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Nethy Bridge Weekend

Nethy Bridge Weekend


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:54 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Rinnes, Càrn Mòr (Ladder Hills), Geal Charn (Dorback), Geal-charn Mòr

Date walked: 20/07/2014

Time taken: 11 hours

Distance: 49.3 km

Ascent: 2276m

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The much awaited WH summer meet weekend. Hadn't really put much planning into what we'd be doing with the hill time - initially had thought about doing a wee scramble up the Fiacall Ridge on Cairn Gorm and some Tops, but the weather didn't look as if it was going to be great and it was decided to focus on getting the Corbett numbers up a little.
Drove up on Friday afternoon, surprised at the A9 being very quiet despite this being the Glasgow Fair weekend. Made good time to the Lazy Duck Campsite at Nethy Bridge. This was a quirky and very sweet little eco-friendly site, with a tiny area for 4 tents, plus a couple of exclusive chalets and a small bunkhouse, all set in the grounds of an "organic holiday retreat". The shower was a bucket of hot water hoisted up over your head in a little clearing in the woods - didn't give it a go :roll: Anyway, got pitched and fed, then wandered the mile along to the Bunkhouse where the meet was on, had a bit of a natter and retreated for a fairly early night - no excess of whisky for me this time :lol:

Campsite
ImageP1020778 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020779 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020781 by 23weasels, on Flickr

No definite plans to meet with anyone had been made for the Saturday - Graeme D did express some interest in our choice of Ben Rinnes & Corryhabbie hill, but I think that was the beer talking :wink: So we set off on our own up to Glen Rinnes, past numerous whisky distilleries and Tomintoul's Highland Games. Didn't have a map for the area, but Rinnes would have been difficult to get lost on...Squeezed into the parking area and set off up a motorway like track, passing a few other intrepid walkers on route. After about 450m the clag descended and the good views promised from the top were not going to happen. Made the trig point in 45mins. Rain started as we turned to descend and it became a bit chilly til we got back under 500m. Back down at the car before mid-day.

Start of Rinnes
ImageP1020783 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Yep - another claggy day
ImageP1020784 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Rinnes
ImageP1020785 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020787 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Our plan to climb Corryhabbie Hill was thwarted by lack of map or GPS route - we drove down to Kirkton but clag and lack of any clear place to leave the car/start the walk put paid to our plans...I did have Carn Mor in the Ladder Hills on the GPS however, so we headed the short distance to Chapeltown, parked up in the small parking area near the distillery and ate our sandwiches before heading off in some sunshine on a good track for Ladderfoot. Then it was a matter of heading SE up the Ladder Burn and into thick clag by the time we reached Dun Muir. There's then a maze of peat hags to negotiate between the summit of Dun Muir and the flattish slopes to Carn Mor itself - difficult in the clag, glad I had the GPS for this one. The next section was also disorientating, with paths and tracks heading off criss-cross in all directions, although a line of fence posts does start up, which allows some guidance - albeit taking you through bogs and pools. Then it was down the tufty, heathery hillside, past newly painted grouse butts towards various ruined buildings at Clash of Scalan and rejoining a reasonable track that returned us to the distillery - I was surprised to see that it was distilling pastis - bit of an oddity in whisky country. Allison commented on the noisiness of the walk today with birds (oystercatchers and curlews in particular giving it laldy) and sheep chuntering away, after the dearth of wildlife in the Moidart hills last weekend.

Parking area
ImageP1020788 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ladder Hills
ImageP1020790 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Good track
ImageP1020792 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Along the Ladder burn
ImageP1020793 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Maze of peat hags
ImageP1020794 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Carn Mor
ImageP1020796 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Wet descent
ImageP1020798 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Distillery
ImageP1020800 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020801 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Short drive along nice winding roads back to the tent for some tea then off for the night's entertainment in the Bunkhouse - managed not to win the quiz again :lol: Good to meet up with various folks, left before the serious drinking began...Unfortunately the "4 pitch" campsite had at least 6 tents in it when we returned and a group of mostly Germans were entertaining themselves rather noisily til midnight, which didn't help us get an early night.

ImageP1020803 by 23weasels, on Flickr


Sunday morning had been arranged to head for Geal Charn (Dorback) with Scoob & Fi, though some others said they'd be along later. Drove to Dorback, narrowly missing several pheasant chicks with their crazy long legs, darting across the road. Parked up in the "turning only" area - though being a Sunday morning we didn't reckon there would be much work going on necessitating the turning of large lorries. Found that my GPS had become excessively temperamental so had to abandon it in the car. Very warm and close weather, set off clockwise, past the boarded up Dorback Lodge and the deer skulls on the outbuildings, past the insane working dogs that either
spun themselves into whorls of barking frenzy (spaniels) or glared with an "i'm going to eat you" look (black lab). Followed yet another bulldozed track alongside the river, turning up alongside the Allt Slugain na Cloiche some short time after passing the unusual "1500ft" marker. A slog over heathery tussocks brought us to the summit plateau between Geal Charn Beag & Mor, with views directly south to Beinn Avon & Bhuridh and to the west, Bynack More. Over a flat plain scattered with some white quartzite rocks to the pretty white summit cairn. Then off down the NNE shoulder by the Allt na Gamhuinn, where we disturbed a couple of young fauns which hared away over the heather, their velvety coats gleaming in the sunshine. Met Paul, Dougie & Seana on their way up. Picked up the track crossing the Allt na h-Eirghe and followed this back past some more ruined buildings and onto our outward track. A more demanding outing than any of us had been anticipating - felt knackered despite it only being 15k with a measly 550m ascent. Once again ate lunch at the car, said farewell to Scoob & Fi, as well as Trekker 53 who'd been out walking on his own and set off for our final hill of the weekend - another Geal Charn, this time Geal Charn Mor over by Lynwilg.

Skulls
ImageP1020805 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Setting off along the track
ImageP1020806 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Geal Charn
ImageP1020807 by 23weasels, on Flickr

What are these berries??
ImageP1020808 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to Beinn Avon & a'Bhuridh
ImageP1020809 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Scoob, Summit Geal Charn
ImageP1020811 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020813 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bynack More
ImageP1020814 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back to Geal Charn from the shoulder
ImageP1020816 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View towards the lodge
ImageP1020817 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Funny who you meet on a hillside
ImageP1020818 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020820 by 23weasels, on Flickr


We'd been promised by Graeme D that this was a straightforward amble up a good track and so it turned out to be. We parked along the road, near the Christian Centre and set off up the hillside along the Burma Road. I have tried to find out a bit of the history of this oddly-named track, but haven't come up with anything definite - it may or may not have been built by WW2 prisoners of war. Anyway it's a superb surface to nip up a Corbett quickly on and we made reasonable time. Geal Charn Mor looks like many other grassy/heathery rounded hills in the area and doesn't have much to stick in the mind about it - we left the Burma Road at the first of 2 large cairns and set off on a peaty track the remaining kilometre to the summit. Good - if hazy - views to Glen Feshie and the Cairngorms from the summit. We returned by our outward route, jogging down the track past startled sheep. Back at the car in 2 hours and a very sunny drive back down the road.

Geal Charn Mor
ImageP1020821 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The Burma road
ImageP1020822 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Nearing the summit
ImageP1020826 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sick Kid's 50th Corbett
ImageP1020827 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020828 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020830 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020831 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Tiny emus
ImageP1020833 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020834 by 23weasels, on Flickr
User avatar
weaselmaster
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Re: Nethy Bridge Weekend

Postby jmarkb » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:29 am

weaselmaster wrote:What are these berries??


That's cloudberry - the plants are quite common but you don't see the berries very often.

And the yellow flower is Monkey Flower - not a true native species, originally from North America, but has been established in the wild here for nearly 200 years.
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jmarkb
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Re: Nethy Bridge Weekend

Postby Graeme D » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:47 am

Ha ha! I know exactly where your "tiny emus" were - they were all hanging around there looking shifty the previous day as well and gave me some lip on my way past. :lol:
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Graeme D
 
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Re: Nethy Bridge Weekend

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:49 am

jmarkb wrote: you don't see the berries very often.


That's because I'm usually there first to eat them :wink: :lol:

Well, you obviously had fun on Corbetts. We did all of these in winter/late autumn, most with snow on top, as they are not too far away from our home and good, easy hills for shorter outings. We managed to avoid the peat hags on Ladder Hills this way - they were all frozen solid!

Coryhabbie is a pain in ***, the first time we went to climb it, we couldn't find anywhere to park, gave up and went to do Rinnes instead. It's also busy with stalkers in shooting season. It is possible to do a longer circuit, adding Cook's Cairn (which used to be a Corbett but was demoted to Graham, still a good little lump to visit). I'm surprised you didn't link these two and Ladder Hills in one big walk :wink:
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BlackPanther
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Re: Nethy Bridge Weekend

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:15 am

jmarkb wrote:
weaselmaster wrote:What are these berries??


That's cloudberry - the plants are quite common but you don't see the berries very often.

And the yellow flower is Monkey Flower - not a true native species, originally from North America, but has been established in the wild here for nearly 200 years.


Ah - thanks for the info.
Unfortunately they were not yet ripe as I did try and eat one but still hard.
There were heaps of them about, especially coming down from Carn Mor
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weaselmaster
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Posts: 1985
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Location: Greenock

Re: Nethy Bridge Weekend

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:18 am

BlackPanther wrote:
jmarkb wrote: you don't see the berries very often.

Coryhabbie is a pain in ***, the first time we went to climb it, we couldn't find anywhere to park, gave up and went to do Rinnes instead. It's also busy with stalkers in shooting season. It is possible to do a longer circuit, adding Cook's Cairn (which used to be a Corbett but was demoted to Graham, still a good little lump to visit). I'm surprised you didn't link these two and Ladder Hills in one big walk :wink:


Big walks were off this weekend with it being the WH meet and also because i didn't have a map :lol:
I noticed that there was a Graham close to Corryhabbie when I got home last night, so just as well we didn't climb it on its own, need to add these Grahams on nowadays!
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weaselmaster
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Posts: 1985
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Location: Greenock

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