walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

Return of winter wonderland in the east

Return of winter wonderland in the east


Postby malky_c » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:26 pm

Munros included on this walk: Cairn of Claise, Carn an Tuirc

Date walked: 28/12/2017

Time taken: 5.6 hours

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 640m

2 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).

Munros: Carn an Tuirc and Cairn of Claise.
Date: 28/12/2017.
Distance: 11 km.
Ascent: 640m.
Time: 5 hours, 40 minutes.
Weather: Cold breeze and some drifting cloud with strong sunshine at times.

David got in touch with me a few days before Christmas suggesting a walk at some point over the holidays. Conveniently, it ended up being when I was down in Dundee, so we could share transport for some of the way. We were both slightly flexible about which day to go, but our chosen date of the 28th looked to be a good pick. Glen Shee seemed like an obvious destination, so we met up in Perth and I drove us up to the ski centre. We parked up a short way down the Glen Clunie side of the pass, and were on our way before 10:30 am. Perhaps a little on the late side to be starting at this time of year, but I was reasonably confident we'd have time for a reasonable walk.


Map.gpx Open map in GPS Planner  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Image
Carn an Tuirc from the A93

It was bloody freezing at the car, but we soon warmed up following the path up the Allt a' Gharbh Choire. The going was a little slippy in places, with icy patches under the fresh snow, but we made reasonable progress towards Carn an Tuirc.

Image
Starting out

Image
Cairnwell and Carn Aosda

Image
Back to Carn Aosda and An Socach

Avoiding the icy sections on the steeper ascent put us into slightly tiring drifts in the longer heather. Once this was over, the ground improved rapidly but we needed to pick our way carefully to avoid sliding over icy rocks. There were a good number of grouse and hares around to keep us entertained.

Image
Carn Dubh with Devil's Point behind

Image
On Carn an Tuirc

Before too long, we were above the surrounding hills with good views to the Cairngorms. All that remained was a pile of icy scree which marked the summit dome. Moving around to the south of the summit, we were able to wind our way up, missing out the majority of the awkward underfoot conditions.

Image
Beinn Iutharn Mor and An Socach

Image
Approaching the summit of Carn an Tuirc

Image
Hare on Carn an Tuirc

Image
Cairn of Claise

The summit wasn't really a place for hanging around, so we dropped off to the south again to get some shelter for a break. I had hoped for a reasonable amount of visibility today (which we got) but I really hadn't bargained on the amount of sunshine and impressiveness :D .

Image
Creag Leachdach

The south side of the summit was where all of the snow had blown to so there were a couple of deep drifts to wade through, but once over them, the walking onto Cairn of Claise was pretty straightforward and we made a decent pace. A diversion to Tolmount and Tom Buidhe had been discussed briefly, but we had started out too late really.

Image
Walkers heading to Carn an Tuirc

Image
Coire Kander with Cairn an t-Sagairt Mor behind

There was even more sunshine over to the east at the top end of Glen Clova, with plenty of contrast and shadow highlighting the lumps and bumps of the plateau in between. Although Glas Maol didn't spend much time out of the cloud, Monega Hill and the top of Caenlochan Glen looked enticing.

Image
Towards Glen Clova, Dreish and Mayar

Rather than following the wall and crest of the ridge over Cairn of Claise (which was again slippery and slow going), we diverted briefly to the cairn from the landrover track to the east. We were grateful for this track as it allowed us to do a large chunk of the walk at a decent pace - we knew the steep parts of the descent at the end would be slow so we wanted a reasonable amount of daylight to get down them.

Image
Monega Hill and Caenlochan Glen

Image
South from the summit of Cairn of Claise

Image
Snow and sunshine

Image
Glenshee hills from Cairn of Claise

Image
Down Caenlochan Glen

By the time we reached the top of the Sron na Gaoithe ridge, David was getting a bit sore, so it was good that the initial part of the descent was fairly easy angled. We passed a couple of fellrunners on their way up - they seemed pretty keen as it was getting on for 3pm and they were really only just starting the reverse of our route. However they were planning to finish in the dark, and probably got the best of the gloaming on the plateau.

Image
Sron na Gaoithe and Glen Clunie

Image
Fellrunners just visible

We had much less to do, but I was glad that we were still out at this point, as the best part of the hill day for me is when the rays lengthen and the grass turns golden (I suppose dawn can be good as well, but I'm rarely up!).

Image
Sunset over Glas Maol

As expected, the last steep section off Sron na Gaoithe was tough for David, particularly as it came right at the end of a 5 hour plus day out. I'm not sure whether having the car in full view is encouragement or just teasing, but eventually we were off the steep part, making the final steps up to the car just before 4pm. There was a little bit of a margin for error there as I think we could have managed another 30-40 minutes out on the hill before needing to get torches out.

Image
Carn an Tuirc

Image
Heading for Sron na Gaoithe

Image
Sron na Gaoithe

Image
Last light on Carn an Tuirc

Image
Carn Dubh

Image
The Cairnwell

We were both very happy with our day out - had David not got in touch, then I probably would have played it safe with the weather, headed for the lower hills, and not had such a fantastic walk on the high plateau. It certainly rates as one of my favourite days out on the hills around the Cairnwell 8) .
Last edited by malky_c on Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5372
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:50
Sub 2000:193   Hewitts:209
Wainwrights:85   
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness/Sunderland

Re: Return of winter wonderland in the east

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:17 pm

Looks like a great day, especially the light during the latter half.

Looks really wild up there in white...
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 1874
Munros:141   Corbetts:19
Hewitts:149
Wainwrights:46   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: Return of winter wonderland in the east

Postby dav2930 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:39 pm

Looked a great winter walk. So much nicer than on the other side of the glen! Some great pics capturing the vastness of the landscape and, as AK says, that lovely golden light towards the end of the day; nice one of the hare too :clap:

Puts me in mind of a great day I had on the four in this group back in January 2011. Saw lots of mountain hares. It was the first of four consecutive days of perfect winter weather and crisp, firm snow, which yielded 10 Munros in different parts of the Cairngorms. One of the best winter trips I've ever had! :D
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1011
Munros:232   Corbetts:11
Grahams:10   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:156
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Return of winter wonderland in the east

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:17 pm

Looks like a great day out - and wow, you're right: well worth heading up high! Really enjoyed your report, and beautiful shot of the hare too :D
User avatar
EmmaKTunskeen
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 59
Munros:16   Corbetts:8
Grahams:5   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:21
Wainwrights:23   
Joined: Aug 19, 2016
Location: West Sussex

2 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).



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dogplodder, pottyscotty and 50 guests


Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information on the forum and in walk reports is provided by individual users. It is each walker's responsibility to check information and navigate using a map and compass.