4 in Glenshee

Route: Glas Maol Munros circuit, Cairnwell Pass

Munros: Cairn of Claise, Càrn an Tuirc, Creag Leacach, Glas Maol

Date walked: 19/06/2013

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 19.5km

Ascent: 1033m

Infinitely better weather than my previous visit to Glenshee saw me parking up just north of the ski centre at 8:30 after awfully slow journey up through Blairgowrie. The parking spot on the east side of the road is easy to miss, just a flat area through a gap in the crash barrier. Parked up and ready to go, the early morning weather was a little breezy but sunny, but as soon as I crossed the old stone bridge and got in the shelter of Carn Dubh, the temperature rocketed.
Stone bridge on the old military road.JPG
Stone bridge on the old military road

The path to Carn an Tuirc follows the stream up to a couple of derelict shielings and then its straight uphill, there isn’t much of a path, although the WH route swings around the northern side of the hill, I decided to more or less head straight up. Meandering through the swathes of rock strewn across the side of the hill, the heat was taking its toll by now , and I’d sprung several leaks, but after little more than an hour I reached the quartzite covered top. The expansive top seemed to be teaming with hare and what I found later were juvenile Dotterell. Also caught sight of some of their neighbours
Better than one in the bush.JPG
Better than one in the bush

I had also seen quite a few hare on the way up, and I’m pretty sure a couple of them were winding me up, as they bounded effortlessly away, they seemed to be looking back now and again and say “look at me, don’t you wish you could glide over the hills like this”
I didn’t take a phot of this summit cos in my haste to head over and checkout the Coire Loch Kander, I plain forgot. But it was worth it because the coire is beautiful. Well worth the short detour.

Coire Loch Kander.JPG
Coire Loch Kander

A few phots later and I was heading across the rolling top to Carn of Claise, the track is impossible to lose and leads you straight to the door.
Little Glas Moal and Monega Hill.JPG
Little Glas Moal and Monega Hill

Cloud free tops as far as the can see.JPG
Cloud free tops.........

Cairn atop Carn of Claise.JPG
Claise Cairn

Snow still on the side of Coire Gharbh.JPG
Snow still on the side of Coire Gharbh

Looking back towards Car an Tuirc.JPG
Looking back towards Carn an Tuirc

More quartzite strewn around and a nice drystane dyke to shelter from the building breeze. The walk had been so straight forward at this point and I had all day, I thought about tagging on Tolmount and Tom Buidhe, and then continue with my original route. But as I sat with my back to the wall looking towards them from here, they looked so non descript I thought do I really want to trudge over there. So the decision was save ‘em for another day. Now back on my feet and the walk over to Glas Maol looked distinctly “flat”. I met a couple heading for Lochnagar and an overnight camp to catch the midsummer sun, they had to come up early due to work but hoped to catch some stunning views, wishing them well it was onward across the broad expanse, there is a gradual climb to the summit cairn, and some lovely views all around.
As I approached the cairn there was another walker just arriving from the west, we got chatting, Jim it turned out had come up the spine of Leacann Dubh, heading to check out Creag Leacach. We decided to walk along together just as another guy turned up, a quick exchange of information, he was up trying to spot the Dotterel, so I pointed him to the spot where I had seen them earlier and Jim and I ( Jim2 from now on) headed on our way. And again I was distracted enough to neglect to take any phots of the top.
The trip across to Creag Leacach is a total contrast from the previous three tops, although they are strewn with rocks, Creag Leacach IS a pile of rocks, as we passed over the ridge straddling Cul Riabhach and Sron Riabhach, it became a little too uncomfortable for Jim, who had recently undergone replacement knee surgery.
Boundary wall, and Quartzite on Creag Leacach.JPG
Boundary wall, and Quartzite on Creag Leacach

