Creag Dubh circuit
I'd planned a short, quick, walk for this morning so we could get out early and then back in time to do some holiday things with the family. The walk was up to the summit of Creag Dubh, close to Newtonmore, and a short walk of only 3 miles (5km) - however, according to the original route description on Walking Highlands (here) the suggested duration was 3-4 hours due to the ascent and some scrambling that would be required.
Packing up the night before we headed off just after 7am, arriving at the small pull-in off the A86 near Lochain Uvie for 7:30am - a cold and drizzly morning so we didn't waste time in heading off into the forested area below the crags.
Date - 18th June 2015
Distance - 3.13 miles
Time - 1hr 57mins
Avg Speed - 1.59mph
Height Gain - 1656ft
OS map used - OS Explorer 402 (this has now been replaced by OL56) and OS 1:25k maps on ViewRanger Android app
|The bottom of the boulder field that now extends a fair bit further than the area shown on the OS map|
We had two choices from here, either to follow the fence line (as per the route I had loaded onto ViewRanger) or to carry straight on through the boulders with a bit of scrambling and take a more direct route - which is what we decided to do.
|Donna scrambling over some of the larger rocks|
(Luckily the heather and bracken wasn't particularly high or deep during our walk which made walking and viewing the paths easier but with a foot or so more growth things would be slightly more tricky!).
|Looking up across the last section to Coire Chadha|
By now the wind had picked up significantly and was gusting around 35-40mps (according to the MWIS report which I always check and download in pdf the day before a walk).
|Looking back across the River Calder|
|Donna on the rocky section of the ascent to Creag Dubh|
|Heather before the final rock path to the summit|
|Battling the wind on the ascent to Creag Dubh (bit shakey!)|
|Donna on a very windy summit of Creah Dubh|
|Summit snap of me and Donna|
|Bog Cotton - a useful plant to spot as it shows ground conditions|
|Creag Bheag Uvie and the wooded valley we descended back to the car|
The wooded gully that runs from the hillside down towards the A86 is fairly easy going, with a decent track through the top section that then, after crossing through a gate, turns into a double track, graded, path that leads you down to the road.
|Last track through the woods back to the A86|
Although this is a fairly quick walk, just under 2hrs, the initial ascent and slight scrambling over the craggy section on Creag Dubh made it feel like a more rounded walk that it actually is - perfect for a morning blast to work up the appetite!
You can download the .gpx file and PDF info sheet (from ViewRanger) here;
ViewRanger route of the walk, recorded on my Nexus 5;