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Carn a' Chlamain - a long, hot day

Carn a' Chlamain - a long, hot day


Postby StevieC » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:57 pm

Route description: Carn a'Chlamain

Munros included on this walk: Carn a'Chlamain

Date walked: 14/07/2019

Time taken: 8.25 hours

Distance: 27 km

Ascent: 917m

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For my first Munro trip in a few months I thought I'd try a walk that looked fairly straightforward on paper...it appears I'll never learn! Carn a' Chlamain was one I'd never heard of, but it was relatively nearby and although a long walk most of it was flattish and it looked like there was a track all the way up. All this turned out to be true, but I was still praying for it all to end as I approached the car park at the end of the day.

I pulled into Old Bridge of Tilt car park at about 8am - room for 20 or so cars and no charge. Coming out of the car park I turned left, which is wrong as I soon realised. The direct route is to carry straight on into the woods opposite the car park, but I decided to head right into Old Bridge of Tilt and walk up the glen on the other side of the river, and take the direct route back. After initially missing the track that goes up the east side of Glen Tilt I eventually picked up a beautifully grassy track that was a pleasure to walk on.

Follow the road over the Old Bridge of Tilt and through the village. A path soon branches off to the left and a small wooden bridge takes you over the Fender Burn. Immediately after this a path heads off left into the woods.

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Track through the woods

I obviously missed a turn off because I eventually found myself wading through thick vegetation among fallen trees...turns out there was a clear track just a few dozen yards uphill away from the River Tilt. This track emerges from the woods and into some beautiful open countryside dotted with dozens of sheep with their lambs.

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Grassy track heading for the hills

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Hills getting closer

Eventually this track drops down from the hillside just after Auchgobhal Farm and joins the main track that runs along the east side of the River Tilt, which was looking gloriously Irn Bru-coloured in the by now strong sunshine. I stopped to slap on the factor 30 and then continued on past Marble Lodge (looks like a nice spot for a secluded break) and then over the river at Gaw's Bridge.

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The track alongside the River Tilt

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Marble Lodge

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Gaw's Bridge

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River Tilt from Gaw's Bridge with Beinn a' Ghlo in the distance

Once over the bridge it's a short stroll to the point where you actually have to start heading uphill. A bridge crosses a small stream tumbling down from the hills, and immediately after this you can see the walker's path heading up the SE ridge of Carn a' Chlamain.

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Bridge at start of path up the hill

It's now a short, steep haul up the side of the hill before you join a 4x4 track that will take you more or less all the way to the summit (with the odd short-cut along the way). It's easy going at first but gets increasingly rough and difficult to walk on as it gains height. About half way up it turns out there is detour path/track that is much easier going...but more of that later!

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Path joins the main track

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The summit of Carn a' Chlamain (centre) eventually appears

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Summit getting closer

As you near the final summit ridge a clear path heads off to the left from the main track and takes you onto the final approach. The ground now levels off until a nasty, boulder-strewn last bit before the summit cairn is reached.

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Path leaving main track as summit approaches

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Final approach to the summit

From the summit there are some cracking views all round, especially looking south back to where you have just come from.

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Looking south from the summit of Carn a' Chlamain

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Views of Beinn a' Ghlo from the summit

Coming off the summit I picked up a path that eventually turned into a track that runs parallel to the main track. It was much more pleasant to walk on than the main track, which it unfortunately re-joins at roughly NN918740. If I'd known about it I would have taken this route up the hill.

After that it's just a matter of slogging back down the track, and then the short path to rejoin the main track by the River Tilt. Unfortunately, unlike everyone else I met on this walk who had cycled to this point, I had a two-hour plus trudge in the baking sun to look forward to. I made this as easy as possible by re-crossing Gow's Bridge and sticking to the main track all the way to Cumhann-leum Bridge and then along the forest track back to the car park, by which time my feet were killing me.

It's a very picturesque walk, a bit spoiled by the track gouged into the hillside all the way to the summit, but it's not to be underestimated!
StevieC
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Re: Carn a' Chlamain - a long, hot day

Postby Phil the Hill » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:47 pm

Good report with some useful detail. I'm planning this one for my next Munro.
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Phil the Hill
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Re: Carn a' Chlamain - a long, hot day

Postby katyhills » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:03 pm

Nice report and photos @StevieC. I also did it on a hot day - never been so glad to get back to the car for a drink!
On the plus side - Glen Tilt is truly stunning :D

I went via Forest Lodge, so a bit further, but came back down the way you did. It's very straightforward as a hillwalk.
You can see why people use a bike though.
katyhills
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Re: Carn a' Chlamain - a long, hot day

Postby StevieC » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:22 pm

Thanks Phil the Hill and katyhills

I just can't get the idea out of my mind that using a bike is somehow cheating! :lol:
StevieC
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Re: Carn a' Chlamain - a long, hot day

Postby past my sell by date » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:18 pm

StevieC wrote:Thanks Phil the Hill and katyhills

I just can't get the idea out of my mind that using a bike is somehow cheating! :lol:

Yes I agree , but I did use a bike for this - hired in Blair Athol - no suspension and I got horrendous "white finger vibration" :( and had to stop every few km. Wish I hadn't bothered :lol: :lol: :lol: I walked it a couple of years later after doing Sgarsoch and Carn Fhidhlier and returning by the Tarf bothy
past my sell by date
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Re: Carn a' Chlamain - a long, hot day

Postby aaquater » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:37 pm

Hot weather does make the glens seem longer, doesn't it? :lol: Nice report, and good to know about the path; when I was there, I didn't trust it and stuck to the eroded track. Then again, it was only my third walk ever :lol:
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