It was a busy night with folk arriving at the Highlander Hotel in Newtonmore. There was lots of catching up to do and my friends Dave and Sue arrived from Canada. I left them all about 2300 and the party was in full swing. My pal Tom from Dunkeld was wanting to do a Corbett and had one planned that I had done before near Kingussie. I was doing a wee chat before dinner for the Re Union and wanted back by 1500 to get sorted. In the end we had Mark, Fiona, Tom, Dave Booth from Canada and of course Sparky the black lab who carried a tennis ball all the way up the hill. It was not the most exciting hill ever but great to get out and the views were amazing all day.
We were away by 0915 for the short drive to Kingussie and ample parking near the golf course then up the Estate road where the noise of the pheasant shoot was loud. Poor Sparky the dog coped and the smell of smoke and cordite was in the air. We met some of the pheasant shooters and raced past to get away from the noise and back to some peace.
This looks a very affluent Estate and we were soon at the Pitmain Lodge up Glen Gynack, a bike would be handy here as it is a great road. The Estate tracks are incredible with a bit of signage you away from the main Lodge and after a “faff” we were back on track. It was a well maintained Lodge and we passed the garage with lots of shot pheasants, who would be a pheasant.
It was sad to see not so many wild life about on these big wild moors we only saw a buzzard and a few grouse. The track is in great condition and there is a hydro scheme near by and the tracks are everywhere especially the off road tracks heading into the moors.
The river run along the Glen and the erosion is incredible on the banks in a flood this must be a wild place but we were lucky that the bridges are well maintained. From here we could see the track heading up onto the ridge and the views got better the sun was out and it was great walking. We had a short stop here and enjoyed a break Sparky went for a swim with his ball. She had a wee shake with fear early on after the noise of the shoot poor soul it must have been so deafening for him and the acrid smoke but what a lovely dog so well behaved and great company.
We passed a small wood along the road and it gave a bit of shelter from a wind that was picking up. This would provide some shelter in the winter and would be greatly appreciated by any wild life and humans!
After this had a break and put on some more clothes and then we were on the ridge and up to the big cairn we could see in the distance we were all chatting and catching up with life. This is the lookout cairn that the guide books mention.
We took some photos and then headed on to the summit and the howf near by for shelter. It was a place of wildness with the Mondaliaths and Cairngorms in the distance, there are tracks everywhere and so much wild moorland.
It was time for lunch a short stop Sparky still had his ball and dropped it down a hole on the summit but Mark got it back. Is this the first dog and tennis ball to be carried up a Corbett? It was then off back in a bitter winter shower that was “hood up and gloves on” winter was not far away. It was a bitter 20 minutes to get out of the weather yet I love it that feel of the winter elements battering the face.
It was down into the sun and the walk home to the car, the sun came out and we got back in good time for the evening fun. I got ready for my chat and after that the meal. In all a great day good fun and company. Sparky still had his tennis ball in the car and was in great form all day.
Thanks to Mark (2Ba, Fiona, Tom Mac , Dave Booth and Sparky for a grand day out and for waiting for me ………