A March March up Ben Chonzie

Route: Ben Chonzie via Glen Lednock

Munros: Ben Chonzie

Date walked: 24/03/2024

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 13km

Ascent: 751m

Sunday weather was looking promising and wanted a nice jaunt, so headed to Ben Chonzie for the first time. WalkHighlands said it is an easy ascent by Munro standards, and I’d agree - up and down in 3 hours total! Though in good shape at the mo’ and wasn’t taking it particularly leisurely… I’d say the 4-6 hour guideline is accurate.

Also had heard it is a fairly unremarkable climb - true, I do think there are more spectacular walks out there, but the rolling heather and mossy hills have their own charm, and the ascent offers an absolutely stunning view of some of the surrounding hills (Ben Vorlich if you turn and look back south west, Ben Lawers if gazing out north west…).

Arriving at 9:30am and starting from car park at Coishavachan, we were greeted by several cars from folk who had started their ascent earlier. Dogs on leads as you wind your way through the sheep next to the houses and start on up the well maintained path. I had thought that this would likely be a great Munro for beginners given the initial synopsis from WalkHighlands, but it is one of those which starts pretty steep and doesn’t really relent, so you definitely need a moderate level of fitness with no flat walk in to ease yourself gently…

View back down towards the car park as you start your initial ascent

Passing through the initial gates, the sun was coming out and the visibility was looking promising. Keep straight on even when it bears left and eventually reach a small dam. Cross over the river here and keep heading up, bearing left as the track goes off a little to the right. Essentially you are heading in as straight a line as possible for the big tall mountain ahead of you !

The dam crossing

This track climbs steadily upwards for a long while at a relatively steep incline before eventually crossing a river. You may think you’ve gone the wrong way at first if that river which is mentioned on the walk overview hasn’t arrived yet, but it does take a wee while compared to what it seems based on the synopsis !

Steady incline towards Ben Chonzie

Cross the river here and continue up steadily. We reached patches of snow before long, and the steepest part of the path so far loomed ahead. Started to see other walkers ahead of us at this point so knew we were going the right way.

It would be easy to miss the small cairn at which the walk synopsis tells you to turn left - essentially you are leaving a very well maintained path to cross a small river and continue onto boggy ground. If in doubt, always download the map and use your phone’s GPS or a compass to show that you do indeed need to bear left to Ben Chonzie.

This was probably the trickiest part of the climb as you are navigating small bogs while climbing at the steepest incline so far where the path isn’t as defined.

Views back down as you cross onto the boggier ground

Eventually it plateaus and you should head straight on towards a clear metal fence marker in front of you.

Just before the plateau

Upon reaching the fence line, bear left up the hill to follow it. When you’ve reached the corner, turn right and follow it this way now. Be sure to stop and admire the view over to Ben Lawers and surrounding peaks northwest here - absolutely spectacular.

Almost at the summit with amazing, snow-covered Ben Lawers range in the background

Before long, you reach the summit and are awarded views of the surrounding hills and also Loch Turret.

View over Loch Turret from the summit

Back down the way you came, I’m afraid, but as it’s pretty steep on the way up and there’s a well maintained path for more than half the climb, you’ll be down in jig time !

Unremarkable? I wouldn’t say so! I don’t think any Munro ascent is unremarkable, but expect a fantastic workout for the legs, stunning panoramic views and air in those lungs!

Great wee morning out.

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Comments: 2

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Location: Perth & Kinross + East Renfrewshire
Occupation: Higher Education professional
Interests: - Dogs - Scottish History - Bodybuilding - Running - Forests - Munros
Activity: Rambler
Pub: Swan Inn - Eaglesham
Mountain: Ben Cruachan
Place: Steall Gorge
Gear: NatureBacks long-sleevedT
Member: National Trust for Scotland
Ideal day out: Ideally a climb with decent difficulty to get lungs and legs going, then a Loch involved with a view and wildlife. A waterfall wouldn’t go amiss !

Munros: 28
Islands: 3

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Trips: 3
Distance: 38.5 km
Ascent: 1686m
Munros: 2

Joined: Sep 16, 2023
Last visited: May 18, 2024
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