Had a decent bit of snow overnight yesterday, and the forecast was good for the day, so decided to head up Carn a' Chuilinn. Started at the layby on the b862 as per the WH route. The new south loch ness trail is very good, and you head along it for about 600m until taking up the main road for the access to the Glendoe dam, and currently the construction traffic for the Stronelairg wind farm. From the summit I noticed some of the turbines are now active, so I assume that construction must be moving along well. Then head up this road for about 3km. I assume that work will still be going on for some time - we got passed by a number of vans and light trucks, but had no problems with access. Turned off at the point on the WH route, and then had about 1km along a wet walking track that followed a stream. There was a fair bit of snow, but it was still boggy underfoot. Then it was just a matter of heading up the side of the hill through the heather, wilst avoiding the rocky outcrops. After getting beyond the steep climbing there was about 1km along a broad ridge to the summit - this was the first time we could see the cairn. The ground would have been pretty boggy I imgagine, with lots of small lochans and large puddles. Fortunately most of this was frozen yesterday!
Lovely view from the summit, across the Monadhliath to the north and east, and out to Ben Tee and the other hills to the west. Not a spectacular hill, but well worth the walk, especially on a winter's day with limited daylight hours. From the summit we could see that there are new tracks not on my old maps running along the base of north-west slopes of the hill so we decided to head straight down to them. Walked straight off the summit throough the snow to the north west. Was a bit worried about having to navigate possible rocky outcrops, but did not have any difficulties. The ground before the track at the bottom of the hill was pretty wet, but no worse than the walk in by the stream. The walk back was probably 15 minutes longer than in, but was a lot less boggy overall than the walk by the stream in. Also there was some nice immature forest to walk by, and less on the main construction road. If you were going to do this with a bike, you could park at the b862, and then ride along the track we came out on, and end up at the north west base of the slopes on the hill. I think as long as you are sensible and avoid some of the small cliffs on this slope you could easily make your way up the hill from there. Obviously the track is steep in places for the bike, and you'd have to cycle up from about 200m to roughly 500m. Be a nice ride back at the end though!
The canal at Fort Augustus - partially drained over the winter - spring 2108 to carry out maintenance.
Looking to the west from the side of the hill.
Walking along the summit ridge.
Looking to the North east to the new wind farm
At the summit
Walking back down the new track
Back towards the hill with small forest in the foreground
Deer near dusk
Travel and Coronavirus
Please check current coronavirus restrictions before travelling within or to Scotland.
Click for details
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.