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Carn Chuinneag

Carn Chuinneag


Postby heatheronthehills » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:08 pm

Route description: Carn Chuinneag, Strath Carron, Ardgay

Corbetts included on this walk: Carn Chuinneag

Date walked: 24/10/2013

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 18 km

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A short drive up from Conon Bridge and we were at the huge parking area close to the beautiful Glen Calvie Lodge. Squally showers had accompanied us most of the way but for now they had stopped so we set off through the estate. It felt as though we shouldn't really be there, with several signs saying 'PRIVATE' and the route taking us past the most amazing treehouse and through gateposts topped with stone lions. I checked the map...yep, this was the route. As I was checking it one of the estate workers came along the track. 'Are we OK to be here?' I asked tentatively. 'Oh yes' he said 'we get lots of walkers coming this way and its a right of way' With that we felt happier about enjoying the beautiful views of the gardens, lake, tennis courts :shock: and the stalking ponies enjoying a rest in the paddock. The glen is equally beautiful, with the birches and rowans in full autumn colours. We could see our hill in the distance, the twin topped corbett of Carn Chuinneag, or hill of the bucket!

A river accompanies the route and well made tracks and bridges cross it. The paths on the whole estate were in good condition and you could easily cycle this first section.

Soon we arrived at the start of the hillwalk where a lovely stalkers path zigzags almost to the col between the two peaks. The climb is at a perfect gradient and I didn't get out of breath once :shock: :shock: The rain came back as we climbed though, and we had to stop to pull on full waterproofs as combined with the wind it was a real drencher. We were rewarded with beautiful rainbows though, as the sun kept attempting to burst through.

2 eagles soared above us close to the summit, and we could hear the roaring of the stags. The estate worker had told us that in winter they feed 250 stags!

We left the stalkers path just below the col and made our way over easy spongy terrain to the rocky summit, complete with a trig and shelter cairn. The rain stayed with us so we only had very watery views, which is a shame as I'd seen previous reports and knew how good the views could have been. Still, it's a local hill so we'll definitely be back for some proper views :)

We had lunch at the summit and headed down in the rain, passing 2 ptarmigan in the process. About 15 minutes into our descent the rain clouds moved off and the sun came out, and stayed with us for the rest of the day. If only we had taken a little longer to ascend we might have got better views :( :(

On the walkout we enjoyed the glen in the sun, the light reflecting on the orange, yellow and red leaves and sparkling on the peaty waters of the river. It felt like a real fairytale glen....or at least it did until I got home and researched it a little more, only to discover that in 1845 it had been the scene of one of the worst highland clearances ever. It was hard to believe how people could have been treated like that. It felt wrong to have enjoyed the experience so much today :(

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Lots of parking

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Lots of notices including the word 'PRIVATE'

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Amazing treehouse

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Ponies having a well earned rest

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The walk in

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Lovely bridge

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Hill in the distance

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Stopping to put on waterproofs at the start of the stalkers path

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The path is even well made through the small boulder fields so no boulder hopping required :-)

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Easy walking to the summit

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Derek at the summit

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Me a bit windswept at the summit!

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One of the many rainbows

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The views West, shame about the cloud :-(

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Heading back down the stalkers path

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Back on the estate track - no boggy agrocat tracks on this estate :0)

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The river

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The walk out in glorious autumn sunshine

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Last view of the twin peaked summit

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Almost back at the lodge

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The stalking ponies
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heatheronthehills
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 164
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Re: Carn Chuinneag

Postby dogplodder » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:19 pm

That's what I call a good report as it gives a clear idea of what to expect backed up with lovely photos. In fact reading it has given me the urge to do it next chance there is! :D
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Carn Chuinneag

Postby heatheronthehills » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:23 pm

Thank you for the kind words dogplodder. It's a fantastic walk....highly recommended :)
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heatheronthehills
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 164
Munros:207   Corbetts:78
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Joined: Mar 5, 2012

Re: Carn Chuinneag

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:25 pm

grand report and good to see some sunny weather :clap:

Private .. knock on the door and read them SOAC :wink:
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Collaciotach
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Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

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