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The Itchy and Scratchy Show

The Itchy and Scratchy Show


Postby Jaxter » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:25 am

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Creag a'Chliabhain

Date walked: 14/07/2020

Time taken: 4.48 hours

Distance: 15.97 km

Ascent: 440m

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Another day of relatively decent weather, but I was struggling with both fitness and some strange breathy-chest-post-covid weirdness so we decided to reduce the ascent and go for another flat-ish walk, with an optional Marilyn. What could possibly go wrong?! :lol:

As the road through Farr was closed for resurfacing we drove through Dores, up the big hill (only ever cycled up it before :shock: ) and eventually found somewhere to pull the car safely off the road on the B851.

It was an easy start down the road (fortunately for us both there was a gate we could hop behind for a pee :lol: ) as we headed for the track leading to Dumnaglass
ImageBeinn Mheadhoin ahead

As if I didn’t have enough problems, my ankle started niggling along here…I decided to ignore it for a bit and see if it went away (fortunately it did!). As we reached the house at Dumnaglass we stopped to admire their gateposts :shock:
Image

We’d stopped to look at the Clava Cairns on our cycle back from Nairn a week ago; it had mentioned that there were lots of other burial cairns in the area – this looks to be one of them!
Image

Water lillies on a pond
Image

The track made for very easy walking initially and we made good progress alongside the burn. Soon we reached a bridge – if we were heading for Carn na Saobhaidhe we would cross the bridge and start heading steeply up. I wasn’t quite up to that yet, so we followed a grassy embankment along the side of the burn with the slightly unnerving feeling that we were being watched :shock:
Image

ImageGrassy embankment

ImageTowards Carn na Saobhaidhe

At the end of the field we had to climb up and over a hump with a stile on the top, which then dropped us down alongside an electric fence (Malky discovered that by accident :lol: ) towards a wee bridge across the burn
Image

There was a man kicking around on a quad bike – on previous occasions Malky has been quizzed about his intentions on this estate (possibly he looks like a poacher :lol: ) so we fully expected to be stopped but we were able to pass through without incident.

Once across the bridge we had to pick our way through a boggy field (possible to keep dry feet with care!) and happily made it to the track :thumbup:
Image

We passed the entrance to what we could only assume was a large impressive mansion if the gatehouse visible through the trees was anything to go by :shock:

As we headed up Cona Glen we started to get some impressive views of the loch, and the cliffs the other side (more about that later…. :shock: )
Image

As it was high time for food, we found some boulders to sit on to enjoy lunch and contemplate our next steps….

Image"Optional" Marilyn

Creag a’ Cliabhain looked impressive from this side – there was a track up the other side which looked to be a much easier route but Malky seemed adamant that only a circular route up this hill would suffice :roll:
ImageConagleann and the impressive crags of Creag a' Cliabhain

ImageLooking back towards the loch

We decided that the easiest route up would be to follow the deer fence – although it would be heathery and horrible there was the least rock here which would avoid anything loose and any need for scrambling. There was a helpful gate and a few rocks to help with the burn crossing at the bottom. It still looked awful :crazy:
Image

And awful it was – the first section was the worst as the heather and bracken was really high, and there were large boulders where the holes between them were disguised by moss. This was exactly the sort of ground I was hoping to avoid while my knee strengthened up again :roll:
Image

Before we were even half way up there was more heather in my shoes than on the mountain :lol: But on the plus side, we were going so slowly due to the awkwardness of it that my breathing wasn’t too bad :roll:
Image

Not impressed…
ImageWhat fresh hell is this

Not that there weren’t any interest on the hill – the rocks and colours were pretty cool
Image

As were the slabs on the hillside opposite!
Image

Finally we were out of the worst of the steepness and the deer fence bent left – fortunately this was the direction we wanted to go so we followed it. The heather and bracken certainly didn’t let up until we were properly on the plateau. We could see ahead to some lumps and bumps (Malky got the map out to check and hardly dared tell me we couldn’t even see the summit yet :shock: )
Image

Although the ground was mostly dry, now on flatter ground boggy sections started to appear so we hopped onto the ridge in an attempt to stay dry. After a bump or two we could finally see ahead to the summit 8)
Image

Malky contemplating life
Image

The tops of the crags were impressive and now near the edge we could see all the way down the glen
Image

We even managed to pick up a small path which guided us through the worst of the heather and onto the summit – wahey! It had been a horrendous climb but there was no denying that the views were good 8)
ImageLoch Garth and Beinn a' Bhacaidh

