Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
June 26th & 27th 2010
A couple of days based at Blair Atholl with a run out to Beinn a' Ghlo and a walk around Loch Ordie.
We decided not to stray to far a field for the weekend and selected Blair Atholl as our base. The Glen Tilt Caravan park had very few camping spots so we headed a little further to Blair Castle Caravan Park. This is a relatively big site and obviously very popular judging by how busy it appeared. After a bit of a search we found a spot to put up the tents and settled down for the night. A hazy grey start to the day was not totally unexpected but after having breakfast we prepared for the hills. We stopped at reception to pay our dues for Friday and book Saturday only to be initially told that the site was fully booked. The lady then said there was another field just off the main site along castle way; after a quick look this actually appealed more than our original spot, which actually turned out to be a campervan pitch. So before heading out walking our more immediate job was to move the tents to the new spot just across the castle drive from the main site. Our hill for the day was to be Beinn a' Ghlo, which is actually a massif comprising of three main peaks. It was only a short drive from the camp site up toward Monzie and our staring point next to Loch Moraig.
After following the track out toward Shinagag as far as an old shed we cut across sheep filled fields to the base of Carn Liath. The deep path etched into the hillside looked fearsomely steep during our approach but provided for a steady climb to a large cairn before levelling off a little for the final 200m. A fine ridgeline now snaked ahead of us in an inverted 'S' as it wound its way over Beinn Mhaol and onto Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain.
Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain & Carn nan Gabhar from Carn Liath
The final peak of Beinn a' Ghlo, Carn nan Gabhar lay a little further its summit being swept occasionally by the mist. These were fine views but would have been so much better on a day of good visibility.
Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain from Carn Liath
The gentle descent from Carn Liath and along the straightening ridge line of Beinn Mhaol made for an enjoyable amble around the head of Coire Saobhaidh.
Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain from Beinn Mhaol
Nathalie and Enzo
Stephan, Me and Enzo
A sharper descent then lowered us down to a col before another steady climb up the broad shoulder of Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain.
Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain from Beinn Mhaol
The mist was now sweeping over this top as well and looked like remaining for a while, this and our delayed start had us agreeing to make this our final peak of the day. After dropping a little way down the mossy western slopes we settled down and took our time over lunch. The south west ridge overlooking Braigh Coire Thorcaidh was to be our descent route and this brought us down near a large herd of grazing deer. After crossing Allt Crom-alltan we followed deer tracks across the heathery hillsides onto Elrig. We surprised some mountain hares as we dropped onto the track running from Creag-choinnich lodge. After cutting across the field above a small wood we reached the track to Monzie a short distance from the parking area. The weather on Sunday looked a bit uninspiring and some dark clouds threatened rain so we settled on a relatively low level walk. Nathalie's suggestion to take a walk up to and around Loch Ordie from Baledmund turned out to be a very pleasant stroll indeed. When looking at the map the main track up the hill seemed to be joined to the road at two points as it turned out our initial approach led up into somebody’s garden. He was cutting his lawn and it was immediately obvious that he was not at all pleased to see us, not wishing to engage him we made our apologies and turned around. Starting up from the main road on the other approach we passed by the front of another cottage and again the owner was out gardening. This time our enquiry as to whether it was OK to approach the hill past his property was met with warm and hospitable response. After engaging in conversion for a while and being introduced to his blind dog Dougal we were wished a good day as we continued on our way. The vehicle track was nicely carpeted in places with grasses and wild flowers and made for an enjoyable journey uphill. Taking a right turn off the main track our path headed briefly in the direction of Capel Hill before turning south to Loch Ordie.
As we made our final approach to the Loch we could see Ordie Lodge in the opposite corner of the loch nicely situated below Deuchary Hill.
The sun had come out and there was now a reasonable amount of blue sky showing, it was time for lunch!
After eating we circumnavigated the loch clockwise as far as the lodge before setting off south west down the track back to Baledmund.
Looking down to Baledmund
Back at the van we had a brew and some biscuits before making tracks back to Aberdeen.
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