Stay at home
Scotland is under national lockdown. People are asked to stay at home except for essential purposes.
Click for details
Madness on the Monadhliath
by Quadbarrel » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:49 pm
Route description: Corrieyairack Pass: Laggan to Fort Augustus
Corbetts included on this walk: Carn na Saobhaidhe
Date walked: 19/03/2016
Time taken: 13 hours
Distance: 125 km
Ascent: 2100m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
But because that wasn't enough, we firstly decided to do Perth parkrun, which I won before heading up on the train to Dalwhinnie.
We were aware that there would still be snow at this time of year, and quite a lot given a week ago none of it had started to melt, but we hadn't anticipated how much there would be, which we were later made to regret .
We set off down the hill to the Spey at Laggan, where we then picked up the Scottish National Trail on the road to Garva Bridge. Cycling along it was a nice way to begin the cycle and it was amazing to see how high the river had been during the recent heavy rains.
We reached the end of the road at Melgarve where the road closed signs were (the debate surrounding 4x4s is something I'm not going to get involved in) and stopped for a snack in the bothy, before following the track up and out of the glen.
We then headed into Corrie Yairack and began to see that there was a lot more snow that we (foolishly) expected .
We began to encounter places where the snow had drifted all the way across the path, and we had to get off and walk. The snow was of that perfect consistency that makes it an absolute nightmare to walk on
We then realized that the problem of snow was a lot worse higher up
We had passed a couple in their car who had given up trying to get up at the bottom of the zig zags where the deep snow starts, but given our hotel was on the other side, we had to carry on upwards. We ended up ploughing straight up, ignoring the zig zags as following them was no use at all.
We eventually reached the watershed/summit (ok, it's not quite the actual summit, but it's more significant), where the views opened out over the hills to the west of the Great Glen.
We started to head down the other side after the true summit, but only encountered the same problem of the snow across the track that we'd encountered on the way up. As we got further and further down, the snow thinned, so it became more rideable.
We saw a mountain hare on the way down, which showed us its heels. Lower down, the light began to put on a display before the sun went down.
We managed to get past where Dad's tyre got a puncture in September when we had no spare tubes and began the final descent to Loch Ness.
The next problem we then encountered is that we were staying in the Whitebridge Hotel, along General Wade's Road. The Wadester (aka Big Wadey, The Wadinator etc.) had unfortunately decided to build his road over near enough 400m at the Suidhe viewpoint, so we had a fair bit of ascent still to do . Cycling up there in the near enough dark was torture, and a pint (of lemonade! ) was well received when we finally reached our hotel, just in time to watch the 6 nations.
After refuelling with a full Scottish breakfast, we then set off the second day for Carrbridge, the hard way.
We began by heading out to Corriegarth, then up the brand new wind farm track (another debate I'm not going to get involved in), which proved to be quite useful as the snow was cleared off it.
We eventually reached the wind farm itself, where we turned off onto the original grouse stalkers' track shown on the OS maps just above where the Allt a' Ghille Charaich meets the River E, although we could have stayed on the wind farm tracks until further up if we'd known. The grouse track was horrible to cycle on firstly because the surface was all soft, then further on because it was covered by snow... again!
We eventually reached the top of the track, which goes nearly right to the top, further than the OS shows, after a stop at one of the beaters' bothies, which was open. From there, it was an easy walk across the shallow bogs to the summit of Carn na Saobhaidhe, which we still can't pronounce .
Remembering back to the last hill that we had the bikes at the top of, the future wasn't looking up with 3km of cross country to do to get to the trail head at the Allt Odhar.
The snow that had so far only hindered our progress now repaid us by allowing us to walk straight over the peat hags and bogs and made for much quicker progress to the track.
This tack, like all the other high altitude tracks we'd encountered, was covered with snow , which lead to more walking until we reached the Allt Creagach.
We then managed to get a good spell of downhill riding to Dalbeg, in between the short killer uphill sections.
We then cycled the 25km down the Findhorn and Strathdearn, which is a beautifully variable glen.
We then saw a red squirrel (my first ) before heading over the Findhorn Bridge and up to the Slochd, which wasn't too hard. From the summit, it was all downhill on NCR 7 to the River Dulnain and Carrbridge.
We headed over Sluggan Bridge and down to Carrbridge, where all that was left to do was to get the train back to Glasgow (Central due to the Queen Street closures).
My legs, and more importantly my ar$e, will take a while to recover from that!
by SAVAGEALICE » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:53 pm
by Alteknacker » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:57 pm
by ancancha » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:18 am
Good effort to battle through the snow
Walkhighlands community forum is advert free
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?