Ben Chonzie

Jazz waiting for lunch, Ben ChonzieIt’s been four months since we’ve been in Highland Perthshire, and that is clearly way too long: time for a long weekend and so the Crieff area got our tourist readies.  The Missus had a rush of blood to her head and offered to drop us off at the bottom of Ben Chonzie (with a silent “C”, Gaelic-fans) and pick us up at the end of the day: we jumped at the chance to bag another Munro.  So we headed up Glen Lednock to the car-park and as we did, the clouds dissipated to leave a clear blue sky and a beautiful morning.  As this web-site’s motto says: “Planning is all“.

Path towards Ben Chonzie

Path towards Ben Chonzie

Red Kites over Glen Lednock

Red Kites over Glen Lednock

Icicles on grass

Icicles on grass

I’m not going to fool you 1: this was probably the easiest Munro in the book.  The track climbs out of beautiful Glen Lednock 2 until it needs to cross the burn (sucked dry by a hydro intake) and up onto the back of the hill.  It is around this point that we hit the snow-line and I discover that my snow chains are sitting comfortably at home: this could be awkward.  Fortunately the snow had frozen to give a fantastic, hard, solid crystalline surface with great traction: given it is 50cm deep in places, I really didn’t want to have to wade through this stuff if it had been soft.  You still have to watch your feet, but it’s easy going. There are occasional steep points when a break is necessary to regain the breath and at one point I looked up in time to spot the juvenile Golden Eagle heading up the glen 3.  We took the line heading for the fence-line on the spine of the hill before turning left to follow it to the summit.

Panorama from Ben Chonzie

Panorama from Ben Chonzie

Lunch-spot, Ben Chonzie

Lunch-spot, Ben Chonzie

From here to the summit is very easy walking on a plateau with fantastic views to the west and north.  We stopped at a stone grouse butt for lunch and just admired the view.  It stretched from Ben VorlichBen More, the Ben Lawers range, Schiehallion to the Beinn A’Ghlo range, all looking superb in their winter finery.

Frost on fence-post

Frost on fence-post

Red Deer on Ben Chonzie

Red Deer on Ben Chonzie

From the summit we backtracked and then continued along the spine over a few tops, including Carn Chois before dropping down to the dam of Loch Turret reservoir.  One of us 4 spotted a nice herd of around 100 Red Deer effortlessly crossing the hill.

Loch Turret Reservoir

Loch Turret Reservoir

The Missus was going to pick us up here which saved a bit of tarmac bashing.  Unfortunately the “road” has a pot-hole problem and I had to promise to pay for the new suspension before she’d come.  It didn’t help that it also passed through a field of Highland Cows who looked liked they wanted a bit of tin-opener practice on her car. Just being friendly.

Notes:

  1. As if I could, you being so smart and all.
  2. With a pair of Red Kites circling above us in azure skies to boost the spirits even higher.
  3. This day is just getting better and better.
  4. No names, to save Jazz’s blushes.
Distance:18km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again: