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Feeling The Heat Atop Beautiful Glen Tilt

Feeling The Heat Atop Beautiful Glen Tilt


Postby Sabbathstevie » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:36 pm

Route description: Carn a'Chlamain

Munros included on this walk: Carn a'Chlamain

Date walked: 13/07/2013

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 26.7 km

Ascent: 930m

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I’ll attempt to apply a modicum of brevity to this TR, since there are already a number of reports for this particular route to choose from.

Becca and I had the luxury of a sunny weekend off together and agreed on a fifty-fifty split of sharing each other’s outdoor interests – I could get Becca to join me for a hillwalk on the Saturday as long as I took her to a beach on the Sunday. The weather was looking best either in the east or central areas and after much humming and harring I opted for Carn a’Chlamain. My first “proper” hillwalk had been across Beinn a’Ghlo almost a year ago to the day in similarly baking conditions and, combined with my general fuzzy feelings towards the whole “big tree country” of the Dunkeld/Pitlochry/Atholl area having grown up not too far from it, I’d been desperate to get back here. Additionally, having upped my hillwalking quota in 2013, I was keen to try my hand at a proper L O N G hillwalk to test my stamina and fitness, which I’d certainly need if I was ever to achieve my 2013 resolution of getting into the Cairngorms from Deeside...without a bike. :shock: I neither own nor am any good at riding a bike, so I will have to get my feet used to this kind of pounding if I am to achieve the Monadh Ruadh experiences I crave. 8)

Carn a’Chlamain looked like fulfilling all of these needs and the long but pleasant walk in up Glen Tilt had piqued Becca’s interest enough to offset the potential exhaustiveness of a very long day in the sun. We set off from Edinburgh at around 06:30 and, apart from a cheeky breakfast stop at the Broxden McDonalds outside Perth, made fairly good going up the A9 and pulled into the wooded car park at the Bridge of Tilt and started walking by 08:30. Though there were a few other cars in the car park, we only bumped into two pairs of other walkers on the whole of the walk in despite the glorious weather, providing the perfect quiet weekend getaway from the city. :thumbup:



Carn a'Chlamain.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts




We ambled at gentle pace and with many long breaks in order to take on fluids in the sometimes oppressive heat, something which made me wish I had a pair of lighter trail shoes rather than my leather boots. Although we took around 9 hours to complete the walk I reckon we spent about an hour and a half sitting and sunbathing at various intervals. Although the route description advises that the higher route through the rifle range on the west side of the glen offers the best views, I was concerned that our little Jack Russell Maggie would need a lot of water and, despite carrying in 4 litres between us, opted for the lower track along the east side of the glen in order to be closer to river to allow for plenty of doggy drink and swim opportunities. The sound of the occasional gunshot echoing up the glen led me to believe that we might not have been able to “take the high road” even had we not wanted to walk beside the river.


Green Field.JPG
Green Field


River Tilt.JPG
River Tilt



Besides the length, the walk in up the glen was nothing short of glorious – the bright sunshine showing off the wonderful colours of a Scottish summer at its most dazzling with lush, green meadows alongside the track, punctuated by colourful wildflowers and huge, darting dragonflies. The river Tilt itself is really interesting – much like the nearby falls of Bruar, the rock (granite?) has a fantastic colour palette unlike any I’ve seen, of pale sky blues and a bright grey, and also has a smooth, rounded quality where the river has carved an interesting series of shapes and gulleys over the years – well worth the shorter walk into Glen Tilt itself and probably a beautiful spot for a picnic on a day like today.


Lovely Glen Tilt.JPG
Leafy River Tilt


Pictureqsue glen.JPG
Pictureqsue Glen



Despite the length and the warm weather, the walk was pleasant and easy going as far as Gaw’s Bridge and then to the smaller bridge over the Allt Craoinidh, where the climb finally begins. I can’t speak for the other route up the west side however up to this point, we hadn’t really any views of the surrounding hills or indeed a glimpse of Carn a’Chlamain itself. The faint but good path winds its way relatively gently (though it didn’t seem it in the heat!) up the hill. The bulldozed track is reached quickly, though I wish it wasn’t – on a hot day, we found the loose, stony track to be much less pleasant to walk on and harder going than the steeper grassy path that had preceded it. The consolation of course was that the views, most prominently of the Beinn a’Ghlo massif, were finally beginning to open up, as they were to the south which revealed the distant enormity of Ben Lawers and the long whaleback ridge of Schielhallion. The stony peak of Carn a’Chlamain was also visible for the first time, and still seemed a depressingly long way off – I was now beginning to understand why the WH guide time was so long! :lol:


CAC appears.JPG
CAC summit in sight


Upper Glen Tilt.JPG
Upper Glen Tilt



We stopped for a much needed break just before the track swings to the north at Grianan Mor, enjoying the depth of the views into the uppermost reaches of Glen Tilt, and dominated firstly by the bulk of Braigh Coire-Chruinn Bhalgain but more distantly by the upper Glen Shee munros of Glas Tulaichen and Carn An Righ. We then pressed on into the wild and empty lands of the western Mounth toward the summit, encountering both ptarmigan and mountain hares which Maggie had neither the energy nor the inclination to even contemplate chasing. :lol:


