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Comrie Corbetts

Comrie Corbetts


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:50 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Auchnafree Hill, Creag Uchdag, Creagan na Beinne

Date walked: 12/04/2015

Time taken: 14.5 hours

Distance: 45.5 km

Ascent: 2549m

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Another pesky forecast for the weekend after a wonderfully sunny week. I had almost been tempted to join the gang up in Durness, but the forecasts were unanimously grim and I decided to chase the best of the weather, which looked like being central/east - there were 3 Corbetts sitting south of Loch Tay...I had been saving them for a long overnighter in the summer, but decided that needs must and we'd do them the shorter way. Decided also to stay at Comrie Croft Ecocamping centre. Guessed it would be busy given the Easter holidays and might be swarming with weans, but took a gamble ond booked up in advance.

Friday afternoon was still good weather when we left. A short drive up the road towards Perth and we were in the campsite in good time to have our tea in sunshine. The family at the pitch next to us spent over an hour trying to assemble a strange shaped tent and eventually gave up. The dad seemed adept at putting up various tarps and there was a wee tent for the kids - they never did succeed in assembling the strange tent, and we didn't feel comfortable in offering assistance - tent assembly is a dark art and one that you may not appreciate help with. We'd chosen a woodland pitch and, unusually, you were encouraged to have a fire in your own fire pit amongst the trees. We never have fires when camping, so this was something quite novel. We sat and gazed at the flames for a time as the dusk fell. Enjoyed watching a myriad of tiny sparks fly up into the night sky when I was putting out the last of the fire before turning in.

ImageFile2617 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageFile2621 by 23weasels, on Flickr


uchdag+1.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Saturday morning was bright and sunny. Drove up to the parking area at Invergeldie where another family group was setting off with the same target in mind. Although the sun was out the wind was biting and several layers were required. The dam is sizeable, the water contained behind it sparkled dark blue. Up the track to the right of it, passing a ladder & funnel trap with a couple of hoodie crows in it - find this disturbing, if legal. Up the hillside, initially on a track then over boggy heather making for Creag nan Eun (a Corbett top), finding another discarded antler on the way. The weather has, by this time, become blizzardy, with poor visibility and snow/hail making walking fun :wink: . We drop down to the bealach with Meall Dubh Mor then coorie into a hollow below the summit of Creag Uchdag to have our food out of the biting wind. During this time the family that set off before us have made the top, presumably coming up from the reservoir - we hear squeals of delight and joy - good on the kids for getting up in this weather. After a welcome coffee it's time to press on and get to the top ourselves. Views are intermittent - we can just make out the Lawers group up to the North.

ImageP1060899 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060901 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060903 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060905 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Creag nan Eun
ImageP1060904 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060909 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Creag Uchdag
ImageP1060913 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Lednock
ImageP1060916 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit, Uchdag
ImageP1060917 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060918 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Next part of the route loosely follows the fence line over to Meall nan Oighreag then a change in direction to Meall Mor. I had planned a steep descent to the left by the cairn but there was a lot of cornicing still in place and a line was taken to the SE, avoiding the band of crags on the east of the descent route. Next objective was the old house/shieling at the base of Ciste Buide a'Claidheimh (the yellow chest of the sword) - this is a Marylin and was on my provisional agenda for adding into today's route - but we were both feeling the effects of big winds and intermittent blizzards, so left it for another day. There's a distressing loss of height from Meall Mor at 819m to the start of Creagan na Beinne at 425m. A wet march through farmland at the base, making for an obvious track from the house at Dunan, then it was a matter of gradual, steady climb up short grass. By the time the flatter section of the whaleback had been reached, the weather had closed in again with hailstones being whipped into our faces by the ferocious wind. Some peat hags to negotiate then the long press on to the summit cairn. We didn't linger in this wind, just turned and tried to retrace our steps. On the descent Allison stepped into a hole and jarred her knee, making the remainder of the trip more painful. And we still had quite a way to go. Sitting on the slopes of Coir Reidh, looking at the map and the terrain, it occurred to me that whatever way we were going back it would involve a fair bit of ascent - I hadn't really paid much attention to the re-ascent when planning my route, just overall distance. I suggested that Allison have a chewy bar before breaking this news to her. She wasn't exactly delighted 8)

