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Corryhabbie and Cook’s – First big route of the year

Corryhabbie and Cook’s – First big route of the year


Postby PeteR » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:30 pm

Route description: Corryhabbie Hill, Glen Rinnes

Corbetts included on this walk: Corryhabbie Hill

Grahams included on this walk: Cook's Cairn

Date walked: 18/01/2020

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I appear to have a bit of a bad habit where I plan a route, save it to my GPS.........only for it to sit there for months on end, years even, before I finally get round to doing the actual walk itself. It never gets deleted off the GPS, just sitting there reminding me of my failure until I eventually get round to bagging it :crazy:

While perhaps not the most exciting of hills, Corryhabbie Hill, with its near Graham neighbour of Cook’s Cairn, had become one of those hills. I’d plotted a route to bag both hills starting from the east a long, long while back, and there it sat on the GPS waiting to be taken on.

It was finally going to get bagged before Christmas, and then when that didn’t happen it was definitely going to get bagged over the New Year. That never happened either.

Finally the time had come, even though I eventually abandoned my approach from the east and resorted to a variation of the standard WH route from Glen Rinnes, starting near Ellivreid Farm. So much for all that planning then. Well, it actually turned out to be a variation of a variation in the end, once I’d decided part way round to alter my return route to the car.

Found the small parking area near the bins at the junction close to Ellivreid farm a little after 10.00 a.m. and was away soon after that.

ImageP1140013 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Initial view of my first target.......not that exciting perhaps, but as the cloud lifted it was to turn in to a good day out

Everything up to the Corryhabbie summit was as per the WH route description. Despite the weather showing signs of improvement and blue skies breaking through Ben Rinnes was stubbornly holding its shroud of cloud and was to remain shrouded pretty much until the cloud finally lifted in the late afternoon.

ImageP1140018 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Cloud on Ben Rinnes

ImageP1140021 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
A decent indication of track quality on the way up.........and the sense of climbing if you just do the Corbett on its own

From this side the WH route only includes Corryhabbie Hill, omitting any extension across to Cook’s Cairn. I imagine this could be a bit of a boggy route, but thankfully the recent cold spell had firmed up the worst of the west stuff quite nicely. As I gained height I found myself experiencing a few icy patches and at times on the walk a pair of spikes might have helped, but thankfully I was able to skirt the edges and avoid the worst of it. Anyway, it was turning in to a nice stroll up and over Hill of Achmore and little Lapprach before the slightly more exerting climb on to Muckle Lapprach.

ImageP1140040 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Muckle Lapprach ahead.....steepest climb on Corryhabbie Hill

ImageP1140048 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Path on Muckle Lapprach

ImageP1140056 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
A dsting of snow and ice as I make the final short stroll to the summit

ImageP1140057 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Path prone to icing up

ImageP1140066 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1140069 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1140074 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Corryhabbie summit photos

The forecast had suggested an improving day, although there was the risk of a snow shower or two and one such shower passed as I was nearing the top of Muckle Lapprach. The snow would come and go pretty much until I was commencing my pathless slog up the side of Cook’s Cairn. It wiped out summit views initially on Corryhabbie Hill, but the odd break in the cloud here and there gave me something to look at through the mist.

ImageP1140078 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Cook's Cairn and a good view ruined

Snow or no snow one thing for was that it was windy and with that came quite a wind chill. The Met Office had suggested a “feels like” temperature of -12 degrees C and as I was approaching Corryhabbie’s summit in the mist it certainly had the feel of -12 about it. I’d foolishly only worn my usual walking trousers and was starting to regret that now.........with the wind behind me my backside was freezing. By the time I’d arrived at the summit trig and shelter I couldn’t wait to hunker down and struggle into my windproof/waterproof over-trousers. Having that extra layer on certainly paid off for the rest of the day, as the wind-chill effect, while not so bad on Cook’s Cairn, was still bad enough.

The route to Cook’s Cairn from the Corbett summit is initially via Morton’s Way. Looks like a good wide track, although in places there was a continuation of the icy patches which needed avoiding. Despite having checked it out on the map I was surprised at just how much height was being lost. I’d contemplated a return back up this track, but was rapidly changing my mind with every foot in height I was losing. I’d need an alternative......

Also experienced a “moment” part way down, despite my best efforts at concentration, as the icy rubble took my foot from underneath me. Luckily managed to not do any physical damage.......just to my pride probably. I’d give myself around 5.9 for artistic interpretation :lol:

The closest I came all day to meeting other walkers was when I arrived at the Glen Fiddich track........two walkers passing by just before I got to the bottom of my track, so they probably never even saw me. Other than them I didn’t see another soul all day

ImageP1140083 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Morton's Way track off Corryhabbie

The next section of the walk wasn’t much fun to be honest. From the track Cook’s Cairn looks a bit steep and with the pathless heathery stuff I had to plough through it’s fair to say I ended up taking longer on the climb than I should have. According to that nice Mr Naismith I was apparently 30 minutes behind schedule by the time I hit the top (there again that nice Mr Naismith has never seen me walk). In truth, broken down in to short sections the climb could be easily completed in 20 or 30 minutes........I just took longer (twice as long......).

