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Scaut Hill & Carn Alt a' Chlaiginn through the Wind Turbines

Scaut Hill & Carn Alt a' Chlaiginn through the Wind Turbines

Postby Gordon Ballantyne » Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:01 pm

Date walked: 01/07/2021

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 560m

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Carn Chrom ; Scaut Hill & Carn Alt a' Chlaiginn

Parked up at the end of the access road to the turbine farm in the lay-down area ( plenty of room )

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Parkup at Glack o Balloch.jpg
Parkup at Glack o Balloch

Walked up the track to a mighty pile o sticks which had been recently harvested. The forwarder was still collecting and adding to the pile. Noticed a load of solar panels in use by the foresters and up to date signs including Covid warnings and hand sanitiser - really ?

Solar power for the loggers.jpg
Solar power for the foresters

The Loggers signage

Sanitiser on site.jpg
Including Hand sanitiser !

At the point where the power lines transmitting the power from the fan farm into the grid crossed the track, we headed up the hill, following a track on the S side of the deer fence - a little apprehensively at first, but with more confidence as we could see that sections of the mesh had been knocked down - so we wouldn't have to manhandle H across it. At the second pylon, H just skipped over the flattened fence and we followed, moose-stepping into the heather initially, which gave way to shorter stuff, up to the top of Carn Chrom.

New style tx pylons.jpg
The new style Electricity transmission pylons on Carn Chrom

Top of Carn Chrom.jpg
GordonC and Harvey at the top of Carn Chrom

It was fairly hot which brought the flies out. We didn't stay long on top, returning to the track through a firebreak in the trees on the opposite side of the power line clearing.

Down to the track from Carn Chrom.JPG
Down from Carn Chrom to the track through firebreak

Mosey'd down the turbine track to the junction, then along a track to where the original path up Scaut had been supplanted by a couple of mown tracks giving ATV access to their respective rows of grouse butts. On the way we spotted some cloudberries and a spotted orchid, taking advantage of the heather's demise by the mower.

One of the cloudberrys on the track up Scaut

Spotted orchid on Scaut.jpg

On the way up Scaut.JPG
GordonB on the way up Scaut with Turbine central control below

At the end of the mown track we ascended the grassy slope to the Trig with its attendant cairns near the top of Scaut hill.
GordonC selected a cairn with a nice breeze whilst I slouch down by another that was nearer.

Trig and cairns on Scaut.JPG
The trig and cairns near the top of Scaut Hill

We lay there, reposing, studying the turbines which had now progressed from their stationary status on the approach walk to slowly turning as the the noonday heat stimulated some convection to move the air into a light breeze. The blades cast shadows on to the tracks which had us thinking momentarily that a vehicle was travelling along the track at supersonic speed until we clocked that it was actually a shadow !

GordonC had corrected me on the existence of a Tump beyond Scaut Hill, (Carn Alt na Chlaiginn ) so we negotiated a route along the the crest of the ridge and then crossed the turbine access tracks. On the way,we passed an empty digger with a massive bucket that had been moving moving rocks around.
GC found a faint ATV track running up the E margin of the ridge, which we followed S to the top of Carn Alt a' Chlaiginn.
It was a tussocky top with a few micro lochans which we encouraged H to splash into keep him cool. This gave him black undercarriage.....but I bet he didn't care, as the sun was baking us from a cloudless sky !
A curlew and golden plover wheeled away as we arrived at the top, emitting their characteristic calls.

At the spot of Chlaiginn.jpg
GordonC at the spot of Carn Alt an Chlaiginn

We plotted a route back down across the turbine tracks to the lowest one on the E side that took us back to the car via the turbine sub-station and control, which seemed to house a fair population, judging by the number of vehicles parked outside.
Once back at the car we had lunch and plotted our next move.
I'd originally pencilled in a couple of hills on the opposite side of the road, but I didn't think we had time to squeeze them both in, so opted for a tiddler on the way home. This would polish off the hills on the W side of the road.

Tom na Vowin

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Parked by the bridge at Bridgend across from the old red GPO phone box. ( a notice inside intimated that it was no longer in use and was maintained by the local authority. Not very well apparently, as a couple of 5ft Singing nettles were flourishing inside.)

Parkup for Vowin.JPG
Parkup at Bridgend for Vowin

There seemed to be some construction in process on both sides of the road, but although there were plenty of building materials in the layby, no-one was around to utilise them.

Walked round the corner to the track and up a wee bit past a cottage, to where an old overgrown track started at a rickety wooden gate. H jumped over it and we followed. ( nae jumpin' for us though )

The rickety gate to Vowin.JPG
The rickety wooden gate at the start of Vowin

Diagonal track up Vowin.JPG
The grassy diagonal track up Vowin

The track went diagonally up the hill to an old dyke, which we followed up the grassy slope, disturbing a couple of hares on the way.. H wanted to chase them, but resisted when I shouted "no". . Good boy !
At the top we bumped into a fence which we followed along to the high point. The spot height was on the other side of the fence, so we hopped over to stand on it. There appeared to be a higher point back on the N side of the fence a few metres away, so we went and stood on that too.

Spot 1 on Vowin.JPG
The Spot height on Tom na Vowin

GC on spot 2 on Vowin.JPG
GordonC on the "alternative" Spot of Vowin

GordonC was intrigued by the base for a wee building which had been demolished, so we speculated about what it had been used for. A comms repeater station ? Looked to be too wee for a shepherds shelter and too close to the road.

The building base on Vowin.JPG
The wee building base on Vowin

After the obligatory pics, we retreated back to the car and headed off to our favourite haunt in Alford for a coffee.
What a scorcher of a day - feel fully cooked !

Appendix: Seems Carn Alt an Chlaiginn is a sub-Simm.
It appears when "all Tumps " is selected on the H/Bag web map,
Hmmmm.... confused.
Gordon Ballantyne
Munro compleatist
Posts: 317
Munros:282   Corbetts:89
Grahams:20   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:59   
Joined: Jan 30, 2011
Location: Westhill, Aberdeenshire

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