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Walk along the not so beaten track!

Walk along the not so beaten track!

Postby thomsok » Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:45 pm

Route description: Carn an Fhreiceadain from Kingussie

Corbetts included on this walk: Carn an Fhreiceadain

Date walked: 23/05/2015

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 18 km

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Having booked a weekend away with friends to do a bit of walking in the Newtonmore/Kingussie area it was a real treat to wake up on the Saturday morning and for the sun to be shining.
Starting this walk we decided to take a bit of a detour and look at Loch Gynack, so we peeled of the normal route at the Golf Course so that we could approach the Loch from its Eastern end and took a walk along it's Northern shore, the water was crystal clear, calm and shimmering in the Sunshine.
Bit of bird activity here with Greylag Geese, Black Headed Gulls, Common Sandpipers and numerous Goldeneye duck all to be seen. We then rejoined the route as the path emerged from the forestry after having a look at the information that was displayed about the Hydro scheme that was being built here.
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Loch Gynack, looking East not a cloud in the sky

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Loch Gynack, looking West towards Newtonmore

Contrary to the normal route, we decided on taking a clockwise direction up towards the summit taking the path up the valley following the Allt Mor burn which was very well made. Presumably its been upgraded to support the Hydro scheme and made for very easy walking, height is gained quite quickly as we strode along giving some fine views behind us towards Kingussie and over towards the Glen Feshie area, Ruthven Barracks were clearly visible.
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Looking South down the Allt Mor, cloudier now

About 1km beyond a stand of pine trees the path takes a steep drop down to the burn in order to cross it, here further evidence of the Hydro scheme was easily visible, 2 sluices where presumably water is taken off and then channeled through pipes down to the Turbine House near Loch Gynack.
Once across the other side of the burn, the path starts to climb quickly, from the burn at about 530m it swings round the back of Meall Unaig before finally approaching the summit from the South West.
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Looking West as the track climbs quickly, lots of snow fields still present

We saw quite a bit of wildlife from this point including some very tame Mountain Hares, Ravens soaring overhead and a large herd of Red Deer on the slopes of Meall na Gearra!
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Looking South, stalkers bothy down below along the burn

As the incline starts to ease we caught sight of the tall cairn, had a quick look before pushing on to the summit, keen for a break for lunch.
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Tall Cairn, West and just below the summit

It had clouded over by this point and a moderate Westerly was blowing on the top as we approached the true summit with it's Trig point where we stopped for a few pictures.
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At the summit cairn, windy here now

Just past the summit found a nice shelter which was also being used by a Ptarmigan, got a picture before it flew off. This provided a nice wind break for us to sit and have our lunch as we looked North over the expanse of the Monadhliaths.
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Shelter just beyond summit, Ptarmigan sitting on top, made for a good place to have lunch out of the wind

After lunch it was back on to the track which is still substantial, not often on a hill where you could easily drive a 4 x 4 to the top, initially heading North East before turning South East and heading for Beinn Bhreac.
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Back on the track heading for Beinn Bhreac and our descent back towards Kingussie!

Once over this top the track took a steep downwards direction towards the moorland below. The path became a little rougher as it made its way down past rows of grouse butts and the rather grand Green Bothy, lots of Mountain Hares bounding around this area.
We were soon approaching the forestry area around the Pitmain Lodge and it felt good to be back down heading for Kingussie and a refreshment stop in one of the pubs. Having not come all the way up this track initially the last couple of kilometre's seemed to go on for ages. However, we soon got back to the main road and headed for the Duke of Gordon Hotel for a well deserved pint or two. It wasn't till I got into the bar that I noticed that my boots were just as clean and dry as they were when I left in the morning, not often you do a hill and hardly have to leave such a well made and dry track!
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