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Sunshine and heather - exploring Moray (& a bit of Gorms)

Sunshine and heather - exploring Moray (& a bit of Gorms)


Postby Jaxter » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:28 pm

Route description: Ben Rinnes

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Rinnes, Càrn Mòr (Ladder Hills), Corryhabbie Hill, Geal Charn (Dorback), Geal-charn Mòr

Date walked: 23/07/2018

Time taken: 20.4 hours

Distance: 83.86 km

Ascent: 3207m

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Previous adventure - Malky's Special Spots

Monday 23rd July 2018
Corryhabbie Hill
12.95km
540m ascent
3 hours

I restocked in Inverness before heading East – the Moray Corbetts had always interested me but always seemed a bit far to be bothered driving from Glasgow. But seeing as I was up this way anyway…. I headed for the Glen Rinnes and found a parking spot near the start of the walk.

It was very warm and I decided to travel as light as possible. Setting off across the field I was wading through dry grass before the track materialised, making for easier underfoot conditions. I’d already worked up a sweat before I even started going uphill :lol:

I took a right which led me up a grassy shoulder leading for the ridge
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Ahead, Corryhabbie looked impressive 8)
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Soon I had to hop over a fence and I was into heather…my favourite :roll: Fortunately it wasn’t too deep and was relatively easy to walk through.

Ben Rinnes – a target for later
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Soon I picked up a vague path through the heather which led me over Little Lapprach and onto the final ascent. The ridge had narrowed enough to give fine views down the glen
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I managed to negotiate the peat hags and make it up onto Muckle Lapprach where the views really opened out 8)
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Looking back the way I’d come, with Ben Rinnes in the background
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It was an easy stroll to the summit of Corryhabbie Hill where the trig point had a weird metal thing on the top. Obviously this required standing on :lol:
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And the usual…. :lol:
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It was a gorgeous afternoon so I enjoyed the views for a bit before continuing – the track (now called Morton’s Way) led me past Blue Cairn, Shepherd’s Cairn and then Maiden’s Paps as it dropped down in zig zags alongside the Burn of Altavallie
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Either I lost concentration somewhere around here or the paths didn’t quite match the map (I’m blaming the map :lol: ) but I ended going a little off-piste (yay more crashing through heather :lol: ) and jumping another fence before I ended up on the correct path :roll:

Under the watchful eyes of the locals
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Looking back to Corryhabbie
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A wee flypast, just for me :lol:
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Fortunately the fords of Corryhabbie didn’t cause any issues in the dry weather and I met up with my outward route. Unfortunately someone had let cows into the field I had to cross. I don’t like cows; they’re huge and they look evil. I gave these ones a suitably wide berth :shock:
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I arrived back at the car, fortunately unscathed :lol: 8)


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






Ben Rinnes
7.91km
555m ascent
2 hours 5 mins

After a quick bite, I drove a few miles further up Glen Rinnes to the Ben Rinnes car park. Funnily enough I’d just been reading a book where a crime investigation team discovered a body on Ben Rinnes (fictional, thankfully :lol: ) so it was interesting to see it for real 8)

I headed straight off up the track – there were lots of bugs around so I didn’t hang about :shock: so I was quickly up the zig zags and onto the ridge which gave me great views back to Corryhabbie Hill where I’d been a couple of hours ago
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It was an easy walk stretching ahead of me – if Detective Inspector Macrae had got a transit van up here then it wasn’t going to be a problem on foot :lol:
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In fact, Ben Rinnes seems to be a grouse shooting hotspot as there were plenty of areas marked as “car parks” :shock:
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Towards the summit the gradient steepened and the rockier summit came into view
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Reaching the summit, the weather felt like it was coming in but it was still pretty clear out towards Dufftown
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Corryhabbie Hill
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But South didn’t look quite so appealing :lol:
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A hop skip and a jump (and a second attempt) got me a summit photo
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This must be the Moray Firth
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Inverness and a wind farm – definitely making some energy today :lol:
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It was an easy walk back to the car – I had thought to make it a circular walk but it looked like it was about to rain…. And it was! I got back to the car just before the downpour started :lol:

I found myself a camp spot near Chapeltown and escaped from the rain! A couple of hours later it brightened up and I went for a wander.
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The beginnings of a…
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…beautiful sunset….
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….and a double rainbow!!
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Ben Rinnes.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts






Tuesday 24th July 2018
Carn Mor (Ladder Hills)
15.22km
576m ascent
4 hours

The rain from the night before had eased off and a beautiful morning dawned. I wandered down into the village past the Braeval distillery
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Heading up the track I was on the Malcolm Gillespie whisky Smuggler’s Trail….nae smuggling today, honest. But the locals weren’t so sure. Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? :shock:
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It was a lovely day for an easy walk as I headed for Ladderfoot
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From here a path headed up the glen, following the Ladder Burn
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Looking back
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The rain overnight had made the heather damp and rather than being annoying it was actually quite refreshing in the warm morning sunshine :lol: 8)

The last steep section known as The Ladder is what gives these hills their name, and this led me to the top of the Ladder Pass. A big wide bealach gave me some nice views
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However….as I headed towards Dun Muir I was presented with this maze of peat hags :shock:
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I survived the peat hags – in these dry conditions they are actually easier to walk on than some of the surrounding areas :lol:

The final easy ascent to the summit of Carn Mor gave me some lovely views out towards Ben Avon
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Cairn Gorm I think?
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Corryhabbie Hill and Ben Rinnes
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It was windy but I managed to get this without falling off :lol:
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The Gorms 8)
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I continued along the ridge for a while, following bits of path and then fenceposts – it was almost like climbing Donalds :lol:
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The views towards the Gorms were fabulous 8)
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Chapeltown with Ben Rinnes in the distance
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After a while I started to drop down, as it turned out it would have been easier to have waited a bit longer, but why do it the easy way :lol:

Looking back up my descent from the Clash of Scalan – apparently there are ruins and the remains of a corn drying kiln here. This may be the updated version :lol:
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The college of Scalan – once a seminary, now a museum with Carn Mor behind
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A few metres walk back down the track and I was back at my car. I took the now dry tent down under the watchful eyes of a herd of cows before heading off for my next adventure…. 8)


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






Geal Charn (Dorback)
13.79km
585m ascent
3 hours 45 mins

The weather got warmer and warmer as I headed for Dorback, and when I set off down the track shortly before Dorback Lodge I was wondering if I ought to sack it in and spend the afternoon on the weird beachy sand dunes 8)
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The track led me along the Dorback Burn before crossing it without incident. I could see my target ahead
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It was an easy walk along the good track which led me along to the base of Geal Charn. I chose to ignore the WH route as it was heathermaggeddon, and instead headed more steeply up a less heathered section
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As I climbed I could see back to the sand dunes near Dorback Lodge
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Once up the steepest section I picked up a path and it turned into a nice route up, especially once I was out of the heather (did I mention I hate heather? :lol: )
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Looking back – I think that must be Ben Rinnes on the skyline
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From here it was an easy wander to the summit of Geal Charn – the bits of quartz on the top possibly giving the hill it’s name
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The Gorms – looking much closer now!
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I think this is Meall a’ Buachaille, Bynack Mor and pals
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Cairngormarama
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Seeing as I’d carried up the big lens I had a closer look at Beinn Mheadhoin
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Cairn Gorm
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Meall a’ Buachaille
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Ben Avon
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Ben Rinnes I think
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After enjoying the views and the sunshine for a while I headed off along the ridge, didn’t bother checking the map and ended up off-roading through horrible steep, deep heather, sliding down some steep river banks and climbing back up to the track I ought to have dropped down onto. Whoops :roll:

Looking back…. Doh :lol:
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From here it was a long hot walk along the track to Dorback Lodge where the barking dogs sounded like the hoards of hell had been released :shock:

Back at the car it was time for a change of clothes before heading towards Aviemore, stopping for a wee photie on the way 8)
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I was sort of hoping for a shower but all the campsites were fully booked so I had to settle for this view….what a shame :lol: 8)
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Where I enjoyed a relaxing evening and a good sleep :D
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Geal Charn.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts






Wednesday 25th July 2018
Loch Einich
21.76km
350m ascent
4 hours 50 mins

It was shaping up to be another belter of a day, so I had an enjoyable breakfast before setting off through the forest
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It was an easy walk, but hot work 8)
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The views were awesome and I was enjoying being in such magnificent surroundings. As I left the forest I was hit by the wind – it was pretty blowy :shock: As I approached Loch Einich I met Dave who turned out to be great company for a while :thumbup:
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Although I had initially thought to head up to the plateau and back over Sgor Gaoithe, it was such a gorgeous day I thought I’d sit down at the Loch for a while and rest my knee which had niggled on the way up :roll:

