An Socach, Glas Tulaichean, Carn an Righ,
Beinn Iutharn Mhor & Carn Bhac

Glenshee

Start Point: Day 1: Parking area at GR088893 in Inverey
Day 2: OS Sheet 43, GR 038772
Grid Reference: Day 1: OS Sheet 43, Inverey, GR 088893
Day 2: OS Sheet 43, GR 038772
Time: Day 1: 8-10 hours
Day 2: 5-7 hours
View Location: Scalable multimap
Buy OS Map: Buy Map at MapsWorldWide


Introduction

This is a big walk. Take 2 days. Some guide books describe this hillwalk as a 10-16 hour, one day outing... this is reasonable if you have the endurance of a Kenyan long distance runner and a healthy taste for masochism. We are both reasonably fit and at the end of day 1 we were thoroughly knackered, and at the end of day 2 we were thoroughly knackered. Enough said, take 2 days.

These hills feel very isolated, although the 3 southerly hills on the route can be tackled from Spittal of Glenshee on a day trip; but even with hindsight the 2 day camping trip was a good option, making for a more memorable round. As for wildlife the trip highlighted the large number of hares in these hills, conspicuous in their winter coats due to the lack of snow on the hills.

Every pond was jumping with frogs with an incredible urgency to contribute to the already brimming tide of spawn... the end of March must have been some kind of breeding deadline for these guys. As ever, I must mention the weather... we had it all - sun, blue skies, rain, hail, snow and wind, a lot of wind... I can confirm, there are no cobwebs on Scottish hills.

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Route - DAY 1

  • Leave the car at the parking area at GR088893 in Inverey, then follow the landrover track south down into Glen Ey.

  • The track follows the Eye Burn all the way to Altanour Lodge from where most of the guide books start the ascent. We however left the track at GR 098846 and took a heading due south straight up to the summit at GR 099831. From this point with the hard climbing completed it's a relatively easy walk south for approx 3km to the easterly summit of An Socach. From this summit carry on SWW along for approx 2km to attain the westerly summit of An Socach (944m, 079800) and the first munro of the day.

  • From the summit of An Socach we headed south for 1km to the col, then skirted SW around the slope to the southern edge of Loch nan Eun. (This differs to the route suggested by the guide books - ie dropping back down to Altanour Lodge.)

  • From the loch we continued SW 1km to GR057774, at this point we ditched the rucksacks and followed the ridge SW then south for 11/2 km to the summit of Glas Tulaichean the days second munro (1051m, GR052760).

  • Having enjoyed a spot of hillwalking without the packs, we retraced our steps from the summit back to collect them, and then continued west around the flanks of Mam nan Carn along the marked path.
  • We dropped the bags again at the col at GR038772, and then took on the final ascent of the day... a swift 1km climb to Carn an Righ (1029m, GR028773). By the time we made summit it was starting to get dark, cold, wet and challenging (really mean miserable)... so it was a swift stagger back to the packs to set up camp for the night.

  • On a cold hill, luke warm Stagg chilli and boil in the bag rice tastes awesome, as does cuppa soup made with the water used for boiling the rice. There is no doubt in my mind that this mana in a tin would taste any less delightful after a day at the office.

 


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DAY 2

  • Well rested and lightly chilled we started day 2 by skirting and climbing NW towards the col at GR047793.

  • From the col its a relatively easy 1km hike to summit of the days first munro, Beinn Iutharn Mhor (1045m, GR046793).

  • From the summit of Beinn Iutharn Mhor follow the marked boundary line north west then head northwards across the peat hags for 2 km, before making your way up the final climb of the day to the summit of Carn Bhac (946m, GR052833). Note: The OS map incorrectly shows the westerly top as the munro.

  • Having made the summit of the final hill the only remaining objective was to make it back to a warm bath, via the car. From Carn Bhac we simply headed NE down the shoulder and then enjoyed a comparitively easy wander along a sketchy landrover track that runs alongside the Allt Connie.

  • With a couple of km to go the sketchy track is transformed into a fully fledged stone track that provided all but the friendly game keeper in a landrover to give us a lift back along the remainder of the walk to the car.

This is a demanding walk, especially whilst carrying a full overnight pack; you should expect to be pretty knackered at the end of it all... and fit before starting. If you really are going to go for it in one shot then a light pack and a mountain bike to get to Altanour Lodge is really the only way to make it feasible - and may the force be with you.

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