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And I would drive a hundred miles...

And I would drive a hundred miles...

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:26 pm

Route description: Creag Uchdag from Glen Lednock

Corbetts included on this walk: Creag Uchdag

Date walked: 08/07/2018

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 734m

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Sunday the 8th of July was a cloudy day for most of Scotland. With better weather coming, we planned a big round on Monday (Sgurr na Ciche group) and decided to take it easy on Sunday, with a half day walk to a friendly Corbett, Creag Uchdag. This was our last unclimbed C' in the Loch Tay area and originally, we hoped to climb it from the north, from Ardeonaig, maybe in combination with Creag Gharbh, a nearby Graham. But quick research proved that parking in Ardeonaig is difficult, so in the end we dropped the idea and followed the most popular route up Creag Uchdag, from the south via Glen Lednock.

Having jumped out of bed at 5am in the morning, I really hoped we'd come home early today so I could rest a bit before facing the Ciche ridge. Of course, every time we are tight with plans, something pops up and spoils the day :shock: This time, a nasty surprise came on the way back home, but we'll get to it. Let's do the walking part first :lol:

We followed the standard route for the Corbett, up and down the Meall Dubh ridge. The WH walk description suggests returning along the Lednock Reservoir, but we didn't really fancy is as it is supposed to be tough going. We preferred to stay high for longer, waiting for clag to disperse.

Track_CREAG UCHDAG 08-07-18.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Parking by Coishavachan farm, at the end of the public road up Glen Lednock, can be tricky. As it was Sunday and this is also an alternative route up Ben Chonzie, the small car park was filling in quickly, but we managed to squeeze in. When w returned five hours later, it was full to bursting!
Parking area:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 001.JPG

We walked over an old stone bridge:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 003.JPG

The tarmac road continues for 2km or so, passing a few houses and sheep-filled pastures, gaining height gently:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 007.JPG

We reached the dam, where we stopped for a few photos. Shame there is no access to the top of the structure, one might get more interesting photos from there. Loch Lednock had shrunken to the size of a pond, exposing the nasty "tideline", so characteristic for artificial reservoirs:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 010.JPG

The track loses the tarmac surface as it continues along the shore for a short distance. The higher hills around us were in cloud so we concentrated on taking photos of the reservoir:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 013.JPG

Loch Lednock in panoramic version:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 017.JPG

Looking back at the dam:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 018.JPG

A good ATV track climbs the slopes along Allt Mor for 200m of ascent. I kept stopping every 10 minutes to adjust my rubbing boots, I was struggling with them today... Maybe because I was wearing my old, worn out Berghauses. I had just bought a brand new pair of Brashers but decided to save them for the upcoming Isle of Skye adventures (which didn't exactly go as planned due to weather). I forgot that the old boots were stretched and now I had to borrow extra socks from Kevin just to make them stick to my feet :roll:
Trying to catch up after another boot adjusting break:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 022.JPG

The track is only marked on the map up to the height of 550m, but in reality, it goes much further, if a bit wet and less obvious, but it's worth following as it avoids the peat hags higher up.
Weather was mixed: some sunny spells to the south and east, more murky weather to the north and west. The best views so far were down into Glen Lednock:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 024.JPG

Ben Vorlich on the horizon:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 031.JPG

The track eventually petered out just below the lower top, Meall Dubh Mor. Clag still covered the summit ridge, but we hoped it would lift before we get there:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 035.JPG

The peat hags we avoided:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 038.JPG

Loch Lednock from above:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 037.JPG

From Meall Dubh Mor, a slight drop and another 80m of ascent up easy, grassy slopes, leads to the summit of Creag Uchdag, which has a trig point and not much else. Sadly, the clag was still lingering around the top so the traditional summit snap with Lucy came without any views in the background :( Corbett No. 147 for us, 76 for our wee companion.
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 047.JPG

On a better day, views to the north would include the Lawers group and Tarmachan Ridge, but in our case, this had to suffice:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 050.JPG

Down to Loch Lednock:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 040.JPG

As we started the return walk, the clag began to lift and Ben Chonzie was revealed:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 059.JPG

Looking back at Meall Dubh Mor, the cloud clearing...Oh, how typical!!!
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 062.JPG

A sunny afternoon:
2018-07-08 creag uchdag 065.JPG

We enjoyed a pleasant descent down the grassy track and were back in the car in 5 hours. Had this route been located closer to home, we'd come to climb Creag Uchdag in winter conditions.
We set off to drive back to Inverness in early afternoon, but only got as far as Blair Athol. Suddenly, the traffic on the A9 ground to a halt. We sat in the cue for the next 30 minutes, trying to figure out what was wrong. The road was obviously blocked somewhere to the north of us. Eventually, I managed to connect to the internet and found out that sadly, there had been a fatal accident on the A9 somewhere near Dalnaspidal. That meant, the Pass of Drummochter would be closed for at least a few hours, maybe even till the next morning. The cue behind us was getting longer and longer, also drivers started to grow impatient. The problem was, there is no practical detour when the Drummochter Pass is closed. The only option is to go via Braemar, which means an additional 100 miles of driving!
After 30 minutes of sitting in the traffic, we decided that was it. Countless police and ambulance vans drove past us to the site of the accident and it was becoming obvious that the services had a long night of investigating to do. If we still wanted to get home at reasonable time (to catch some rest before tackling Ciche Ridge), we had to act NOW.
We made the only sensible choice. Kevin turned Black Arrow around and we headed back to Pitlochry. I was in sarcastic mood and started to sing:
"And I would drive a hundred miles...
Then I would drive a hundred more..."
We were not the only A9 travelers to go via Braemar that afternoon. The looong drive over Cairnwell Pass was slow because of a) roadworks near Spittal of Glenshee b) campervans and minibuses trying to use the same detour c) a nasty traffic jam on B976 below Cock Bridge. It was 9pm by the time we returned home, but as the following day looked perfect for a "biggie", we still decided to give Sgurr na Ciche a go.

So this is where my next story will take us - to the Rough Bounds of Knoydart and Glen Dessary. To one of the best ridge traverses of my life. TR coming soon :D
Last edited by BlackPanther on Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: And I would drive a hundred miles...

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:09 am

Another handy report BP 👍 shame about the journey back
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