000 mountain hares and sell them in Italy to pay for their shooting holiday! :shock:

Natural prey of the Golden Eagle, the mountain hare is preyed on for sport and is also shot in large numbers because it allegedly carries a tick-borne virus which kills grouse chicks and is seen as a threat to the grouse shooting on which estates depend for much of their revenue. The Habitats Directive requires that exploitation of a species is "compatible with their being maintained at a favourable conservation status." Since there are no official records of the number of hares being killed it is difficult to see how this requirement can be met and anecdotal evidence of culling levels strongly suggests that EC wildlife law is being broken in Scotland. :(

Whatever the ethics of the matter there was an immediate protest from my camera which froze and wouldn't take another shot all day. My first thought was it didn't like the cold (although to be honest, apart from the effects of the wind it wasn't that cold - above freezing at the top) so I took out the recently charged battery and put it next to my skin until Linda told me not to do that because of radiation risk. :shock: So I put it in an inside pocket and tried warming it in my hands before using it again but my camera had gone on permanent strike and wouldn't work for the rest of the day and I still don't know what the problem was. :thumbdown:

So from now on all the photos posted were taken by gizmogirl on her great wee compact digital and I'm indebted to her for the bulk of the pictures in this report. :D

View back down track from the climb up Beinn Bhreac
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Summit of Beinn Bhreac (843m)
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The track continues from Beinn Bhreac in a north westerly direction, dipping down before climbing west towards the summit of Carn an Fhreiceadain.

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I'm not sure which hill this is - taken from the track heading for Carn an Fhreiceadain
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Water unfrozen at top of Carn an Fhreiceadain (878m)
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It was blowing a hooley up there and not conducive to stopping. So we were delighted to see the hill hobbits had built us a shelter adding a stone dyke to a massive rock and possibly a roof as well although the roof had mostly caved in. You had to duck to get through the hobbit-height door but the five of us fitted in nicely and I was able to get rid of some of my Christmas cake into which I'd slugged an entire bottle of brandy. :D In those conditions it felt appropriate enough - putting in mind St Bernard dogs carrying kegs of brandy to stranded walkers stuck in the snow. :lol:

Inside the shelter
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Carn an Fhreiceadain means watcher's or lookout cairn and on a clear day it would be an excellent viewpoint, set as it is on the edge of the vast rolling Monadhliath. We had a lowish blanket of thick cloud obscuring the far views but it could have been a lot worse and we weren't in the clag we thought at one point we were disappearing into. We were able to pick out Loch Insh and Loch Morlich and could see the straight lines of the funicular making its way up to the Ptarmigan, not that there's much joy for skiers and boarders right now. :(

View north over the Monadhliath
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View south west towards Badenoch
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We headed off at speed to get the circulation going and didn't stop to inspect the tall cairn over to the west of the track. Minds were fixed on getting lower down out of that wind!

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This would be a good route in poor visibility as you just follow the track which curves left and heads south down to the Allt Mor which flows down into the Gynack Burn.

Allt Mor
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The track crosses a bridge over the Allt Mor and climbs the far side of the gully with a lone stand of firs on one side. Views open up of Creag Bheag with a clearly visible white line zig zagging up it - presumably hard packed snow on the path up.

Creag Bheag on right
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Looking west into the afternoon sun
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The track leads to a gate into the woods and we turned left in front of Pitmain Lodge and over the bridge to rejoin the outward route. Then it was just a case of walking back down the road and crossing the burn before the golf club house since we weren't so bothered about politeness on the way back! :lol:

Many thanks to Evelyn, Kath, Linda and Moira for the company and banter! It was a good straightforward walk to stretch the legs after an enforced break for most of us. :D
Last edited by dogplodder on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby laconic surf » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:07 pm

A lovely report of what looked a fine day out in the hills. I have the same issue with my camera, as soon as i get below freezing it goes into hibernation, though keeping it in my pocket rather than bag seems to help a bit. First report of yours i've seen with some good mutt shots :lol:
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby heatheronthehills » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:58 pm

