Hill: Carn a' Choin Deirg
Date: Thursday 30th July 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 19.9km, Ascent: 955m
Time: 5Hrs 45Mins


I set out yesterday to ascend Carn a' Choin Deirg; a Graham located within the Alladale Estate. After driving through Strathcarron, I parked at the end of the public road near Glencalvie Lodge. This is also the starting point for Carn Chuinneag (Corbett) and Beinn Tharsuinn (Graham).

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

For the first few kilometres, I followed the unsurfaced road leading to Alladale Lodge. This road runs alongside the Alladale River; a lovely river with several small falls.

Walking alongside the Alladale River:


Entrance to Alladale Lodge:


On reaching Alladale Lodge, I took a short diversion to take a photo of the lodge. The Alladale Wilderness Reserve is the estate with desires to rewild Scotland via the reintroduction of native animals no longer found in Britain including wolves, bears, lynx and wildcat. The estate is owned by Paul Lister, heir to the millions of pounds made by his father via furniture chain, MFI.

Alladale Lodge:


Alladale Lodge:


Beyond Alladale Lodge, I continued to follow the unsurfaced road as far as two holiday cottages. The holiday cottages sleep 4 and 8 and apparently cost £950 and £1550 per week to rent.

Looking back along track towards Alladale Lodge:


On reaching a small generator building, which lies between the two holiday cottages, I followed an ATV track up the hillside.

Holiday cottages:


Looking back towards one of the holiday cottages:


Following an ATV track towards Carn Alladale:


The ATV track ended at a height of 380m. Beyond the end of the track, I continued up trackless terrain towards Carn Alladale. During the ascent, I passed numerous recently-planted saplings. Good to see the estate is planting native trees.

Ascending Carn Alladale:


As I progressed up Carn Alladale, I had to stop to put on waterproofs as the weather changed from drizzle to rain. The walk from Carn Alladale out to Carn a' Choin Deirg was mostly undertaken in low cloud.

Zero views from the summit of Carn Alladale:


A short distance below Carn Alladale, I came to a high deer fence. I made my way along to the wooden gate but was disappointed to find it padlocked shut. I therefore climbed over the gate. This was the highest fence I encountered during my walk. I was half-expecting to find some Jurassic Park type fencing!

Looking back to Carn Alladale from other side of padlocked gate:


Looking towards 667m top:


I found a small cage on the 667m top. I have no idea what it is for; it seemed too small to be a larsen trap.

Cage on 667m top:


As I stood at the 667m top, the low cloud began to dissipate providing some views of the surrounding hills.

Looking towards Carn a' Choin Deirg from 667m top:


Carn Ban:


Looking towards Carn a' Choin Deirg from unnamed 660m top:


Carn a' Choin Deirg:


As I made my way up towards the summit of Carn a' Choin Deirg, the low cloud returned thus I got zero views from the summit.

At the summit of Carn a' Choin Deirg:


At the summit, I decided to return via roughly the same route as I could see lots of peat hags to the North and East.

During the walk back, the cloud again dissipated providing excellent views towards the Coigach and Inverpolly hills.

Coigach hills (zoom):


Looking back to Carn a' Choin Deirg:


Looking back to the 667m top:


It was nice to look back and see the undulating ridge out to Carn a' Choin Deirg.

Looking back along the ridge to Carn a' Choin Deirg:


On again reaching the summit of Carn Alladale, I made my way down aiming for the ATV track that I had used during the ascent.

View during descent towards the Allt a' Chlaiginn:


View during descent towards the Allt a' Chlaiginn:


Looking back at Carn Alladale during descent:


The walk back to the car was pleasant. On reaching the car, I chatted with another walker who was planning on camping out to ascend Carn Ban and Beinn a' Chaisteil. He advised of salmon jumping in the Alladale River just a hundred or so metres away, so I popped down for a look.

I stood watching the salmon jumping for some time. It was fantastic to watch but fairly difficult to photograph as I was never sure where they would jump out of the water.

Salmon jumping in Alladale River:


Salmon jumping in Alladale River:


Following the walk, I drove to Torridon via a somewhat circuitous route in order to have Fish and Chips in Ullapool and to visit Poolewe and Gairloch. The scenery in North West Scotland is outstanding.