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I Carna believe it!

I Carna believe it!


Postby Jaxter » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:56 pm

Route description: Ben Hiant, Ardnamurchan

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ben Hiant, Cruachan Charna (Carna)

Date walked: 18/07/2020

Time taken: 4.15 hours

Distance: 8.49 km

Ascent: 687m

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We had a long-standing invitation to stay with David in Strontian, and with the lockdown rules relaxing further we decided to take him up on his offer. He had a suggestion – how would we like to visit Carna? Where? Carna – a small island in Loch Sunart. David did the organising and we arrived at Laga to meet Andy who would be our Captain for the day. (He and his wife run Ardnamurchan Charters and are definitely worth checking out 8) )

Cruachan Charna
3.45km
232m ascent
2 hours

ImageWalking down the jetty

The crossing was enjoyable and the views to Carna were great
Image

ImageDavid chilling

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ImageBen Hiant

ImageOn the boat

ImageCarna up close

David’s real reason for being here was that Cruachan Carna, the high point of the island, was his only unclimbed Marilyn in the area (honestly, it’s so embarrassing having friends like that :roll: ) I admired the views while Andy pointed out the easiest route up, and promised to come back for us at some point :lol: (Andy was running back and forwards all morning to take the people at the holiday cottages back to the mainland – each family in a separate trip to adhere to social distancing rules!)
Image

ImageOn Carna!!

Initially we followed a grassy track before heading through a bunch of trees. At this point we lost any sense of the path and ended up walking across horrible knee-wrecking ground for a short while :roll:
Image

Fortunately when we reached the gate into the forest we picked up a path again and my knee shut up for a while :lol:
Image

Heading for the “square gully” as instructed – although it looked dreadful, the ground actually wasn’t that bad, just overgrown and a bit wet underfoot. It required a bit of hacking through so I was able to potter along at my slow pace without anyone really noticing :lol:
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Malky baw-deep in bracken :lol:
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Looking back down Loch Sunart
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Steep sided gully – very cool and rocky
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Oronsay (tidal island) and the mainland further west
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At the bealach we were able to follow a faint path heading up the now slightly less steep side of the mountain. David was waiting patiently….
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It was steep but I slowly managed to drag myself up and once on the short final ridge the views down Loch Sunart to Ben Hiant were stunning 8)
Image

ImageLooking back to more cool rock

ImageBen Hiant

ImageMalky making the final approach to the summit

And we were there! It was a really cool feeling to be on an island in the middle of the loch, and the views in both directions were fantastic. Couldn’t have asked for better 8)
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Looking the other direction – inland towards Beinn Resipol
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ImageCruachan Carna maskie

As we sat and enjoyed the views we could see the sky darkening out to sea….this was probably coming our way :roll:
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Beinn Laga – sitting right above the village of Laga, David promised that this hill also had great views
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ImageLads!
We were starting to get chilly so decided to carry on. Andy had suggested continuing along the ridge so we dropped off the other side (very carefully as there was a huge drop!). Malky who doesn’t understand the meaning of careful managed to fall in a huge hole, much to our amusement :lol:
Image

We made our way across to the other summit, also with impressive views.
Image

However, the ground was much less easy to walk on – with no path, the heather and tussocks were causing my knee problems :roll:
ImageFighting through tussocks

After a short section of dreadful ground we managed to pick up a faint path or animal track which helped! Eventually we picked up our outward route just outside the wooded section. Andy had suggested talking to the cows as they were friendly – but our conversation seemed like a bit one-sided :lol:
Image

As there was no sign of Andy, we dropped down onto the beach to enjoy some lunch and enjoy the views (it was amazingly quiet too; over the last few months it was hard to imagine there wouldn’t always be sirens zooming past every few minutes!)
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While we were sitting, a short shower passed over
ImageOh dear....

It didn’t last long though, and soon the sun was back out
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We wandered back towards the pier, finding a dead (or playing dead!) crab
ImageDead crab

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David inspected a tractor – despite being a bit dilapidated, the tyres were still pumped up :lol:
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Holiday cottage on Carna, with Cruachan Carna behind
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Soon Andy arrived to take us back
ImageHere comes Andy!

