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CARN NA CAIM via CUAICH POWER STN

CARN NA CAIM via CUAICH POWER STN


Postby Jim777 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:06 pm

Date walked: 04/08/2018

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 650m

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I've always thought that there is no such thing as a boring hill. Most people simply follow what is in the guide books and create a human motorway on certain hills. Carn na Caim is one of those hills in question. Once you have ascended by the 'normal route' onto the plateau between A'Bhuidheanach Bheag and Carn na Caim you are at 902m with a walk North East of approximately 2.0km and an ascent of 38 metres to the summit. I decided that I would approach it from the North and use the ridges formed by its many corries as my route of ascent and descent. And so I found myself back at layby 94.
2018-07-19 CREAG RUADH - DRUIM NAN SAC 001A.jpg
LAYBY 94 ONE LAST TIME

Has someone been planting mushrooms at the layby ?
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 002A.jpg
MUSHROOM MANIA

I started off up the track to join the main track alongside the aquaduct.
From there I followed the aquaduct as far as Cuaich Power Station.
2018-07-14 MEALL CHUAICH 010A.jpg
CUAICH POWER STATION

Just after the power station a large pipe heads South East up the hill with a track beside it.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 009A.jpg
WATER PIPELINE

I took this track which after a couple of hundred metres turns South West.
About eight hundred metres further along the track a small dam is passed on your right.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 046A.jpg
DAM ON ALLT A' CHOIRE CHAIM

After a further five hundred metres the track splits
One branch ascends South East up the ridge I would eventually come down whilst the other crosses the Allt a' Choire Chaim over a small bridge and heads South West. I crossed the bridge and headed South West.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 044A.jpg
SMALL BRIDGE OVER ALLT A' CHOIRE CHAIM

Spoke to the keepers at this point who were out counting grouse numbers.
The main track comes to an end at the Allt Coire Bhathaich at approximately 545m.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 015A.jpg
END OF MAIN TRACK AT ALLT COIRE BHATHAICH

The map shows a track ascending the ridge on the opposite side of this burn - sadly I failed to locate it to begin with. The young heather low down seemed springy but gave no bounce and was pretty energy sapping. However as I ascended higher with Coire Bhathaich on my left and Coire Uilleim on my right I did locate the ATV tracks and it made for a lot easier going.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 018A.jpg
ASCENDING COIRE BHATHAICH

The track petered out at about 750m
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 022A.jpg
DALWHINNIE DISTILLERY FROM HIGH ON RIDGE

The going was quite easy going from there up to the spot height 914m.
From there it was only 1.0km North East to the summit of Carn na Caim at 941m
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 025A.jpg
CARN NA CAIM SUMMIT I

2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 028A.jpg
CARN NA CAIM SUMMIT II

From the summit I started to descend roughly East and about 20m down I met a guy who had wild camped there for the night. He was on about going around the plateau to find the track that leads down to the col between Meall Chuaich and Bogha-cloiche. Told him I'd done part of the route in the opposite direction only the other week; ascending the track from the col onto Bogha-cloiche and traversing round to A'Mharconaich/Creag Liath. Told him it was about 7.5km to the top of the track but as it was so narrow it might be difficult to spot from above.
I continued descending for 1.0km over good going to a low point at 854m before ascending North East for a further 0.5km to the summit of one of the North facing ridges at 872m.
I put up three ptarmigan here but they wouldn't stay still long enough to be photographed.
What I did see quite a lot of was mountain hares but even they seemed quite skittish.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 039A.jpg
I CAN SEE EWE or ARE EWE WAITING FOR ME

This ridge on descent is flanked by Choire Chaim on the left and Choire Chais on the right.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 041A.jpg
TRACK RUNNING UP/DOWN CHOIRE CHAIS

There is quite a large waterfall in the South West corner of Choire Chais which I had photographed previously from Creag Liath on the other side of the corrie but from directly above it was difficult to photograph.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 033A.jpg
CHOIRE CHAIS SEEN FROM DESCENT RIDGE

There is a track runs all the way down this ridge trending over towards the Choire Chaim side as it descends. By the 550m mark it is running alongside the Allt a' Choire Chaim.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 043A.jpg
GOOD DESCENT TRACK

At approximately 430m I passed the bridge which I had crossed on my route of ascent.
It was now roughly 4.0km back to my start point.
Just as I was passing Cuaich Power Station with just over 2.0km to go the rain which had been threatening all day came lashing down carried by quite a strong wind. I quickly threw on a jacket and carried on walking back to the car.
2018-08-04 CARN NA CAIM Via CUAICH POWER STN 048A.jpg
THOUGHT I'D DODGED IT - NO SUCH LUCK
Jim777
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 24, 2017
Location: Perth

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