walkhighlands

Trudge, Drudge and Drench Above Glen Feshie

Route: Leathad an Taobhain and Càrn Dearg Mòr

Corbetts: Càrn Dearg Mòr, Leathad an Taobhain

Date walked: 10/08/2021

Time taken: 8.15 hours

Distance: 34.5km

Ascent: 1190m

There are times when it takes a while to appreciate an experience that has just been endured, when the pain of those “never-again” moments finally recede and the memory of something positive lingers.

This was never going to be an exciting excursion. With guidebook phrases describing a “vast tract of featureless hills,” and the joy of others reportedly diluted by the apparent domination of Land Rover tracks. Striding out to the supposedly remote Corbett of Leathad an Taobhain was always going to be classed as a walk-for-a-walk’s-sake. Throw in a dodgy forecast and it was inevitable that my other-half asked the predictable question “Why?” on my return. I asked it too as I tried to extricate stiffened limbs from the car.

Heading south from the carpark at Auchlean, it was difficult to sense being in a glen: the Cairngorm plateau may have loomed to the immediate east, but to the west the landscape opened towards the Spey and beyond. Ahead, the horizon was simply lost in a wall of cloud.

LaT 01.JPG
Glen Feshie - finally looking promising as the clouds begin to break


South of the cottages at Auchlean, and after getting legs soaked crossing the thick grass while finding the surprisingly ill-defined path to the bridge, the clouds began to break up. Maybe there would be a walk up there after all.

Once on the western side of the river, I couldn’t quite reconcile striding out along tarmac. It seemed incongruous with the profile Glen Feshie has for being such a haven for wildlife, nature and rewilding. At least it makes for steady progress when there are many more miles to be covered, even beyond Glenfeshie Lodge where carefully engineered gravel tracks replace dull non-absorbent tarmac. Just keep on walking and enjoy. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is what it is.

Bearing right at the Two Trees Interchange, the glen narrows as the steep sides close in towards Lochan an t Sluic
Space and views suddenly open on reaching the bealach – and the options: right or left?

LaT 02.JPG
Glen Feshie's Two Trees Interchange - where the route hangs a right ...

LaT 03.JPG
... and things get steeper towards the Lochan an t Sluic ...

LaT 04.JPG
... but with a final view back towards Sgor Gaoith and Carn Ban Mor


Fork left and continue following a track – there are no surprises as the route is scratched on the hillside ahead

Which of the showers have my name on it, if any?

Why would you need to drive to the very top?

Even dropping to the final bealach between Meall an Uillt Chreagaich, and then climbing to the Corbett beyond, you realise that an ATV has most probably formed the path being followed

LaT 05.JPG
The long and winding road - looking back to Carn Dearg Mor

LaT 06.JPG
Leathad an Taobhain from the car park on Meall an Uillt Chreagaich - an uninspiring prospect

LaT 07.JPG
Across to the eastern Feshie hills from Leathad an Taobhain


A pillar, with a single stone leaning against it, marks the top of Leathad an Taobhain – and it’s simply time to turn round and head back the way you came. It’s a place where you need a panoramic view to appreciate it at its best.

By now my feet were hurting. The unforgiving plod was taking its toll on both my legs and my motivation. A nagging doubt nibbled away at the sanity of my original plan to return over the second Corbett, Carn Dearg Mor. I feared it would fall into the category of endured rather then enjoyed: there’d always be another time. So, halfway back to the bealach, I stopped.

Half an hour with boots off and a lingering late lunch can do wonders. Fortified by Jelly Babies as dessert, the slope to the south west shoulder of Carn Dearg Mor was there for the taking, physically and mentally.

LaT 08.JPG
Luxuriously decorated interior design and landscaping for the grouse butts on the slopes to Carn Dearg Mor


The short climb alongside the plantation was instructive. From a distance a series of grouse butts looked like a seam stitched in the hillside and the clear track I’d seen in earlier photographs, as if chalked on the slope, no longer existed. It was only when up-close-and-personal that extensive work on the slope became evident. Every few feet a newly planted saplings sprouted: scots pine, birch and even the occasional oak. And not a deer fence in sight. “Mind where you tread,” I thought. After coping with all the flak for his deer management approach, it would be a shame for Anders Povlsen to lose this precious growth under my clumsy feet.

LaT 09.JPG
Leathad an Taobhain across Tom Reamhar from Carn Dearg Mor

LaT 10.JPG
Another squall and shower approaching Carn Dearg Mor - this one would finally have my name on it


The view from the top of Carn Dearg Mor must be spectacular, and worth the effort of the climb. It was just a shame I didn’t get to enjoy it. By now Glen Feshie itself was wrapped in a sheet of showers and heavy drizzle. The view west was dominated by another sheet quickly heading my way, and the gap between the two was filled with fluffy wisps at about 850m, blocking the sight of anything else.