Dave headed up the path onto the plateau as he was heading for Braeriach, and I found myself a wee spot on the beach 8)
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Coire Dhondail
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Buttress number 3 :D
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Buttresses 4 & 5
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I realised fairly soon that I wasn’t going anywhere :lol: :lol:
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Throughout the afternoon the wind dropped and the sun became even warmer 8) Ahhhh summer 8) 8)
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During the afternoon several folks passed by for a chat and I just enjoyed having time to sit around in such stunning surroundings!
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Eventually I figured I could get going…looking back to my idyllic spot 8)
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Looking back down Gleann Eanaich
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Looking back to Loch Einich and Sgor Gaoithe
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Sgor Gaoithe
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Braeriach
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Looking back to Sgor Gaoithe
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Braeriach again – just stunning 8)
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It was hard to imagine that it was only just over a year ago that I first ventured into the Cairngorms as I’d thought them uninteresting lumps. I’ve definitely fallen in love with them now 8) Image

Back into the forest I had to climb up again….
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Another gorgeous evening followed – as I was sat eating the dinner and enjoying the sunset who walked past but my pal Dave from earlier! He had enjoyed a great day up on Braeriach.
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Loch Einich.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts






Thursday 26th July 2018

I awoke to another beautiful morning – I had promised myself a day of rest so I had a leisurely breakfast 8)
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After that I cycled into Aviemore for supplies before a relaxing afternoon reading, eating and falling asleep and getting sunburned. Whoops :roll:





Friday 27th July 2018
Geal Charn Mor
12.23km
601m ascent
3 hours

I had a lazy start but finally put away a gloriously dry tent before heading across the A9 (a nightmare even in the middle of the day :shock: ) to Lynwilg.

It was incredibly hot so I decided to travel super light; probably also something to do with my sunburnt back being really sore :roll: What an idiot :lol: It was an easy track past Alltnacriche where I was disappointed to find no cakes left next to the wee honesty box :shock: and I climbed easily and steadily upwards.

It wasn’t long before I was out of the trees and beginning to get views back the way – a wee bit hazy but still impressive 8)
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An Sguabach ahead
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The long and winding road
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As I gained height I could see the ridge that could be my descent route…it was looking very heathery :shock:
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I reached the bealach where several paths seemed to meet. The track continued onwards but I took a left up a rougher but still good path towards Geal-charn Mor
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I passed two cyclists fixing a flat tyre….glad it wasn’t me for once, I continued over the stile before being blown around as I reached the summit.

The Gorms
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Ben Rinnes
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It was a bit windy but I managed it first time 8)
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The wind was actually pretty welcome as it had dropped the temperature a little :crazy: I sheltered behind the trig point to eat some food and enjoy the views 8)
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Braeriach
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Loch Morlich and Cairn Gorm
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Eventually I decided to get going – heading back down towards the bealach before making a decision about my route choice on the way down. Once I dropped off the summit the wind dropped and I was baking again…I didn’t really fancy filling my boots with heather, again :roll: so I made an uncharacteristic decision to head back down the same way. I was saving myself for the weekend :wink:
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The views were awesome – the haze had gone and the Gorms looked magnificent 8)
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I met a big load of cyclists on their way up. I stopped for a nice chat (we were both hiding in the shade for a few minutes :lol: )

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Back at the car I had a quick change out of my soaking wet clothes before heading for a chilled out few hours at Loch Morlich (in the shade :lol: 8) )

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After a small inconvenience where my battery died and I had to get rescued by a friendly family in a campervan, I shopped for supplies in Aviemore before picking up Malcy – we were going to Rum!!


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

Last edited by Jaxter on Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1442
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:75   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:115   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:33
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow/Inverness

Re: Sunshine and heather - exploring Moray (& a bit of Gorms

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:44 pm

Having been up most of these in the last few rainy weeks, it's nice to be reminded how the hills can look with a bit of sunshine :wink:
You're fair cracking on with Type 2 hills...
User avatar
weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1956
Munros:237   Corbetts:67
Grahams:78   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:383   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Sunshine and heather - exploring Moray (& a bit of Gorms

Postby Jaxter » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:33 am

weaselmaster wrote:Having been up most of these in the last few rainy weeks, it's nice to be reminded how the hills can look with a bit of sunshine :wink:
You're fair cracking on with Type 2 hills...

Oooft these hills would be a bit dull in the wet :shock:
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1442
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:75   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:115   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:33
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow/Inverness

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