ImageBen Wyvis

ImageInverness

ImageSummit of Beinn a' Cliabhain

ImageMalky showing off his spectacular lockdown hair

We enjoyed a wee breather and I was able to empty the mountain out of my shoes, but it was a bit windy to stop for long. We could just see the top of the track we wanted to drop onto, and figured the top of the ridge would be the easiest way to get there. Again there were traces of path which helped!
ImageOur route ahead

As we got closer to the edge we could see straight down Loch Garth – Beinn a’ Bhacaidh definitely looks worth a visit!
Image

Apparently these lochs are the upper lochs for the Inverfarigaig pumping station!
ImageLoch Mhor

Finally we were back on track – this one was significantly rougher initially but I was just happy to be off the heather :lol: There was also a small cluster of impressive trees
ImageImpressive trees

Image

I was starting to flag at this point, even going downhill I was struggling with breathing, and even Malky making passes at the sheep was failing to make me laugh :lol: At least after the first short section the track made for really easy walking and I was able to plod along without having to think about my feet too much :lol:
ImageThistles

We missed a turning (easily rectified with a shortcut through a field) and from here it was a long walk along the roads back to the car. I was really struggling and Malky did offer to go and get the car but I stubbornly managed to carry on :lol:
ImageFinally car in sight!

Finally back at the car I decided to let him drive home as it was all his fault anyway :lol: Now not actually having to move anywhere I perked up a bit so we stopped into the shop for some essentials – with masks now being mandatory in shops we were able to take a “maskie” :lol:
Image

Maybe time for a day off? :shock:

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Jaxter
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Re: The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Postby Sgurr » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:49 pm

You (or the Council) don't half make things difficult. Ascent from the other side is easy and swift.This post Covid breathlessness is a real pain. Luckily it doesn't seem to have hit R, but maybe because with a mending hip he can't possibly go fast enough to START feeling breathless.
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Re: The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Postby Jaxter » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:26 pm

Sgurr wrote:You (or the Council) don't half make things difficult. Ascent from the other side is easy and swift.This post Covid breathlessness is a real pain. Luckily it doesn't seem to have hit R, but maybe because with a mending hip he can't possibly go fast enough to START feeling breathless.

Yes - I realised that as we had a lovely easy walk down the other side! Damn Malky and his desire for a circular route!! The breathlessness is horrible - I've been told that hill-walking is a step up from cycling in terms of cardio which is why I'm struggling, and that with time and doing more of it things will improve. Really glad to see you and R out and about!
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Re: The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:39 pm

Reminds me of our visit to this sub (combined with the other Marylin nearby, Beinn Mheadhoin):
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=79495
We walked the whole length of the ridge and returned along the loch, of course it was Kevin's idea. What is it about men and circular routes? :roll:
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Re: The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Postby Jaxter » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:49 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Reminds me of our visit to this sub (combined with the other Marylin nearby, Beinn Mheadhoin):
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=79495
We walked the whole length of the ridge and returned along the loch, of course it was Kevin's idea. What is it about men and circular routes? :roll:

Ughhh sounds horrible :lol: :lol:
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Jaxter
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Re: The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:00 pm

Jaxter wrote:Ughhh sounds horrible :lol:

It wasn't too bad - early spring, so the bracken was non existent, but the northern end of the ridge was full of fresh holes prepared for tree planting. Fun and games (kind of) :lol:
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Re: The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Postby Jaxter » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:10 pm

BlackPanther wrote:
Jaxter wrote:Ughhh sounds horrible :lol:

It wasn't too bad - early spring, so the bracken was non existent, but the northern end of the ridge was full of fresh holes prepared for tree planting. Fun and games (kind of) :lol:

Oooh I had that on wee Meall Mor above the A9. The holes were full of icy cold water and covered over by snow as it was January :shock: :lol:
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Jaxter
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Re: The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Postby Graeme D » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:40 pm

"What fresh hell is this?" - it's a favourite departmental utterance at my work. :lol: Yet to use it on a hill though, somewhat surprisingly considering the amount of hell I have been through in the name of hillwalking! :lol:
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Re: The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Postby Jaxter » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:24 pm

Graeme D wrote:"What fresh hell is this?" - it's a favourite departmental utterance at my work. :lol: Yet to use it on a hill though, somewhat surprisingly considering the amount of hell I have been through in the name of hillwalking! :lol:

That is true - often uttered in schools....actually more and more frequently screamed on hills (must stop spending time with Malky! :lol: )
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