9.5km 530m 5hrs.
Glen Banchor is the gateway for the Monadhliath hills. From Kingusssie a narrow neck leads into a broad glen with an expanse of grassland and forestry. Hemmed by the 3.5km ridge of Creag Dubh - the mountains spread five long fingers towards the Banchor river, each with its own mystic glen. A place you really could spend time in exploring. Winter Munro bashing the last time I was here, we arrived in the dark and after doing our hills, left the same way. A long drive up gets me here for 9.15 - so see it in daylight for the first time. Magic. The plan is - do an easy looking Craig Liath, cross the river S for Creag Dubh, return to the car then on to the Raeburn hut where KMC are staying. Aye ! Talking to walkers says there`s not much snow up top and the skiing`s jist great. So being that the river was low, I opt to reverse my route and ascend the Dubh`s NE ridge first. Hmm will I never learn. From twisted trees on the far bank to the ridge reveals pockets of deep snow that turns into just overall deep snow. The day is sunny with a brisk wind great views all round, the Cairngorms, Drumochter, Craig Meagaidh and the Monas are all thick with snow. I toil uphill cross deer tracks and the way is easier but doesn`t last. Hare tracks lead to ptarmigan prints until virgin snow again. There`s a fair bit of up and down on this route until at last the top. Blue skies and bright sun, what a day. Take on food, drink and the views, then a weary plough down N to cross the river again. Thoughts of doing Liath are shelved, there`s always another day. Skirt another forest for farm and bridge then take a track back to the carpark. Seen enroute, people deer and birds, mountain hares running ahead of me. Came to do eight may have to settle for three.
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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.