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Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six

Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:13 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Sgarsoch, Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl), Carn a'Chlamain, Carn an Fhidhleir (Carn Ealar)

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Bhreac, Beinn Mheadhonach

Date walked: 12/04/2014

Time taken: 17.4 hours

Distance: 55 km

Ascent: 2909m

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I’d been looking for a suitable weekend to make it round the Tarf 6 with Sick Kid – I’d done the Munros on the circuit last April but she needed to pick up the hills and it makes no sense to try and do these hills as singles from an efficient use of kilometres perspective. We’d decided to reverse the route I’d taken and do an evening walk in to the bothy at Allt Sheicheachan, tackle 4 of the hills the next day ending up at the Tarf Hotel and do the last two on the final day as a walk out. Seemed reasonable, however, we’d never stayed in bothies before and were both a bit apprehensive about the crazed folk that can inhabit such places :twisted: – so we packed the tent to be on the safe side. :lol:

Got to the car park at Bridge of Tilt for about 6.30 and reckoned on being at the bothy in 2 hours. The forecast for the weekend had steadily worsened, with our old friend the wind being predicted to be gusting up to 65mph – oh joy! However, so many weekends recently have been windswept that we’re just getting used to getting pulverised. The walk in was quite pleasant – the light held til we arrived at the bothy, but other than a buzzard soaring in the distance there was no sign of life. There were signs of industrialisation however, with a new pipeline being bulldozed into the hillside of Glen Bruar, behind the bothy – that was new from last time I’d been here. We found the place already inhabited by a couple of very posh St Andrew’s students (are there any other kind of St Andrew’s students?). They’d had a consignment of logs delivered that day for their stay and were very friendly and obliging. We chatted for a bit, enjoyed the warmth from their logs while we polished off our very healthy M&S salads then decided to head next door for the sleeping platform in the attic rather than have to suffer conversation. A we were leaving another walker arrived who did decide to stay in the warmer part of the hoose.

Starting the walk in
ImageP1000839 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking back south
ImageP1000841 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bothy in the twilight
ImageP1000843 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Comfy night's rest
ImageP1000844 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I was glad to have been in the bothy as the wind howled all night and there was a period of heavy rain around 4am which would have resulted in having to carry a wet, therefore heavier, tent around all day. We breakfasted and set off for Beinn Dearg at a modest start time of 9.30. It’s a steady climb up the zigzag path then onto boggy heather. Not much snow left, the landscape predominantly dark brown from the heather. Near the summit we could look north to where the Monadh Ruadh glistened white in the sunshine. At the top we met the other walker from last night enjoying a piece – he looked a healthy old man who said his Munro days were pretty much over but he liked long walks – he was planning to walk to the Tarf Hotel and back.

Bothy in the morning light, students still sleeping inside :lol:
ImageP1000845 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back from BD
ImageP1000847 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Approaching top BD
ImageP1000849 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View North
ImageP1000850 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1000852 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit BD
ImageP1000853 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We both set off down the northern slopes of Dearg where there was more snow cover and parted company at the Tarf Water where we crossed and had lunch before starting up Beinn Bhreac. This is a fairly easy 300m ascent and apart from some bog at the bottom was accomplished without difficulty. We set off down the NE shoulder towards Cnap a’Choire Chreagaich and encountered a big herd of deer in the distance, who milled around for a bit before catching a whiff of us and disappearing fast.

Heading off to Beinn Bhreac
ImageP1000854 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1000855 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn Bhreac
ImageP1000857 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit BB
ImageP1000860 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Deer mob
ImageP1000862 by 23weasels, on Flickr

On over peat hags then up the easy grassy slopes of Carn Ealar, the wind pressing us along from behind. At the cairn we saw across to the Feshie hills of Mullach Clach a’Bhlair and Beinn Bhrotain, as well as the drop down that we’d have to undertake to get the final hill of the day, An Sgarsoch. Ach well…The wind blasted across us as we headed southwards then descended, mostly by a lengthy bum slide, into the dip between the two hills. More peat hags to traverse then up the steady gradient to AS. The wind turned up another notch at the summit and it was quite difficult to remain upright. Over the rocky ground towards Sron na Macranaich and off in the distance we could see the Tarf Hotel aside the river. It took a fair time to get down this hillside and we deviated a bit further east than my route suggested, which meant that the river crossings of the tributaries of the Tarf Water were nearer the river and therefore more substantial - we decided that, due to a lack of stepping stones to simply wade across in boots & gaiters – this worked OK for the first crossing but by the third and deepest crossing just before the Hotel it was a case of sodden boots/socks and trousers to the knee. Sick Kid, who hates river crossings at the best of times was ready for my blood.

