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Ben Macdui route help

Ben Macdui route help


Postby Choccy » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:54 pm

Hi all, I'm sure there are lots here that know a lot more than me about this area, I'm trying to plan a 2 day hike from the Cairngorm Ski Centre. I'd like to get as many summits as possible, but with all the different mapping and maps I'm having trouble creating a route.

My initial plan (weather permitting) would be Cairngorm summit, then over to Ben Macdui and maybe up and back down Carn a Mhaim (just for the ridge walk) then over the other side towards Carn Toul, Braeriach and back through the Chalamain Gap. Is this all possible in 2 days or should I be looking at a different plan.

Hopefully I'll get at least 7-8 hours walking in each day. Would this be enough to cover that distance.

Many thanks.

Leigh...
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby prog99 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:10 pm

Essentially the cairngorm 4000rs then with an extra top. Doable in a day so your two days plan seems fair enough.

May as well tag on the devils point for all the extra ascent it requires once you ascend up from corrour.
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby Choccy » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:24 pm

prog99 wrote:Essentially the cairngorm 4000rs then with an extra top. Doable in a day so your two days plan seems fair enough.

May as well tag on the devils point for all the extra ascent it requires once you ascend up from corrour.


Thanks prog, yeah I'm hoping that'll not add much time, but I'm sure it'll be a stunning view. Would I be better looking for a Cairngorm 4000 route as a starting point, and adjust to suit my start/finish points.
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby davekeiller » Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:29 pm

So what you're proposing is to start from the Ski centre, up Cairngorm and across the plateau to Ben Macdui, down to Carn a Mhaim and then into the Lairig Ghru and camp somewhere near Corrour Bothy.
Then day 2 is to go up from the Lairig Ghru and do Braeriach and Cairn Toul, dropping down to the Lairig Ghru and back to the ski centre via the Chalamain gap.

That sounds like a perfectly sensible two day outing, although I'd add the Devil's point to the start of day 2 as it's not much more ascent and gets you onto the summit plateau/ridge easily. It might be possible to do it all in a single day, but it's a considerable descent and reascent to cross the Lairig Ghru, and we're pretty much at the equinox so you'd probably struggle to do it all before it gets dark.
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby ScotFinn65 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:43 pm

I planned the same route last summer. The first day went to plan and l camped outside Corrour Bothy.

The 2nd day rained , so l left via the Laraig Ghru.

It is very doable over 2 days. I didn't feel the first day too taxing, it was about 24km but ascent is not huge. Worst part is the boulder field below Macdui.

The walk report is somewhere on WH.
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby maremalin » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:36 am

This is how i did it last year.
Day2 was cut short due to storm - orignal plan included Beinn Mheadhion and Cairn Gorm
Attachments
Day1.png
Day 1
day2.png
Day 2
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby rgf101 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:38 pm

Sounds fine. I did this over two nights and in reverse in 2015 and looked at photo timings just out of curiosity.

2:30 in the Chalamain Gap
6pm top of Braerich
6:45pm tent up at Wells of Dee

7:30am up and about (not sure when I actually got to walking)
11:40am top of Cairn Toul
1pm Top of Devil's Point
7pm Top of Carn a Mhaim - had the tent on the shoulder between there and MacDui

Then not sure when I started the next day, but
9:40 on top of Ben MacDui and... actually, no more useful timings for the last day.

I was taking my time and having plenty of rests. Two days is plenty.
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby jmarkb » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:40 am

If I have read your profile and other thread correctly, and you are planning this in November as you first Scottish hill experience, and don't have much hill experience, then I would strongly advise a much gentler introduction!
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby walkingpoles » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:34 am

I second jmarkb.

November will make it a race.
Check the daylight hours for your intended dates
https://www.sunrise-and-sunset.com/en/sun/united-kingdom/aviemore/2020/november

You'll be carrying lots of luggage and the schedule is quite unforgiving. Lot's of plans B are necessary, as any navigation mistake or some unexpected obstacle will make it impossible to complete your intended route. I wouldn't dare walking in darkness in the Cairngorms unless on the big paths in the valleys, even though I know the terrain by now.

In case you get caught by the sunset, the plateau side allows for camping, if the wind plays along (are you flexible with dates so that you can assume reasonable weather conditions?), on the MacDui side, it might be hard to find a suitable spot on your intended route.

I'd consider making it 3 days with a base camp in the valley or go for something more forgiving. Far away solitary hills (e.g. Ben Avon from Breamar) might be a great target for a November camp. The intended route is easier with 12 hours of daylight.
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby Choccy » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:08 pm

Thanks for the replies, I'm fully aware of the daylight (or lack of) hours. I'm liking the look of the reverse route that maremalin posted, this would allow for an early start of the Saturday, and better/easier escapes on the Sunday if needed.
I'm not completely new to the hills, and I'll be fully prepared. Obviously if the weather is that bad we'll make other plans for an overnight camp. I'm also quite happy to walk for 8-10 hours each day with my pack in its winter set up.
I know a lot of you here have more experience of these mountains than me, but I'll not take any risks if the conditions are bad/forecast bad. I now how anything from a change in weather to a twisted ankle can change the whole environment.

Many thanks for the clarification on the route.

Leigh.
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Re: Ben Macdui route help

Postby Choccy » Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:03 pm

Looks like I'm missing out on a fabulous weekend of weather, the forecast looks pretty close to what I'd hope for in a perfect world.

I hope some locals get to enjoy those mountains this weekend.

Leigh...
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