Carn Liath from Garvamore…again. March 2016

Date: Monday 7th March 2016
Distance: 15.5km
Ascent: 850m

March holiday week in Abernethy. A bit of a mixed bag but with a few good quality days.

Up watching aurora on sunday night before Stathnethy clouded up.

Monday was forecast bright and sunny. The only fly in the ointment was an MWIS forecast for 30% cloud-free munros in the Northern Cairngorms. Given this we headed further afield. Wondered about the Newtonmore munros but settled on a revisit of Carn Liath from Garvamore.

Abernethy Squirrel:

There’s a large layby/quarry at NN 533 937, 1km before Garvamore. An ATV track starts out from near here and winds up Carn Dubh. It disappeared under the snow quite quickly. We simply wandered up Carn Dubh and then on to Carn Liath. No real pitfalls, an easy amble with interesting views.

A group of stags were gathered quite close to the road.


The grouse are still gathered in groups, pairing off will doubtless start soon.

Red Grouse:

It was apparent that 30% cloud-free was a rather pessimistic forecast for the Northern Cairngorms.

Loch and Cairngorms:

Still – no complaints about the forecast accuracy for where we were, nor the weather.

H on Carn Dubh:

Down to Spey Dam:

Once up to Carn Dubh the view opens up a bit to the SW.

Loch Laggan:

Geal Charn:

Binnein Shuas:

A last 150m pull up to the 903m top seems to gather some interesting snow drifts – looked quite similar last time.

Snow shapes:

The 2 coires – Coire Dubh and Coire nan Gall face east and are very recognisable from a distance. Not too close to them this time with a fair bit of cornicing.

Coire Dubh:

Tried to avoid the sight of the rather unappealing power line. The Corrieyairrack-Sherramore area is somewhat impacted by the pylons.


Managed to identify a few hills out further west. Needed some subsequent research to identify this Loch Shiel Corbett though.

Sgurr Ghiubhsachain:

A quick wander along the coire tops.

Coire Dubh:

Coire nan Gall:

The (30% cloud-free) Cairngorms looked rather tasty.


From Coire nan Gall there’s just over 1km along A’Bhuidheanach to the munro summit.

K approaching Carn Liath:

H approaching Carn Liath:

Bumped into 2 skiers at the summit who had also fled the claggy Northern Gorms. Still a fine place to spend the day. Sat around and enjoyed the sun for almost an hour.

A great view along Coire Ardrair to Meggy.

Creag Meagaidh from Carn Liath:

SW view through towards Ben Lui:

W View – Meall na Teanga and Ben Tee groups:

Meagaidh Group:

Carn Liath pano:

Packed up and wandered back. Not the most imaginative route, but staying high and enjoying the views was the priority.

Carn Liath from return:

Coire nan Gall:

Easy ambling allowed time to identify distant hills from this angle – identified our N Glen Coe ridge 903m lunch spot from a few weeks back in front of Bidean.

Bidean nam Bian:

The hills between the A86 and Ben Alder are not our best kent hills – we really should try to get back in and about them some time.

Beinn a Chlachair:

The clouds were marching in from the west, the forecast was for a poorer Tuesday to come.

Meall na Teanga group:

The fence line had the odd snow effect of interest.

Fence post:

The snow was too soft for sliding – but despite this the return was all too rapid.

Snow shapes:


Back up the road in time to get 20 minutes of sun with a cold beer back at Abernethy.

A good winter walk for us – very high views to effort ratio. Will probably return to it sometime.


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