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Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch


Postby past my sell by date » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:16 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Chonzie

Date walked: 20/04/2019

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 756m

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Some people regard Ben Chonzie as being a dull Munro, but I rather like its big "bald" head although the white hares that my edition of the Munro book says are abundant there seem to have vanished. :( I do however find the route from Invergeldie extremely dull. A drab landrover track crosses a drab bit of moorland and as it rises to the summit plateau veers away at 90 degrees from the summit :( - most people break off L at the first opportunity.
Driving up Glen Lednock, however there are interesting hills on the R and I wondered if a more enjoyable route could be discovered through them. Photos are from several occasions
Image
looking R going up the valley

1. First exploration
Starting up the ordinary route and heading L (as above) I was about to climb the final section of the plateau When a rain shower set in and I decided to try and descend to Ballindalloch.

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NB. The tracks which are either side of the Lurg Burn only appear on the map at maximum scale

Heading roughly ESE across the plateau a line of fence posts soon appears showing the way over the small hump of Meall Seide 757m.
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Line of posts
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Looking back
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On down to Carn Chois 786m
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Looking back again
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The way down to Loch Turret
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The track is clearly marked and easy to follow
The Landrover track that heads down to the farm at Carroglen finishes about 200m from the col, so descending Meall Seide I headed off through the heather to find the top of it.Image
Top of the Carroglen track
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Further down - looking back up
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Back and across to Meall Seide
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A zoomed view of the interesting hillocks beyond the Lurg Burn
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The track makes a sharp L and the R turn above where two parts of the Carroglen burn join
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Beyond the Carroglen Burn and the Lurg Burn I could see the track leading to Ballindalloch that I wanted to reach but how to get to it :? There was a section of deer-fenced new woodland immediately below me
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The new woodland also contains a number of splendid old Scots Pines :D
I really didn't want to go down to farm, so on the first occasion I found a way through a hole in a wall into a field, waded the Lurg Burn, climbed an old fence - where others had clearly done the same :lol: - and climbed up to " my" track
On the second occasion (route shown) I descended and crossed the Carroglen Burn just above the plantation, climbed steeply up the other side and over another tatty fence. I still had to cross the Lurg Burn but I was a lot further up and managed it dry shod :D
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An easy step across the Carroglen burn
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Looking back across - the deer obviously had a much better route :lol: :lol:
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Another view back across - just above the deer fence
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Safely on the correct side, looking back to the bottom of the new wood and the field I went through first time round. I'm not sure that this isn't the best way :lol: :lol:
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Evening view looking up the pleasant grassy track which I followed down to Ballindalloch. It was only a short walk up the road to Invergeldie. I shall call this the Lurg Burn track to distinguish it from the Carroglen track

2. A minor route-finding error

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Setting out from Ballindalloch I followed the track through the fields signposted "Shaky Bridge.
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Looking back to Ballindalloch
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The track keeps L , follows a wall ...
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.. and then the river Lednock
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Through further fields
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To a ford across the Lurg Burn, where it joins the Carroglen track
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Turning back L before the ford leads to the Lurg Burn track
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Looking up the track
However, Just after reaching the River Lednock a valley cuts up L and a short steep section of track cuts out the long detour - This is the route on the above map.
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A valley leads L
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Steep short cut
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Looking up the valley from the top of the Short cut
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Looking back from the same point
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I should have gone R now but I went L - these things happen :lol: :lol: and headed up a ridge
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Eventually I saw the Lurg Burn track way down to the L, but I was enjoying my walk so much that I just pressed on taking pics and eventually ended up on Dubh Chreag 540m - or just beyond
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Loch Lednock
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Creag na h- Iolaire from Dubh Chreag
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Ben Chonzie from Dubh Chreag. Obviously I was not really in the right place :( :lol: :lol: so I headed down L to join the Invergeldie track just W of the bridge over the Invergeldie Burn and walked back down the road
It was a thoroughly enjoyable walk with great views :D :D through the type of terrain I find quite addictive - but it hadn't made any progress as regards the title route of this report :lol:

3. Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

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I started out the same way. There were Peewits flying above the fields and at least two pairs of curlews calling :D :D . At the top of the short cut I went R when the track headed S or a few hundred metres and then curved L through a couple of gates.
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Track headed S initially
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and then turned l: looking up the Lurg Burn valley
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The track goes through a gate. Meall Reamhar 635m on the R, Dun Mor 518m centre and an unnamed hillock ca 535m behind on the L
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and then another
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"By heather tracks wi' heaven in their wilds" Not actually much heather (yet), but that's how it felt :D :D :D . Unfortunately on this occasion, it was very warm, the (tree) pollen count was very high and my eyes were constantly watering. I had to stop every few paces to wipe them :( :lol: which slowed me considerably. Higher up, fortunately the problem eased :)
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Another gate - you climb over
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And the track becomes less distinct
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The track heads R here across a ford, but myriad paths head off in all directions. I went straight on
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Track heads R
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Just up to the L the top of Dun Mor - an impressive little hill
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Another view of Dun Mor and Meall Reamhar from the top of the Lurg Burn track - I followed it across the ford on one occasion
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From the same point looking up to col L of Meall Seide - it's nothing like as far as it looks, but the going is not great :(
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Pushing on I came up these old remnants of an early electric fence (clay insulators :o )
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The peak of Meall Reamhar looked quite steep and I decided to keep R of it

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On the 1:25,000 map it's not clear whether the name refers to the flattish 557m lump or the much more worthy 635m spike above it. dotted blue line my descent
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There were a great many deer tracks which aided progress considerably
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And it wasn't long before their owners put in an appearance :)
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Around seventy in this pic
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Eventually I came out on to flat ground where there had been a lot of muirburn and the edge of the plateau was in sight
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There was a slight dip - looking North
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Looking back
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On an earlier occasion I had headed up and slightly L to reach this prominent cairn on Meall Garbh - about 200m down from the top of the track on the standard route. The heather was quite deep, and there were no helpful deer tracks :(
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South to Meall Seide and Carn Chois
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Today I went climbed diagonally R from the dip - mostly on grass - to reach the plateau
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and wandered on up to the top
I had intended to descend the ordinary route, but once on top I felt that would be an anticlimax, so I returned across the plateau to the prominent cairn on Meall Garbh and descended to the dip - it was a lot easier going down :)
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I decided to climb over the prominent 635m peak - Meall Reamhar or not :lol:
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On the peak - looking back to the cairn
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S to Carn Chois
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and on to Dun Mor, Dubh Chreag etc.
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Looking down the steep descent on the other side of the peak - all in soft deep bilberry and heather :D
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A final look back :D :D :D Views like this on dull boring Ben Chonzie? Surely not

Conclusion
If you're averse to long sections of "off piste" walking you can climb this hill by the Carroglen track - starting at either Ballindalloch or Crooked bridge. The Naithsmith time is 20 minutes or so longer and it's still on landrover track - but a much pleasanter one (IMO)
On the other hand if you're happy on rough ground then the route up the Lurg burn track may take a little longer - but is a gem :D . And if you just want a nice walk you go up one track and descend the other - leaving the busy summit to others.
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby Graeme D » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:15 pm

I will hear no bad word spoken about Chonzie! It is hallowed ground!

Interesting TR! Thanks :D
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby past my sell by date » Wed May 01, 2019 2:27 pm

Graeme D wrote:I will hear no bad word spoken about Chonzie! It is hallowed ground!

Interesting TR! Thanks :D

Hi Graeme
While the hills in this part of the world may not be as dramatic as those in the North West, there are some quite magic spots - but all hidden away - and (IMO) this is one of them :D :D . I think you lived near Comrie at one time, and I guess you have wandered round here, but most people just get out the book and say "where do we start?" :( :So they end up trudging along that miserable track - surely one of the dullest approaches to any Munro. The ways from Loch Turret - whether you head L or R of the loch are both much nicer (and a bit shorter :) ) - but unfortunately it's a slightly more complicated drive to get there
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby Gordie12 » Thu May 02, 2019 2:38 am

This brings back memories although I don't remember taking in Ben Chonzie at the same time.

Seeing Dun Mor again definitely has me wanting to head back - can't imagine it has been mentioned in many (if any) walk reports.

The hills on both sides of the Lednock road are well worth a wander (whilst watching the cars heading up the glen to the same car park).

I agree with you about the normal route up Ben C from Glen Lednock but the route in from Loch Turret taking in Auchnafree is enjoyable.
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu May 02, 2019 9:43 am

We were up that way a couple of days after you exploring the boulders the other side of Ballindalloch farm. I hadn't been up Glen Lednock in years and it was lovely, although there were a lot of ticks :? .
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby Graeme D » Thu May 02, 2019 10:43 pm

past my sell by date wrote:
Graeme D wrote:I will hear no bad word spoken about Chonzie! It is hallowed ground!

