Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
24th April 2010
Tolmount, Tom Buidhe, Cairn of Claise and Carn an Tuirc by way of Glen Callater.
The rain was splashing the windscreen as we parked across the road from Auchallater farm and there was signs of dissension from the back of the car; Stephan was threatening to stay put unless the rain eased. By the time coffee and croissants were finished so had the rain; just about. We donned waterproofs anyway and prepared for the hike up Glen Callater. The land-rover track winds up the Glen for 5km before Callater lodge is reached.
From here a small path leads pleasantly along the eastern side of Loch Callater. Leaving the loch behind our way then took us alongside the Callater burn over flat grassland and from here we spotted a small number of deer gazing down on us from high up on the far hillside.
Stephan and Nathalie in Upper Glen Callater
The path continued winding its way through the pale vegetation before starting to rise into upper glen Callater and across some rougher terrain. Up above we spotted a Golden Eagle being harassed by a Raven; our sighting confirmed by a keen bird watcher a little further on. The steepest section of the walk now lay ahead, a stiff pull up the grassy hillside to the Knaps of Fafernie and the edge of the Month Plateau.
As we paused near the top Enzo tried his hand at Glissading and slid down the snowy hillside on his belly.
A gentler climb now lead to the top of Tolmount; the extensive views that had opened up were still rather grey and misty.
Snowfield below Knaps of Fafernie
There was a bit of a breeze up here so we dropped a short way from the top to gain some cover behind some rocks. After Tolmount we turned our attention to Tom Buidhe which lies a little over 1km to the south. Following Tolmount's broad southwest ridge around towards Ca Whims before we tracked east up a gentle rise and onto the top. Cairn of Claise looked deceivingly close but was still around 3km away over some soggy snow laden slopes.
Tolmount from Cairn of Claise
An impressive old dry stone runs out 100 metres or so north east from Cairn of Claise while it winds to way in the opposite direction over toward Glas Moal.
Summit wall on Cairn of Claise
Testing the firmness of the snow field that covered the hillside we aimed for the col that leads up to Carn an Turic. Although quite wet on top the snow gave good support and provided a stretch of nice easy walking en route to our final hill. The snow gave way to grass which in turn gave way to rocks as we reached the summit cairn of Carn an Turic.
Cairn of Claise from Carn an Tuirc
Heading east past another cairn we found our way to the edge of coire Loch Kander to take a look into the steep sided corrie.
Coire Loch Kander
Picking up a wide track we started the long descent down to Callater Lodge and the shores of Loch Callater. It was now just a case of covering the final 5km of our 30km journey back along the estate track.
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