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Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinneag

Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinneag


Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:53 pm

Route description: Carn Chuinneag, Strath Carron, Ardgay

Corbetts included on this walk: Carn Chuinneag

Date walked: 03/09/2014

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 17.5 km

Ascent: 769m

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This double peaked Corbett has been on the radar for a while, really with the intention of making it a winter walk, but with a suspect back I was looking for an easy walk and this is not too far from home. So on a hazy day in early September we headed for Strath Carron and the Glencalvie estate. There is a large car park close to the entrance to the estate and clear signs through the estate buildings and out to the stalkers' path that leads up to Carn Chuinneag, passing some beautiful Fly Agaric on the way

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crossing the River Carron

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before passing an amazing tree house – no sign of occupants.

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Going through the estate yard we saw someone loading a 4x4, so a quick greeting and we walked on – dogs carefully on the lead (something Bertie found hard to cope with when it came to the cattle grid – he needed a carry :shock: ).


Once clear of the estate buildings there is an easy landrover track up Glen Calvie and on to Carn Chuinneag,

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On the way we passed early signs of autumn.

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Soon the 4x4 caught up with us (by now it had 3 human occupants and several dogs). The driver stopped to say good morning and check if we were heading for Carn Chuinneag. We confirmed we were and asked if there were any areas where the dogs needed to be on the lead – good job we did as the track goes through a pheasant nursery – don't want to think of the carnage that Biggles could have caused in that. The group drove on and we continued towards our goal.

As we headed up Glen Calvie we passed an interesting latice bridge

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and could see a lodge on our right at Diebidale. The landrover track that led from this lodge met the one we were walking on near the foot of Carn Chuinneag, and there was the 4x4 again. This time the driver was waiting for us with a proposition. His group were off stalking and they knew where the deer were, not on our route as it happened, but they didn't want the wind to carry our smell to the herd and cause them to move on. So he suggested an alternative route for us – to go up Carn Chuinneag from the east by Loch Chuinneag, along a different stalkers' path. This would take us about 3k out of our way but he was happy to give us a lift to the junction of the landrover track and this stalkers' path – it was the route they were using themselves to get onto the hill. We accepted the offer, climbed into the 4x4. The dogs sniffed graciously at each other then settled down to a companionable if crowded journey along by the Alt Corie nan Meann. We had a very friendly chat with the ghillie and his client, and to be honest having read some of the conflicts between landowners and walkers on WH, we we very impressed with the courtesy and helpfulness of the estate staff. Even the client seemed to accept the need for us all to co-exist, despite the fact that the day was costing him much much more than it cost us!

Once at the start of the path the stalkers were off up the hill, having asked us to give them a head start, so we hung about in the sunshine for a while before following the path round to Loch Chuinneag.

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And then up onto the eastern summit of Carn Chuinneag. The haze didn't do anything for the views, which must be great on a clear day.

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We passed some Crowberries, which taste of nothing unless cooked – but hadn't brought the stove :shock:

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then on over the bouldery top to the eastern (and higher) top.

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The haze didn't stop the usual flurry of photos, and although not great they do give a flavour of this wonderful northern landscape, from the Cromarty Firth (no photo it was too blurry) over to Assynt with Ben Wyvis on the way.

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After lunch and a rest we wandered over to the second top which looks down onto Loch Glass
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before following what should have been our ascent route down the northern face of Carn Chuinneag.

View down Glen Calvie

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Last look at Carn Chuinneag

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On the way down we could see the stalkers clearing up from what looked like a successful day – as we were heading along Glen Calvie they stopped to see how we'd got on, clearly pleased with the stag they had bagged – a pleasure that Biggles would have loved to have shared. By the time we reached the estate buildings the stage had been gutted and hung and the site was being cleaned up.

At the end of the day the detour had cost us a little bit of time, but with the lift it hadn't really added to the length of the route. And if we do the walk again I expect we'll follow the WH route description – just for a change. :lol:
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby Beaner001 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:46 am

Nice pics, love that treehouse!! It's good to hear that Landowners and Hillwalkers can work together to solve a problem, resulting in a positive outcome for both parties, well done guys. I think my Lochy would be the same as Biggles, he'd have thought he'd died and gone to heaven coming accross a Pheasant Nursery!! :lol: Will have to keep note of that for the future :D
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby kmai1961 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:15 am

Beaner001 wrote: It's good to hear that Landowners and Hillwalkers can work together to solve a problem, resulting in a positive outcome for both parties, well done guys.


