Encounters of the third kind on a summit Bivvy Camp

Route: Ben Chonzie via Glen Lednock

Munros: Ben Chonzie

Date walked: 21/09/2019

Video of Bivvy, inversion and MilkyWay :)

I was late – very late…. I had messaged Ray to let him know and to look out for a head torch in the darkness…

The plan was a wild camp on the summit of Ben Chonzie, what with a grand spell of weather, we decided to make the most of it, the only issue was I had commitments during the day that meant I couldn’t leave home until the afternoon. Ray was able to get away earlier and had spent a leisurely day exploring Glen Turret.

I had thought I would’ve made it to the summit before sunset but a series of events put me behind schedule by a few hours and as I left home I stuck my mountain bike in the boot to try and save some time.

Turning the wheels as quickly as I could I sped along the side of Loch Turret with the sun having left the Glen floor about an hour ago! There was still enough light for me to continue without the need for artificial light as I left the bike at Lochan Uaine, but as I reached the col on the should of Chonzie , the head torch was switched on. A faint band of light held on to the west, silhouetting The Lawers group beautifully!

Trudging up the hill in the dark and the senses are heightened. I could hear the stags bellowing and every now and again I could make out their eyes watching me as my head light spun around the landscape. Navigation wasn’t too hard , there was no clag and as Chonzie is a dome summit I just followed my bearing. Things became easier when I saw Rays head torch from the near the summit and he came to meet me. It was now completely dark with no moon as we reached the summit.

Ray had a nice pitch , sheltered from the easterlies with a grand view west. It didn’t take long for me to set up my home for the light – a bivvy bag! Weighing it down so as it didn’t blow away, we headed up to the summit to play about with the cameras.

As we reached the summit we discovered we were not alone. About 100meters to the north of the summit was a red tent , lit up by someone inside. The only problem was it seemed to be floating at the same height as the summit – a mid air pitch! Completely baffled and starting to think we were about to have a paranormal experience, the floating tent revealed itself as no tent but the rising moon! It had given a strange optical illusion for a good 20 seconds! I must admit I was thinking I was going to be making humans first encounter with extra terrestrial beings !lol

Having calmed down and realised that E.T. wasn’t joining us for some wild camping, we took a few shots with the stars and milky way and then retired to the tent and bivvy bag.

Summit selfie and milky way photo :

ImageMILKY WAY SCOTLAND by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

The main reason I was bivvying was to be able to sleep under the stars. Every time I woke I gazed up at the sky before sleep took me again – it was amazing!

ImageMoon Rising by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

My final awakening saw the dawn light creeping in to the east and I could see wisps of mist scudding over the summit with a pink hue. Over to the west I could make out we were above the cloud! Blooming fantastic. We quickly got up and walked the 20 yards to the summit were a blanket of cloud had rolled in from the North Sea , providing a cosy sea of cloud for Strathearn. It was a grand morning as we watched the sun rise over Perthshire and over the top of the cloud.

ImageDawn from The Summit by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageLoch Turret by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

ImageFence to Ben Lawers group by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr

Once it was up I unfortunately had to dash again as I had more family commitments. I was down (with the aid of the bike) in quick time and back home ready to take my daughter to her gymnastics by 10am!! A fab wee trip to Ben Chonzie 

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: 11

Sandy Beaches and Summit Barns - The heart of the Cairngorms

Munros: Beinn Mheadhoin
Date walked: 07/09/2019
Views: 213

A Torridonian Adventure

Corbetts: Ruadh-stac Beag
Date walked: 25/08/2019
Views: 212

Curved Ridge and a bivvy on top of The Buachaille

Munros: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor), Stob na Broige (Buachaille Etive Mor)
Date walked: 25/08/2019
Comments: 1
Views: 264

When it all came together on the summit of Bla Bheinn

Munros: Bla Bheinn
Date walked: 04/07/2019
Comments: 4
Views: 411

Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich via Collies Ledge

Attachment(s) Munros: Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Mhic Choinnich
Date walked: 01/07/2019
Comments: 13
Views: 703

Rain and River Crossings in Ardgour...

Corbetts: Beinn na h-Uamha
Date walked: 05/06/2019
Views: 211

Campervan Adventures Day 3 - Sgurr Dhomhnuill

Corbetts: Sgurr Dhomhnuill
Date walked: 04/06/2019
Comments: 1
Views: 256

An easier Hiking Day (apparently!) - a tough slog up Resipol

Corbetts: Beinn Resipol
Date walked: 03/06/2019
Comments: 2
Views: 309

No recollection - but the timing was perfect

Corbetts: Beinn Mhic Cedidh, Beinn Odhar Bheag
Date walked: 02/06/2019
Views: 302


User avatar
Location: Perthshire
Occupation: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJyJKu3ysdceGqK_JaZFUNA
Interests: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJyJKu3ysdceGqK_JaZFUNA haha - my videos (and hill of course!) !!
Place: NW Highlands
Gear: Rab Vapour R
Ideal day out: anything outdoors :)


Filter reports



Trips: 29
Munros: 16
Corbetts: 16
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 1


Trips: 39
Munros: 37
Corbetts: 18
Grahams: 1


Trips: 23
Ascent: 700m
Munros: 23
Corbetts: 9
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 1


Trips: 22
Munros: 18
Corbetts: 17
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 1


Trips: 8
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 1


Trips: 20
Distance: 107 km
Ascent: 10420m
Munros: 11
Corbetts: 18
Grahams: 1


Trips: 28
Distance: 151 km
Ascent: 15635m
Munros: 26
Corbetts: 22


Trips: 44
Distance: 419.5 km
Ascent: 29949m
Munros: 26
Corbetts: 26


Trips: 2
Distance: 14 km
Ascent: 1700m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 1


Trips: 1
Munros: 3


Trips: 1
Corbetts: 2


Trips: 2
Distance: 24 km
Ascent: 8000m
Munros: 22

Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Last visited: Nov 16, 2019
Total posts: 1313 | Search posts