Heading to the Corbett Aonach Buidhe 899 metres : ‘yellow ridge’ on the West Coast near Kintail.Stalking advice?

This was a low key weekend for me as I was catching up and the weather held we had some grand sunshine. I may be a bit tired from the nights of watching the Olympics what a two weeks, long nights/early mornings but incredible results. It was wonderful viewing and so fun to watch despite the lack of sleep. Today is an early start for a hopefully new Corbett for us all. It is one of three in a group that I missed last time around. I will approach from Kintail a long journey from my house.

mmmmm

Aonach Buidhe is a remote hill that we will cycle in to.

Aonach Buidhe is a remote Corbett at the head of Srath Duilleach, however, the long approach route can be cycled as far as Iron Lodge, less than 1km from the base of the mountain. Aonach Buidhe is star shaped with many ridges of varying sizes radiating from the central peak. Many of the more northern slopes are steep and craggy but, given that the only reasonable approach route leads you to base of the long SW ridge with its easy to moderate slopes,

For me the name Iron Lodge is a memory shaker for me . The original Lodge was covered in (corrugated iron) hence the name. This was where I started my first weekend with the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team in 1972 when I was out on trail with the team on a  training weekend. It was an incredible weekend in full winter and then we drove up to Iron Lodge with Dave Pierce who took me up the remote winter Munro Mullach Na Dhearigain 982 metres  in the West Bunula Forest. It was a huge day in full winter and an eye opener for me. We had our crampons on most of the day and what an effect on me in my future life.  The long walk back in the dark was character building even though in these days no one spoke to you? Yes it will be a walk through the past for me.

Kintail map Munros

The bike is on the car ready to go and I am off to pick up Yeni and Babs in Forres. I am hopeful we will have a good day and the long cycle in will be interesting and maybe a new Corbett will be our reward?

Pick up in the past near Iron Lodge.

Pick up in the past near Iron Lodge. The Laird has contacts.

Advice to access users – Deer management can take place during many months of the year but the most sensitive time is the stag stalking season (usually from 1 July to 20 October, but with most stalking taking place from August onwards). During this season, you can help to minimise disturbance by taking reasonable steps to find out where stalking is taking place  and by taking account of advice on alternative routes. Avoid crossing land where stalking is taking place. Stalking does not normally take place on Sundays.

Walkers are being warned that the hills are alive again with the sound of deer stalking.

The Heading for the Scottish Hills service has been launched by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) for this year.

The service allows walkers to check ahead for possible deer stalking taking place on estates, to help reduce the chance of disturbing stag stalking during the peak season from late summer to October 20.

SNH has worked with partners, including the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the Association of Deer Management Groups, to create a more user-friendly service. This year’s service covers more hills, particularly in the northern Highlands, and is accessible from mobiles and tablets.

The website (www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/hftsh) includes general information about stalking on all participating estates and contact details for further information. There is also information about responsible behaviour for both land managers and walkers.

The site provides information on specific Munros, Corbetts and other popular hills. It also includes routes that are “always okay” and general information such as when the estate will start stag stalking and the days of the week when stalking doesn’t take place.

Fiona Cuninghame, SNH recreation and access officer, said:“The web service is a quick way to check that you won’t disturb deer stalking when heading to participating hills between July and October. We hope that you find the service easy to use and would welcome feedback on HFTSH@snh.gov.uk . We expect the service to continue to grow, so if you’re planning a trip and the hills you want to climb aren’t included on the site, it’s worth taking another look nearer the time.”

Andrea Partridge, Mountaineering Council of Scotland Access Officer, said:“The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has been closely involved with the Heading for the Scottish Hills website and is delighted to see that the service has expanded again this year. We encourage all hill-goers to check the website during the stalking season and contact the relevant estate if necessary.”

The website helps walkers follow the advice in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to try and find out where stag stalking is taking place and who to contact if more information is required. The Code also encourages walkers to take account of reasonable advice on alternative routes and to avoid crossing land where stalking is taking place.

The web page takes its name from the Heading for the Scottish Hills book, which was a collaboration between landowners and mountaineers published between 1988 and 1996. For the first time, this book provided hill walkers with an easy way to identify and contact participating estates to find out where stalking was taking place.

We have checked and our hills are okay today, have you?

 

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
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