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Corrieyairack Pass


cols110
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G`day all, does anyone know for sure if this pass is open, I`m interested in doing it in winter, when there`s a bit of snow up there and no ramblers. I have been doing a bit of a search on google and there is a lot of conflicting info on wether it`s open or closed. I was under the impression that the northern end was closed, so you have to do a back track. If thats the case I`m more than happy but if the whole route is TROed then I`m going to be sh*t out of luck.

Thanks in advance

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I don't think anyone knows what the true legal status is. As far as I know the locked gate is still in place which means that yes, you will have to backtrack.

If you do attempt it in winter bear in mind that if there is a lot of snow and/or wind you probably won't make it over. Drifts tend to fill in the slightly sunken parts of the track and block it - see a recent issue of LRW/4x4 magazines. There has also been controversy in recent years about some idiots leaving the track - don't do this. <_<;) At this time of year you will avoid the busiest tourist season however you are bang smack in the middle of the stalking season (stags) for highland estates, so there is more chance of meeting a landowner or employees.

Hope this helps. :)

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Excellent, thanks for that, I know making would`nt be a certanty, but I`d still like to give it a go if possible.

Its good to see the old site is back in action again, I knew there were a couple of threads kicking around somewhere.

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Driven it a few times including on the afore mentioned LRW trip.

There are signs at the start of the trail 'advising' you not to drive it, however, we've checked with local clubs and friends who are locals about the legality of driving it and have been told it's completly legal. You can only attempt the pass from the Laggan end as access at the Fort Augustus (northern) end is blocked. The last time we made it to very end, posts sunk into a concrete had been used to supplement the locked gate. You could see where people had driven round the posts (off the marked track) and I've heard of folk winching obstacles out of the way, but this only aggravates an already delicate situtation with the landowner. Best to just turn around and head back the way you came.

Snow on the track can block the route in winter. I was last up there at the end of March and there were large drifts blocking the route. We managed to blast a way through some of the lesser drifts but eventually the snow got so deep we had to turn back. If you're heading up there in winter, you run a good risk of driving all the way there for very little driving.

The pass is remote, so it never gets busy. It's a popular walking route, but I've never seen anyone on foot other than large herds of stags. I've driven it four times at various time of the year and only ever met one other group of people (mountain bikers) and one other vehicle.

It's rough, but not tough. There is a badly washed out section near the bottom of the pass, but with some spotting you could get anything up without a problem. The rest of the route is a gentle-ish potter.

When the weather permits, the views from the Corrieyairack are spectacular, but I have to say it's a helluva long way to drive one green lane. If you're expecting the adventure of a lifetime, you'll be disappointed. If you want to 'tick it off the list' and enjoy a nice days scenery-go for it. Just remember, this is the Highlands so the views and the scenery can't be gauranteed at any time of the year.

Kev

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Col....

This is the start of the pass at the Ft Augustus side.

123-2310_IMG.JPG

The only other way round is to cut through one of the estates and join it about 500yds further up.

But then you are met with this locked gate.

122-2268_IMG.JPG

It's been put on in such a way it cannot be lifted from it's hinges, so most people just take a highlift to the padlock and chain. :rolleyes:

If you're coming up to do it, give us a shout and i'll see what I can sort with the landowner, I did it when Barvie, Lowie and MZ came up and they left the gate open for us.

There's a bothy at either end so free accomodation is sorted.

On the day we did it we had fantastic views.....

122-2292_IMG.JPG

(Sorry about the vehicle - the wife was using the Disco that day. :unsure: )

Here's a LR to make up for the Suzuki.

122-2297_IMG.JPG

Here's

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Kev and CTC, very interesting, thanks for the info.

Kev after reading your post, March probably seems like the better month to attempt it than smack bang in the middle of winter, might be a bit more realistic.

Not really after an adventure of a life time, just something a bit different, the chance of doing something like this after we move back to OZ are pretty limited. So we might as well make to most of it while we`re here.

Col, nice piccies mate, the more I see of it the better it looks, a pretty good way to kill a day I recon. The Bothies sound interesting as well, for something different.

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Kev after reading your post, March probably seems like the better month to attempt it than smack bang in the middle of winter, might be a bit more realistic.

Col,

Stephen Cobby who mainly posts on the breakaway Chris Tricker forum (is it just me that finds it difficult to keep up <_< ) tried it in winter with a few other. He posted a load of pics on the old Ezboard ORRP. With snow chains I don't think they got more than a mile before giving up....

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Guess its ok to get so far and back out but bit of a bummer if the snow comes in once you've got to the far end and are needing to return the full route :(

Remember a call out once for lada cossack that had got itself snowed in on one of the N Yorks green lanes. Got through with a well ladden series LR and chains :)

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The antics of the landowner responsible for obstacles at the Fort Augustus end -- not the current owner of the Cullochy Estate BTW -- have served only to damage the pass more than necessary by 1) making folks drive it twice (the only option if the gates are locked is to turn round and re-trace your steps) and 2) making everyone start from the Laggan end which means you always have to drive up the zig-zags.

However -- I do believe the current owner of the Cullochy Estate is somewhat more open to co-operation. I believe the Scottish Land Rover Owners Club and Highland 4x4 Club have arrangements in place and I have also heard from a couple of small groups who have been able to make arrangements for the gates to be left open at the Fort Augustus end.

Having said that though the folks from the Mad on Mud Club at Glentarkie in Fife had a group outing to the pass two or three months ago and there was all sorts of bother at the Fort Augustus end with the police having to be called so it's all a bit confusing really :o

It's well worth the effort though, and actually driving it both ways isn't much of hardship as you see it differently in each direction. Drive it on a clear, crisp November day with a covering of snow and there's nothing better -- I know, we did it last year :rolleyes:

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Stephen Cobby who mainly posts on the breakaway Chris Tricker forum (is it just me that finds it difficult to keep up <_< ) tried it in winter with a few other. He posted a load of pics on the old Ezboard ORRP. With snow chains I don't think they got more than a mile before giving up....

Thanks mate, just tried to find the old ORRP, but looks like it does`nt exist anymore, shame as it would be interesting seeing the pictures. Looks like it`ll be a waste of time attempting it in the midst of winter. As for Chris Tuckers forum, never heard of it, there are so many forums now days, I`ve only got time to look on the same old ones, its hard enough doing that sometimes, will track it down though, and see if Stephen still haves the photos.

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I'll see if I can dig out some pics of my trips up there. I've been on the pass 3 times and only made it over once. Snow lies pretty early and stays late, especially in the hiar-pin bends. Don't worry about these bends as you can get round in a 110 without problem (unless they're full of snow). The problem area is bellow the bends where the track is pretty well washed out. You'll need to pick your line through here as you might get cross axled. Lower down the track it's a bit bumpy but nothing to worry about.

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Thanks for that mate, as it happens since this thread has started, it looks like the Camel will be on the market within the next couple of months as we are on the move to Dubai.

I have a bit of time off in october and might try to get up there for one last run before it goes on the market, probably wont be much if any snow up there by then anyway. If you could throw a few pictures on here it would be interesting, might also help out anyone else who is interested.

Thanks again

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