Towards Carn Ealar
ImageP1000863 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1000867 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit CE
ImageP1000868 by 23weasels, on Flickr

An Sgarsoch from CE
ImageP1000870 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Snow and Blue Skies
ImageP1000871 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Quick way down CE
ImageP1000872 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit AS
ImageP1000873 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Wild & windswept look
ImageP1000874 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View down to the Tarf Water & Bothy
ImageP1000876 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Tarf Hotel
ImageP1000877 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We got to the Hotel, to find it unoccupied and very recently refurbished, with newly laid floor, doors and a selection of new sleeping platforms. Looks great, and clearly should get another AA ‘star’ now. It was around 5.30 and I reckoned we’d get some company given that it was a Saturday night. We tidied up a bit and I manifestly failed to get a fire lit – although there was quite a lot of trash wood from the refurb, there wasn’t enough dry kindling to get a fire going, so with cold and wet toes we headed for the sleeping bags after a pleasant meal of noodles with extra chopped vegetables. As night fell a big yellow moon arose in the sky, bathing the bothy in light. I lay awake waiting for hordes of carry-out carrying party-goers coming over the hills to take over the place, but no-one arrived at all and we had a quiet, if cold, night.

ImageP1000878 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Tidying up
ImageP1000880 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The parlour
ImageP1000881 by 23weasels, on Flickr

New sleeping platforms
ImageP1000882 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I was a bit achy after a day with full pack when I rose the next morning, but some porridge and a few stretches helped. Once we packed up we headed for Meall Tionail which had a steepish snow clad section, then through more peat hags to Conlach Bheag before the final climb up to Carn a’Chlamain. To our left were the hills of Beinn a’Ghlo, tops concealed by a line of cloud.

Leaving Tarf Hotel
ImageP1000883 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bit of steepish snow up Meall Tionail
ImageP1000886 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to Carn a'Chlamain
ImageP1000888 by 23weasels, on Flickr

CaC
ImageP1000891 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit view CaC
ImageP1000892 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit CaC
ImageP1000894 by 23weasels, on Flickr


It was very windy up at the summit and we didn’t linger long, heading west to get our final hill of the weekend, Beinn Mheadhonach. I hadn’t climbed this one when I did the circuit previously. For a few moments I tried to convince myself that we were heading for the benign gentle slopes of the hill I could see ahead, but that turned out to be Braigh Clais Daimh and not the hill we were after at all, which came into sight behind it as a steep sided and somewhat intimidating hill. With a big drop to cross to reach it, of course. We were both a bit sore from the big packs and the buffeting by the wind, but it had to be done. As we drew nearer, what had looked like horribly steep grassy slopes did begin to appear more manageable, but we still took a more gentle line of ascent than I’d originally plotted. In fact, it wasn’t that bad. In some places we were shielded for the wind, which meant that we got hot from the effects of sunshine and exertion, then the wind would blast us again. We made it up to the lengthy summit plateau, with patches of snow to cross, before we got to the pile of stones apparently randomly dumped on one part of level ground that looked neither higher nor lower than its surroundings. Not a very dramatic summit. Over to the right the cliffs of Beinn a Chait were ominous – dark rock with a line of snow. At this point the weather closed in, with a brief snow shower. It didn’t last long and we headed south down the long whaleback of the hill, over springy heather with a good path.

ImageP1000897 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View towards Glen Tilt
ImageP1000899 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn Mheadhonach
ImageP1000903 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Another river crossing...
ImageP1000905 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1000908 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit BM
ImageP1000910 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sick Kid just managing to stay upright
ImageP1000911 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Weather coming in
ImageP1000912 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The sun came out again as we headed down to the bridge over the Allt Mhairc – a real old-fashioned proper stone bridge with a troll underneath and everything. Then along the lovely Glen Tilt with the shots from the rifle range reverberating around the hillside. We had to take the diverted route over Gilbert’s Bridge due to the shooters, but this gave a good look at the course of the River Tilt, with dramatic clefts cut through the rock. The rain came on as we wandered through the woodlands back to the car park. It had been a great weekend and a good introduction to bothy life – should have remembered to pack a little kindling and a firelighter or two as that would have improved the Tarf Hotel experience significantly. I’d definitely recommend tackling the Tarf 6 this way round though (unless you’re a Monty and can just do it in a day).

Descent route
ImageP1000914 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1000916 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1000917 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The changing landscapes through Glen Tilt...
ImageP1000918 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1000919 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1000922 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1000924 by 23weasels, on Flickr


tarf.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1745
Munros:205   Corbetts:192
Grahams:65   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:175   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six

Postby Silverhill » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:37 pm

Exactly my thought, combining these in one trip from Old Blair! A very handy report for me for my upcoming munro bashing holiday. Glad to hear that crossing Tarf water wasn't too problematic if you don't mind getting wet....
Superb effort! Kind of you to allow Alison to catch up with your munro tally. :D
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Re: Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:38 pm

Silverhill wrote: Kind of you to allow Alison to catch up with your munro tally. :D


I don't think I've actually got a choice with that :lol:
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weaselmaster
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Posts: 1745
Munros:205   Corbetts:192
Grahams:65   Donalds:89
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Location: Greenock

Re: Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six

Postby basscadet » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:25 am

Oh that looked really braw :) I really enjoyed reading it.