ImageP1140086 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
The route up Cook's Cairn

ImageP1140088 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Found a bit of a track.......but lost it soon after :lol:

ImageP1140096 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Didn't get much better the higher up I got

ImageP1140104 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Eventually over the worst and another gentle stroll to the summit

ImageP1140108 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Felt harder earned than it probaly should have been

Sadly Cook’s Cairn has been overrun by the 21st century forest of wind turbines. Rather takes away from the area in my view......although I appreciate some love them.......I don’t :( I wonder what Cook would have made of them........?

ImageP1140110 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
The Buck??

ImageP1140128 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
I nice view ruined

It was at this point my route for the day took on a bit of a life of its own. I’d knocked a return up Morton’s Way to almost the Corryhabbie summit on my way down and looking back the hill was now shrouded in cloud. There was also an alternative, heading off the hill toward Knox’s Cairn and then contour round the base of Corryhabbie to pick up a track taking me back on to Morton’s Way close to Queen’s Cairn. That would involve a section of heather bashing and my knee high experience climbing Cook’s Cairn had put me off that idea too.

I can now see why Cook’s Cairn isn’t suggested as a companion to Carryhabbie Hill from the Glen Rinnes starting point :lol: I’d found myself the farthest from the car I could be and the two most obvious options to get back to it didn’t really enthuse me.

In the end I opted to descend the hill via Knox’s Cairn and the knee high heather down to the main track in Glen Fiddich. From there, rather than cut across the hill over pathless ground to pick up Morton’s Way I followed the lower track through Glen Fiddich as if I was heading toward Glenfiddich Lodge (and as I discovered, the baying hounds). Just before the Lodge the Morton’s Way track starts its seemingly never-ending climb up toward Queen’s Cairn and the junction with the WH route description. A good track, rather than heather bashing, but all in all it added about 3 miles to the day, resulting in the route clocking up 14.5 miles in total.

ImageP1140130 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
A heather bashing we will go......

ImageP1140139 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Was turning in to a nice late afternoon

ImageP1140144 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Closing in on my route up Morton's Way

ImageP1140148 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
A "hangman's" tree

ImageP1140149 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Morton's Way is the left hand track

ImageP1140150 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
They sounded pleased to see me.......or else they wanted to bite my "bits" off :lol:

Plenty of pheasants on this section........not sure why they wait until you are almost stepping on them before they burst out of the heather with wings flapping and squawking madly, but they do :crazy: :shock: :lol: Not a difficult climb, but enthusiasm was waning by this time. This was turning in to my longest concerted walk for some time and my legs were certainly beginning to feel it.

ImageP1140154 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1140157 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Track goes on and on and up and up pretty much at this type of gradient

It wasn’t doing much for the ganglion cysts I have on both my big toes. Well I assume they are ganglion cysts.......that’s what Google suggests. Hey, I’m a bloke........you wouldn’t expect me to have visited my GP do you? :lol: Anyway, whatever they are they can certainly flare up when the walking boots are on – the right toe particularly – causing discomfort rather than excruciating pain. And as I was making my way up Morton’s Way that right big toe of mine was certainly letting me know how it felt. Didn’t stop me, but did slow me down a bit.

Once I was back on the WH route it was then a straightforward stroll back to the car, even as the light was starting to fade.

ImageP1140164 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Evening view as I was on the WH route back to the car

ImageP1140166 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Ben Rinnes

ImageP1140170 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
The tree shown in the WH route description

So that’s the 2020 Corbett bagging underway and a route that can finally be deleted from the GPS. Just hoping I can get some momentum going to bag a fair few more Corbetts as the year unfolds.


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User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2056
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:176   Hewitts:3
Islands:9
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Corryhabbie and Cook’s – First big route of the year

Postby Jaxter » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:41 am

Have they removed that humungous hunk of metal from the trig at Corryhabbie?! It was still there when we were there at the start of the year :shock:
ImagePhone party and a weird metal thing
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1365
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:61   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:88   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:26
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: Corryhabbie and Cook’s – First big route of the year

Postby PeteR » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:34 pm

Jaxter wrote:Have they removed that humungous hunk of metal from the trig at Corryhabbie?! It was still there when we were there at the start of the year :shock:
ImagePhone party and a weird metal thing


It was still there, just hiding on the ground. I did wonder about putting the hat back on the trig, but it was quite windy, so decided against it.
User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2056
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:176   Hewitts:3
Islands:9
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Corryhabbie and Cook’s – First big route of the year

Postby Jaxter » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:50 pm

PeteR wrote:
Jaxter wrote:Have they removed that humungous hunk of metal from the trig at Corryhabbie?! It was still there when we were there at the start of the year :shock:
ImagePhone party and a weird metal thing


It was still there, just hiding on the ground. I did wonder about putting the hat back on the trig, but it was quite windy, so decided against it.

Wow that's some effort lifting it off :shock: :shock:
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1365
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:61   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:88   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:26
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

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