There was to be no hanging around here either.

However, in contrast to the walking before, what followed was bliss. The descent to Carn Dearg Beag was pure delight. Gently angled, soft and cushioned, it was the most comfortable two kilometres of walking of the whole day.

LaT 11.JPG
A gloriously comfortable descent down to Carn Dearg Beag - the best bit of the day

LaT 12.JPG
Just before the rain hit - looking back up to Carn Dearg Mor


Sadly, dropping to the steep gravelled track leading back into Glen Feshie, brought back life’s realities – and the long-awaited arrival of the rain – and then the tarmac – and then the midges – and then the dilemma when the rain ceased: do I stop to take the waterproofs off and risk getting eaten, or just leave them on?

I decided to leave them on: I’d be getting eaten again when back at the car so there was no point in suffering twice.

And so the day ended. Sweltering in unnecessary waterproofs, pounding another two stretches of tarmac, and wondering when the advancing pangs of cramp would strike as I drove back south.

Click to mark this as a great report. Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Comments: 3



Two Hills Short of a Bedroom For Ardgour Sunrise

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Creach Bheinn (Morvern), Fuar Bheinn
Date walked: 19/07/2021
Distance: 17.6km
Ascent: 1310m
Comments: 1
Views: 185


Mholach and Mhoir: a Dalnaspidal Marathon

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn Mholach, Stob an Aonaich Mhòir
Date walked: 13/07/2021
Distance: 39.2km
Ascent: 1200m
Views: 150


A Gaick Double and Glacial Conundrum

Attachment(s) Corbetts: An Dùn
Date walked: 29/06/2021
Distance: 29.5km
Ascent: 950m
Views: 146


Meall na Leitreach: a splash and dash

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Meall na Leitreach
Date walked: 06/06/2021
Distance: 9km
Ascent: 420m
Views: 185


Hanging on to Quinag: just a breeze?

Attachment(s) Date walked: 06/06/2021
Distance: 14km
Ascent: 1130m
Comments: 3
Views: 1270


Douze Points for Steep Sandwich on Stob a Choin?

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Stob a' Choin
Date walked: 22/05/2021
Distance: 12.5km
Ascent: 952m
Comments: 1
Views: 632


Setting over Stature: Meall Buidhe and Sron a Choire Chnapan

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Meall Buidhe, Sron a' Choire Chnapanich
Date walked: 14/05/2021
Distance: 17km
Ascent: 1044m
Comments: 1
Views: 476


The Merrick: What have the Corbetts ever done for us?

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Merrick
Donalds: Merrick
Date walked: 21/04/2021
Distance: 15km
Comments: 1
Views: 516


Duff Decisions and Surprising Starav Spectres

Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Starav
Date walked: 30/11/2019
Distance: 15.2km
Ascent: 1160m
Comments: 2
Views: 1056

old danensian


User avatar
Location: Ayrshire
Mountain: Great Gable
Place: Coire Lagan
Gear: Camera

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 81
Donalds: 9
Wainwrights: 150
Hewitts: 107



Filter reports


Statistics

2021

Trips: 9
Distance: 188.3 km
Ascent: 8196m
Corbetts: 12
Donalds: 1

2019

Trips: 15
Distance: 197.1 km
Ascent: 13249m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 16

2018

Trips: 9
Distance: 167.4 km
Ascent: 9869m
Munros: 8
Corbetts: 3

2017

Trips: 13
Distance: 299.1 km
Ascent: 16738m
Munros: 17
Corbetts: 9
Donalds: 1

2016

Trips: 20
Distance: 447.6 km
Ascent: 18888m
Munros: 38
Corbetts: 4
Donalds: 2

2015

Trips: 17
Distance: 393.1 km
Ascent: 18501m
Munros: 34
Corbetts: 8

2014

Trips: 16
Distance: 249 km
Ascent: 12755m
Munros: 38
Corbetts: 2

2013

Trips: 16
Distance: 325.3 km
Ascent: 19426m
Munros: 30
Corbetts: 9
Donalds: 4

2012

Trips: 24
Distance: 407.5 km
Ascent: 27620m
Munros: 43
Corbetts: 3
Donalds: 2
Hewitts: 7
Wainwrights 16

2011

Trips: 13
Distance: 206.5 km
Ascent: 13647m
Munros: 21
Hewitts: 21
Wainwrights 35

2010

Trips: 19
Distance: 259 km
Ascent: 17629m
Munros: 22
Hewitts: 20
Wainwrights 39

2009

Trips: 5
Munros: 10
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 1


Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Last visited: Aug 31, 2021
Total posts: 430 | Search posts