Back in boots – the Gaick Corbetts. July 2010

Date: Saturday 17th July 2010
Distance: 24.9km
Ascent: 1100m

Every year we relearn the same lesson in summer – don’t let lovely spring weather convince you to wait for nice summer weekends – just get out there.

Another great Spring had left us under-motivated and put off by recent forecasts, no walking in nearly a month.

Another poor forecast but it was time to get the boots on.

The Gaick seemed ideal – relatively sheltered long walk in and out, and a walk we’ve wanted to do for a while.

We parked at NN 726 701 on the old road. You could use the layby on the A9 400m S of the Gaick track but the old road is quieter.

The route is pretty straightforward – follow the track 9km up past Sronphadruig Lodge, climb An Dun, descend to Loch an Dun, ascend Creag an Loch and then return.

The track climbs through Dalnacardoch Wood, more open country up here:

The wild flowers have jumped forward in a month – Wild Strawberry:

Yellow Saxifrage:

Flowering sundew:

After a couple of hours you approach Sronphadruig Lodge – looking south:

The Lodge:

And the laird:

The river up here is doing some serious erosion – the track has washed away completely in one section and the anti-erosion blocks beyond the Lodge are now in the middle of the river.

As we passed the Lodge 2 Peregrines were noisily chasing each other up the cliffline of Creag an Loch.

From here tackle An Dun head on. A squall came in as we climbed:

Small Emperor Moth Caterpillar:

View S from An Dun:

The summit area is flat and runs N-S. Need to hug the E side to get views up the Gaick Pass:

Had lunch on the summit. Waterproofs on as the rain had started.

Cameras away for the next bit.

Just headed straight down steep slopes to the N end of Loch an Dun.

From there a very steep slog up to the summit of Creag an Loch. Turned south along the hill towards An Sligearnach before dropping back to Sronphadruig Lodge – cutting along the N edge of the woods around the Lodge.

In descent of Creag an Loch there are nice views back N along Loch an Dun:

And across to Cama Choire:

A peregrine (possibly one of those seen earlier) sailed along the cliff line – close enough to get a good look through the binoculars.

Then the 9km march back to the car – mainly sunny from here on. The breeze was perfect.

Dramatic views back to Sronphadruig Lodge:

Monument and Beinn a Chuallaich:

Great day! Lesson relearned – we have all this gear for a reason and the weather is often better than forecast.

Fancy a transit through the Gaick sometime.

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