Hills: Carn Garbh
Date: Friday 15th February 2019
Company: Just myself
Distance: 18.5km, Ascent: 780m
Time: 5Hrs 10Mins

After work yesterday, I drove to Brora where I parked-up for the evening. This morning I was treated to a beautiful sunrise.

Pre-sunrise at Brora:

Pre-sunrise at Brora:

Shortly after 08:00, I drove to Gordonbush for an ascent of Carn Garbh, a Sub2000ft Marilyn north of Brora.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Once suited and booted, I set off along the track through a lovely forest. It was a beautiful morning, far better than had been forecast.

View towards Beinn Smeorail from just beyond Gordonbush:

The nice forest unfortunately did not last long and I was soon onto a typical over-sized windfarm track. The good track was however a pleasure to walk on compared to what was yet to come.

Beinn Smeorail:

On reaching Breach-achadh, I passed a small herd of H'lan Coos. During my many years of walking, I have never had any problems with H'lan Coos. They are lovely docile animals. I can't say the same for normal cows having been attacked previously.

Looking back towards Carrol Rock:

On approaching the windfarm, I was treated to an array of over-sized Health and Safety signs each demanding compliance. I just ignored them as I am sure they are meant for SSE workers.

Heading for the Gordonbush Windfarm:

As I progressed along the track, I could see a large bird heading in my direction. My initial thought was, "It's a Buzzard". Then, "That's no Buzzard". My camera was grabbed out of its case and I was able to fire off a few shots before it passed by. I had my fingers-crossed at least one of the pics would come out in focus as the auto-focus on my Canon 18-200mm lens is currently playing-up and needs repaired.

Golden Eagle:

Golden Eagle:

I watched the Eagle as it soared away into the distance. What a marvellous bird.

From the highlight of the walk, to the walk low-point, I entered the windfarm! A windfarm of 35 turbines which in walking through sounded like an airport. I am not a fan of turbines on the hills but do prefer them to nuclear. Please, please, please just keep them competely away from the North-West Highlands!

Entering the windfarm:

On reaching one of the turbines, I left the excellent windfarm tracks and entered tussocks from hell. I took my time to avoid hurting my already knackered knees dropping down to a small burn and then ascending to the col between Meallan Liath Mor and Meallan Liath Beag. From the col, I had to lose a fair bit of height dropping down to another burn before commencing my ascent of Sron Garbh.

During the ascent, I aimed for the co-ordinates of a Vickers Wellington R1093 wreck which crashed on 30th July 1941. The crew were on a navigation training flight from RAF Lossiemouth when they flew into Carn Garbh kiling four out of six on board.

There are small pieces of wreckage over a sizeable area with most of the wreckage in two spots.

Vickers Wellington R1093 wreckage:

Vickers Wellington R1093 wreckage:

After spending some time looking at the wreckage I continued on to the summit of Carn Garbh. It was great to see Morven from the summit, a fantastic Graham.

At the summit of Carn Garbh:

Morven from the summit of Carn Garbh (zoom):

It was also nice to see Ben Griam Mor and Ben Griam Beag, two good Marilyns located in flow-country near Forsinard.

Ben Griam Mor and Ben Griam Beag from the summit of Carn Garbh (zoom):

I returned via approximately the same route, again passing the wreckage in descent.

Heading back towards the windfarm:

Passing the wreckage again in descent:

During the walk out I was surprised to meet two other walkers heading for Carn Garbh. They were also heading to see the plane wreck prior to attaining the summit.


It was good to get back to the van and get the boots off. 18.5km distance and 780m ascent for a wee Marilyn was more than anticipated. Not the most interesting of hills but glad I did it or I would not have seen the eagle.