During the week, I managed to bag another Munro. This time, it was Ben Chonzie in the Crieff area. It was a cracking day to start with but by the time we got to the summit, it was pretty cold and the clouds prevented much of a view. Despite not getting the picturesque views of the surrounding country and mountains, it was still a cracking hike! I did struggle with the hike, purely because it had only been two days since Beinn Each. My muscular endurance isn’t quite what it used to be! My hamstrings were on fire. For most of the walk, I lagged behind Boab, Chrissy, Gord, Lauren and Joanne. Even though I struggled, I would say that Ben Chonzie is one of the easier ones that I’ve done. Excellent starter Munro for beginners, along with Ben Lomond.
Category – Munro
Height – 931 metres (3,054 ft)
Location – Invergeldie, Comrie
Difficulty Rating – 4/10
Approximate Timing – 2.5 – 3.5 hours
Pronunciation – Byn Honzee
Ben Chonzie (hill of moss) lies a little to the North of Comrie, a small village to the West of Crieff. To reach Comrie from Crieff, just follow the A85 West for about ten minutes. Alternatively, if you are heading from the A9 motorway, take the Greenloaning cut off. Follow the A822 for a short bit then follow the B827 to Comrie. Once you arrive Comrie, follow the Monument Road North into the countryside and you will eventually come to the Invergeldie Estate. There, you should find a small car park area near some farm houses. From there, the hike begins.
Once you leave the little car park, head towards the farm houses along the road. There’s a gate to the right of the houses. That’s where the uphill route begins. The rocky path leads up into the hills, through farmland. You’ll see plenty of sheep, and if you’re lucky maybe a few deer, hare or red squirrel as well! As you walk higher into the hills, you will get a beautiful view of jagged mountains behind you. The path can be unforgiving, constantly uphill at a steady incline, with only the occasional short break to rest. As you’re walking past vast areas of plants and heather, you’ll notice why Ben Chonzie means “the mossy mountain”. You might notice the patches from where the older heather has been burnt to allow the plants and heather to regenerate.
Eventually, after about an hour or so, you’ll come to a sort of T-junction. The road will curve to the right but there will be a pathway through the grass, not as wide as the one you had been following. Follow that path up to the left and you’ll start the final part of the ascent. It’s a little steeper to begin with but then it does get easier as you make your way further up. You’ll notice a fence line, just follow that for a bit and you’ll reach the summit.
I can’t say much of the view but there’s a windbreaker made from rocks to allow you to sit down and have your piece. I’m sure there will be picturesque panoramic views if it’s a nice day but it’s a cracking walk to just appreciate. Once you have rested and begin the descent, follow the same path back down. The decline is sore on the knees but take it at your own pace and watch you don’t stumble on rocks. You’ll be able to take your mind off the pain with the view of the jagged mountains. It should take around an two hours to reach the bottom and before heading home.
Despite the constant burning in my hamstrings, I thought Ben Chonzie was a fantastic hike. As I said earlier, it would be ideal for a first Munro. Nothing really dangerous about it, there’s no cliffs or anything that you can tumble off. I’m gutted that I never got to see much from the summit, bar the Loch Turret Reservoir, but it is a good Munro to just appreciate the hike. The wildlife in that area is fantastic too. We saw a deer standing at the side of the road on the way back. Not phased at all by the cars. Absolutely magnificent creatures, just wish I had stopped to get a photo.
My mate Chrissy stopped at a wee place called “The Devil’s Cauldron” which is meant to be a lovely waterfall. I’m going to try get back up there to have a look myself. As always, I’ve attached a wee gallery of some photos, let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading,