Ben Chonzie and Auchnafree Hill Walking

by Dan Bailey - May/2012
This route has been read 3,242 times

A circuit of the Loch Turret skyline gives a longer and more challenging alternative to the standard Munroist's route up Ben Chonzie from Glen Turret. There's nothing particularly spectacular about these rolling hills, except for the wide-ranging views, but this Munro/Corbett pairing will appeal to fans of lonely moorland walking. Look out for hares - these hills are hopping with them.

Ben Lawers and Co from Ben Chonzie , 125 kb
Ben Lawers and Co from Ben Chonzie
Fetching Map

Detailed description

NN8211326437 From the car park follow the track north past the dam and briefly along the east shore of Loch Turret. The standard route up Ben Chonzie stays with this track to the head of Glen Turret, but for Auchnafree Hill turn off right just before the track meets the first burn. A vague path first leads up steep slopes on the east side of the burn, then crosses the water where the trail becomes better defined. A long pleasant ascent along the rising edge of the steep slopes overlooking Loch Turret leads to a prominent cairn on a broad boggy shoulder of Choinneachain Hill.

NN8140128128 It's best not to beeline to the summit from here due to intervening bogs, so instead briefly follow a vehicle track on a dogleg towards King Kenneth's Cairn. It's worth heading out to the cairn for the view over Coire Barvick's Blue Craigs before cutting across to the 'summit' (a flat table rather than a defined high point). Large scale mapping shows a vehicle track running roughly north past the top of Choinneachain Hill but on the ground the only genuine track is the one marked on the 1:50K map, which takes a wiggly contouring line across the slopes overlooking Loch Turret. Yes you could take this, but anyone with some tolerance for peat bogs is as well staying high instead on the soggy and mostly pathless hilltop approach to Auchnafree Hill. A little cairn marks the high point of this rolling peat-riddled Corbett.

NN8084130805 To descend follow a line of old fenceposts roughly west-northwest into a shallow hollow underneath the minor top of A'Chairidh. Either climb over this summit or contour left around it, then descend onto the boggy saddle of the Moine Bheag. Descend slightly onto the slopes at the head of Glen Turret, then follow another old fence line under the craggy southern slopes of Biorach a' Mheannain. An eroded path now climbs steeply to the vague col between Biorach a' Mheannain and Ben Chonzie.
NN7801731665 Follow a vague path and another dilapidated fence on the long steady climb southwest to Ben Chonzie's beachball summit, which is marked with a cairn.

NN7732730850 Keep heading southwest along the wide crest of Creag Dubh an t-Sileidh - more fenceposts - to an angle in the fence line at the far end of the ridge. Here cut southeast (ish) along a path/fence line running over boggy ground to Meall na Seide. Continue into a broad saddle, then make the short ascent to the trig point on the rock-strewn top of Carn Chois, the closest thing in this rolling range to a proper defined summit.

NN7915027746 Follow the high ground to the edge of the steep slope facing east towards the Turret dam. Bear a little right here to pick up a vague descent path which cuts down across the slope, crossing a burn to reach easier angled ground. Down near the loch shore the trail soon meets a vehicle track to the Turret dam. Cross the top of the dam to return to the car park.

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This route has been read 3,242 times