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Ben Chonzie

Looking to ‘bag’ another Munro, i perused the very helpful Walk Highlands website and stumbled upon Ben Chonzie (pronunciation is more dramatic than the hill itself). Never heard of it but sounds a gentle amble and chosen day was looking to be a cracker.

Get to Comrie and look out for The Deils Cauldron at a corner. Coming from Crieff, its on the right… and drive up Monument Road (look at me all 100% charged)


“Ooh” and “ahh” and the beautiful countryside for about 3 miles, pass over 2 cattle grids, keep an eye out for these white cottages… None of those hills you see are Ben Chonzie and to be honest, it’s quite un-spectacular and only the directions make you realise you’ve reached the top! Where i took this picture was where you park (big oak tree to the left standing solitary in the field) at a ‘y’ junction. Unsure if there’s anywhere else to park but i can’t imagine its a hugely popular hill so I doubt you’d have a problem even on the nicest day. Walk along the track towards the cottages and to the right is a double gate. Go through it…


Over the wooden bridge and follow the wide track up…


Its a great track, you’d never get lost here. At this point i’d like to say its an ideal family walk and great for kids (could possibly take a *lightweight 4×4 buggy too for the vast majority (then backpack for the spongey heathery bits further up). They wouldn’t even know they were on a mountain. Things to see: Sheep. Burns. A dam. Stones. Trees and majestic scenery

*Disclaimer. Do it without the kids first as I’ve not pushed a buggy in 20 years so my memory may be a tad hazy…

Take the more obvious track to the right and head towards the dam…


Say hello to the sheep…


There’s a wee bit of work happening in this area (dam behind us), not sure what the actual aim of this is but this view was quite lovely. Felt like we were in another country and the lack of fellow walkers made it feel we were at the end of the world. A solitary moment to breathe it in… Sometimes its being this far from ‘normality’ that makes you feel you’ve had a holiday. I always feel rested after a session in our stunning countryside, especially when there’s few people about.


At this wee cairn you have 2 choices. Apparently the ‘harder’ route was to the left. I can’t actually believe that it was any easier or harder than we had done already. We ignored that cairn and continued up the track (we like to take things easy…) 🙂


A whole lot of awesomeness right there in front… (actually, that was behind us as we walked up) I predicted a fall on our descent. I was wrong…


Now, if you chose to ignore that wee cairn for the ‘harder’ route keep your eyes open for this big handsome hunk of granite/marble/rock. It looks as though someone has slapped a whitewash on it (they hadn’t) There’s various little paths that will take you up, not particularly well worn paths, but they’re there! Enjoy a spongey, peaty bounce up towards the granite (granite to the right of you) Walk the easiest path until you find a row of metal posts and follow them…


Continue with the posts to the right. They are a great navigational tool regardless of weather conditions. The ‘fence’ turns at a right angle and continue to follow it. Keep following across flat grassland and wonder whether you are actually on a mountain or not… Lots of little cairns are dotted along the route. We wondered why. I always thought that cairns indicated the top of a hill.

Oh. We suddenly arrive at the shelter spoken about on the Walk Highlands site and it is suddenly ‘blowing a hoolie’! Only one thing for it. Cheese and Onion McCoys, a Mars Bar and water in the shelter. I am pleasantly surprised at the lack of abandoned tissues or overpowering smell of urine which tends to be found in these shelters. I make a half-hearted attempt at map reading to find out the names of the other hills around us. I fail miserably but i do know that that water in front is Loch Turret. I feel quite educated… It has a path around it. Next time. A couple joins us for 60 seconds of polite conversation then continue their journey to the direction of a pointed finger. It’s the kind of terrain you can do that: very welcoming and enticing hills.


And yes, the new Craghoppers ‘Shock Absorber’ poles did quite well.

Cue “we arrived” picture… Once picture has been seen, vow not to eat so many Cheese and Onion McCoy’s or Mars Bars again but keep up water and walking…


A wee 37 seconds at the top of a blowy Ben Chonzie

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