walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Sneaky way up Carn Chuinneag

Sneaky way up Carn Chuinneag


Postby malky_c » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:03 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Carn Chuinneag

Grahams included on this walk: Carn Salachaidh

Date walked: 22/11/2009

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 36 km

Ascent: 1000m

2 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Corbetts: Carn Chuinneag
Grahams: Carn Salachaidh
Date walked: 22/11/2009
Time taken: 4 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 12 km (walking), 24 km (bike)
Ascent: 700m (walking), 300m (bike)
Weather: Overcast, some sunny patches, not too cold, bit windy


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



As part of my campaign to drive less to get to the hills, I decided I could save myself a long drive round to Ardgay and Glen Calvie in order to climb Carn Chuinneag by approaching on my bike from Strathrusdale. This was my last Corbett in the region, and my plan had always been to include Carn Salachaidh in the walk whatever way I approached it.

A short drive (about 35 miles) brought me to the start of route at Strathrusdale, where there is parking for 2 or 3 cars. This was my first visit to the end of this glen, although I'd previously climbed Beinn Tharsuinn from a few miles back down the road. A pleasant place, off the beaten track. The route initially followed a forestry track up through the woods, the surface of which was pretty good, although occasionally wet. It appeared to have been tarmacked at some time in the distant past all the way over to Glencalvie Lodge, but much of this is overgrown/broken.

Once out of the woods, there was a blockade of boulders, presumably to prevent any through traffic. Mind you, you would need a 4x4 to get through. My guess is that this used to be a public road way back in the middle of the last century, but had been offloaded to the estate by the local authority.

Looking up upper Strathrusdale:
Image

Beyond the blockade the surface became better still, leading around Lochan a Chairn and past the remains of a lodge. There was a delightful feeling of remoteness and neglect up here. I ditched my bike a mile or so further on, at the beginning of the stalker's path towards Loch Chuinneag.

Aside from an initial wet section crossing the Allt Lochan a Chairn, path up past Loch Chuinneag was very good and sped me up the hill to within 100m of the W summit.

Carn a Choin Dearg from the ascent:
Image

Although it added a little height and distance, I decided to take the western summit in as well, before main summit. The ground was very dry and sandy up high with sandstone tors. It was very reminiscent of Ben Rinnes in the NE. There were desolate views over Glen Morie to the south (soon to get a windfarm I think) contrasting with lush Alladale to the north. I made a mental note to visit Alladale, as it looked beautiful. I thought possibly a cycle through from Strathrusdale to climb Carn a Choin Dearg (in the event I ended up driving round and climbing this with Cuillin and RCFC by a more conventional route).

Glen Calvie from western summit of Carn Chuinneag:
Image

Carn a Choin Dearg and Carn Alladale from western summit of Carn Chuinneag:
Image

Main summit from western summit of Carn Chuinneag:
Image

Looking NE - Carn Salachaidh visible on right:
Image

Ben Wyvis and Loch Morie from Carn Chuinneag:
Image

Dornoch Firth from Carn Chuinneag:
Image

Carn Salachaidh:
Image

West to Coigach and Assynt:
Image

Carn Salachaidh and Loch Chunneig:
Image

Rather than drop straight back onto the stalker's path, I opted to take in the tor of Carn Maire. An easy descent by boulders took me across this for a minute or so of fun scambling, before thicker heather led me back to the stalkers path back and my bike.

Carn Chuinneag from Carn Maire:
Image

Loch Chunneig from Carn Maire:
Image

On the other side of the track, a new section of bullozed track led a km or so towards Carn Salachaidh. It looked a bit ugly, but was useful for cycling closer to the hill and cutting out some rough terrain. From the end of it, I did a quick circuit of Carn Salachaidh and Carn Bhrain (going over to this lower top for a better view E over the Dornoch Firth). The ground hereabouts was very rough and wet, with lots of deep heather. On the summit of Carn Bhrain, I met a couple from Ardgay/Bonar Bridge - they had climbed from that side as they could see the hill from their house.

West again:
Image

Carn Chunneig from Carn Salachaidh:
Image

Dornoch Firth from Carn Bhrain:
Image

Carn Salachaidh from Carn Bhrain:
Image

Carn Chunneig from Carn Bhrain:
Image

I retreated in a slightly different direction over the rough ground, and dropped quickly back to the car on my bike. As usual, charging through the puddles and streams on the way back got me covered in mud.

Vehicle barrier on old road:
Image

A good route. This hill is probably still best climbed from Alladale due to the scenery at the beginning, but Strathrusdale was still very pleasant. I could see potential for lots more exploring on the bike around Loch Morie.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5861
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:254   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:102   Islands:33
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

2 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).


Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mikebeattie1 and 43 guests