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Like the New Year's Day, like the whole year!

Like the New Year's Day, like the whole year!


Postby BlackPanther » Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:38 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Carn Glas-choire

Date walked: 01/01/2016

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 13.6 km

Ascent: 418m

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With a few days of delay, here comes my account of Panther way to celebrate the new year :D

Forecast for the long weekend was gloomy. The only possible decent day would be the 1st of January. Because we didn't have any plans for a new year's bash, we decided to go to bed early on NY Eve, like good children, and get up early on NY Day.
There was nothing on TV in the evening (how typical!) so we welcomed 2016 with a glass of wine and wished ourselves and each other happy year on the hills and fifteen minutes past midnight we were snoring :lol:

There is an old Polsih proverb saying "Jaki nowy rok taki cały rok", which translates as "Like the New Year's Day, like the whole year". Well, hopefully, if this is true, we will have a nice year bagging mountains! :D :D :D

We were up at 7 sharp and Kevin had a peek outside, he said that the road was icy as hell and in such conditions we might not be able to drive out of Beauly, as there is no gritting on New Year's morning! Especially on secondary roads... So any hopes of driving up to Torridon or into Glen Strathconnon had to be abandoned, but luckily we still had one unclimbed Graham down the A9, Carn Glas-choire. We waited till 9 am to leave the village. The roads were icy, indeed. It took us twice the usual time to get to Tor junction, but once on the A9, conditions improved and we reached Carrbridge with no further obstacles.
Carn Glas-choire is the highest point of a large plateau to the northeast of the Slochd Pass. Not a very interesting area view-wise, one would say, but we were pleasantly surprised by nice panos to the Cairngorms :D Not a hill for a summer day really, as it can't really be linked with anything else. We have been saving it for a snowy day, but in current weather patterns, we might not get many of them white days, so a frosty one had to suffice. We did encounter snow (and ice) higher on the ridge anyway.
The starting point is on the B9007, about 1km north from the junction with A938 (929258), at the entrance to a forest track. There is space here to leave a couple of cars without blocking the gate. Enough for Black Arrow:
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"Our" hill was not far away and looked inviting with a fresh layer of snow:
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Our route followed the track from Auchterteang farm. It is possible to do a larger circuit here, using existing tracks, but the summit plateau was so cold and windy, that we abandoned that idea and opted for an easier up-and-down:

Track_CARN GLAS-CHOIRE 01-01-16.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


We walked a short distance along the tarmac to the Auchterteang track. The farm was deserted, no animals, no people, no cars (maybe they went away for festive hols?). The gate just past the buildings was padlocked, but we had no problems scrambling over the wooden fence :lol: As we looked back, even from lower levels the Cairngorm panorama was amazing:
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Zoomed:
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The track passes through another metal gate (this one with a small gate for hillwalkers) and heads straight for the slopes of Carn Glas-choire. The day was frosty and we encountered plenty of ice and frozen puddles. At least it felt wintry!
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The second gate seen from the north plus some great views behind:
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The morning light was weird, giving pictures a "twilight zone" feel, like this one, looking back south along the track and to the Cairngorms on the horizon:
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Santa was nice this year - he brought me a new walking pole (proudly presented in the photo below :wink: ). The old one had been repaired before, but it fell apart :(
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More twilight zone:
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We walked past a small hut and turned right on the next junction. There are some new track bulldozed into the slope so one has to be careful to take the right one!
As the track climbs up the steeper slope, a few small streams have to be crossed. And here we came across some really slippery underfoot, frozen water from burns covering the surface of the track. We had to clamber onto the high sides of the track to avoid the worst of it, but at least it added some variety on this yellow-brick-road experience :lol:
The amazing Cairngorms:
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The track zigzags up the slope and even in slippery conditions still makes for easy going:
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Almost on the plateau, one more stop for videos... I didn't bother packing in my little pocket camera, as it doesn't like low temperatures and I bet it wouldn't work anyway. So all photies are from Kevin's Finepix HS10.
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The track exists much further than the map suggests (we used OS 1-25k) but once we emerged on the main plateau, we were immediately hit by the strong wind :? We stopped to wrap up and quickly decided, it was too windy and too cold to plan a longer traverse. We aimed for the summit and back, without including additional tops.
View south from the plateau:
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The summit of the Graham lies maybe 0.5km west from the top of the track, a few small peat hags but no real obstacles. There is a boggy VT track to follow, but we abandoned it quickly, as it was filled with puddles, frozen on top, muddy underneath. It was easier just to walk straight up on the vegetation:
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It didn't take us long to arrive by the trig point. By now, the wind was really nasty and any hopes for a cuppa and cookie on the summit had to be dropped :( At least we managed to take some decent snaps...
Summit cairn/trig point, Graham no. 42 and the first hill in 2016! New season officially... open!
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Some summit snaps to prove that this hill is not a pointless exercise. Worth climbing for the views. Nice panos for little effort.
North-east to Moray:
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Ben Rinnes:
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West to the Slochd pass:
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Twilight zone to the north:
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Loch Braigh Bruthaich:
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The summit area and the southern view:
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The cloud over the Cairngorms was thickening but we still liked the panorama:
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Zoomed Lochindorb and the castle:
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Last moments before leaving the summit:
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We retraced our steps back to the track and walked down back to Auchterteang, struggling a bit in places on the slippery ground. I don't know if we return to this hill, maybe on another wintry day, as it is conveniently close to Inverness to make an easy snowy walk :D

Summing up, Carn Glas-choire would not win a prize for being the best mountain in the area, or any other prize to be honest, but it offers good views for little effort (only about 400m of ascent and most of it on a track). Good way to spend a few hours of the first day in 2016. May the rest of the year be just as good if not better. Meow!
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BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
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Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Like the New Year's Day, like the whole year!

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:02 pm

Oh I enjoyed your report BP, great to see some snow on the hills. :clap: :clap:

Thanks for posting such lovely photos as ever, the Cairngorms really do look majestic in them.


Happy New Year to you and Kevin :D :D
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pollyh33
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Posts: 2567
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Re: Like the New Year's Day, like the whole year!

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:59 pm

Hi BP I thought I recognised that track, its the start of the Nairnshire Challenge a local duathlon which finishes at YES you guessed it Nairn, That looks a fine wander with not a lot of ascent good for a morning or an evening in the Summer. Think Ive parked in the same place as you. :)
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The Rodmiester
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Location: Carnoustie

Re: Like the New Year's Day, like the whole year!

Postby markscotsman » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:41 pm

Nice report. Heading up this hill on Tuesday and this report has been very helpful as this is the route we will be going. Cheers :)
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markscotsman
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Posts: 17
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Joined: Jul 8, 2010
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Like the New Year's Day, like the whole year!

Postby dooj65 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:30 pm

Thanks. Useful report as doing this tomorrow and bit of snow fallen tonight so a good option hope I can get my big Malamute over the gate that was locked hopefully open now?
dooj65
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Posts: 1
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