A long winter walk.........to climb a Ladder

Corbetts: Carn Mor (Ladder Hills)
Sub 2000s: Ladylea Hill

Date walked: 05/01/2019

Well, at the time I was walking winter hadn’t yet arrived, but it was the month of January so constituted winter to me.

My main target for the day was the Corbett of Carn Mor, the high point of the Ladder Hills. Ordinarily this one looks like it is climbed from Chapeltown in Glenlivet or alternatively via short route from near the Lecht ski centre. This time I didn’t want to go with the herd though and thought I’d opt for a longer route encompassing Glen Buchat and Glen Nochty.

ImageP1050872 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
I parked up at the large parking area NJ336176, which also serves as the starting point for the sub 2000 and former Graham of Ladylea Hill. If time allowed I had that in my sights for a quick up-and-down at the end of the day.

It was a short walk along the minor road to what I assume was the tradesman’s entrance to Glenbuchat Lodge. This was as close as I got to seeing anyone for the rest of the day – an estate worker and his gun out with his young lad to teach him to shoot rabbits I assume (there were a few rifle shots ringing out soon after as I made my way along the track up Broom Knowe).

ImageP1050874 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050876 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

Once on the track it is very much the usual Aberdeenshire fayre of rolling hillside. It’s good I quite like it, as I’d be walking amongst it for some time to come.

ImageP1050879 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050880 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050883 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
A zoomed view back to Glenbuchat Lodge

ImageP1050886 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Corryhabbie Hill and Ben Rinnes in the background

ImageP1050889 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
The route ahead

ImageP1050894 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
And there was more......

My original plan had been to follow the track bypassing Finlate Hill, but as soon as I spied the zigzagging track heading up it a slight change in route was definitely in order.

ImageP1050896 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
My detour

ImageP1050904 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Heading down off Finlate Hill toward the Ladder

So far, so good. It had been good tracks all the way. The track heading up to the Ladder was more of a hill path. I’d imagine it could be quite boggy, but thankfully while we might not have the snow at least the ground was frozen. Made for easy going.

ImageP1050906 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Starting the final push up to the Ladder

ImageP1050912 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
The path up to the Ladder

ImageP1050915 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

In my head I thought the route from here to the Corbett summit would be straightforward. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t difficult, but the section between Dun Muir and the 772 point was a delightful mass of peat hags. Again, the ground was frozen so walking through them was actually really enjoyable. In less favourable conditions I could imagine bodies sinking in the bog.......

ImageP1050920 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Initial easy going

ImageP1050931 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Peat hag view to a clagged Carn Mor

From the 772 point the final walk to Carn Mor was easy, although there was a definite nip in the air.........as in, it was freezing.

ImageP1050936 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
On the final push to the summit

ImageP1050938 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Trig coming in to view

ImageP1050941 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Summit trig, with cloudy Cairngorms behind

Summit views were a bit limited as a result of the cloud cover that had held on longer than I’d expected. South was Morven and Mona Gowan and north was Ben Rinnes, Corryhabbie Hill and Cook’s Cairn. I’d hoped for some views in to the northern Cairngorms, but stubborn clouds weren’t conducive.......well not initially

ImageP1050945 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050947 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050948 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

My descent route was to continue down off Carn Mor to point 800 and then descend over the open ground of the Monadh an t-Sluich Leith, picking up the landrover track that would eventually lead me through Glen Nochty. I had some more delightful, thankfully frozen, peat hags to walk through before making the track.

ImageP1050956 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
View back to the summit

ImageP1050963 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050968 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050969 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
My route off

ImageP1050971 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Peat hags

Although I was back on a good track there must have been 11 fordings of the Water of Nochty up to the wonderfully named Duffdefiance. After that it was easy walk back to the minor road and then back to the car. That said, by the time I was back at the car I’d clocked up a little over 15 miles......

ImageP1050973 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050979 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050985 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1050988 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

I decided I might as well tick off Ladylea, as it seemed to be a waste not to tick it off as I was already parked up. I dumped the rucksack and headed off up the wide landrover track.

ImageP1050993 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Here we go again....

A bit of a zig, followed by a zag, and I soon arrived at a large bend in the track where my route led up through the trees to a substantial fence and gate, with a wooded style over the fence.

ImageP1050997 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Starting point of the trsack up through the trees

ImageP1060005 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060007 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

From there it was a decent traipse over open heathery ground that led me pretty easily to the summit. Light was starting to fade a bit when I arrived at the summit, so the views weren’t great even though the cloud from earlier had finally lifted. It was still a bit chilly though, so I was quickly turning round and heading back down to the car.

ImageP1060008 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060011 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060021 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

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

All in all an excellent day in the hills. Just over 18 miles and I was surprised to discover a total of just over 4000 feet of climbing. Not bad for rolling hills.

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Location: North Ayrshire
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