We did this hill back in September and it's lovely to be reminded of it. Looks like you had a great day out. It's really sad that they are shooting the hares though. They are such beautiful creatures, perfectly adapted for life in the highlands (well, unless you get the extreme snow melt we've had this past week). I don't understand what it is about humans that some people just seem to have to kill anything that moves.....it's so sad :(
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby laconic surf » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:08 pm

laconic surf wrote: First report of yours i've seen with some good mutt shots :lol:

I, of course, meant without mutt shots :roll:
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:12 am

laconic surf wrote:A lovely report of what looked a fine day out in the hills. I have the same issue with my camera, as soon as i get below freezing it goes into hibernation, though keeping it in my pocket rather than bag seems to help a bit.


The thing is we weren't below freezing. Think the next time I go out I'll revert to my wee compact as at least it can sit snug in my pocket. :D
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:23 am

heatheronthehills wrote:We did this hill back in September and it's lovely to be reminded of it. Looks like you had a great day out. It's really sad that they are shooting the hares though. They are such beautiful creatures, perfectly adapted for life in the highlands (well, unless you get the extreme snow melt we've had this past week). I don't understand what it is about humans that some people just seem to have to kill anything that moves.....it's so sad :(


Killing things for sport eludes me too.... There will be something in the (usually male) psyche that needs to assert itself as top of the food chain. :?
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:28 am

laconic surf wrote:
laconic surf wrote: First report of yours i've seen with some good mutt shots :lol:

I, of course, meant without mutt shots :roll:


Yep, knew exactly what you meant. I intended taking the mutts then decided after a row of sleepless nights I was better not driving but since no one wants dog hairs in their car they only get to come if it's me driving! :lol:
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby morag1 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:59 pm

Nice to get a walk with the girls but I really miss seeing your lovely dogs :(

Was so angry at those photos of the hares, what sort of sick people get enjoyment out of shooting these lovely creatures :evil:
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby soulminer » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:43 pm

Good to see you all out and about- and wrapped up well for the conditions :lol: Not been out for a time, having a problem with my left knee, it's making some funny clicking noises :shock:
I, too, have had problems with camera batteries in the cold- but since changing to a Lithium Ion battery pack I've had no problems at all, but needed to purchase a new camera to fit the battery pack though !!!
Cheers.
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:53 pm

morag1 wrote:Nice to get a walk with the girls but I really miss seeing your lovely dogs :(



Oh well okay then.... here's a gratuitous mutt shot - this one taken by gizmogirl. :D

IMG_0139-large.jpg
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby morag1 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:41 am

Aw, thanks :D
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby dogplodder » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:05 am

soulminer wrote:Good to see you all out and about- and wrapped up well for the conditions :lol: Not been out for a time, having a problem with my left knee, it's making some funny clicking noises :shock:
I, too, have had problems with camera batteries in the cold- but since changing to a Lithium Ion battery pack I've had no problems at all, but needed to purchase a new camera to fit the battery pack though !!!
Cheers.


Sorry to hear about the gammy knee! :(

Ironically the very day I decide to take my newish camera back to Jessops to see if they know what the problem is I hear they've gone into administration! I could still go but wouldn't blame the staff if they can't really be bothered... And one of the main reasons I bought my camera at Jessops rather than on line was for the service if anything went wrong. :lol:
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby Rudolph » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:33 pm

That looked a great walk. I hope the day wasn't too spoiled by the shooting.

I hadn't heard of the radiation threat from batteries before. Did Linda give any more details?
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Re: Furry carnage froze camera on Fhreiceadain

Postby dogplodder » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:09 pm

Rudolph wrote:That looked a great walk. I hope the day wasn't too spoiled by the shooting.

I hadn't heard of the radiation threat from batteries before. Did Linda give any more details?


Thanks Rudolph. Our day wasn't too spoiled by the shooting, although there was one moment we thought be might be in the line of fire as the hares ran towards us! :shock: Think my bright blue jacket made it obvious I wasn't a hare though.

Linda didn't amplify her comment re dangers from battery - just that it wasn't a good idea to have it next to skin - and she's the sort of feisty Glaswegian lady you don't argue with! :lol:

If I find out any more I will let you know. :D
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