We were here a couple of years ago but had not allowed enough time (and the lad was younger therefore not quite the mountain goat that he is now) to do all three Munros - so Carn nan Gabhar was, stupidly, left for another trip. We had recently been over at the hills near the Spittal of Glenshee (Glas Tul etc) so have been eyeing CnG up !
Between work and weather we have managed a few this summer so 23rd July needed to be a short-ish drive and walk to get us back in time for Star Trek IMAX in Edinburgh at 6pm ish with a bite to eat with the rest of the family beforehand. Secondly, we needed some decent kip after a busy week. Looking at weather in the West and with most hills less than two hours drive away done, CnG seemed like the obvious choice.
Finally, the lad had crept up to 99 Munros and plans for the Mamores and north Cluanie ridge Five are on hold for decent weather, so one would be enough. We decided to head straight to CnG as the walk in on the track would mean quick walking.
Left Edinburgh 7.30am, traffic light up through Perth so left car at 9.05am. The drive up had filled us with optimism re weather, very bright around Perth. However, there was a fair bit of cloud around plus some mist in Beinn a Ghlo. Six cars already parked up and could see a few people heading up the scar that is the path up Carn Liath.
Chap who left at same time as us did not turn off uphill either, he was heading for Ben Vuirich so we left him at the fork in the track. There is a small cairn heading into the bog after a couple of miles or so but there is the new track looked fast and to be pointing in the right direction so we followed that and then cut off onto the bog at an obvious path at about 4.5km or so from the car. These two paths join up under Beinn Bheag and (based on the walk off) are pretty much the same distance/walking speed.
To keep the walk interesting and get some different leg muscles working we decided to bash straight up Airgiod Bhein. There are bits of paths albeit not easy to see due to the heather but it's fairly easy going up (albeit steep) even in the eroded/scree path - likely care needed coming down. The other advantage is that you can see the path going to/from the Bealach (Allt B an Fhiodha) to see the way out.
Up to the cairn and over to Carn nan Gabhar, almost no drop between AB and CnG. Let Cameron get to the cairn (past the trig point) and happy boy to get his first century (three decades or so faster than me). 2hr 48mins to get here, 10.31km from the car, was slightly shorter than the bealach route (10.5km as measured on the way back). Had met a lovely chap with his border collie (a rescue dog, nice beast) so our dogs had the usual dog chat while we chatted - he had headed off at 6am in the mist and the weather had now cleared so this was the best of the day. T shirt weather the whole way up and down ! Given we got soaked finishing off the Drumochter hills last weekend, a most welcome change. Even had to put on my hat to avoid sunburn for 45mins or so. Views at top all the way to Lochnagar (which we managed to finish a few weeks ago) so really lucky to get a break in the weather, better than forecast !
Final information regarding the path off from the bealach - once you drop a bit it disappears and reappears on the other side of the Allt, it must be horrible when wet or when there has been a lot of rain, some of the peat hags give way as well.
Quick walk off, as expected - just under 2.5hrs, but a wonderful day, stopped for McDs in Perth on the way back and home at 4.30pm, whole day went better than planned. And the movie was good entertainment !
Last word, if you're just doing CnG and in a rush you could easily bike out the track which would cut 9km-ish off the overall walking distance.
there may be some other photos here, have not quite figured flickr yet !
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