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Ben Chonzie

Ben Chonzie

Postby jimandandrea » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:56 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Chonzie

Date walked: 06/02/2011

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 700m

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It was not the type of day that you would leap from your bed and embrace the great outdoors but we had paid good money to go though these doors so we were damn well going to. The first surprise of the day was passing the Famous Grouse distillery. What can I say - I'll be back!
A pleasant drive up to the Glen Turret dam, I say pleasant as I would not like to have added this to the days walk had the gate been closed or the road impassable.
When completed in 1968 it cost £6.5m and contains the water equivalent to 200 million baths which works out at 3.5p/bath – so it was actually quite a good investment really. I am reliably informed there is more to it than that however!
The walk did not have a good press, so with the weather looking so grave we were far from optimistic. With our full body cover + 2 man bothy near to hand we set off.
Ben Chonzie Feb 11_0006.jpg
Loch Turret Res

The going was easy, and it did seem for a time that the weather would improve. The route identified in ‘The Ultimate Guide’ identified a notch which would be the point of ascent. Optimistically, I pin pointed markers below it in preparation for the cloud descending.
Ben Chonzie Feb 11_0010.jpg
Beside Loch Turret

Leaving the track at Lochan Uaine we headed up for ‘the notch’.
Ben Chonzie Feb 11_0021.jpg
At the top of the Glen heading towards the notch

Then on up the hill..
Ben Chonzie pana 2 Feb 11_edited-1.jpg
Looking back down to Loch Turret

Although the snow was soft initially by the col it was solid. Micro-spikes made the going easy as we followed the hand-rail – a fence, all the way to the summit.
Ben Chonzie AL Feb 11_0010_edited-1.jpg
Heading up from 'the notch'

Renowned for its plethora of mountain hares they must have taken the hump by the weather and stayed in their burrows as we never saw any – though we did see some tracks. Little smarties must have bounded up to the summit by the arrangement of paw marks.
Ben Chonzie Feb 11_0042_edited-1.jpg
Hare pawz

This was not the case however for us as we plodded slowly to the summit stopping only for the occasional nose blow or meteorological comment and perchance the odd tune running through your head that you have no idea how it got there since it was ages ago and you never actually liked it.
Ben Chonzie AL Feb 11_0012_edited-1.jpg
Plod up

Imagine our surprise when we reached the top and met three fellow walkers who were lunching at the summit cairn. Despite pointing out that I had made a reservation for 1.00pm, they assured me that their excellent dining spot had been booked and cemented by bunging the Maitre De a fiver!
Ben Chonzie AL Feb 11_0013_edited-1.jpg
The Lads and us

I was no match for such extravagance however they were gentlemen and they did offer us a table with a sea view. Tempting as it was there was no way in God’s sweet earth I was going to get my nose frozen eating my well earned nibbles and supping my tea. So, after a right good laugh we bade farewell and added a bon appetite then headed down….. in the wrong direction! OK, we so we took our eye off the ball due to some excellent and humorous banter at the top and made our way off heading for the wrong set of marker fence posts. Realising our stupidity we returned to the summit much to the amusement of the happy eaters who, without derision or judgement pointed us in the direction of our ascent. Easily done, when you take your eye off the ball - stay focused. We thanked them and resumed - each blaming the other for such a simple error.
Ben Chonzie Feb 11_0048_edited-1.jpg
So.... doon we went

The way down contained a lot of the colour white – below, above and indeed in all directions. But on reaching the top of the notch, the clouds parted(ish) allowing the sun to enter our lives once more. Oh the joy of tea and a butty when the view extends and you are not in fear of loosing an extremity!
Ben Chonzie Feb 11_0055.jpg
Lunch stop

The way down was straight forward and by the time we were back on the track we could see the summit for the first time.
Ben Chonzie Feb 11_0073.jpg

Ben Chonzie Feb 11_0083.jpg

Its always a pleasure when the weather picks up when you really had not expected it to. It was with some optimism that we plodded back along the track past Loch Turret to the dam and back to our car.

Ben Chonzie Feb 11_0087.jpg
The walk oot

We had just enough time to pop into the Famous Grouse Experience – for a coffee! Honest!
Ben Chonzie AL Feb 11_0026.jpg
The bad boy!!

On reflection, this walk gets a bad press - can I just say - we liked it. It did help that we had the Glasgow lads at the top, we had optimism about the day, maybe also we knew we had perchance the option of wee dram if the Grouse Experience was still open (and it was), but it was also that the sun shone as we headed back and got a glimpse of where we had been. We also filled our bath knowing there was plenty left up there.
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Re: Ben Chonzie

Postby ChrisW » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:10 pm

Don't you just hate it when someone has booked your table :shock: . Don't know why this walk would get bad press, it looks great in your pics. Really like the 'lunch stop' pic :D
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Re: Ben Chonzie

Postby LeithySuburbs » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:51 pm

HA! That bottle has been on display for as long as I can remember - at least 18 years because I remember being stunned as a child on a visit to the then "Glen Turret" Distillery. Likewise, my memories of Chonzie are vague but don't believe in "boring" hills, just boring minds ;) . I think your report shows that there is much to enjoy here :) .
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