walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Creag Dhubh

Creag Dhubh


Postby litljortindan » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:51 pm

Route description: Creag Dubh, near Newtonmore

Grahams included on this walk: Creag Dhubh (Newtonmore)

Date walked: 28/10/2020

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 5 km

Ascent: 503m

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Like a few other folk I seem to have recently upped my game in terms of actually climbing hills, or at least walking amongst them. See, the pandemic is not all bad.
Seeing a hint of a decent forecast that I might hitherto have dismissed I picked out Creag Dhubh as a possibility. However, I did have a mental note of its "battle cry" ascent that put me off but thought that using the WH descent route for up and down might suit me better. Sure enough, having read through the reports I honed in on Dogplodder's as a fine advert for just such a route.
Simple then: get in car, drive to hill, climb hill, descend hill, drive home.
I try to fit in with my wife's schedule which usually means starting early. This time I was on the road at 3am and arrived at the first parking spot at 6am but drove past it to make sure I was where I thought I was. So I drove on past the lodge entrance and the gate opposite and then noticed a small layby opposite a door style gate in the fence that rung a bell from someone else's report.
Set off at 6.20am and soon lost the path in the darkness but knew to head towards the burn in the middle of the dip between the crags. Well I started doing that but became unconvinced that it was a good idea because of what I could see of the lay of the land so contoured instead and eventually hit the first path again which was now easier to follow as there was a little bit more light.
Eventually that path joined the other that tracks the burn and I felt a lot happier. I had misgivings about walking through what looked to be a lovely woods in the semi-dark but reminded myself that all would be revealed later in the morning.
I reached another sort of junction and took the left fork which I knew was not the WH route but it gave me an option of visiting the monument to the south and to get some different views of the crags. In the end I didn't bother with a visit to the monument as I judged that I might get the best of the early morning light by following the crag edge to the north; if I detoured to the monument then I'd probably be trading for lesser views. Nevertheless, I had got to a good viewpoint for the tree dotted and be-waterfalled crags.
I then squelched around my extra easy approach to rejoin the WH/Dogplodder route and this coincided with the pre-dawn reddening then oranging of the sky. As I wrote "reddening" there I was reminded of what to me is the awful story I heard on the radio en route of the ruddy duck in the UK; its extermination because of some zoo escapees mixing with a rare relative. I digress
The weather forecasts had.indicated a fine morning followed by rain so I was in a relative hurry but not so much that I didn't take the time to appreciate the mesmerising unfolding of the morning. The sunrise itself was something of a sideshow as the weather/mist tried to make up its mind over what to do; what kind of morning it was going to be. So I had cloud draping the higher hills around and mist swirling around and up and down and out of nowhere to cloak the lower crags as well as, for a time, the top of Creag Dhubh.
Well, I thought, if the top is clouded over I'll just enjoy this brief sun/mist rise show then go but there was enough energy in the mist to keep me thinking the top would veer to clear.
I initially followed the top of the crags on a narrow path but this was a bit slippery and very close to the drops so I took a couple of steps west for extra security and was able to enjoy the drama in safety.
There are good views from this early part of the ascent of the surrounding hills but also of the lochs below. All too soon though it was time to commit to the still slightly misty main ridge.
After those crag-side dizzying views I ostensibly had a straightforward task ahead of me of one foot in front of the other. However, when I got to the first steep little rise it became clear that the saturated ground had given the rocks a lethal sheen of grease that gave as much friction as an ice-rink.
After slipping a couple of times I rebuked myself and repeated my coronavirus mantra of don't get injured. Cue a slowing down and more careful foot placement. All steady, all good.
There are a few such wee rises on the ridge which did give it a more serious fell than I'd expected but once I'd reminded myself not to trust the wet rock I was fine,
Took me a fair while to get to the top which I put down to my recent flu jab; maybe, maybe not. Anyway I was quite pleased at having got to the top with clear views and took a couple of steps towards the cairn when -****- I was upended by slippery rocks. I was more annoyed than injured, at having let my concentration drift and, ironically, getting tripped up by a piece of flat ground, albeit slippy as ice. Suitably chastened, I made an extra careful descent with occasional contouring instead of crag hopping/sliding so no more drama after the top.
Followed the WH descent route and was then able to fully appreciate the woods and crags in daylight.

Image
Early start a mixed blessing -missing out on the woodland walk, first view of the crags a bit dim but in time for the sunrise over the latter.

Image
Slightly off-piste to begin with but now aiming for the crag tops.

Image
Got to the first crag top in time for the pre-dawn colouring of the eastern sky.

Image

Image
Cloud "at varying levels".

Image
Red changes to orange; the sunrise traffic light system but no green.

Image

Image
Looking along the crags with a glimpse of waterfall.

Image

Image
Lochain Ulvie and the Spey.

Image

Image
A' Mharconaich, one of my August hills.

Image
Cloud cloaking some of the higher hills to the east,

Image

Image
Mist suddenly springing up and swirling about.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Not a place for a slip,

Image

Image

Image

Image
Seeringly beautiful woods and mist.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Pandemic or no I will be helping Santa at Christmas.

Image
The crag-top path goes a bit close to the edge for my liking, at least when the ground is wet.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Had to stop here for a bit as I was just mesmerised by the mist.

Image

Image

Image

Image
Leaving the crag tops behind and heading for the ostensibly straightforward part of the walk.

Image

Image
Still some mist forming on the top and some other nearby hills clouding over so am I going to be out of luck? I keep going as I am feeling lucky.

Image
Clear to the north-east.

Image
Cloudy to the south and east and west.

Image

Image
Care needed on the slippery rocks.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Glen Banchor & co.

Image

Image
Dalballoch.

Image

Image
Summit cairn and pursuing cloud.

Image
North over Newtonmore.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Extra careful descent amongst the slippery rocks. Plenty of heather to act as a brake though.

Image
Descending through the beautiful woods I got to see what I'd missed earlier.

Image

Image
Must be quite a sight after heavy rain.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image




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

Last edited by litljortindan on Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1957
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Creag Dhubh, gem of hill with dramas: blaming Dogplodder

Postby RocksRock » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:08 pm

Stunning photographs of a gorgeous morning - Thank You!
RocksRock
 
Posts: 237
Munros:4   Corbetts:7
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:26   Islands:8
Joined: Sep 6, 2012

Re: Creag Dhubh, gem of hill with dramas: blaming Dogplodder

Postby litljortindan » Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:34 pm

RocksRock wrote:Stunning photographs of a gorgeous morning - Thank You!


Thanks! Turned out not bad.
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1957
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 47 guests