Walk on the windfarm side

Date walked: 10/02/2019

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 18km

Ascent: 383m

A couple of weeks away from the high hills, caused by minor injures, made me hungry for something big and steep to tackle :lol: As weather the coming weekend looks promising, expect a Munro report from me soon, but for now, a quick description of a lovely stroll in Panther home territory. This particular route, we had walked before, once we even used it as an alternative approach to the obscure Graham Meall a'Chrathaich (old report here). This time, we decided to visit... a windfarm!
Glen Urquhart is one of those glens very few people even know exists. Many tourists stop by only to visit the ancient Corrimony Cairn, but there is a lovely walk further into the glen. It's known by the locals and quite often used by dog walkers and bird watchers (part of the area is an RSPB Nature Reserve). Sadly, a few years ago, part of the approach into the wild was spoiled by Corrimony Windfarm. We walked there when the turbine construction was under way and I doubted whether any birds were left in the reserve, so much noise was made by passing lorries!

Track_CORRIMONY 10-02-19.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Thankfully, the farm is now up and running, no more heavy vehicles passing by. The glen has returned to its quiet self. Apart form the new, wide road and two small buildings by the river, most likely hydro schemes.
Despite the new arrivals, it's still a walk on the wild side. You could go all the way to Loch ma Stac, but on this occasion, we strolled only as far as the new windfarm. Call it a close encounter with giant turbines!
The Corrimony car park is signposted from A831. We visited the cairn, of course:
Following the track past a few houses, we saw other people, mostly dog walkers, but nobody else ventured too far into the glen. Now we were entering the RSPB Reserve, described on its home page as follows:
Set in stunning moorland and Caledonian forest, Corrimony is a treasure trove for anyone who loves birds. In fact, this beautiful reserve is visited by some of the UK's finest, ranging from black grouse to Scottish crossbills, crested tits to soaring golden eagles.
For a short distance, a signed path diverts walkers from the main track and this stage is nice, following River Enrick. Nice, as long as you ignore the newly built hydro building half way along :lol: :lol:
Later, the track crosses a lovely pine forest...
...only to emerge on the higher moorland, with first views starting to show:
The first glimpse of the notorious windfarm:
Loch Comhnard is often home to whooper swans, but no birds here today :( Too cold, perhaps, and swans moved lower down to warmer ponds?
Actually, a few days ago I spotted a pair of whooper swans on River Beauly, just a 10 min walk away from my home :wink:
Back to Glen Urquhart and Loch Comhnard, the windfarm road passes very close to the loch. Hopefully, now when the turbines are finished, the birds will come back in abundance. We have to return here in summer time.
The route continues towards the monsters! The bigger building in this photo is the second "hydro house":
But first, we took a detour off the main track, to visit Corrimony Bothy:
The bothy is still in usable shape, furnished and one room watertight. We decided to stop for longer on the way back :D
Past the bothy, we returned to the main track once again, crossed River Enrick on a bridge and walked uphill towards the looming wind turbines. The wider views opened up nicely:
There was still plenty of snow on higher hills (not so much at the moment of writing this, I'm afraid), especially on the mountains of Affric:
The turbines are fenced off, but as we reached the gate, we discovered it was not locked and no "beware of dangerous turbines!" signs, so we decided to sneak in quietly and walk around a little bit. The spot where the turbines are situated is a good viewpoint in all directions.
We climbed on the good track to the highest point and walked below the monsters. I was surprised, how quiet they were. I heard about people complain that wind turbines make a lot of noise, but my personal experience was on a positive side. All I could hear was a faint whooshing sound, and even that only when we were directly under the turbine. And the day was relatively windy. Well, if they have to be there, I'm glad they aren't as loud as their reputation. It doesn't mean I'm going to like them from now on, but it's a step towards accepting their presence :lol: :lol:
Biig monster above me:
Let's concentrate on the views now, rather than the whooshing wings above our heads. We spent some time taking photos, mostly of Affric/Mullardoch hills, which are well visible from this spot.
View due west:
Wide pano:
Zoom to Tomich Monument - another local walk I still haven't written anything about. Might do next time we pop up there :D
Sgurr na Lapaich:
The other Sgurr na Lapaich :wink:
The western view once more:
Time to go back:
On the way back, we discussed possible alternative routes in this area and climbing a Sub'2000er across the road, called Carn nam Bad. But as snow is gone at the moment, we better leave those easy hills for short winter days. Kevin is already looking for a bigger challenge!
...and so is the mountain lamb :lol: :lol: :lol:
We returned to the bothy for a hot cuppa and cookies, before retracing our steps back to Corrimony. 18km overall and with some stunning views. Really a walk worth considering, especially when snow still lingers on higher hills. As I said earlier, the route can be prolonged to reach Loch ma Stac, there is a reasonable track all the way to the loch.

So that's all for now, hopefully more to come from the meowing one next week. Fingers crossed, this weekend we'll reach another Scottish summit :D

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User avatar
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire
Interests: Hillwalking, cycling, jogging, mushroom picking and many other outdoor activities, meowing on mountain summits included :P
Activity: Mountain Walker
Mountain: Beinn Eighe
Place: Isle of Skye
Gear: well... my husband ;)))
Camera: FujiFilm Finepix HS10
Ideal day out: Anything - from beach strolls to scrambling up icy slopes. Just bring it on!
Ambition: Tick off all Munros...

Munros: 246
Corbetts: 147
Grahams: 107
Sub 2000: 37
Long Distance routes: Dava Way    Moray Coastal Trail   

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Last visited: Feb 23, 2019
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