For him to have gone so far was commendable, but now the traverse was becoming too difficult for Jim, and not knowing exactly what awaited him, he decided to call it a day. In the short time I had spoken with him we covered a fair bit, he had been walking the hills since a lad and pointed out some of the classic areas in view, Lairig Ghru, A’ Chioch, Derry Cairngorm and Macdui to the north and had sold the Angus hills and glens to me, so if your reading this Thank you, Jim.
I carried on to the 943 top of Creag Leacach and my route back down over Meall Gorm, the sun was still shining and the views all around were great, the drop down over the grass covered slopes was ok, making to cross the burn just before they converge, and picking up the path back to the main road.
943 Top of Creag Leacah, and descent route down the spine to Meall Gorm.JPG
943 Top of Creag Leacah, and descent route down the spine to Meall Gorm

Now thats a cairn!.JPG
Now thats a cairn!.

Looking down towards Sittal of Glenshee.JPG
Looking down towards Spittal of Glenshee.

Long plod up that road to car.JPG
Long plod up that road to car.

But there was going to be a little payback for my sacrilegious dip in the pool at Beinn Bhuidhe last week, before I got back. As I made to cross the burn, with a quick hop, skip and jump, a slippy stone was my undoing, a double salto and half pike later and I’m lying in the burn soaked to the skin. They must have heard me back at the ski centre, I turned the air blue.
So a soggy walk back to the parking lay by to the south was redeemed when I dropped just below the 500m point and came face to face with a small herd of deer, I don’t know who was more surprised. After a pause they took off gracefully down and around and up the slopes of Meall Gorm, I only managed one shot of them before they disappeared from view.
Majestic, phot doesn't do them justice.JPG
Majestic, phot doesn't do them justice

Back at the layby I sorted myself out for the trudge back to my car, up the road past the ski centre and down the other side. I also waited hoping to see Jim, who's car I suspected was the only one in the layby. I had thought of him on the way down and how he would have coped with the descent. After a while I headed back to my car, changed and cleaned up I drove back to the layby to see Jim’s car gone, and so relieved carried on with my journey home. Lovely weather and enjoyable walk with great views, and a bonus of good company.

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Comments: 2

The Cairnwell 3

Attachment(s) Munros: Càrn a' Ghèoidh, Càrn Aosda, The Cairnwell
Date walked: 11/06/2013
Distance: 13.3km
Ascent: 683m
Comments: 10
Views: 3867

No voyeurs on Beinn Bhuidhe

Munros: Beinn Bhuidhe
Date walked: 06/06/2013
Distance: 21.9km
Ascent: 1240m
Comments: 10
Views: 3621

1, 2

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Attachment(s) Date walked: 01/03/2013
Ascent: 481m
Comments: 17
Views: 6359

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Attachment(s) Munros: An Caisteal, Beinn a' Chròin
Date walked: 03/08/2012
Distance: 14km
Ascent: 1045m
Comments: 4
Views: 3418

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Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn an Dòthaidh, Beinn Dòrain
Date walked: 31/07/2012
Distance: 14.5km
Ascent: 1076m
Comments: 12
Views: 6359

Ben Vane

Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Vane
Date walked: 27/07/2012
Distance: 12.5km
Ascent: 867m
Comments: 10
Views: 6201

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Munros: Stùc a' Chròin
Corbetts: Beinn Each
Date walked: 05/07/2012
Distance: 22km
Ascent: 1054m
Comments: 13
Views: 6272

1, 2

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Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Scald Law
Date walked: 12/01/2012
Distance: 12km
Ascent: 579m
Comments: 15
Views: 6254

1, 2

Is this the boggiest hill ....ever

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Tulaichean, Cruach Àrdrain
Date walked: 19/11/2011
Distance: 12.5km
Ascent: 1025m
Comments: 19
Views: 9367


User avatar
Location: West Lothian
Interests: Spending time with my family. SnowBoarding, SCUBA diving and getting out in the hills
Activity: Mountaineer
Pub: Durty Nelly's
Place: Glencoe
Gear: Jelly Babies
Member: N/A
Ideal day out: More hills, and stretching my capabilities.
Failing that a days snowboarding

Munros: 43
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 2
Sub 2000: 4
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way   

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Joined: Jun 18, 2011
Last visited: Sep 09, 2021
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