Up the Snub!
by BlackPanther » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:06 pm
Route description: Ben Tirran by Loch Brandy and Wharral, Glen Clova
Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Tirran
Date walked: 16/06/2017
Time taken: 5.5 hours
Distance: 16.3 km
Ascent: 784m3 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).
We had climbed Driesh and Mayar from Glen Isla, not a very popular approach and probably less interesting than Glen Clova. We may repeat them from the east if we ever return to the area for a longer period of time, but at the moment, we would like to concentrate on the remaining 72 Munros, most of which are on the western coast or down in south-western direction.
As for Ben Tirran, it would be a perfect hill for a winter outing if we lived nearby There are excellent paths on the ascent/descent and relatively easy going on the plateau between the tops. Might be a navigational challenge in winter whiteout or thick mist though, as the traverse from the Snub to The Goet is flat and featureless. But we had a reasonable day despite bad forecast.
Our route follows the WH suggestion, with a small detour up the Snub for some additional views and lurking
There is a small public car park in the village of Clova (with toilets). We walked past the hotel grounds. The route up is signposted "Glen Esk path" or something like that. Soon we walked out of the forest and crossed a small stream, now we could see the well worn path meandering its way up the steep, gassy slopes of Glen Clova. Easy way to go!
Looking down the path do Clova and the glen:
Along Glen Clova:
We gained height very quickly. We could see other people walking higher up but we didn't really feel like chasing them. This was going to be one of those lazy days, when we wander around without a care in the world
It was dry and the path was good, I decided to ditch my gaiters...
After about 300m of straightforward ascent, the view to the upper slopes and the Snub was revealed. We had a good look at the WH route and we found it strange that it climbed the slopes to the right of Loch Brandy, despite the Snub looking like a superb wee top with great viewpoint potentials. So we agreed, we'd go against the instructions and take a detour to this interesting spot!
Maybe in the past, the path up the Snub was badly eroded and not recommended, but as we speak, there is a lot of work going on to build a proper stone-constructed access to this top. On the day we visited, the path was finished about 2/3 way up.
Panoramic photo of Loch Brandy and the corrie:
We met a few people by the loch, but we didn't linger: I was eager to go up the Snub!
On the newly constructed path:
We slowed down near the summit to enjoy views down to Glen Clova. Here we passed the last people we would see on the hills today - for the rest of the walk we had Ben Tirran all to ourselves!
The summit of the Snub is marked with a substantial cairn (Mount Keen very prominent on the horizon):
The nearby Lochnagar drew my attention. I had been reading about a plane crash site on this mountain and decided to talk Kevin into re-visiting the Munro to find the wreckage:
Zoomed Mount Keen. We climbed it from Tanar side, but I guess it's just as entertaining a walk from Glen Esk:
We spent some time on the top of the Snub, taking pictures and enjoying the panos (cloud was descending slowly and we were afraid we might get no views from the true summit later on). Loch Brandy and the corrie below are the most interesting features:
Looks like a very recent landslide:
We continued at a lazy pace along the edge of the corrie, taking photos of Loch Brandy and the cliffs from different spots
Definitely a recent landslide!
Loch Brandy seen from the rocks half way to Green Hill:
Green Hill was the next target. Not much of an ascent and there are paths everywhere
One last look at the beautiful Loch Brandy and its crags, before we headed for the Corbett summit:
View south-east to lower Glen Clova and the green rural landscape:
Mount Keen from Green Hill:
The traverse from Green Hill to White Hill is a pretty boring exercise to be honest. After all the delights of Loch Brandy, we were slightly disappointed by what followed. Just green grass and peat hags...
Navigation is made easier by following a fence, which is supposed to be electric but at the moment, electricity has packed up and moved away
Past a small lochan called Stony Loch, we continued along the fence, climbing the final 50m up easy, grassy slope to the summit of The Goet. At 896m, this is one of the highest Corbetts though it doesn't feel like a tough climb. We just about managed a few snaps and poses before a shower came along and cloud obstructed the views.
