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Corbett bagging: Leathad an Taobhain and Càrn Dearg Mòr, Glen Feshie

Written by Fiona

May 29 2022

My friend Ben and I chose to do a bike-and-hike of this route in beautiful Glen Feshie. Cycling the first stretch on a tarmac road and then a well-laid estate track reduces the length of time to reach the two remote Corbetts of Leathad an Taobhain and Càrn Dearg Mòr. In fact, some people might manage to ride almost to the summit of the first Corbett, Leathad an Taobhain.

Ride and hike to Leathad an Taobhain

I don’t think Ben will mind me revealing that cycling is not his favourite thing to do and after the first stretch of flat tarmac and estate track, the route rises in a series of steeper undulations. I think we could have cycled further than we did towards the first Corbett, but when you are adventuring with a friend it is important that you both enjoy the outing.

When Ben said he was toiling on the hills, we decided to ditch the bikes and continue on foot.

We had plenty of daylight hours in any case and we both enjoy a long walk. The scenery of Glen Feshie is also there to be enjoyed rather than seen at speed.

I can’t now recall exactly where we left the bikes – and there was a spell of uncertainty as we descended the second Corbett and somehow couldn’t relocate our bikes – but we did see off many miles at the start and finish of the route.

Once we had left our bikes behind, we continued along Slochd Mòr, which takes the form of a deep pass that climbs south-west from Glen Feshie. The slopes of the mountains on the right looked steep and thick with heather but we stuck to the track as it climbed quite steeply uphill.

We reached a turning area at the end of the main track and spotted a small cairn that indicated the route to follow. We headed on to an old path that descended across the slope to the southwest and towards a bealach.

The path came and went but we knew our general direction and continued on to the heather-covered slopes of
Leathad an Taobhain.

The summit is marked by a trig pillar. Note that on OS Maps, the summit to the west, which is named Leathad an Taobhain, is actually lower. At 912m, the first Corbett is just two metres shy of Munro height.

It was wonderful to survey the landscape all around, looking out to the many summits of the Cairngorms.

Heading to Càrn Dearg Mòr

The route to the next Corbett was to return down to the bealach and to the track. We followed the track once again and back to a fork in the track above Slochd Mòr .

Here, we turned left and then looked for a smaller hill path that headed up the mountain slope to the west. We aimed to keep to the right of a plantation here.

There were tracks marked on the map but they are no longer in evidence on the ground and so we climbed in the general direction towards a col. It was lovely to see the start of a new plantation of native trees.

We picked up a bit of a trod higher up and continued through patches of thick heather to reach the ridge northeast of Càrn Dearg Mòr. The summit is at 857m elevation and we enjoyed lovely views over Badenoch and Strathspey to the north.

If we had not been cycling we would have probably continued along the ridge to return to the start but, instead, we descended east to drop down the rugged slope back to the track. This was where we had a bit of trouble remembering where we had left the bikes!

Back at the track, we decided we needed to head left, back downhill, in the hope we could come across our bikes again. Of course, we did and it was great to get back into the saddle for the final descent. I can’t recall a time that I haven’t enjoyed the ride back downhill after a day of mountain walking.

Route of Leathad an Taobhain and Càrn Dearg Mòr

Distance: 38km

Total ascent: 1250m

Our route: Strava and OS Maps

Corbetts bagged: 88 and 89

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