The sun came right out as we enjoyed the boat trip back – Carna was sparkling in the sun
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Ben Hiant
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ImageBack on dry land

Back on the mainland Andy showed us his rowing boat – he said that he and his wife could make it to the island in about 20 minutes!

I can highly recommend a trip to Carna – it’s a magic wee place and the views are just awesome 8)


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




Ben Hiant
5.04km
455m ascent
2 hours 15 minutes

After saying goodbye to Andy we drove further along the road and stopped overlooking Camas na Geall. David had brought a stove and brewed us all up some tea while we enjoyed the views 8)
ImageCamas na Geall

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I was feeling ok after my mornings exertions, so decided I would try Ben Hiant with the boys. Unfortunately it started raining shortly after we left the car :roll:
ImageHeading up Ben Hiant

Fortunately sunshine returned and we could see Loch Sunart
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Loch Mudle with a view faint Isle of Eigg behind
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Looking back to Loch Sunart
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Initially it was a steep climb – the views were excellent but I was struggling and had to stop often to allow my breathing to calm down.
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Tiny Carna in Loch Sunart
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The worst of the steep bit over, we popped out onto the ridge. I was able to walk a bit more consistently here, although still slowly. It was very windy too!
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Camas na Geall (and the hidden abandoned village of Bourblaige, well, hidden!)
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Doesn’t he look happy :lol:
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The Sound of Mull (listen carefully and you can hear it :lol: )
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The steep final ascent gave some impressive views of the north west coast of Mull
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I arrived at the top to find David huddled behind the cairn as it was even windier up top! We grabbed some shelter too so we could enjoy the views 8)
ImageMaskie on Ben Hiant

Loch Sunart
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ImageJaxter on Ben Hiant

ImageKilchoan and Ardnamurchan

ImageMull

We were starting to get cold, so David took the car key and ran off, leaving Malky to get even colder waiting for me :lol: Fortunately for everyone I was a lot quicker on the way down, and although we got hit by another shower, we also got some better views of Eigg 8)
Image

Finally back at the car, David had not been idle. He handed us a cup of tea as we arrived (and we all dove into the car to enjoy it as we got splattered by another shower :lol: )

A relatively easy drive got us back to Strontian (by easy I mean I nearly dozed off while Malky did the hard work :lol: ), where David cooked up a huge dinner of Haggis with all the trimmings, and I dug out dessert which had made it down the road unscathed 8)
ImageI brought dessert

NEXT DAY


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

Last edited by Jaxter on Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Jaxter
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Re: I Carna believe it!

Postby Graeme D » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:07 pm

That's a very fine barnet that Malky is sporting. It's almost like he is trying to outdo the grass in his garden! :lol:
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Graeme D
 
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Re: I Carna believe it!

Postby Sgurr » Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:59 am

Two of my favourites. When Andy took us to Cruach Charna his labrador leaped ashore and guided us up to the top but then ran back down to met an earlier retrieval leaving us to wrestle with the bracken to the 2nd top. Did it with summerwalker and Ian Kaye's partner. We did Ben Hiant (again) the day you and Malky were adding several extras to the planned route the day of the Xmas party. Did David hire the Strontian house with the resident pine marten?
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Re: I Carna believe it!

Postby Jaxter » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:15 pm

Graeme D wrote:That's a very fine barnet that Malky is sporting. It's almost like he is trying to outdo the grass in his garden! :lol:

:lol: :lol: :lol: I think it's an improvement to be honest!! (Garden has been cut, hair has not...yet :roll: )



Sgurr wrote:Two of my favourites. When Andy took us to Cruach Charna his labrador leaped ashore and guided us up to the top but then ran back down to met an earlier retrieval leaving us to wrestle with the bracken to the 2nd top. Did it with summerwalker and Ian Kaye's partner. We did Ben Hiant (again) the day you and Malky were adding several extras to the planned route the day of the Xmas party. Did David hire the Strontian house with the resident pine marten?

Ah yes - the dog came over with us on the boat but didn't take to us as much as he did you as he went back on the boat :lol: David has a place down there (which we were chuffed to take advantage of!) - no pine martin though. Never seen one yet, but would love to!
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