I tried this route a couple of years ago, but it was full on winter. -18 in Allt Sheicheachan made for a chilly night, and knee deep snow made for a struggle and had to cut a bit out of the route to make it :lol:
I think it was the first WR I posted on here.. Sheer madness!

No axe in the tarf to make kindling? I wonder what happened to it.. :o Candles are also good firelighters I have found ;)
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basscadet
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Re: Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six

Postby pvanlieshout » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:19 pm

:thumbup: Inspired by this report, me and the Mrs had a similar adventure over the last few days minus the wet weather. Didn't do both Corbetts but added Carn nan Gabhar at the end for good measure. Had a fantastic time. :D Just love the remoteness of these munros. Amazingly met someone on Carn a Chlamain on Saturday who mentioned you and said you were 'completing' yesterday. Hope you enjoyed it and had good weather. We had a great time and are indebted to you for writing such an inspiring report. We had 3 nights out mind you, camping and using the Tarf Hotel one night. We are novices and couldn't quite manage it as quickly as you! Remembering your report and your dilemma with the wet socks we took river shoes (which we didn't need of course because it was pretty dry) ,but we also took fire lighters and left them at the Tarf Hotel so a poor soul arriving in a similar state to you will hopefully have less of a chilly end to their day. Thanks again ,will be reading some of your other reports for further inspiration!
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Re: Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:07 pm

pvanlieshout wrote::thumbup: Inspired by this report, me and the Mrs had a similar adventure over the last few days minus the wet weather. Didn't do both Corbetts but added Carn nan Gabhar at the end for good measure. Had a fantastic time. :D Just love the remoteness of these munros. Amazingly met someone on Carn a Chlamain on Saturday who mentioned you and said you were 'completing' yesterday. Hope you enjoyed it and had good weather. We had a great time and are indebted to you for writing such an inspiring report. We had 3 nights out mind you, camping and using the Tarf Hotel one night. We are novices and couldn't quite manage it as quickly as you! Remembering your report and your dilemma with the wet socks we took river shoes (which we didn't need of course because it was pretty dry) ,but we also took fire lighters and left them at the Tarf Hotel so a poor soul arriving in a similar state to you will hopefully have less of a chilly end to their day. Thanks again ,will be reading some of your other reports for further inspiration!


Thanks for the kind words.
Quite a coincidence, your meeting on the hill....who was that, I wonder?
As you can read from my report, the Compleation went well, despite the weather :roll:
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weaselmaster
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Location: Greenock

Re: Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six

Postby ceaser » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:27 pm

weaselmaster wrote:
pvanlieshout wrote::thumbup: Inspired by this report, me and the Mrs had a similar adventure over the last few days minus the wet weather. Didn't do both Corbetts but added Carn nan Gabhar at the end for good measure. Had a fantastic time. :D Just love the remoteness of these munros. Amazingly met someone on Carn a Chlamain on Saturday who mentioned you and said you were 'completing' yesterday. Hope you enjoyed it and had good weather. We had a great time and are indebted to you for writing such an inspiring report. We had 3 nights out mind you, camping and using the Tarf Hotel one night. We are novices and couldn't quite manage it as quickly as you! Remembering your report and your dilemma with the wet socks we took river shoes (which we didn't need of course because it was pretty dry) ,but we also took fire lighters and left them at the Tarf Hotel so a poor soul arriving in a similar state to you will hopefully have less of a chilly end to their day. Thanks again ,will be reading some of your other reports for further inspiration!


Thanks for the kind words.
Quite a coincidence, your meeting on the hill....who was that, I wonder?
As you can read from my report, the Compleation went well, despite the weather :roll:



It was myself and Stevie that bumped into them Al , when they told us of there route , I mentioned you and Alison doing it , and your report came into the conversation ....your reports are informative and a great inspiration for others ....keep them up :clap:
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ceaser
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Re: Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:22 pm

ceaser wrote:It was myself and Stevie that bumped into them Al , when they told us of there route , I mentioned you and Alison doing it , and your report came into the conversation ....your reports are informative and a great inspiration for others ....keep them up :clap:


Ha - thought it might have been - there weren't that many people knew what we were up to :lol:
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weaselmaster
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Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Bothy Adventures and the Tarf Six

Postby ceaser » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:33 pm

weaselmaster wrote:
ceaser wrote:It was myself and Stevie that bumped into them Al , when they told us of there route , I mentioned you and Alison doing it , and your report came into the conversation ....your reports are informative and a great inspiration for others ....keep them up :clap:


Ha - thought it might have been - there weren't that many people knew what we were up to :lol:



mabey not officially .....but im sure that anyone who reads your reports , would have guessed where you would be :D
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ceaser
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