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Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Blair Atholl to Aviemore


Postby David Preston » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:50 am

Hello,
I would like a bit of advice about the walk from Blair Atholl to Aviemore via Bedford Bridge, White Bridge and over Lairig Gheru to Aviemore. I am intending to do the trip next week and plan to camp on the way for 2 nights possibly near Bedford Bridge and Corrour Bothy. The weather at the moment is certainly changeable and I am aware that the Geldie Burn has no bridge and can be difficult to cross if it is in spate. Apart from waiting for the water level to drop could anyone tell me how far I would need to follow the river upstream to find a suitable crossing point. Also any other advice for the walk would be welcomed.

Thank You

David Preston
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby DarrenJeffrey » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:18 pm

I'm doing the Lairig Ghru in June from start to finish. I read it can be lethal in the Spring & Winter with the changing weather. A few people have lost their lives. Not putting a dampner on it however just remember to be prepared with suitable clothing, waterproofs and food

Have a good one
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby David Preston » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:15 pm

Thanks Darren,
I will be careful and I have what I think is the right equipment, however my motto is " if in doubt turn back, it will be there for another day"

Regards
David
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby icemandan » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:21 pm

I've done this a couple of times - a few tips;

i) It's tarmac as far as the lodge and a pretty good path as far as Falls of Tarf - you should cover this leg fairly quickly:
ii) Falls of Tarf is a fine spot to camp
iii) We didn't have any problems with the Geldie although this was in summer.
iv) The Geldie/White Bridge area is very open and windswept. You'll struggle to find a sheltered camping spot here; There is one small depression at White Bridge that will take a tent.
v) There are a few decent tent pitches around Corrour if you don't fancy the Bothy. If you're taking three days you could detour up Carn Toul and Devil's Point from here. There is a good path.
vi) The path from Corrour to Pools of Dee is very good.
vii) There is a lot of scrambling over boulders at the top of the Lairig. Not very comfortable if your pack is too heavy.
viii) There is almost nowhere to camp on the north side of the Lairig
ix) The section through Rothiemurchus Forest will take longer than you think.
x) If more dead than alive by the end, you can get a cold drink at the site shop at Nethy Bridge camp site.
xi) The flat couple of miles from Nethy Bridge to Aviemore station feels like ten.
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby David Preston » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:18 pm

Icemandan

Many thanks for the useful tips.

David
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby Border Reiver » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:55 am

3 of us did this in May last year after driving up and leaving the car in the Old Blair car park. We started at about 2.00 pm and followed the old Right of Way (grassy track) high above the East side of the valley, and joined the main estate track (not tarmacked) a couple of miles South East of Forest Lodge. We camped on a huge area of soft grass about a mile past the lodge. The good land rover track continues well up the glen before climbing over towards the Tarff bothy area but the path right through to Bynack Lodge ruins is a good one. There's loads of good camping spots if you are not focussed on the obviously well-used areas of green, but hard ground.
We walked in dry weather, so crossing the Bynack Burn and the Geldie was acheived without taking boots off, but a party of 4 Germans following us walked up and down for ages before crossing - we didn't wait to see how they managed it.
From there to White Bridge is land rover track again and we found an excellent camp spot for our 3 tents right next to the river on an area of deep, soft dead grass which made for a comfortable night, there was even a rock platform for cooking on. Again, there's plenty of camping spots right up the lower part of the Lairig - all you need is a water supply and a soft, flat area big enough to take a tent.
There are areas near the Pools of Dee where tents have been pitched, but we had a 3rd night next to the burn in Rothiemuchus forest, between Picadilly and the Cairngorm Club Foodbridge, and walked into Aviemore to catch the train the next morning (about 3 miles).
Here's a link to my report - it shows camping possibilities and the Geldie crossing.
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12572
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby David Preston » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:51 pm

Thanks Border Reiver,

I enjoyed reading your report, must remember to keep an eye on my camera.

Regards

David
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby Border Reiver » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:26 am

David Preston wrote:Thanks Border Reiver,

I enjoyed reading your report, must remember to keep an eye on my camera.

Regards

David

Thanks. I forgot to say that the current Geldie ford is probably the best place to cross as it's the widest and shallowest place in the immediate area. I've been further up and it's narrower, but faster and deeper. I reckon if the river's running high, you might be faced with a detour of quite a few miles and a suitable place might still not be found. Having said that, these rivers rise quickly during rain and drop just as quickly, so waiting for the water level to fall could be an option, rather than turn back, especially if the weather's improving. There are techniques for crossing swollen rivers, but to be honest, I'd not attempt the Geldie if it was much above knee deep. We thought long and hard about this and decided that the only reasonable way of dealing with it would be to go during dry weather.
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby LDPWalker » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:25 pm

This certainly looks like a great route and I am seriously tempted to have a go at it this year! Do we know what the distance is? It looks to be about 60 km to me, but that is a very rough estimate based on the map grid.
Roger
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby Border Reiver » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:52 pm

LDPWalker wrote:This certainly looks like a great route and I am seriously tempted to have a go at it this year! Do we know what the distance is? It looks to be about 60 km to me, but that is a very rough estimate based on the map grid.
Roger

It's round about that, depending on which way you finish off walking into Aviemore.
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby Paula Hubens » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:05 pm

Hi David,
You will love this walk, Glen Tilt is absolutely stunning. A few years ago I walked from Glenmore Lodge to Blair Atholl in 2 days. I camped on the east side of the river Dee, just past Corrour bothy where the path forks. And then at what I thought would be a bothy at NN956797. It was well ventilated, so I thought I'd better pitch the tent. :lol:
I'll second what Border Reiver said about the Geldie burn, the ford is your easiest option. I did look for an alternative crossing to keep my feet dry, but the boulders were too far apart or too slippery. In the end I went back to the ford, donned my Teva's and crossed in a jiffy. This was in May.
I would have posted a few pictures, to whet you appetite, but the walk was before I had a digital camera.
Enjoy your trip! :D
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Re: Blair Atholl to Aviemore

Postby rgf101 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:22 pm

Did Aviemore to Blair Atholl this weekend - walk report for anyone who wants it.
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