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Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?


Postby dogplodder » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:11 pm

Route description: Loch an Eilein, Rothiemurchus

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ord Ban

Date walked: 13/03/2014

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We discovered an unexpected benefit of doing the round of Loch an Eilein in March is the free parking. :D

From the car park we went straight to the toilet block behind the information centre - not so much for the obvious reason but because we wanted to climb Ord Ban and had read in a WH report there was a stile over the deer fence behind it. :wink:

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There was a photo of said substantial stile attached to the report but when we looked there was no sign of it. We walked up and down the fence but definitely no stile. :?

Information centre
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So we headed back to the car and found a gate behind a building on the north edge of the parking area. There was a sign on the gate saying 'keep closed' - not that we had much choice as it was held firmly shut with chain and padlock. But to the side of the gate was a ladder type section to the fence so over we went. I didn't have the dogs with me but there would have been room for them to squeeze through a gap between gate and gate post. 8)

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From there we picked up a faint path going left and diagonally up through the trees.

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Loch an Eilein
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Once clear of the trees we came to a line of crags which the path navigated us round involving just a short clamber over rock to top out on the summit ridge. The final part of the walk was on a narrow path through heather towards the visible trig point marking the summit of Ord Ban.

Approaching the summit
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Summit rock and trig (Moira's pic)
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Moira, Rob and Mary
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It was a bracing wind at the top so we found shelter a little below the summit and sat chatting and enjoying the view.

Cloud flattening tops of Cairngorm block
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Meall a' Bhuachaille and Shepherd's Ridge
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Aviemore
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Loch Insh
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To illustrate what a wee hill this is it was only 20 minutes from the top back to the car park. But the views made it a great addition to the classic round of the loch which we set off to do clockwise because for some reason we usually do it anticlockwise. :wink:

Loch an Eilein with its island castle which in the poor light here is barely visible.
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Same spot on a previous walk with Tess doing what she loves to do - pose in water. :D
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Castle taken on another day (Moira's photo)
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The castle was originally built in the 1200s as an island defence surrounded by the loch. In 1745 after the battle of Culloden, a well known Jacobite's widow, Grizel Mhor, sheltered fugitives in the castle. In the 1770s a sluice was built to enable felled timber to be floated down the Spey and raised the water level, reducing the size of the island and obscuring the zigzag causeway which once connected the castle to the shore. The most recent fugitives taking refuge on the island were nesting ospreys - before they were driven to extinction by the Victorians. Since returning to the Highlands they so far haven't taken up their old nesting site but hopefully one day they will. 8)

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Loch Gamhna - an optional add on to the round of Loch an Eilein
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Casualties from winter storms
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After an overcast morning the sun broke through and we ended the walk in sunshine. :D
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:47 am

Looks like a lovely visit to a well loved walk. Good to see the snow conditions in the area, and thanks for flagging this one up, must try it :D
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby dogplodder » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:50 am

This one is for Janine - of her first walk in the Highands when the family came on a year's teaching exchange from Australia.

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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby gmr82 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:02 am

Nice report of a lovely area! I was up here a month ago and like you went searching for the now removed stile, had a labrador with me too so no option to scale the deer fence! The gate was also padlocked when I was there :crazy: . Like you I'm amazed this doesn't appear on any of the leaflets for Loch An Eilein, its only a quick detour and provides great views for little effort. Though the standout for me was Loch Gamhna, its feels far more isolated and just has a stunning backdrop :)
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby rockhopper » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:46 pm

Aye - free parking may be an advantage at this time of year.........but at the times when parking isn't free, the car park attendant is a great source of information :wink: It was he who pointed me in the right direction for the gate and also warned me of the presence of ticks when here during a previous summer holiday. Certainly is a great viewpoint once you find your way up through the trees - cheers :)
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby Negus Negast » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:28 pm

Did this with the kids at the tail end of last summer.

Car park attendant set us off on the right track but he did mention it was hardly walked, even though the Loch is extremely popular.
A wee gem we all loved. It offers great views and should be better publicised.

Enjoyed reading your report and the pics brought back memories of a great day out.
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby Sarah86 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:19 pm

This looks a lovely way to spend a couple of hours, beautiful area with a good view point as you say. Another place to add to my list!
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby dogplodder » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:42 am

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Looks like a lovely visit to a well loved walk. Good to see the snow conditions in the area, and thanks for flagging this one up, must try it :D


I was surprised so much snow seemed to have disappeared since two days earlier when my pal was snowboarding on Cairngorm! :wink:
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby dogplodder » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:44 am

gmr82 wrote:Nice report of a lovely area! I was up here a month ago and like you went searching for the now removed stile, had a labrador with me too so no option to scale the deer fence! The gate was also padlocked when I was there :crazy: . Like you I'm amazed this doesn't appear on any of the leaflets for Loch An Eilein, its only a quick detour and provides great views for little effort. Though the standout for me was Loch Gamhna, its feels far more isolated and just has a stunning backdrop :)


Pretty sure a lab would fit between gate and gate post - unless seriously needing to go on a diet! :lol:
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby dogplodder » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:01 pm

rockhopper wrote:Aye - free parking may be an advantage at this time of year.........but at the times when parking isn't free, the car park attendant is a great source of information :wink: :)


Well worth the parking fee then. :D
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby dogplodder » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:18 pm

Negus Negast wrote:Did this with the kids at the tail end of last summer.

Car park attendant set us off on the right track but he did mention it was hardly walked, even though the Loch is extremely popular.
A wee gem we all loved. It offers great views and should be better publicised.



Quite agree. But on the other hand it would spoil it if it got too busy! :wink:
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Re: Loch heralded to tourists but Ord Ban kept quiet?

Postby dogplodder » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:20 pm

Sarah86 wrote:This looks a lovely way to spend a couple of hours, beautiful area with a good view point as you say. Another place to add to my list!


Think you'd enjoy it. :D
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