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6 posts • Page 1 of 1
Culardoch (& beyond) by MTB
by Alastair S » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:55 pm
Corbetts included on this walk: Culardoch
Date walked: 12/09/2010
Time taken: 3 hours
Distance: 20 km
Ascent: 613mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
This was actually part of a longer (50km, 1200m of ascent) MTB ride, so I've logged the Culardoch part as if it were a standalone bag of this Corbett but also included the whole 5.5hr ride for those who are interested...
So parked up on the A93 near the Garbh Allt Shiel suspension bridge as I intended to cross this and then back over the Invercauld bridge so as to avoid some of the A93 & to get a closer look of a bridge I've passed on many occasions. So I was a bit shocked to find that there was a locked gate on the road side of the bridge. I've not sure if this bridge is always locked or if this was just because the queenie was still up for [one of] her hols. If I didn't have my bike I would have been tempted to climb over as there were no dire keep out notices & it would not have been that difficult. Now I know I'll check next time I'm this was (& after queenie has gone home).
So after this minor setback back on the A93, right and past the Invercauld car park and then took the track north just before you get to Invercauld house. Through some pleasant mixed woodland (not too steep for my novice MTB skills) till you get out to more open country and a rougher road. For the last 300m to the heather research station I had to resort to pushing. But it had only taken me 1hr 25" to do the 11k to this point.
Lochnagar: the 21st highest Munro from the 21st highest Corbett (train-spotter or what )
Culardoch with the heather research station in the foreground
Another of Lochnagar with research station
After refreshment and some photos it was just 25min walk to the summit of (a fairly unimpressive) Culardoch. Wasn't expecting to see anyone around as it was only 10:30am but meet a pleasant chap descending. Turned out to be another MTBer - in fact he looked a lot like andrew11. Was it you Andrew?
View West from Culardoch Summit
Loch Builg from Culardoch
River & Glen Gairn with tors of Ben Avon just visible
Down the steep rocky path to the River Gairn without any mishap, then along the very muddy & bumpy track to Loch Builg. Had a bit of a poke about here, taking in the ruin of Lochbuilg lodge. Did think about heading further north along the side of Loch Builg but track become a muddy narrow path so headed down the glen to the rickety bridge I'd seen in malky's report from May. I was much taken with this bridge and even ventured across to take more photos. Was glad I didn't need to take the bike though Will probably post more photos once I've tarted them up.
rickety bridge #1
rickety bridge #2
The track got progressively better as did the bridges. Had the wind on my back now and was flying down a mostly excellent track, splashing spectacularly through several fords (even if I say so myself ). Corndavon bothy looked all boarded up, while the supposedly ruined lodge of the same name was in fine nick.
Substantial bridge over River Gairn near Daldownie
Back onto the road for a quick blast down to Crathie, past the entrance to Balmoral with police outside, confirming suspicion that queenie was still at home. Had thought that if her royalness was not about I might be able to cut though the grounds but a polite enquiry to young constable sent me round the back. Once back track (& some fully metalled road) at Invergelder going was easy even as I was beginnnig to tire. But the highlight of the trip waited: the Falls of Garbh Allt. Not the hugest of falls - more a series of fairly modest ones, but in a lovely setting with a nice footbridge across. Took lots of photos and will definitely be back with my big camera & tripod. As with the rickety bridge will post more photos latter.
War memorial at Connachat Cottage
Falls of Garbh Allt
Then back to the car with a quick diversion to see the other side of the Garbh Allt Shiel suspension bridge. Did see a small party in the distance that included a fat corgi but didn't bother them
My complete route for the day:
Flickr set over here (will add to over the next few days)
by kevsbald » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:06 pm
I like your route - saw the odd apparatus on the hill of Culardoch and wondered what it was.
by Alastair S » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:10 pm
I since found out from a colleague at work that the Garbh Allt Shiel suspension bridge is usually locked. I guess its to stop peeps parking on the main road beside it - which seems a shame as there is a large layby type car park about 500m away.
Great report from one of my all-time fave areas! Those falls look nice - I'll have to visit them next time and stop 'just' doing mountains and being boring! I thought at first the apparatus on the hill was some kind of solar power station... Glad to see there's another nutter out there who likes rickety bridges - Richard always thinks I'm nuts!
- mountain coward
by Alastair S » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:20 pm
Thanks - & yes, the falls are lovely & I'll be back with family fairly soon I would guess. And I'll also be monitoring the rickety bridge, but probably not that regularly . If it survived the winter we just had I guess there are still a few years left in it. BTW I've just add a few more photos the the Flickr set (link is at end of the main report).
by malky_c » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:46 am
Great route - love this sort of thing. Good photos as well. There are a number of different routes you could do in this area on bike - think I'll be back at some point to look at some more of them.
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