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9 days in August 2015

9 days in August 2015


Postby Guinessman » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:34 pm

Date walked: 31/07/2015

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Due to recent poor weather I've only managed five day trips to the hills since mid October last year. Reviewing other trips I thought I would post a 9 day trip from the beginning of August last year. I envy those that can just turn out for a day trip to a Scottish hill. I more often than not usually have to plan for at least 4 days to make the journey worthwhile and its always with permission of the long suffering other half. If only she would climb hills!! With a decent break planned and the Munro quest at the front of my thoughts I thought I would plan for hills that I have been ignoring for years. At the time I was on 220 munro,s at the time and was planning for at least another year to knock off the rest. For years I've stayed away from Scotland in the summer months having suffered horrendously from the midge in my teens at Skye and Kinlochewe. It was time to break the summer habit.
Having a camper van is an advantage, as I can chase the weather if necessary and its a place to seek refuge from the midge. The reports are not detailed enough to be trip reports more a short description and photo journal.

Day 1.
Drove up from home in NW Durham leaving around 9am so I could avoid the western bypass and Edinburgh traffic in the morning getting to the road down Glen Clunie towards Braemar area about 1pm. Parked up on the corner at Baddoch and then took the glen path up towards the farmhouse. The glen was full of sheep, that many it reminded me of the Cheviot valleys. Walked about 3 miles up the glen and then took the ascending path up towards and onto the twin tops of An Socach . A pleasant afternoon just about right for timing getting back to the van around 6.30pm. Slept that night in a lay by further down the glen.

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Day 2.
Next morning drove over Glenshee and down to the Spittal of Dalmunzie. Drove to the hotel on the single track road and parked at the hotel. Walked up Glen Lochsie crossing the burn several times. I noted the old railway track higher up to my right and wondered if that was a better track. Where the track crosses at the old lodge had a bit of trouble getting across and took a while to figure it out. By the number of tracks up and down I,m not the only one. Obviously a problem burn in the wet. The track is then an easy 4 x 4 track to within 100 feet of the summit. The departure from the 4 x4 track is marked by a cairn. From there I took the N shoulder and dropped down the glen ,picking up the initially muddy path towards Carn an Righ. I then continued onto Beinn Iutharn Mhor and was caught in a 2 hour rainstorm as I dropped towards Loch nan Eun. From there it was trek through Glen Taitneach back to the van I thought it was about 14 miles and 4000ft of ascent but I've since read a report suggesting it was 18 miles. I might measure it.

View to Beinn a Ghlo from Glas Tulaichean

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Beinn a Ghlo again from Carn an Righ

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Contouring path from Carn an Righ to Beinn Iutharn Mhor.

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Drove into Braemar that night intending to get a beer. Went to one of the hotels but left after standing for 10 minutes as the staff were waiting for someone who could pour Guinness. Went to the Co op and got some beers instead and then drove up towards Linn of Dee parking about a mile short and kipping in a parking spot in the trees

Day3.

Slightly easier day than the previous. Parked up at Inverey and walked through the trees up Glen Ey and continued up the glen towards Altnaour lodge. From there took the path over the moorland and onto Carn Bhac. The photo is the view towards the Lairig Ghru from Carn Bhac. From there I took the path over to Carn Creagach and then dropped down to pick up the path at spot height 731. From there it an easy path to Auchelie and then follow the path back to Inverey. Returned to my previous night sleeping spot.

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Day 4.

Had been planning to do Mount Keen in an October backpack but I thought as I'm here I might as well do it. As it turned out I was fortunate as I couldn't make the October backpack. Drove down to Glen Tanar house via a Ballater detour and used the parking facilities there. Walked down the glen towards the path to climb Mount Keen. Not much to day about the glen path except a bike would have been ideal. The wind was strong and bitter on top the worst so far. Returned by the same route. 16 miles in total.
The photo is the shoulder of Mount Keen towards the top.

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Further shot from down in the glen

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Day 5.
The previous evening had driven north for 3 hours through the Lecht and had parked overnight in a picnic spot on a bend after you drop down from the ski area. Took the long drive north in the morning intending to get onto Ben Kilbreck and Ben Hope. Got to the parking area by the bridge beyond Vagastie around midday. Took the moorland path over initially boggy ground on to the first shoulder of Cnoc Sgriodain then took the traversing path which was quite muddy to A Chioch then up onto the top. The wind was ferocious on top and I was barely able to stand. Returned via the same route to the van.Around 7.30pm that night I thought I would drive around to Ben Hope to get an early start the next morning. I drove down to Altnaharra to find the road to Ben Hope blocked. I didn't fancy trying the road as some of the single track highland roads can be difficult to turn around a 20ft vehicle. Trying to plan ahead thought I would drive northwards and see if the north road was open. Got there and found barriers across the road. By now it was beyond 9pm so I kipped in a coast car park about a mile outside of Durness.

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Day 6.
Because of not been able to do Ben Hope ( I've sinced returned and did Ben Hope in the October), drove for about 3 hours in the morning around to Ullapool and parked up overlooking Loch Glascarnoch and took the boggy moorland path towards Loch a Gharbhrain where I crossed the burn at the mouth of the Loch. Then followed the Alt na h-Uidhe up to the col and onto Am Faochagach.

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Further shot towards Beinn Dearg with Meall nan Ceapraichean in the middle and Cona A Mheall on the right. Seeing the Cona a Mheall from this angle the ridge to it looks worthy of a visit

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That night I kipped in a picnic spot off the A835 short of Inverlael

Day 7.
Parked up at the same car park as the previous day overlooking Loch Glascarnoch. Walked initially along the road and then up the 4 x 4 track through the wood which then drops down to the junction of burns. There is a signpost here indicating Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich From there its a climb on decent paths all the way to the stony summit of BLMF . I hadn't been this way since April 2000 when I did these hills with my father when we staying in a cottage at Gairloch. The conditions were certainly different today. Then it had been heavy snow and cold temperatures. From there I descended initially northwards and then SW to join the connecting ridge to Sgurr Mor. It clouded over on Sgurr Mor which was a pity as it is a very commanding peak. The photo is the path from Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich to Sgurr Mor.

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I then continued along the broad ridge towards Meall Gorm over the Bealach ban and onto An Coileachan. Rather than dropping back to the Bealach as is suggested I took a line descending the north ridge towards Loch Gorm which avoided the crags.Initially there a path over Meallan Buidhe which ended soon after that. From there it was a case of bog trotting until the junction of the burns was met again and then return on good tracks to the van
The whole trip was about 13 miles and took 8 1/2 hours. Stayed that night again in the picnic car park off the A835.

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Day 8.
Another big day. Parked up at Inverlael. As there is a height bar on the car park parked up on the 4 x 4 track outside it. Took the forest track and then exited left at Glensguaib to climb onto the moorland,taking the excellent stalkers path as it crosses over towards the Druim na Saobohaide ridge crossing the Glean A Mhadaidh corrie. The path does disappear eventually its then a case of plotting your path over the moorland to the col leading to Seana Bhraigh. As it was a clear day this was no issue. Got to the top and sat looking at the route that I took on CWT and then returned via the same route. Around 15 miles over 8 1/2 hours.

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Day 9.
Easier day on Fionn Bheinn from Achnasheen. Had driven around to Achnasheen the night before and kipped in a road lay by on the approach to the village. I had looked at kipping in the village car park but there were already two Italian motorhomes parked up right in front of the houses which is something I wont do. Next morning parked up in the car park. Looking up at the start of the path I could see a 4 x 4 track going up the hill on the opposite side of the burn to the path. The 4 x 4 track looked good. Made my way across the main road and started to follow the footpath signs. Onto getting to the bottom of the 4 x4 track found a padlocked gate so had to go up the extremely boggy path by the burn which only started to get drier as I started to ascend the upper slopes of Fionn Bheinn. The top was wet, overcast and windy so didn't hang around. Got up and down within 3 hours on a boggy hill never to be revisited!

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I was down to the van not long after midday so drove to Fort William through Kintail and put the van on the Glen Nevis site to get sorted. Had a few beers in Fort William as usual and the home the next day, already thinking off the next trip.
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Guinessman
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Re: 9 days in August 2015

Postby Jaxter » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:20 pm

Epic trip man, good job! :clap: :clap:

I'm so envious of people able to take enough time off to do 9 day trips in the hills :D

Looks like you had the weather for it too :thumbup:
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Re: 9 days in August 2015

Postby dav2930 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:35 pm

What a brilliant trip. Counted 14 Munros there if I'm not mistaken? Not bad over 8 consecutive hill days! :clap:
My situation is similar to yours; most of the Highlands are just a bit too far for a weekend, so it's usually only at holiday times that I get up there. Makes it all the more special though! :D
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Re: 9 days in August 2015

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:34 am

Sounds like a good trip. You covered a fair bit of ground there. I tend to chase the weather also. Not too keen to go out in the rain, though it happens quite often. :(
I take it they knew how to pour a Guiness in Fort William. :)
Ive had problems getting a drink in the Braemar hostelries also and i drink lager. :roll: I was beginning to think it was just me.
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Re: 9 days in August 2015

Postby Guinessman » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:10 pm

Jaxter wrote:Epic trip man, good job! :clap: :clap:

I'm so envious of people able to take enough time off to do 9 day trips in the hills :D

Looks like you had the weather for it too :thumbup:


Fair point I shouldn't complain, I've had an excellent 2015.
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Re: 9 days in August 2015

Postby Guinessman » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:14 pm

dav2930 wrote:What a brilliant trip. Counted 14 Munros there if I'm not mistaken? Not bad over 8 consecutive hill days! :clap:
My situation is similar to yours; most of the Highlands are just a bit too far for a weekend, so it's usually only at holiday times that I get up there. Makes it all the more special though! :D


I can make Glencoe normally in about 4 hours in a car, and once made the Kingshouse In 3hr 10min, its just a bit far for a day or 2 day trip. I know Open C is quite keen on doing it one day but he lives about 1hr 10mins closer than me.
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Guinessman
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Posts: 1082
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Location: NW Durham

Re: 9 days in August 2015

Postby Guinessman » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:16 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:Sounds like a good trip. You covered a fair bit of ground there. I tend to chase the weather also. Not too keen to go out in the rain, though it happens quite often. :(
I take it they knew how to pour a Guiness in Fort William. :)
Ive had problems getting a drink in the Braemar hostelries also and i drink lager. :roll: I was beginning to think it was just me.


The crofters in FW does a good Guinness!!. :lol:

As regards Braemar hopefully the Fife arms will re open in 2017
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Posts: 1082
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Wainwrights:214   Islands:15
Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Location: NW Durham

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