Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
29th November 2008
Tolmount by way of Glen Callater.
The mercury had dipped to -9'C by the time I reached the parking area across the road near Auchallater farm and it was a slight shock to the system getting out of the warm car to prepare for the cycle up Glen Callater. I was very aware of the icy patches but on the whole the landrover track that follows the Callater burn up to the lodge provided smooth passage. The stillness of the Glen was only interrupted by alarm calls of the many red grouse as they took short flight to find cover.
Early morning light on Loch Callater
Leaving the bike in the heather at Callater lodge I followed a good path as it contoured the eastern side of Loch Callater. Deer could be seen high up on the steep hillsides that walled the loch in on either side. A Tufted duck sat confused on the ice for a while before skimming along the loch surface in flight to find some free water.
Frozen Loch Callater
Further up the Glen the Loch waters gave way to a frosted grassy plain the path winding its way white through pale vegetation.
Into the Callater Sunshine
High up on my right iced rocks above Corrie Kander shone as they were caught by the sun as it poked above the mountain tops opposite.
Upper Glen Callater
Rougher ground now lead back into the shade as I entered the upper reaches of Glen Callater. A metal sign post looking out of place pointed the way ahead to Glen Doll by way of Jocks road, the first and therefore oldest of the Scottish rights of way. The path was indistinct in places as it lead more steeply over rough slopes of heather and then grass. A small number of metal fence posts higher up provided pointers to the Knaps of Fafernie and the edge of the Month Plateau.
Corries at the head of Glen Callater
A gentler climb now lead to the top of Tolmount with extensive views especially back down to Glen Callater, improved greatly by a short walk towards the corrie edge. The absence of wind meant there was no real bite to the cold and the situation could be enjoyed at length.
Glen Callater from Tolmount
The cold had firmed up what may have been a slightly boggy passage over to Cairn of Claise. An old dry stone wall lead the way over the final 100 metres to the summit cairn after which it continued on its way towards Glas Maol.
Aiming for the col that leads up to Carn an Turic I picked up the rutted track that curves round and above Coire Kander. I ventured to the cliff edge to gain views down into this spectacular corrie with its dark icy Lochan.
Small banks of mist had now started to form a more complete covering in the glen as I started my decent. Following the track as it continued round to the left and descended into the glen I eventually arrived on the shore of Loch Callater. It was only a short distance back at the lodge where I reclaimed my bike from the undergrowth and started the 5km journey back to the main road.
Glen Callater with Beinn a'Bhuird and Ben Avon in the background
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