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Cromdale & Glenlivet

Cromdale & Glenlivet

Postby weaselmaster » Sun May 08, 2016 10:56 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Càrn a'Ghille Chearr, Cook's Cairn, Creagan a' Chaise

Date walked: 08/05/2016

Time taken: 12.5 hours

Distance: 43.8 km

Ascent: 1594m

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Back up to the Cairngorms this weekend, with the promise of hot weather on Sunday at least. Grantown on Spey caravan park was selected for its proximity to the hills of Cromdale and a good choice it ws too - one of the nicest mainstream sites we've stayed in. Trouble free motor up the A9 after work brought us to pitch by 6pm and I wasted little time gettting the meal on which was enjoyed al fresco. We could see the 2 Cromdale Hills - Carn a'Ghille Chearr (Hill of the wronged or awkward boy) and Creagan na Chaise (Hill of Cheese) from our tent.

ImageDSC00260 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00263 by Al, on Flickr

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

Saturday brought a cool morning with some mist over the tops. We drove to Wester Rynaballoch and parked the car on a verge then set off up a track, quickly having to cross heather to reach a higher track serving grouse butts. The "wronged boy" looked a fair way off in the distance. We ascended to the spine of the hills and walked along, not too boggy. To the northeast rose Ben Rinnes, sticking proud out of the surrounding landscape. Behind us emerged the snow capped Cairngorms, merging into the grey sky. Soon we'd got to the trig and wandered over to the nearby cairn. I'd read there was an aircraft crashsite nearby but didn't find it.

ImageDSC00265 by Al, on Flickr

Ghille Chearr
ImageDSC00266 by Al, on Flickr

Ben Rinnes
ImageDSC00268 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00270 by Al, on Flickr

We trotted back the way we'd come with Cheese Hill looking a long way away. Stopped for lunch in a hollow out of the wind then pressed on. Visited the Coronation Cairn for Edward VI in 1902 (built on the site of the Coronation Bonfire) - impressive. Cheese Hill rose up behind an impressive but nameless coire and as we drew near we could see the large castled cairn on the summit, dwarving the trig point. Apparently there was a visitors' book, but we couldn't find it. Did find a large eagle's feather though.

Coronation Cairn
ImageDSC00273 by Al, on Flickr

It's big!
ImageDSC00274 by Al, on Flickr

Creagan na Chaise
ImageDSC00275 by Al, on Flickr

View back to Ghille Chearr
ImageDSC00276 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00278 by Al, on Flickr

Jubilee Cairn
ImageDSC00279 by Al, on Flickr

From here it was a skip over to the Simm of Carn Tuairneir (Turner's Hill?) which gave a good view of Creagan na Chaise. We returned by the outward route as far as the Coronation Cairn then contoured down the hillside to meet a track which took us above the site of the Battle of Cromdale in 1690 - a rather meagre affair by all accounts although my Scottish history is in need of a brush up. Back towards the starting point, passing a couple of blokes out shooting. Lots of different sorts of traps along the tracks today, although none of them occupied.

Creagan na Chaise from Carn Tuairneir
ImageDSC00281 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00283 by Al, on Flickr

Back to Grantown on Spey, a visit to the well stocked CoOp and another meal outdoors. Unfortunately the temperature was in single figures and we ended up sitting in belay jackets with a sleeping bag around our knees - not really a summery evening :lol:

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

We were woken the following morning by a very musical crow who walked round the tent a few times making some very un-Crow like noises. Shower, breakfast and off before 9am. Today's hill was to be Cook's Cairn, out near Glen Livet. We drove through Tomintoul and up to Tomnavoulin then to the parking place at Allanreid. One car there already. We set off into the sunshine, initially crossing over the Livet prematurely and having to check the map to find we should have stayed on the north side of the water and follow an unclear track, which soon became more prominent. Through farmland then a small cluster of trees before coming to another footbridge, which we did cross correctly this time.

ImageDSC00285 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00286 by Al, on Flickr

The track now took us alongside the river, sometimes flooded requiring evasive action along the edges. We could see a solitary building up ahead, with a red tin roof - Allison wondered if it was a bothy, which indeed it was - Suie Bothy. We had a wander in - a proper bed, various furnishings and a pin-up poster of highland cows - all a little creepy! We walked on past another 2 derelict buildings - I explored the first which seemed in reasonable order with wood panelled walls and almost intact ceilings. I always like to wonder about who lived in places like these, how long they've lain empty and what life was like. The valley did strike me as a beautiful and remote-seeming place - I'm sure the sunshine helped that favourable impression.

ImageDSC00287 by Al, on Flickr

Suie Bothy
ImageDSC00289 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00290 by Al, on Flickr

Tasteful Decor
ImageDSC00291 by Al, on Flickr

Bothy Pin-Ups
ImageDSC00292 by Al, on Flickr

Continuing along the track we took the left hand split towards Cook's Cairn which we could see poking out from behind Carn na Bruar (a Simm we intended to take in on the return path). The path rose gradually and turned left to ascend Cook's Cairn. Several rows of ATV tracks escorted us to the summit cairn, where we stopped for lunch. Ben Rinnes once more dominated the skyline, with the gentle back of Corryhabbie Hill before it. The wind had got up considerably, cooling us down a little too much from our exertions and threatening to make off with bags of crisps etc.

Carn na Bruar with Cook's Cairn poking out behind
ImageDSC00295 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Cook's Cairn, Ben Rinnes behind
ImageDSC00297 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00298 by Al, on Flickr

Returning to the bealach we set about going up Carn na Bruar - a straightforward job. Rocky at the summit with 2 cairns. We made a bee-line down the SW slopes to regain our outward track and sauntered cheerily back the way we'd come. We saw a couple of folk in the bothy garden as we passed. Back to the car - scorched by the first proper summery day we've had this year. Drove home via Braemar and a stop off for a tasty curry at The Banana Leaf.

Carn na Bruar from Cook's
ImageDSC00299 by Al, on Flickr

...and Cook's from Carn na Bruar
ImageDSC00300 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00304 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00306 by Al, on Flickr
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Re: Cromdale & Glenlivet

Postby rockhopper » Mon May 09, 2016 10:15 pm

Glad to see you got some good weather for a change :wink: Have had CaGC and CaC penciled in for a few years for our nearly annual holiday in Coylumbridge but have just not got round to them yet - was half thinking about trying to get round them on the bike but that might not be a good idea :crazy: - cheers :)
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Posts: 6954
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:75   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
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Location: Glasgow

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