Lawers group
ImageP1060923 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Tay
ImageP1060924 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Corniced top of Meall Mor - where I had planned to descend...
ImageP1060927 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ciste Buidhe a'Chlaidaimh with Creagan na Beinne behind
ImageP1060928 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Walking down from Meall Mor
ImageP1060930 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Creagan na Beinne
ImageP1060932 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Up we go again
ImageP1060934 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Oh there's the snow again
ImageP1060936 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Chilly summit
ImageP1060937 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060938 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Not a place to linger. You can see Allison modelling the latest in Ice Axes...
ImageP1060939 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The way from here followed the River Almond to a dam where one could cross the river, then start up a steep track up to Dundornie Hill. If I had the energy it would then have been possible to continue on to the top of Ben Chonzie. As it was we left the track as it went round Dundornie and pressed on over heather and bogs, round Coire an Fheidh Ghlais to hook up with the track that appears. A review of the route suggests that following the diagonal stalker's path drom Dunan would probably be a better idea. Easy in hindsight. Once the track is reached it's still a long haul back to the start at Coishavachan, with numerous undulations in the path as it ribbons along over the hillside. Was after 7pm when we were back at the car, Allison with a "dead eye glaze". Fortunately it was only 6 miles back to the tent and bed.

ImageP1060940 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Intake 1 on the river Almond
ImageP1060941 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Yes, we've gotta go up there...
ImageP1060942 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View along the Rob Roy way
ImageP1060944 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Meall Mor, Ciste Buidhe & Creagan Na Beinne
ImageP1060945 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Trudging up another hill
ImageP1060947 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Chonzie
ImageP1060949 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Towards the track
ImageP1060950 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stats
ImageP1060952 by 23weasels, on Flickr


A rainy night and a cold morning - the campsite looked rather dismal in the driech weather, no posses of children running round, most people stuck inside their enormous brightly coloured chambers. For us it was another short drive to Loch Turret to tackle Auchnafree Hill. On a grey rainy Sunday morning I wasn't prepared for the mass of people in the car park - obviously a walking group out for a Sunday stroll. Although they started off following us we never saw sight of them again, though the cars were still there when we returned. I suspect they were gobbled up by the Loch Turret Terror, a distant - and less well known - relative of Nessie. But who knows?

Drive up to Turret Dam
ImageP1060955 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Auchnafree Hill to the right
ImageP1060956 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Unexpectedly busy car park...we never saw these people again :shock:
ImageP1060957 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The first part of the walk is along the shoreline of the Loch, rising slowly up the hillside to turn sharply up to the right at the other end of the loch. We'd gone for trainers today, given that the walking was mostly on track, and it was with minor trepidation that we noticed the depth of new snow - generally about 4 inches - as we ascended the track. Someone with very large feet had been out before us, and his trail wove up the path, but didn't take the turn off for the summit of Auchnafree, shortly before Gilbert's Burn. That part was trackless, plodding through deep snow and heather with the wind whistling across the surface of the snow, filling in footprints almost as soon as you stepped out of them. Went to the small cairn (summit) first then sheltered behind the large cairn to have lunch, enjoying the view of Chonzie behind us.

ImageP1060958 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060959 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060960 by 23weasels, on Flickr

This is not the way up
ImageP1060961 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sun trying to come through
ImageP1060962 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking up the Loch
ImageP1060964 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Snowy path
ImageP1060965 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060967 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Choinneachain Hill in the background
ImageP1060969 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Auchnafree Summit (wee speck to the right)
ImageP1060970 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit, looking to Chonzie
ImageP1060972 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060973 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to the north
ImageP1060974 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Chonzie
ImageP1060975 by 23weasels, on Flickr


