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Balsporran, Creagan Doire Dhonaich, Scottish Highlands.
[7.2 km] Tue 07 Nov 2023

Lat/Long: 56.88326, -4.25312
OS Grid ref: NN 62808 79137
I wasn't able to complete my packing yesterday because of other stuff going on and Photo Society in the evening. Completing my packing this morning meant I set off a bit later than usual for my drive to the Scottish Highlands. I was away by 07:45am and had an uneventful drive for the first part of my journey to Perth where i got fuel. It was raining when I left but the weather gradually improved as I drove north. After Perth there was some sunshine along the A9 and lovely autumnal colours on the trees and hillsides. My original plan was to stay the night before heading out on a walk Wed morning but the forecast had a lot of rain for then. I stopped briefly at Dalnaspidal and as the weather was still good decided to try for the shorter of my 2 planned walks.

North view on the climb.
I continued driving north for a few miles and parked at Balsporran Cottages. There were a few patches of blue sky as I set off and thankfully it was fairly calm. Across the busy A9 I followed and old vehicle track for a short while before it petered out. Across some very boggy ground I reached a quad bike track that headed south and up the ridge of Creagan Doire Dhonaich. I'd noticed the faint track when on a previous walk on the other side of the glen. Id planned a descent down the valley to the east of the ridge but had no idea what the terrain would be like. If things looked too rough I could descend the way Id come. There wasnt much sun around and none on me but I knew that if Id stayed in the car the whole mountain would have been bathed in sunshine.

Creagan Doire Dhonaich summit cairn.

Small tarn.
The climb was easy and pleasant and as the gradient eased I reached the summit cairn which was wide and low. I was treated to some nice views to the south and decided to continue over the top and visit a small tarn lower down in the distance. At the tarn I then had a choice. Return the easy way Id come or continue down the unknown valley. I decided on the valley. There was no path of any kind to follow so kept to the middle which higher up was dry. Further down the occasional spring emerged which soon formed a small stream. The gradient eased with the occasional steep section.
The going was easy and I had a nice view ahead of the distant mountains to the north. I was easily able to hop across the stream to pick the best route but when a larger river came in from the right I had to cross to the left as no more easy crossings would be possible. I climbed up through the heather and followed the contour round to rejoin my original route up the ridge. By now it was getting dark and I soon needed my head torch to find the best way along the dark muddy track. Thankfully the main A9 was quiet when I crossed it as by then it was pitch black. `
Hidden valley on the descent.
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