walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Carn Bhac a different way

Carn Bhac a different way


Postby steverabone » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:48 pm

Route description: Beinn Iutharn Mhor and Carn Bhac, Inverey

Munros included on this walk: Carn Bhac

Date walked: 08/06/2016

7 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

After the rather unpleasant day I'd had the day before on Derry Cairngorm (on the hill in a thunderstorm) I was hoping for a better day for this walk. The MWIS forecast referred to a possibility of isolated thunderstorms so this meant I was going to alter my route at the first sign of any problems.

Image

The start of the walk is at Inverey and goes up the estate road into Glen Ey (pronounced Glen Eye).

Image
There's a car park in the hamlet...

Image
...and the route then passes a lodge.

Image
....before entering the open glen at this gate.

Image
The track crosses the Ey Burn and then climbs slightly before...

Image
...continuing well above the burn

Image
There's a sign that points the way to the Colonel's Bed which is a gorge through which the Ey Burn flows. I decided to postpone visiting this until my return but in the end decided not to as I'd had enough walking by the end of the day!

Image
There's a curious structure by the side of the track. It looks as though it may be used for grading stones from the small excavated area nearby (or is it for use in the stalking season?).

Image
At the derelict cottage at Auchelie I took the track that climbs up out of the glen towards the ridge that leads to Carn Creagach.

Image
The track crosses a grassy area with...

Image
...views down to the middle section of Glen Ey.

Image
Then it's a steady but gentle climb up....

Image
...past shooting butts..

Image
.....to reach the summit of Carn nan Seilach at 675m.

Image
The day's objective, Carn Bhac, comes into view as the track meanders onwards. The openess and the dominance of Carn Bhac on this approach gives a different impression from the more usual approach to the hill from Altanour Lodge in upper Glen Ey. It's a route recommended by Ralph Storer in one of his books in the “Ultimate Munros” series.

Image
Over to the north Ben a'Bhuird is in the centre.

Image
The surface of the track changes as height is gained to the underlying bedrock.

Image
At about NO 068 842 the track comes to an end at a dip and from now on the way to the summit is largely trackless.

Image
There are odd sections where others have clearly walked but for the most part it is a case of walking towards the col at the head of the Allt Carn Bhathaich.

Image
Most of this section is on rough grass with a few sections of peat hags which can be largely avoided. I was aiming for the low point on the horizon (777m spot height) which is at about NO 060 828.

Image
At the col Beinn lutharn Mhor appears but...

Image
...here I turned west towards Carn Bhac. Once again there were odd traces of tracks - some by humans and others by animals.

Image
My plan was to head uphill in a westerly direction until I intercepted the track that comes up the ridge from the ruin at Altanour Lodge. Finding this was made somewhat easier than expected as I could see a group of walkers heading uphill.

Image
Now on the path I....

Image
...headed uphill...

Image
...until the track disappeared among the stones on the summit dome.

Image
Carn Bhac's summit plateau..

Image
..with the cairn at the western end. The walk from Inverey had taken me 3 hours and twenty minutes.

After an interesting discussion with the instructor of a D of E group and a long lunch break in the sun I set off down towards Glen Ey. The clouds over the northern Cairngorms looked a bit threatening but there was no thunder to be heard.

Image
In mist it might be difficult to find the way down as there is no clear path from the summit although this cairn indicates roughly where to go - but
exactly where over the stones?

Image
Unfortunately as I headed off down the path the rain started and continued quite heavily for about two hours.

Image
From this direction Carn Bhac looks a boring lump so I reckon the way I took up gives a much better impression of the hill with its rockier north side. Compare the photo above with this one below which shows the crags on the northern side of Carn Bhac.
Image

Anyway, on with the walk.

Image
The OS 1:25000 map shows a broad track ending at NO 061 815 but, in actual fact, it seems that more grouse butts have been built and it has been extended further uphill towards Carn Bhac.

Image
Eventually the rather poor vehicle track improves as it heads down into the glen...

Image
Dominating the view over to the south is the bulk of Beinn lutharn Mhor.

Image
The track continues to drop down into the glen....

Image
....where there are lots of glacial features. Look at those small drumlins. In fact upper Glen Ey is a delight for anybody with even the slightest interest in geology. More later.

Image
As can be seen it was raining hard as I approached the ruin of Altanour Lodge. It had taken about an hour and a half from the summit and there were still another six miles back down the glen to Inverey.

Image
It is of course a super walk along a smooth track..

Image
...which crosses the river several times.

Image
Looking from the bridge the enormous expanse of flat land here suggests that this was possibly the bed of a lake.

Image
At the far end of this flat area the track rises where a morraine has acted as a dam in the past.

Image
The track moves away from the burn...

Image
...before dropping to cross to the other bank.

Image
The final photo shows the approach to the ruin at Auchelie where my outward route left the main glen path. I'd taken eight hours for the walk, including several long breaks for food and drinks.
Last edited by steverabone on Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
steverabone
 
Posts: 32
Munros:188   Corbetts:18
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 6, 2008

Re: Carn Bhac a different way

Postby ancancha » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:19 am

I biker hiked it the boring way, but it was still entertaining :D
Yours views from the other side will I suspect attract more to that route, though the route up Glen Ey definitely has its attractions :wink:
Nice education on the ancient loch or perhaps not so ancient and the moraine damn :clap:
User avatar
ancancha
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 985
Munros:84   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Jun 30, 2014
Location: Killadysert

Re: Carn Bhac a different way

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:35 am

Yep, definitely a route worth remembering for my second round of Munros (if ever... :wink: ).

We also did the "boring Ey" version a few days before you and it has its charms, but without bikes, the return walk seems to last forever!
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3044
Munros:248   Corbetts:157
Grahams:109   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

7 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: euantbloke, hunterh, Marag, mountains4me, skenesir and 60 guests