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Christmas 2014 - Inverness local walks in the sun

Christmas 2014 - Inverness local walks in the sun


Postby malky_c » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:57 pm

Route description: Knockfarrel from Dingwall

Date walked: 25/12/2014

Time taken: 12 hours

Distance: 32 km

Ascent: 690m

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My first Christmas in Inverness - usually we are in Dundee or down south somewhere at this time of year, but I had persuaded my mum, dad and sister to spend Christmas up north for once. This meant some walking over Christmas day and boxing day for a change. Looked like some great weather coming up.
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Christmas Day - Abriachan Woods.
4.5km, 310m ascent, 2 hours 30 minutes.

We left the house at 1pm on Christmas day, although I couldn't persuade Gill to come along. Despite some more ambitious plans, I decided to stick to short walks close to home. No chance of being home late for Christmas Dinner then. Abriachan seemed like a good bet. Rather than park at the usual high car park, we went for the Abriachan Nursery on the A82. There is a network of paths snaking up the hillside above Loch Ness from this car park.


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


The views of the loch are much better than from higher up, as the top of the hill is set well back from the steep edge.

Waterfalls at Abriachan Nursery:
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Dad heading up the path:
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Dores and Loch Ness:
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Laura and Mum:
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Loch Ness and Loch Dochfour:
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Higher up there were clearings in the trees. It took us some time to waddle up there, so we accepted that we would not make the summit of Carn na Leitire.

Across Loch Ness to the snowy Monadhliath:
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A82 down the side of Loch Ness:
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Dad at the viewpoint:
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Mum and Laura:
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Across the loch to Tom Bailgeann:
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We looped around on various paths before popping out on the steep Abriachan road briefly. At the crossing of the Allt Killianan, we crossed the crash barrier and picked another path up which led us down along side the waterfalls back to the car. A scenic and enjoyable way to prepare for Christmas Dinner.

Abriachan and Carn a’ Bhodhaich:
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Loch Ness from Abriachan:
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Achculin:
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Boxing Day - Knockfarrel
12.5km, 240m ascent, 4 hours 30 minutes.

The weather was good again on Boxing day, if a little greyer, so we decided to go out again. I thought Knockfarrel would be a good bet, and picked a route starting in Dingwall. We started walking through town, then down Docharty Way before picking up farm tracks and paths along the floor of Strath Peffer.


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


Mum and Laura in Strath Peffer:
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Dad forging on:
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The paths were mainly good, although there was a short squelchy section shortly before Brae. We crossed the main railway line before meeting the main road again at Fodderty. Over the road, we zigzagged up onto the nose of Knockfarrel, then up to the eastern summit.

Knockfarrel across Strath Peffer:
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Crossing the Kyle line:
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Beware elderly children:
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Views were still a bit grey on the summit, but it was surprisingly still. As there was little daylight left, we neglected the slightly higher western summit and Cnoc Mor.

East down Knockfarrel:
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Meallan nan Uan and Sgurr a’ Mhuilinn:
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Millnain and Ben Wyvis:
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Loch Ussie:
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Mum and Laura on the eastern ridge of Knockfarrel; Dingwall in the background:
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Dad and Laura on Knockfarrel:
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We followed a minor road then a track back towards Dingwall. A section of this squeezed through rather restrictive gorse bushes, then the track improved for the final descent to Dingwall in the dark.

Cromarty Firth and Black Isle:
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Saturday 27th December - River Ness
15km, 140m ascent, 4 hours 45 minutes.

We planned to go for a late breakfast in the Dores Inn this morning. Gill and I were going to head back to Inverness in the car and leave everyone else to walk, but at the last minute I decided to walk too, despite not having the most suitable clothes with me. After a few photos on the beach we left Gill and set off shortly after midday. This was the best weather of the holidays so far. I'll leave out the details as I described this route in another report back in February


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


Loch Ness:
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Dores Beach:
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Gill and me:
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Across to Lochend:
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Aldourie Castle:
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House at the end of Loch Ness:
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Across Loch Dochfour:
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Across the river:
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Moon:
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The main differences to last time were that there no man-sized dogs down at the shore near Ballindarroch, and even with lower water levels, there is a short wet crossing to be made opposite the Milton of Dunain. I managed to cross this dry-shod but everyone else fared slightly less well.

Crossing the wet bit:
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Last light:
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Then an easy walk on roads back to the house in the gathering darkness. This is the second time I have done this walk and I can see it becoming a local favourite. Some enjoyable times out over Christmas with the hope we can do something similar in years to come. Now if I can just squeeze one last big hill in before the end of the year... :wink:
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malky_c
 
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Location: Inverness

Re: Christmas 2014 - Inverness local walks in the sun

Postby dooterbang » Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:57 pm

That looks lovely.

With little snow around I see you went for the new shiny black Ugg boots, a wise choice indeed :wink:
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dooterbang
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Christmas 2014 - Inverness local walks in the sun

Postby starrynights » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:51 pm

Great seeing photos of my local area -( further down the Loch south of Dores Inn.)
Imagine this side is looking a bit different when viewing from Abriachan - lots of tree felling going on, sad to see much loved walks disappear completely. If you've ever been to and enjoyed Farigaig Forest walks, best visit again soon as I'm sure they're being ravaged too. Shame.
I believe the house at the end of Loch Ness is now a s/c holiday let. What a great spot. Walking distance to the pub too.
Nice report :)
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starrynights
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