We headed back to the track, ploughing through snow that was deep enough to swim in in places. This wasn't a day for keeping height and crossing the flattish top of the hills. There was a lot of snow in the gully cut by Gilbert's Burn which required a short bumslide :lol: . We zigzagged up Ton Eich then down again and up once more to Choinneachain Hill where we ventured to the Corbett Top and did a bit of cairn rebuilding. We then walked over to the rather large Carn Chainichin - apparently a memorial for King Kenneth III and his son Giric who died at the Battle of Monzievaird in 1005. We then wandered over to the other prominent cairn by the descent path and started back down the hillside towards the dam. The weather had been beautiful for most of the time we were up on the hill, but another band of snow/rain was coming in behind us and we made the car just as the wind whipped up again lashing the vehicle with sleet. A very changeable weekend as far as the weather went - by the time we were back in Glasgow it was a glorious late afternoon.

Thick snow by Gilbert's Burn
ImageP1060983 by 23weasels, on Flickr

...needing the special descent treatment
ImageP1060984 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Corbett top with micro cairn
ImageP1060986 by 23weasels, on Flickr

...and after our modest rebuilding efforts
ImageP1060987 by 23weasels, on Flickr

...one we made earlier :lol: - King Kenneth's Cairn
ImageP1060988 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060989 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Turret
ImageP1060990 by 23weasels, on Flickr

descent
ImageP1060991 by 23weasels, on Flickr

stats
ImageP1060993 by 23weasels, on Flickr
Attachments

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


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

Last edited by weaselmaster on Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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weaselmaster
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby dogplodder » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:13 am

Good informative report for when we get round to these. With all that snow were your feet wet the day you decided on trainers? :D
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby basscadet » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:03 pm

We missed you at the meet :( Looked like you had a good weekend though :)
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:59 pm

dogplodder wrote:Good informative report for when we get round to these. With all that snow were your feet wet the day you decided on trainers? :D


Sealskinz socks saved the day :D
I hadn't expected quite that depth of snow, and having left gaiters off wasn't the smartest move either, but feet were nice and comfy in the trainers.
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weaselmaster
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:01 pm

basscadet wrote:We missed you at the meet :( Looked like you had a good weekend though :)


Yeah, would have been good to be there, didn't miss the drive to Durness and back though :lol:
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weaselmaster
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby basscadet » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:14 pm

Oh the drive is the best bit surely? :lol:
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby BoyVertiginous » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:09 pm

Enjoyed reading this one, if somewhat guiltily, from the warmth of a Venetian apartment in a bit of a heatwave.
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:10 pm

I enjoy your reports

Your a glutton indeed

Wow betide the weekend you don't get out on a rake of hills :wink:
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:20 pm

Collaciotach wrote:
Wow betide the weekend you don't get out on a rake of hills :wink:


There's one such weekend coming up the weekend after next.
Be very afraid :shock: :lol:
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weaselmaster
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby rockhopper » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:48 pm

Sounded tough at times but quite a few good bits :thumbup:

Interesting route for Creag Uchdag and Creagan na Beinne - had initially looked at a route from Ardtalnaig for Creagan na Beinne and the Shee of Ardtalnaig - need to have another look at possibly joining up the two corbetts for the distant future - cheers :)
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:08 pm

rockhopper wrote:Sounded tough at times but quite a few good bits :thumbup:

Interesting route for Creag Uchdag and Creagan na Beinne - had initially looked at a route from Ardtalnaig for Creagan na Beinne and the Shee of Ardtalnaig - need to have another look at possibly joining up the two corbetts for the distant future - cheers :)


This was my original plan
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uchdag_3+chonzie.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

User avatar
weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1888
Munros:214   Corbetts:44
Grahams:76   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:331   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:24 pm

Great report, and some excellent pics. Notwithstanding the snow flurries, it looks like you got some pretty good weather.

I'm impressed that you didn't get wet feet. I also like to walk in trainers, but the trouble is that, even with gaiters, you tend to get snow in at the sides. Thus far I've put up with wet feet, rather than use heavy boots, unless conditions were such that I needed to use crampons, but waterproof socks - if they're truly waterproof - sounds like a much better idea.
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Re: Comrie Corbetts

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:59 pm

Aye winter is like the wounded beast just now giving one last bite just when you thought it was finished, another topper Al, your a hardy pair :clap: :clap:
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