Braigh Coire Chruinn-Bhalgain.JPG
Over to BCCB


Towards Carn An Righ and co.JPG
Towards Glen Shee hills



Despite our elevation, the air was still and warm as we picked our way through the broken boulderfield that finally leads to the small cairn atop Carn a’Chlamain. The best views were those down Gleann Craoinidh and then into Glen Tilt – apparently looking down upon the entirety of Perthshire. I had most anticipated the views north to the high Cairngorms, but these were disappointing. While the great peaks of Sgor Gaoith, Braeriach, Cain Toul, Ben MacDui and Beinn a’Bhuiridh et al were prominent and visible, the view from here appeared to be of the rounded backs of those great mountains, with no hint of the corries and cliffs that were hidden within. Furthermore, the brown heathery mounds of An Sgarsoch and Carn An Fhidleir (which still looked depressingly far off for those who have considered bagging the “Ring of Tarf” from this approach) seemed to obscure any other features of the Cairngorms, such as the Lairig Ghru, which might have provided some depth. Having said that, there was an extraordinary and enjoyable sense of wilderness to be had. :)


Maggie Summit.JPG
Maggie Summit


Down the glen.JPG
Down the Glen



After some food we began the descent. I’d initially thought we could shortcut some of the route by descending over Sron a’Chro, but Becca had spotted a path towards the southern end of Gleann Craoinidh which would lead back down the route of ascent while cutting out the awful, bouldery bulldozer track. We agreed that this looked like a good option and started off by descending the steep grassy flank to the west of Carn a’Chlamain, before heading south down Meall Feadhbhuinidh into Gleann Craoinidh. This part of the descent was pathless, heathery and involved a good deal of up and down over awkward terrain (though still better than the horrible bulldozer track) as we made our way toward the path that begins at the southerly end of the glen around NN 911737. It rewarded with a better aspect of Carn a’Chlamain and an abundance of frogs which hopped wildly in every direction from on our oncoming feet. The ground was tinder dry and firm, though I imagine would be an utter bog fest under normal Scottish conditions. The track was finally reached however, and we were soon returning by our route of ascent to Glen Tilt, now alive with the reedy song of grasshoppers.


Descending.JPG
on the descent


Look back to CAC.JPG
Looking back to CAC


Long walk out.JPG
Long walk out



The high cloud had now sealed in the days warmth to an uncomfortably clammy degree and the long walk out along the tarmac road would gradually wear us down...what was I saying earlier about not using a bike?! By this point, little Maggie was well and truly wabbit, though fortunately she is of small enough size to sit comfortably within Becca’s backpack for an assisted walk out. :lol:


Tired Maggie.JPG
One tired Pooch!



Despite the track certainly demonstrating physics defying qualities of being longer on the road out than it was on the way in, we eventually arrived back in the car park in a tired but happy state, but not before we had climbed down to a particularly attractive spot of the river to dunk what once might have been our feet into the chilled waters.

This walk reminded me a little of Mount Keen in that the munro and its associated views are not the main event – the beautiful walk in and out along a wonderfully picturesque glen is the reason to savour and enjoy this one. If you are a bagger to whom that sort of thing doesn’t appeal, then take a bike! :D I’m looking forward to coming back when it’s a bit cooler for Beinn Dearg – anyone tried starting from Bruar for that one? :?
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Sabbathstevie
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Re: Feeling The Heat Atop Beautiful Glen Tilt

Postby jmarkb » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:53 pm

Nice write up!

Sabbathstevie wrote:anyone tried starting from Bruar for that one? :?


No, on the grounds that it's even longer than the Old Blair route and the track crosses onto the wrong side of the river. No doubt that won't matter in the current weather conditions, though!
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Re: Feeling The Heat Atop Beautiful Glen Tilt

Postby gmr82 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:27 pm

Sabbathstevie wrote:Becca and I had the luxury of a sunny weekend off together and agreed on a fifty-fifty split of sharing each other’s outdoor interests – I could get Becca to join me for a hillwalk on the Saturday as long as I took her to a beach on the Sunday.

I like your thinking.......'good weather forecast for the Saturday, we'll do the hillwalk that day, so just by chance if the forecast changes for the Sunday my outdoor interest won't be ruined!'
A trick I've used a number of times myself :lol:

Looks a lovely area too, did Beinn a Ghlo recently in variable clag, wish I had saved it for a clear day. I'll make sure I dont make the same mistake for this one. Lovely pictures
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Re: Feeling The Heat Atop Beautiful Glen Tilt

Postby Sabbathstevie » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:11 pm

gmr82 wrote:
Sabbathstevie wrote:Becca and I had the luxury of a sunny weekend off together and agreed on a fifty-fifty split of sharing each other’s outdoor interests – I could get Becca to join me for a hillwalk on the Saturday as long as I took her to a beach on the Sunday.

I like your thinking.......'good weather forecast for the Saturday, we'll do the hillwalk that day, so just by chance if the forecast changes for the Sunday my outdoor interest won't be ruined!'
A trick I've used a number of times myself :lol:


:oops: rumbled! Luckily she nevers looks at my reports on WH or my neck would probably have been wrung many times over...
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Sabbathstevie
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Re: Feeling The Heat Atop Beautiful Glen Tilt

Postby basscadet » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:00 pm

Nice photos as always Stevie.. :wink: The walk in from that way is a killer on the feet I thought.. Well the walk out was, I went over it from Tarf Hotel.. Really snowy for me though, first whiteout that scared me on that trip :shock:
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=18409
Its an alternative route anyways :)
I must get back to Glen Tilt as it has been claggy, or snowy every time I have been and it is really nice. :D
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