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Boriswalking with Black Panther: Cnoc Eille Mor

Boriswalking with Black Panther: Cnoc Eille Mor

Postby BlackPanther » Tue May 26, 2020 9:59 pm

Date walked: 02/05/2020

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 20.6 km

Ascent: 562m

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It's not easy to be inventive with routes in lockdown time, but we are lucky to live close to a range of 300-400m high tops, some of which are even TUMPs, so in our case, invention means visiting each of these tops as a separate walk and trying not to use the same path up and down every time. We could combine all the Beauly TUMPs in one long expedition if we wanted, but where would be the fun factor then? Better to divide it into smaller chunks. At least it doesn't feel like we're on the same ridge all the time :lol:

In the first days of May, when weather was decent, we returned to the western edge of Beauly ridge to climb Cnoc Eille Mor. The idea was to traverse to this TUMP from Cnoc an Teine and make some kind of circular:

Track_CNOC EILLE MOR 20KM6.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The GPS route starts in Balblair but we did indeed walk from Beauly. Our GPS must have been playing up and it didn't record the initial minutes :lol:
We walked up to Rusaurie and crossed the forest via the Mushroom Path then followed the usual route to Cnoc an Teine, on the track past Torr Breac. It was a cloudy day but low winds and relatively warm, so we were confident we could easily cross the boggy moorland to our final destination, especially that it hasn't rained for a while. Dry weather should make the bogs and heather bearable.
Approaching Cnoc an Teine on the track near Loch nam Bonnach:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 004.JPG

Instead of using the old stalkers path, this time we decided to climb Cnoc an Teine from the north. It was pathless but easy climb, we passed some interesting boulders on the way up:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 011.JPG

Got to the summit quickly and stopped here for a little photo session. The previous time we were here it was blowing a hoolie so we couldn't really enjoy the views to the full. Now it was time to appreciate Cnoc an Teine a s a viewpoint.
Loch nam Bonnach from above:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 032.JPG

Cnoc Udais and the wind turbines:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 031.JPG

Beinn a' Bha'ach Ard:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 021.JPG

Ben Wyvis:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 030.JPG

Fairburn Windfarm and the Fannichs:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 026.JPG

This is not even a TUMP, but Lucy wanted a summit photo...
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 040.JPG

Kevin looking for our next target:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 048.JPG

The ground between Cnoc an Teine and Cnoc Eille Mor is quite bumpy and in wet conditions it would be a nightmare to cross. Thankfully, the dry April weather did us a favour and we encountered no big bogs and no need for significant detours. Our only problem proved to be ticks. This area is home to large number of deer (it is regularly stalked in autumn) so the wee b**ers are everywhere, just waiting for you to pass by. We kept removing them from our trousers, but after several sessions of flicking off the little black army, we gave up.
The tick haven:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 049.JPG

Oops, somebody didn't make it! I didn't think ticks were that dangerous after all...
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 053.JPG

We reached Cnoc Eille Beag then aimed for Cnoc Eille Mor. There is very little ascent between the tops but we pretended to be on a "big traverse" and tried to enjoy the tick haven as much as it was possible :lol:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 055.JPG

Ben Wyvis and the two TUMPs: Cul Mor and Cul Beag, from the col between Cnoc Eille Beag and Cnoc Eille Mor:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 059.JPG

So close yet so far... Kevin was dreaming of climbing Beinn a' Bha'ach Ard:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 061.JPG

...but at the moment a small hill like Cnoc Eille Mor has to suffice:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 071.JPG

The ridge of Cnoc Eille Mor is quite long and according to Hill Bagging database, the highest point is at its eastern end. Our GPS confirmed that.
He Who Always Knows Best on the summit of Cnoc Eille Mor:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 086.JPG

This top is just as good a viewpoint as any other high spot on the wide plateau of Beauly hills. The changeable weather added some character to our photos. My favourite view was north-east to Loch nan Eun:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 072.JPG

We spotted a small cairn on the opposite end of the ridge and decided to prolong our walk a little bit:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 073.JPG

View north to Fairburn Windfarm:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 100.JPG

Lucy posing on top of the cairn:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 104.JPG

Kevin studied the map to invent some kind of circular...
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 102.JPG

...and he suggested we could prolong the walk by visiting another small top nearby, called Buachaille Breige. Well, why not. The tick army was already crawling all over us anyway and the very thought of climbing something called "Buachaille" sounded great (even if the Buachaille in question had only 20m of reascent :lol: :lol: ).
Buachaille Breige turned out to be a boring heathery lump with a large flat top...
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 112.JPG

...but on the bright side, we gained a good vantage point due south, where a certain ancient fort was already waiting to be explored:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 115.JPG

Oh yesss, Dun Mhor! Couldn't wait to lay my paws on it but Kevin curbed my enthusiasm. Let's leave this ancient site for another day, he suggested - and he was right.
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 121.JPG

Funny, wherever we looked, there were deer everywhere, now we knew where all the ticks came from!
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 124.JPG

Cnoc an Teine from the west:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 133.JPG

The secretive Loch nan Dubh Lochan:
2020-05-02 cnoc eille mor 135.JPG

We returned to Cnoc an Teine and after a short snack break, descended to the track and set off to walk back home. All the way back I felt like thousands of little black creatures were marching all over my body :shock: Never before in my life was I so desperate for a hot shower, not even after a few days of wild camping :lol: :lol:

Despite falling victim to the tick invasion, we really enjoyed strolling over pointless tops - it felt a bit like the real hillwalking :wink: I couldn't stop thinking about the inaccessible fort Dun Mhor and made it our next target. It was still within our Boriswalking abilities, so the following weekend we set off from home to reach the illusive ancient site. We encountered a lot of scratchy heather and had to climb deer fences, but it was worth the effort. TR to come soon.
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