Colby Camps and Corryhabby Hill a great day

Yesterday I had a grand day out on Corryhabbie Hill 781 metres a enjoyable and easy Corbett in the heart of whisky country and only a short drive for me. I was with two pals Babs and Yeni and it was a new Corbett for her.   It is very near Ben Rinnes just past the Whisky town of Dufftown and we parked with permission of the crofter near the farm at Elliveried and set off through the fields. Ben Rinnes and our hill had a bit of cloud but it was going to be a good day. There were plenty of cows and calves in the field and we took it easy as they can be very protective at this time. It was easy walking onto the hill where we followed a track through the heather and then onto the ridge. The ground, this time was very dry and easy walking and a lot better than my other  two trips up this hill.

Cloudberry

Cloudberry

As we got higher I have never seen so many Cloudberrys in flower they were stunning. My mate Peter White in Canada Newfoundland  says that you can eat the fruit and it makes a delicious baked tart he says, any comments?  Some describe this hill but is any hill or are we just spoiled for choice. This was far from boring  today it was not and the views were superb as was  the weather.

A wee break and a drink

A wee break and a drink

It is so specials to enjoy a summer’s day and to be feeling better and have such great company, with the hills looking great and the flowers and wild life busy. It is a short day with and ascent of 600 metres and about 3 kilometres of walking to the summit and we all enjoyed it.  There were a few hares about and a few deer and the Club moss that is usually so plentiful on the summit was struggling in the dry conditions. We soon reached the summit and it was sad to see that the trig point with its metal hat was on the ground. It was far to heavy to lift back on with a pulled rib and I wonder why it was there, who took it off and why it makes this wee hill so special?    This was the scene of one of famous Colbys Camps in 1850. We met one other walker as we finished our summit piece on the hill and that was the only person we saw all day.

 

Corryhabbie Hill

Corryhabbie Hill

A few years ago I received an email from a good friend Noel Williams a very well-known mountaineer and geologist about the unusual cairn on Corryhabbie Hill.

mmmm

The summit and with the metal hat below the  Trig Point.

This is from Noel  Williams about the Trig Point.

“I was interested to see from your website that you were on Corryhabbie Hill a couple of years ago – the one with the metal cap on its trig pillar.”

corriehabbie-summit-hat - Copy

corriehabbie-summit-hat – Copy from a past walk some one had taken it off

I don’t know if you’ve ever come across the term ‘Colby Camp’ before. There’s an article all about them in this year’s SMCJ 2014.  They are ruins of shelters, windbreaks etc on the summits of hills across the Highlands left by OS parties during the principal triangulation of Britain in the 19th century. Colby and his men lived for weeks on lots of mountains taking bearings to other summits when weather permitted.

Colby Camps

Colby Camps

There are only records of nine camps where ruins can still be seen. However, there are lots of hills where OS parties are known to have lived for many weeks but where no remains have been recorded. Ben Wyvis, The Storr, Ben More on Mull are just a few such hills.

I was wondering if you’d seen any stone walls or similar ruins on Corryhabbie. Colby is known to have spent some time there in 1819. OS Parties were there again 6 Sept – 21 Nov 1850. (Imagine living there this time of year!) See attached list of observations.

Keep your eyes peeled when you’re out and about. I’m sure there are remains of these camps still to be found.” If you see anything please get in touch! The heather is still very thick and the hill is covered in Cladonia Lichens  and colonies of Club Moss near the summit, highland tradition suggests it has an extreme purgative effect that it was used to induce labour!

 

This is from Noel “I was interested to see from your website that you were on Corryhabbie Hill a couple of years ago – the one with the metal cap on its trig pillar.

I don’t know if you’ve ever come across the term ‘Colby Camp’ before. There’s an article all about them in this year’s SMCJ in 2014. They are ruins of shelters, windbreaks etc on the summits of hills across the Highlands left by OS parties during the principal triangulation of Britain in the 19th century. Colby and his men lived for weeks on lots of mountains taking bearings to other summits when weather permitted.

From here we joined Morton’s Way ( a shooting road built by the one time laird at Glen Fiddich Lodge named Morton) and wandered along the ridge looking for Colby’s camp I saw a strange amount of cairns amongst the only rocks on the ridge I wonder if this is the camp site?

Corriehabbie was this the scene of Colby camp ?

Corriehabbie was this the scene of Colby camp ?

Any ideas ?

From here we drunk in the views of the well-known whisky glens looking great and the broom so yellow and apart from the many wind farms we enjoyed the easy walk off. Again we saw a few deer and the odd scampering hare and then we were into the meadows and farm land across the river and back onto easy ground. The ground was carpeted with stunning Iris and buttercup and a few nettles which stung my bare legs and I would next time hit the track just past the house on the ford nearest Duffttown. It was then a walk back to the car in the sun and a tea and cake in Dufftown Glass cafe superb pot of tea and a well-earned Banana cake and then home.

The bairns enjoy the view with Ben Rinnes behind them.

The bairns enjoy the view with Ben Rinnes behind them.

 

Lots of plans for the future, Skye, Jura, Cooks Cairn and Saturdays adventure to a remote Corbett that involves bikes magic. I am, feeling so much better and ribs easing off and enjoying a fun day with two great characters.

Todays Tip – Beware – Lots of sheep ticks about so be aware.

2016 on the summit a hill again so glad to be out nice legs?

2016 on the summit a hill again so glad to be out nice legs?

 

A great hill for a short day or introduction to others as for boring it depends on what you want out of a hill and if you open your eyes and ears it is amazing what you see and hear?

 

 

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
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