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Glen Geusachan/Loch Nan Stuirteag snow cover query

Glen Geusachan/Loch Nan Stuirteag snow cover query


Postby bartape » Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:05 pm

From a recent trip up Glas Tulaichean I could see that the area around Monadh Mor & Beinn Bhrotain looked thick with snow.

For my next trip in late April or early May I was considering biking in then going up Glen Geusachan then up to Loch Nan Stuirteag then turning to bag Monadh Mhor & Beinn Bhrotain & or doing the summits first and then descending out past Loch Nan Stuirteag into Glen Geusachan.

I was concerned though about snow making progress difficult or dangerous up to Loch Nan Stuirteag and then up to the 899 elevation mark.

Does this area collect and hold onto tricky snow conditions into May or has anyone been in around the slopes at Loch Nan Stuirteag recently to comment on the conditions ?

Thanks.
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Re: Glen Geusachan/Loch Nan Stuirteag snow cover query

Postby jmarkb » Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:39 pm

I think you are unlikely to have any real problems - the terrain is not very steep and any remaining snow should be in spring condition (soft sugary surface, firmer underneath). Taking crampons or microspikes might be a reasonable precaution in case there has been a frost overnight and you come across sections that are still icy.
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Re: Glen Geusachan/Loch Nan Stuirteag snow cover query

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:14 pm

bartape wrote:Does this area collect and hold onto tricky snow conditions into May or has anyone been in around the slopes at Loch Nan Stuirteag recently to comment on the conditions ?


Holding onto the snow all depends on the weather previously and build-up of snow; I've seen the Cairngoms entirley lacking even a drop of snow in February, and other times full-on winter conditions well into May. I have crossed from Corrour to Glen Feshie in April and was up to my knees in snow on the high ground, and been up Derry Cairngorm in May and seen Loch Etchachan frozen with deep snow all around (not so very far away, as the eyeball-eating raven flies). As ever, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. With an alternative plan if it all goes Pete Tong.

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Loch Etchachan in May
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Re: Glen Geusachan/Loch Nan Stuirteag snow cover query

Postby bartape » Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:42 pm

Thanks guys for the advice & tips, I was planning to go tooled up as it were with axe, crampons & spikes, and here's hoping I can skirt around the worst of the snow.
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Re: Glen Geusachan/Loch Nan Stuirteag snow cover query

Postby Sunset tripper » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:49 am

I haven't been in Glen Geusachan in winter but I have stayed the night there :D . Cycled in from Linn o Dee and turned right upstream after White Bridge. About probably 3 or 4km further on the path wasn't that great for cycling so dumped the bikes. The walk round the corner into Glen Geusachan was a bit of a bogfest on that occasion and seemed to take forever. We set up the tents in the glen then did pretty much the route you are talking about following the burn up to the lochan, but cutting up before getting to the 899 spot height, went over Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain then back tracked to the col and from there back into the glen. My main memory is that it was a very long wet way to get onto Monadh Mor but still a good couple of days on the hills. Let us know how you get on and what you think of it. Cheers :D


Camping in Glen Geusachan
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Re: Glen Geusachan/Loch Nan Stuirteag snow cover query

Postby bartape » Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:23 pm

Hello All,

Thanks for the info, very useful.

Here's a recap of my trip - 23rd April 2021 - Bagged Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor then continued into Glen Geusachan via Loch Nan Stuirteag and out back to Linn of Dee.

Biked in from Linn of Dee, good flat track, crossed the White bridge, turned first right and rode on up the path to NN995899 where I dumped the bike. It was best to dump the bike here. You have to bump over drainage culverts on the path not long after the White Bridge. Distance to NN995899 8 km, 35-45 mins approx dependent on fitness.

Up the dry grassy hill to Carn Cloich-mhuilinn, following a path that comes and goes, then directly onto Beinn Bhrotain via a flaming false summit. Only patchy snow on the summit, wind free and quiet as the grave. Just short of 6 km or so to the summit from NN995899. Easy climb.

Down the boulder strewn side to 975 m at the col, complete with big patches of snow, the way down into Coire Cath nam Fionn was choked with snow. Up onto the plateau and more traversing snow patches to reach Monadh Mor, just short of 3km from summit of Beinn Bhrotain. Again pleasant with sun, barely a breeze and great views to the snow filled slopes of Devil's Point, Stob Coire an t-Saighdeir, Cairn Toul and the Angels's Peak.

I was swithering heading on into Glen Geusachan or about turning and reversing my route and after humming 'n hawing decided to head on via Glen Geusachan on the basis I had come this far anyway and did not fancy boulder hopping. On to Loch Stuirteag which was half frozen and I met the only the second person that day, a Frenchman called Antoine. He had started from Aviemore, up via Loch Einich then was continuing on to Blair Atholl, camping the whole way. I descended north side of the Geusachan Burn thru spingy heather, boggy moss and slippy slopes onto what passed for a path which as they do, was there one minute then not. I soldiered on, and got onto the south side of the Geusachan Burn, which was easy enough to ford & leap, and I think picked up the path around NN954942 which becomes better as it leads out E along Glen Geusachan.

From summit of Monadh Mor into Glen Geusachan then on to the bike at NN995899 - 12 or so km, about 2 & half hours or so. Long walk out over a path which was wet and boggy one minute then fine the next.

Simple enough ride out back to Linn of Dee. The relief of knowing that you can ride out as opposed to walking is unbeatable ! Total trip 36.7 km - biking - 16 km walking - 21 km

Sunset tripper - you are right, Glen Geusachan is a bogfest and a long slog.

In retrospect, I should have about turned at Monadh Mor, stayed high, caught the sun and enjoyed the 360 views. If I was to go back (ha !) I would stay high on the way back.

To sum up - long day, got through a lot of water, great views of The Angel's Peak, Cairn Toul & Devil's Point, biking in strongly recommended and a great day out.
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