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Beinn a' Chaisteil and cooling off (for heilan coos and us)

Beinn a' Chaisteil and cooling off (for heilan coos and us)


Postby dogplodder » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:13 pm

Route description: Beinn a' Chaisteil, via Strath Vaich

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn a' Chaisteil (Strath Vaich)

Date walked: 20/06/2017

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 24 km

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We parked at the start of the hydro road off the A835 just east of the Black Bridge. I have never used a bike to get access to a hill but if I ever did this one would be a good candidate with its 3km of tarmac running north towards Loch Vaich. When we started off it was dull with an overcast sky but that was to change for the better as the day went on.

Beinn a' Chaisteil away in distance
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When the road crossed the Abhainn Srath a' Bhathaich we turned right through a gate on to a rougher track which led along the edge of a plantation to a metal bridge and a junction where we kept left, staying on the main track. We discussed whether to reverse the WH route as Black Panther had done, but decided we would keep to the low route for the approach and return by the high route.

Track on east side of Loch Vaich
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The point to leave the track is about level with two derelict cottages immediately after it crosses the Allt Lub a' Chlaiginn, climbing up the left side of the burn. At one point the path skirts a steep drop into the ravine below before moving away from the burn over heather to pick up an old stalker's path which zigzags up the shoulder of the hill. A prominent cairn comes into view making you briefly wonder of you've reached the top already. But you haven't and there's still a fair way to go. :wink:

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The cairn with Loch Vaich behind
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The path fizzles out after the cairn but it's easy walking over stony ground towards the summit wind shelter, with views improving all the way.

Ben Wyvis appearing in the gap between Beinn a' Chaisteil and Meall a' Ghrianan
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Summit wind shelter
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Am Faochagach with Beinn Dearg and Cona 'Mheall on right
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Zoomed to Seana Bhraigh
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Suilven peeking through
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Ben Loyal and Ben Klibreck
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Zoomed to Ben Klibreck
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Glimpse of the Moray Firth and Cromarty Sutors
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Long sprawl of Ben Wyvis
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Evelyn said she wasn't sure about returning by the WH route along the south ridge because it meant descending 140m before reclimbing almost as far to go over Meall a' Ghrianan. I was keen to do it so she agreed to start the descent in that direction to "have a closer look" before we decided.

Start of descent
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South ridge
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Having a closer look didn't have the desired effect so we turned back towards the ascent route, back to the marker cairn and down the stalker's path towards the abandoned cottages.

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Down the Allt Lub a' Chlaiginn
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Reflections in Loch Vaich
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Once we reached the track we agreed to have a break to stick our feet in the burn before the start of the long trek back to the car. Sitting on a rock with feet chilling in the cold water was wonderful and I'm convinced it helps feet to cope with prolonged pounding on a warm day. Mine certainly felt more comfortable after their dook. :thumbup:

Allt Lub a' Chlaiginn up close and personal
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Derelict cottages and their occupants at Lubachlaggan
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Looking back to cottages
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About the point where the path from Meall a' Ghrianan joins the track we were greeted with the picture postcard scene of these beauties cooling their hooves in the river - just like we had done further up the glen.

Heilan coos cooling off
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They seemed as interested in us as we were in them
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It's a lovely but little visited glen and in my opinion the views from the top make it well worth the walk to reach its Corbett. :D
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Beinn a' Chaisteil and cooling off (for heilan coos and

Postby rockhopper » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:25 pm

Haven't got round to looking at possible routes for some of the corbetts up here but this does look a good walk. :thumbup: Quite remote in parts too. Looks like a bike could be used for the earlier sections albeit that may limit the option of the full loop in the second part - cheers :)
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rockhopper
 
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Re: Beinn a' Chaisteil and cooling off (for heilan coos and

Postby dogplodder » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:37 pm

rockhopper wrote:Haven't got round to looking at possible routes for some of the corbetts up here but this does look a good walk. :thumbup: Quite remote in parts too. Looks like a bike could be used for the earlier sections albeit that may limit the option of the full loop in the second part - cheers :)


You could still use a bike to end of tarmac section and leave it at the point where the high route rejoins the track. 8)
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Beinn a' Chaisteil and cooling off (for heilan coos and

Postby simon-b » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:46 pm

That looks a nice Corbett, not one I've done yet but has been on my radar. I see you've done Carn Chuinneag too, not so far away although the regular start points are quite a distance from each other. I did get some great views from that one recently. It's good to see you got the views from this one. They look good.
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simon-b
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Re: Beinn a' Chaisteil and cooling off (for heilan coos and

Postby dogplodder » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:58 pm

simon-b wrote:That looks a nice Corbett, not one I've done yet but has been on my radar. I see you've done Carn Chuinneag too, not so far away although the regular start points are quite a distance from each other. I did get some great views from that one recently. It's good to see you got the views from this one. They look good.


These north eastern hills aren't as popular as those further west but they give great views. We could see Ben Hope and the Cairngorms from Carn Chuinneag. :D
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dogplodder
 
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