Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
5th & 6th September 2015
Along the Gaick pass to camp near Loch Bhrodainn taking in An Dun going out and A’ Chaoirnich on the return.
My original thoughts were to incorporate these two hills on a through route up the Gaick pass but in the end I decided to make a more conventional circuit of the Loch that separates the two. After turning off the A9 I found suitable parking on the quite road to Trinafour. After a short walk back up the road I undertook the crossing of the A9, potentially the most dangerous part of the walk! The road was relatively quiet and I was straight across and soon heading up through Dalnacardoch wood on the estate track.
Open country greeted my exit from the wood and views across to the Dalnacardoch forest Munros. From here the track stretched out into the far distance and I soon settled into my stride. A large Cairn and Badnambiast Bothy form approximate half way markers on the way to Sronphadruig Lodge. The way now dropped slightly to cross and then follow Edendon Water, all very pleasant with hopes of increasing sunshine if only some high cloud cover would move off.
Bridge over Edendon Water
The resident white horses were there to greet me albeit from with the fence that bounds the dilapidated lodge. The main track now disappears into the river but a bit of a path allowed me to continue along the east bank.
A slight rise up and embankment and then across some boggy ground before picking up the path the follows the west side of Loch an Duin.
An Dun boasts probably some of the steepest slopes of any hill in Scotland but a steady plod soon had me up the nose and onto the level plateau.
Loch An Duin
My altimeter couldn’t differentiate the height of the two tops but the map has the northern one a meter high.
Summit, An Dun
The wind was still pretty strong and I weighed up the possibility of camping high but occasional gusts soon dissuaded me. My preferred pitch was going to be on A’ Chaoirnich but I would drop into the glen to find a more sheltered site.
Gaick Pass from An Dun
After starting my descent off the north end of An Dun I tended back toward the shore Loch an Duin.
It was late afternoon and the shadows cast by An Dun were already creeping across the waters.
Loch An Duin
I headed toward Loch Bhrodainn and found a good spot to the south of the loch in the shelter of Creag an Dubh-chada.
I was able to survey the hillsides for suitable ways up the following day and spotted a large herd of Hinds on the higher slopes off A’ Chaoirnich’s northern ridge. The tent was soon up and water gathered for my evening meal before a short walk along the loch shore as the sun started to dip below the surrounding hills.
Occasional gusts of wind rattled the tent during the night but on the whole it was a peaceful spot until the morning when I was greeted with a dawn chorus of cackling Grouse. I was awake early but enjoyed a couple of brews and porridge before slowly starting to break camp.
Loch Bhrodainn from Lub Bhan
The lower slopes of Lub Bhan began a bit boggy but as the bog factor reduced the steepness increased, the last section especially so and despite standing upright it felt as if my nose was almost brushing the grass. Again it was all over reasonably quickly but my thighs were definitely feeling it. The plateau here is quite expansive and it was a pleasant walk across to the main top. Unusually there seemed less wind up here than during my ascent, in fact it was all pleasantly calm.
LA’ Chaoirnich South top
I uncounted pockets of wind while enjoying the sky high wander over to the lower top and then to the cliff edge to get views down to Loch an Duin.
Loch An Duin
A flock of Plover were continually on the move on the higher slopes but were much quieter than earlier in the year.
An Dun & Loch an Duin
I followed the cliff edge on my descent while heading for the peaty col between A’ Chaoirnich and Meall na Spianaig. A Peregrine falcon appeared and followed the line of the cliff in the opposite direction. Meall na Spianaig provided a nice view point for looking back to An Dun and A’ Chaoirnich. A peat hag had been topped to provide a gritting post for the local grouse.
It was now time to drop off in the direction of the concrete bridge south of the lodge.
An Dun & Sronphadruig
All that now remained was to follow the estate track out, just taking a break a little short of the next bridge below Badnambiast bothy.
An Dun & Edendon Water
A quick wash and freshen up was followed by coffee and cake before undertaking the final hours hike back to the van.
Ruins at Badnambiast
Top Of Page
© 2007-2008 Paul Sammonds. Template Design by Andreas Viklund.