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Creag Dhubh


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With a height of c. 756m, this hill fails to make Corbett status by about 6m. Nonetheless, it is a well situated hill, sitting in the otherwise flat Strathspey and obvious from quite a few directions. It has given rise to the war cry of Clan MacPherson and its name means black rock.

Close up, this is a bit inaccurate, as the very steep and popular rock climbing crags overlooking the A86 are mostly a light-coloured and sparkly metamorphic rock, mainly schist with veins of pegmatite. Climbers also have always called it Creag Dubh, which is the normal spelling for such crags.

Start from the A86 where there are one or two spaces for a car and the cliffs can be seen up above. Go up and right NE and under the cliffs then follow a plantation border to gain the rough slopes above the tree line. Go left to gain the SW ridge. This is now taken over several bumps to gain the summit.

Though a relatively low hill, it is remarkably rough and not to be treated lightly. It is also possible to climb it from the NE, though this is not as attractive a route. Descending by the same route, you may wish to avoid the steep lower slopes by continuing further down the SW ridge and so gain a track leading back to the A86 SW of your starting point.

 

Maps: OS Sheet 35 'Kingussie and Monadhliath Mountains'
Distance: 4 km
Ascent: 500 m
Time: 2 hours
Food & Drink: Newtonmore has several friendly hotels and cafes, with Kingussie a few kilometres further north. There is also a small motorway café on the A9 immediately south of Newtonmore.

 

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