Interesting TR! Thanks :D

Hi Graeme
While the hills in this part of the world may not be as dramatic as those in the North West, there are some quite magic spots - but all hidden away - and (IMO) this is one of them :D :D . I think you lived near Comrie at one time, and I guess you have wandered round here, but most people just get out the book and say "where do we start?" :( :So they end up trudging along that miserable track - surely one of the dullest approaches to any Munro. The ways from Loch Turret - whether you head L or R of the loch are both much nicer (and a bit shorter :) ) - but unfortunately it's a slightly more complicated drive to get there


Totally agree - the routes from the Turret dam (especially on a crisp day) are brilliant. I guess if you are coming from the west and you want easy access, the alternative is much more accessible even if it is, as you say, one of the dullest approaches to any Munro. Never lived in Comrie but been in Perth now for 16 years and have used this area quite a bit over the years for DofE expeditions, training e.t.c. And of course, good ol' Chonzie from the Turret dam was the one that sparked the imagination and lit the fuse for me! :D
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby past my sell by date » Tue May 07, 2019 11:58 am

Gordie12 wrote:This brings back memories although I don't remember taking in Ben Chonzie at the same time.

Seeing Dun Mor again definitely has me wanting to head back - can't imagine it has been mentioned in many (if any) walk reports.

The hills on both sides of the Lednock road are well worth a wander (whilst watching the cars heading up the glen to the same car park).

I agree with you about the normal route up Ben C from Glen Lednock but the route in from Loch Turret taking in Auchnafree is enjoyable.

Gordie
yes I imagined you would have explored this area when you were walking that poor dog off it's feet all that time ago :lol: :lol: :lol:
It is a wonderful area like a minature mountain range :D There is a similar area in the Lakes W of Dunnerdale above "Grassguards " . (green crag etc.) Did you see my report on the Girron? the new cycle path has greatly improved access to it
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby past my sell by date » Tue May 07, 2019 12:04 pm

Graeme D wrote:
Totally agree - the routes from the Turret dam (especially on a crisp day) are brilliant. I guess if you are coming from the west and you want easy access, the alternative is much more accessible even if it is, as you say, one of the dullest approaches to any Munro. Never lived in Comrie but been in Perth now for 16 years and have used this area quite a bit over the years for DofE expeditions, training e.t.c. And of course, good ol' Chonzie from the Turret dam was the one that sparked the imagination and lit the fuse for me! :D

Sorry my mistake Graeme. I know you've written reports on all the smaller hills round here: at one point I seemed to be following you round :)
I have some friends coming up at the end of this month, so with two cars I think we will try to go up from Loch Turret and descend my route from the "cairn" on Meall Garbh. The "off piste" section is much easier in descent :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby past my sell by date » Tue May 07, 2019 12:07 pm

LeithySuburbs wrote:We were up that way a couple of days after you exploring the boulders the other side of Ballindalloch farm. I hadn't been up Glen Lednock in years and it was lovely, although there were a lot of ticks :? .

There's a derelict farmhouse just up the track on the W of the road :( , but if you head past it you get up on to Balnacoul castle - another nice area is this lovely glen :D
I never have a problem with ticks - but I keep well covered up and NEVER even think of wearing shorts :lol:
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby Gordie12 » Wed May 08, 2019 5:02 am

past my sell by date wrote:
Gordie12 wrote:This brings back memories although I don't remember taking in Ben Chonzie at the same time.

Seeing Dun Mor again definitely has me wanting to head back - can't imagine it has been mentioned in many (if any) walk reports.

The hills on both sides of the Lednock road are well worth a wander (whilst watching the cars heading up the glen to the same car park).

I agree with you about the normal route up Ben C from Glen Lednock but the route in from Loch Turret taking in Auchnafree is enjoyable.

Gordie
yes I imagined you would have explored this area when you were walking that poor dog off it's feet all that time ago :lol: :lol: :lol:
It is a wonderful area like a minature mountain range :D There is a similar area in the Lakes W of Dunnerdale above "Grassguards " . (green crag etc.) Did you see my report on the Girron? the new cycle path has greatly improved access to it


I hadn't - but I have now, thanks.

Although I've climbed Girron it was over 40 years ago ( :shock: ) so my memory of this hill is a bit sketchy.
I was also completely unaware of the new cycle route - does that run along Loch Earn to Lochearnhead or is it heading towards Comrie??
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Re: Ben Chonzie from Ballindalloch

Postby past my sell by date » Wed May 08, 2019 9:31 am

lthough I've climbed Girron it was over 40 years ago ( :shock: ) so my memory of this hill is a bit sketchy.
I was also completely unaware of the new cycle route - does that run along Loch Earn to Lochearnhead or is it heading towards Comrie?
Both ways - and I think on to Crieff eventually. it follows the old railway and roughly alternative bits of the Rob
Roy way
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