Dun Da Lamh

Route: Black Wood and Dun da-Lamh fort

Date walked: 04/06/2012

Time taken: 2 hours

Distance: 8km

Ascent: 484m

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Start of the walk
This is my default walk when I feel the need to get out of the strath, but only have a limited time and can't face dealing with sheep! I have done this route in all weathers and every time it is different. For a short route you can really get your heart racing if you push yourself and I often run it. The views are excellent and I hardly ever meet anyone. The GPX file

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is the reverse of my description - should keep you on your toes. Timings are tricky - to run takes me an 1 hour 10-20min depending on stops but a proper hill runner would be well under the hour. To walk - my guess is attached.
Today it was a beautiful morning with that sharp bright silver light with scudding clouds that makes Scotland such a wonderful place to live. I had planned to walk in the Fara, but circumstances meant that I didn't have time, so it was to be a quick run round with pauses for photo opportunities and breath. The best place to start is in the car park opposite the Pattack Falls Forrestry Commission Car Park (if heading from Laggan about 50yds further on on the right). Sometimes there are folk camping as you can stay overnight, but today it was empty. The dogs know exactly where they are going and hurtled out the back of the car and round the corner
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Start of the walk
. It isn't that obvious where to go, but head right round the clump of trees and there is a path across a boggy bit towards the pine forest. Once inside there is a sign directing you right - you can go left, but the track peters out, leaving you lost in low hanging pine trees and whilst you can get out on to the hillside it is something of a battle with fences and branches.
The track takes you down to a small lochan
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- last year there was a caravan here all summer. I never saw the occupant and wondered if he / she was an itinerant worker on the power line clearing land for the new road.
Here is decision time do you get the hill out the way early on with good track a fair way to the top or do you warm up along the bottom and then have a punishing albeit short climb at the end. Today I took the easier option and turned left up the hill and the forestry track. Wonderful primroses and violets growing at the side of the road. On and up with a few stops for breath as I'm not that fit at the moment, not been here enough recently. The dogs raced up behind barking wildly with excitement at finding me again, having been exploring in the trees below. There is a fabulous view just before you turn off the road and on up the hill, below the TV mast
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Time to turn off
. It looks towards Dalwhinnie and the Ben Alder hills although now the pylon road is becoming very visible
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and not quite the vast tract of wild land it used to be, but still stunning. There are also the zig zag tracks of the red and black run down from the top of wolftrax, although too far away to hear the screams and whoops of the riders.
From here on it is single track path, easily followed on a beautiful day, not so easy in snow, my mother got lost here last winter. The path wanders up the hill
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towards the caledonian pines on the ridge with a single seat for the solitary walker to enjoy the view
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. You aren't at the top yet though, as once you have broken through the trees there is rough moorland heather and peat to the first of the rocky outcrops followed by a gentle incline on to the top.
From here the path carries on along the ridge looking towards the Glen Feshie hills and Geal Charn to your left. If you remember turn round
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to look at Creag Megaidh
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behind and the road leading to the Corrieyairack pass
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to the right. Then you are on heading down towards mixed woodland
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currently showing the scars of last winters storms. The path becomes narrower and more tricky although not steep until the end of the ridge where it drops steeply down for about 80m to heather and bog below. A short pull up and you can decide whether to divert to see the hill fort at Dun da Lamh with it's massive stone walls, have a picnic or head on down the path to the welcoming forestry track. The forest has been cleared so there continue to be great views up Strath Spey, in summer looking green and welcoming with Creag Dubh looking on. The dogs are keen to keep going so no lingering at the bottom. They would like me to carry on down the forestry track to Acduchil as the local Keeper has pheasant feeding stations just off the track where, if I'm not careful, they go completely whirly eyed and put every pheasant up in sight.
I turn right and take the small path on the left threading through the flamboyant gorse
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and on down to the cool of the woods below. On entering, the pine needles dull the sound of my footsteps and the cars on the road are less obvious to the ear
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. The dogs still haven't found any deer, thank goodness, so I haven't had to practice recall in earnest - they have a habit of not being good in this situation. I know they have a deer in their sights when there is disembodied barking, usually getting fainter, until finally they lose it and return 5 minutes or so later, exhausted and not at all contrite that I have screamed and whistled myself hoarse.
At the end of the wood it is back to land rover track and the dullest bit of the walk 1.5km of flat
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, past the detritus left from tree clearance. The short incline back to the lochan is a welcome change and chance for the dogs to have a swim and drink before heading back to the car and home where the elderly setter waits. She is very disgruntled at being left behind on such a lovely day and does very fast running (for her) round the garden to show that she could have kept up if I'd waited for her.

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Comments: 2

Moine Path

Attachment(s) Date walked: 07/07/2011
Distance: 13.3km
Ascent: 364m
Comments: 1
Views: 2951


Activity: Munro compleatist
Mountain: Buchaille Etive Mor
Place: Eilean Righ

Munros: 183
Corbetts: 9
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 2
Sub 2000: 3

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Trips: 1
Distance: 8 km
Ascent: 484m


Trips: 1
Distance: 13.3 km
Ascent: 364m

Joined: May 12, 2010
Last visited: May 06, 2019
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