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Loch an Eilein and a sneaky side-hill

Loch an Eilein and a sneaky side-hill


Postby denfinella » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:37 pm

Route description: Loch an Eilein, Rothiemurchus

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ord Ban

Date walked: 27/02/2015

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 9 km

Ascent: 310m

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As I work on Sundays, it's not usually possible to have a short break away from home without booking holiday leave. However, a rare Friday day off for both of us enabled us to escape up to Badenoch for a couple of days. We'd taken a chance with the weather by booking the B&B a week in advance, but Crubenbeg House has some of the best TripAdvisor ratings in Scotland so we thought it'd be worth the gamble.

The gamble sort of paid off. The weather forecast for overcast skies, gusty winds but no rain was pretty good in the context of the week - they were the only dry days, and further west persistent rain was forecast. Friday afternoon was spent having a gander around Loch an Eilein and up the nearby hill of Ord Ban.


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The way up Ord Ban starts from the back of the car park. There's a parking charge but the booth was happily unmanned so there was no way to pay. A tall, vertical ladder stile leads over the fence behind an old building, beyond which you turn sharp left, nearly doubling back on yourself. There are a few different paths radiating off from here - the correct one is a narrow but clear path leading gradually up the slope with the high ground on your right. Further up it started to zig-zag, slippery in places under a light covering of new snow.

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As the path continues zig-zagging up there are some nice views of Loch an Eilein with the Cairngorms behind. Cairngorm ski centre in the distance looked a bit windblown.

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After the path exits the trees there's a small rocky step up to the right (if wet, careful on descent) before a flattish section to the trig point across some slippery rock slabs. This was the only part of the walk not sheltered by trees, so a good option for a wet day. It was pretty windy, however. Is that blue sky over there?

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Back roughly the same way to the car park, then past the tiny visitor centre to the loch.

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The track around the loch soon heads inland a little, restricting views, so we took a narrower path which hugged the loch until the first feeder stream, where you have to head back to the track to cross the water. Some more serious expeditions branch off here, towards the Lairig Ghru.

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After a surprisingly long time we reached the extension around Loch Gamhna. This was worthwhile and completely deserted, but very boggy at the far end with a lot of standing water.

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Back to Loch an Eilein and its better path. Soon we were passing the ruined island castle, once home to a pair of ospreys.

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Not far back to the car park from here. Disappointing on the wildlife front - we saw nothing at all except the birds on the feeder at the car park. Nevertheless a good walk and surprisingly quiet apart from the first few-hundred metres to the visitor centre.

Next day: Creag Bheag, Kingussie: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=49922&p=271247#p271247
Last edited by denfinella on Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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denfinella
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1145
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Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Loch an Eilein and a sneaky side-hill

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:32 pm

So I didn't manage to tempt you up Kennapole Hill then, pity a nice viewpoint over the Loch you had just walked. Pity the weather wasn't better for your summit views from Ord Ban as they are something special also on a clear day. Glad to see your getting out and about. :)
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The Rodmiester
Walker
 
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Location: Carnoustie

Re: Loch an Eilein and a sneaky side-hill

Postby denfinella » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:51 pm

Didn't even register on my radar Rod! You didn't mention it before did you? Have just had a look on the map and it does look like it could be a good viewpoint though.

Views would have been better on a sunny day but they weren't bad!
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denfinella
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1145
Munros:67   Corbetts:34
Grahams:24   Donalds:16
Sub 2000:61   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

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