Corbett no. 124 for me, no. 46 for wee Lucy:
Looking back the way we came, Lochnagar to the left:
Driesh and Mayar, with cloud coming in:
The rain didn't last but the cloud the clag held onto the summit so after a short refreshment break we headed down the slopes to Loch Wharral. Despite similar location and features, it's less spectacular than Loch Brandy, but made for a nice addition to the day's efforts:
There is a well-worn path heading down to the loch and a small hut, but we took a short detour to the banks of the loch for some photos:
The new hut is an estate bothy, open for walkers, a nice place to hide if weather turns nasty:
A newly constructed dirt track leads from the hut all the way down to the road, but we left the track at 358723, where we found the remnants of the old path. We crossed Wharral Burn and almost tripped over an overturned TV aerial. It's mentioned in WH description as a landmark - no longer there I'm afraid.
The old path must still be used by walkers, because it can easily be followed along the edge of Adielinn plantation and back to the road. If reversing the route, this is the gate where the path starts:
Now, we still had 3km to walk back on tarmac, but the road was very quiet so it was a pleasant way to end the day:
I'd say, not a cracker maybe, but a real crowd-pleaser, with the Snub and Loch Brandy stealing the show Well worth doing on a sunny day when views to higher hills to the north would be better than we had. And in winter - a superb route!
The following day saw us trudging up Lochnagar, searching for the lost Firefly... TR to come soon.
by Mal Grey » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:44 am
by BlackPanther » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:50 am
Mal Grey wrote:The Snub looks quite good. Never heard of it. As is often the case with your reports!
I guess this route (and tops) are quite popular locally, The Snub is a very prominent peak above Glen Clova and there is excellent access on great paths to both lochs and corries. But I haven't heard about it either, that is before we actually went there to climb the Corbett. Well worth visiting the Snub first, it's the highlight of the whole route!
I have more obscure hills up my sleeve (though Jax beat me to Gaick Corbetts!)
by Blokewithastroke » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:19 am
by katyhills » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:21 pm
I assumed it had been put there because it was quite soon after Remembrance Day, but it was for this young lad - Luke Ireland, a marine - who had died on 14th November 2014 after going running. Did you see it at all? I intend going back one day to pay my respects. It's a sad story.
by BlackPanther » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:20 pm
Blokewithastroke wrote:My wife and I did this walk - or most of it - over two years ago when we visited the area for a couple of days as tourists from 'way down south'. We stayed in the hotel - the second night almost on our own! - and took the chance on the last day to climb up to the top of Green Hill before making our way round and down the Snub. It was very windy up there - which meant that coming down was a real adventure! From your route it looks as though the new path has made this slightly less of an adventure - despite the very impressive landslide!
I can imagine going down that slope in strong winds! The new path is great, I'm sure it will soon be finished. May be even worth changing the WH route to include the Snub but that's not up to me
katyhills wrote:BP - I did this walk last December, but went up the other side of Brandy as I hadn't quite decided which route I was going to take to and from Tirran/The Goet, and reports were saying the best views of the corrie were from that side. It meant that I missed out on seeing a memorial that is up at the top of the Snub . I only knew about it because there was a wreath with an inscription on it at the huge boulder at the foot of the hill, and I had a look online when I got home to find out about it.
We did see it but didn't photograph it. A sad story, indeed. Feels a bit like visiting plane crash sites. There are so may of such places on the hills now... Also memorials to people whose ashes were scattered on the hills. Puts life in perspective...
On a funny note when I googled "The Snub summit" I got loads of photos of angry Donald Trump
by katyhills » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:30 pm
Lovely set of photos. It's a bonny walk on a decent day - very straightforward and great views. I did it a similar way to you but dropped down to Wharral en route to Tirran/The Goet, to take a look at the corrie. Brandy is the nicer spot though
It's a slightly underrated walk I think.
I came down at the little cottage a bit further along the road. It was the week before Christmas, and there was a turkey on the wrong side of the fence, but I didn't have room in the ruckie for him!