I agree, it's nice to hear about a positive interaction; too often, it's only the negative ones that get reported on here. Thanks for sharing it!
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby Johnny Corbett » Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:42 am

Good stuff and some nice photos. Looks a good walk this. :D
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby dogplodder » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:12 pm

Excited to see this as it must mean you are back! :D

Moira and I have been keeping this hill for a shorter day so this report will be great for when she returns from her travels - though I doubt we'll get the lift you did with the stalking party! :wink:

Your tale reminds me of the November day I took a group of mainland Chinese to climb Creag Leacach from Glen Isla to find liberal blobs of blood all along the track then meeting stalkers with pick up loaded with hinds with lower legs removed hence the blood. They were very civil and only asked us not to go off the path.
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:03 pm

Beaner001 wrote:Nice pics, love that treehouse!! It's good to hear that Landowners and Hillwalkers can work together to solve a problem, resulting in a positive outcome for both parties, well done guys. I think my Lochy would be the same as Biggles, he'd have thought he'd died and gone to heaven coming accross a Pheasant Nursery!! :lol: Will have to keep note of that for the future :D


We were really amazed with the kindness and courtesy of the estate staff - looking at their website Glencalvie is a serious stalking establishment but they didn't seem to have a problem accommodating us too. :clap: If you do this route then several kilometers after you have left the estate, but while still on the landrover track you cross a cattle grid - between this one and the next cattle grid is the pheasant nursery - dogs definitely safer on the lead at that point :lol:

kmai1961 wrote:
Beaner001 wrote: It's good to hear that Landowners and Hillwalkers can work together to solve a problem, resulting in a positive outcome for both parties, well done guys.


I agree, it's nice to hear about a positive interaction; too often, it's only the negative ones that get reported on here. Thanks for sharing it!


There are other shinning examples too - the Fannich estate has always had a good reputation of welcoming walkers - even feeding them as my husband found as a teenager backpacking into the Fannichs with a mate - the gillies decided the lads needed beefing up so shared their stew with them. :lol: :lol: Forty years on Roger still remembers them fondly :lol:

Johnny Corbett wrote:Good stuff and some nice photos. Looks a good walk this. :D


Its a great walk - best on a clear day if you can fix it :lol:

dogplodder wrote:Excited to see this as it must mean you are back! :D

Moira and I have been keeping this hill for a shorter day so this report will be great for when she returns from her travels - though I doubt we'll get the lift you did with the stalking party! :wink:


Happy to join you for another trip there :D Yes home and catching up with the things I didn't have time to do before we left :shock:
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby The Rodmiester » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:11 pm

That looks a fine walk, I look forward to doing that sometime. Although misty some fine sharp photographs. Well done all concerned including Estate staff :)
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:04 pm

I'll second all thoughts shared above - so nice to see that we (walkers) and the stalking staff can cooperate in a decent way :D

We did Carn Chuinneag in winter conditions (using WH route) and it was a cracker of a day. This hill is an unusual viewpoint to Beinn Dearg group and to Assynt hills, too. I'm sure we will re-visit it again as it is close to our home.
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby orion » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:14 pm

Seconded with regard to the estate.I was late coming off the hill in January 2012 and the pleasant young stalker gave me a lift back down the glen from the foot of the hill.He`d seen my headtorch and waited for me.Meant I could make the curry shop in Boanr Bridge before closing :D
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:11 pm

BlackPanther wrote:I'll second all thoughts shared above - so nice to see that we (walkers) and the stalking staff can cooperate in a decent way :D

We did Carn Chuinneag in winter conditions (using WH route) and it was a cracker of a day. This hill is an unusual viewpoint to Beinn Dearg group and to Assynt hills, too. I'm sure we will re-visit it again as it is close to our home.


Yes the stalkers were really pro-active in finding a solution that met all our goals. Like you this is a 'close' hill so plan to be back again in the near future.

The Rodmiester wrote:That looks a fine walk, I look forward to doing that sometime. Although misty some fine sharp photographs. Well done all concerned including Estate staff :)


Thanks - this hill is worth the drive to get here - but then that's true of lots o hills :lol:

orion wrote:Seconded with regard to the estate.I was late coming off the hill in January 2012 and the pleasant young stalker gave me a lift back down the glen from the foot of the hill.He`d seen my headtorch and waited for me.Meant I could make the curry shop in Boanr Bridge before closing :D


Now that's kindness indeed :lol:
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby Jaywizz » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:53 am

Great report - and another superb instance of stalkers and walkers co-operating. I met stalkers on 3 different occasions last year, and again, all very friendly, no problems. I do hope that our appreciation gets back to the estates.
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby litljortindan » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:22 pm

Don't know, some of the pictures are pretty good.
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby rockhopper » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:27 pm

Enjoyed that :thumbup:
Great photos and good to read a positive story about landowners, stalkers and hillwalkers - cheers :)
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Re: Walkers meet stalkers for an diversion on Carn Chuinnea

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:43 pm

Thanks guys - I'm still gobsmacked by the treatment we got from the stalkers - they'd solved the problem before we knew there was a problem. :D
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