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walking with children in Cairngorms

walking with children in Cairngorms


Postby vixi_s » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:15 pm

Hello

We are making our first trip to Scotland as a family with two children aged 7 and 9. We have done a few mountains in the UK and the kids are used to long whole day walks. We'd really appreciate some advice on walking with the kids when we visit the Cairngorms this summer, we'd love to bag our first munro all together but don't know which one, we're staying at Loch Insch so somewhere around that area would be good.

many thanks
Victoria
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:27 am

Always pay heed to the weather forecast before you go, and cancel if it is at all dodgy. The hills make their own weather too, different from the national trend, so pay attention to immediate conditions. The high passes often have severe winds when on either side of the hills the air is still. A man took his two kids through the Lairig Ghru some years ago; the kids got chilled and he could only carry one. By the time help came, the other kid had died. I was on the Braemar side of the hills that day, the weather was overcast but mild. Kids are more prone to hypothermia than adults, be careful what you put them through. If the forecast and the conditions are fine, then go for it and look out for eagles, deer, pine martens, ptarmigan, otters,adders, herons and all the other wildlife which thrive in the Cairngorms. Look out for Cairngorm Stones; crystals of yellow to brown hue which can be made into brooches, etc. Some of the trees are truly ancient, and would have stood when kilted highlanders with broadswords and targes, flintlocks and daggers, would have raided through the land. Ryvoan has a nice hike up the back of Ryvoan bothy, Meal a Buchaille and Greagan Gorm. If you are dead set on Munros then the Cairngorm itself, with fine views over Loch A'an is your best bet. You can drive up to the ski centre car park to get a head start.

Stags#2.jpg
Red Deer Stags


014 (2)Ryvoan Reindeer#R.jpg
Reindeer near Ryvoan


Lochan Uaine of Ryvoan#2.jpg
Lochan Uaine, Ryvoan


Glen Lui August 08 011b r.jpg
Adder, Glen Lui


Glen Lui April 08 002.jpg
Glen Luibeag


Canoeing Loch Morlich#p.JPG
Canoeing on Loch Morlich - a nice restful way to explore the forest.
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby davekeiller » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:21 pm

Cairngorm definitely has the advantage of the car park being quite high. The summit is above 1200m, but the car park is at 600m above sea level, so the ascent is less than many smaller mountains.
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby Ian Johnston » Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:38 pm

Hi Victoria,

The Cairngorms generally is a great area for walking with kids - you're on the busier side of the hill around Aviemore etc but there's something for everyone in terms of distance, ascent and variety.

If the kids are already reasonably strong walkers, something like starting at Drumguish (Tromie Bridge) and heading up Glen Tromie, up onto Croidh La, then continuing south to Glen Tromie again, returning down the track in the glen might be a good day walk?

Things to consider - the midges will be out; don't underestimate them! "Smidge" and at least a hood (preferably Beaton's Midge jackets) will be worth their weight in gold. Distances in the Cairngorms have to be factored in, it's a big area, there are relatively few hills in close proximity to starting points and the "long walk in" is the norm rather than the exception. As Caberfeidh has noted, the weather here is a constant factor, a sunny, pleasant day at glen level can be very challenging higher up, and it can change quickly.

There are lots of great walk reports here, plus some on my blog at http://mountainandseascotland.blogspot.com/. Drop me a PM if you'd like more suggestions

Most of all, enjoy your holiday!

Ian
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby Tringa » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:27 pm

Along with the advice above I'd add have a look at the walks section here. There are loads of walks from gentle strolls to mountain ascents, all well described and with photos. If the weather is not playing ball and a top is out of the question then there are many more interesting walks.

I agree about Smidge. It is, IMO, just about as good as DEET based insect repellents but does not have the unpleasant side effects - I find DEET products numb my lips, stings the eyes and it also melts some plastics.

If you don't know about ticks have a look online and get a tick remover. Lyme disease is potentially very serious but the chances of catching it from a a tick are low if ticks are checked for after a walk and removed.

As already said hope you enjoy your first trip towards the addiction that is Scotland.


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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:54 am

vixi_s wrote:Hello

We are making our first trip to Scotland as a family with two children aged 7 and 9. We have done a few mountains in the UK and the kids are used to long whole day walks. We'd really appreciate some advice on walking with the kids when we visit the Cairngorms this summer, we'd love to bag our first munro all together but don't know which one, we're staying at Loch Insch so somewhere around that area would be good.

many thanks
Victoria


Hi Victoria

this is a good walk to a Munro summit that I did with my kids
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=87810

It's described on WH, but with a longer loop to the west (which with children, I would omit), at https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cairngorms/cairngorm.shtml

There are also Meall Cuaich and the west Drumochter munros - Geal Charn and Sgairneach Mhor are the easiest, A'Mharconaich is the most interesting. However, Geal Charn has I think the best view - https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=60915. These are all easy hills with a high starting point off the A9, but they are rounded and don't really feel like mountains. For children, they might seem a bit tedious.

Another option would be to drive a bit west and walk up into Coire Ardair. The corrie and its lochan is one of the most impressive places in Scotland and is a great objective in itself. The path is excellent and there is plenty along the way - bits of nice woodland, a beautiful stream, then the lochan itself - to keep the children's interest.

Then, if the children are enjoying it, you could walk further up the path, to the pass known as the Window, turn right along a path, and quite quickly reach the Munro summit of Stob Coire Poite Ardair. My walk in this area is here https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=81131 and the WH description (as far as the lochan) is at https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/coire-ardair.shtml

Tim
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:32 am

Here's a walk I did 8 years ago with a bunch of kids and am planning a return visit tomorrow with same kids plus some new younger ones! It helps with kids to have places of interest on the way up. The Green Lochan and Ryvoan bothy are useful for that.

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=25304
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby al78 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:13 pm

Ian Johnston wrote:Hi Victoria,
If the kids are already reasonably strong walkers, something like starting at Drumguish (Tromie Bridge) and heading up Glen Tromie, up onto Croidh La, then continuing south to Glen Tromie again, returning down the track in the glen might be a good day walk?


When I walked the Minigaig in 2017, I looked for the marked path up Croid-la from the south, and couldn't find it at all, not a trace of a path visible. I also tried to find the marked path from Glentromie lodge over Beinn Bhuidhe to Ruthven but I couldn't find that either (I went to the end of the driveway but couldn't find anything near any of the buildings).
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby jmarkb » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:00 am

Sgor Gaoith is another potential option for a reasonable easy Munro: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cairngorms/sgor-gaoith.shtml
The return over Geal Charn is optional, but doesn't add too much extra effort.

Geal-charn Mor is another worthwhile shortish day: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cairngorms/geal-charn-mor.shtml as is Creag Dubh near Newtonmore: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cairngorms/creag-dubh.shtml

For a short walk from Loch Insh, An Suidhe is a nice wee hill - you can get under the A9 via a track at NH833065.
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby Sgurr » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:07 am

If you are prepared to drive south from the Cairngorms, A. Mhaorconaich starts high up We did it in a half day with a visitor who needed time for an afternoon meeting https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/munros/a-mharconaich
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby vixi_s » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:02 am

Thank you for all these really helpful suggestions, going to get the maps out and go through them all!
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Re: walking with children in Cairngorms

Postby dogplodder » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:50 pm

This recent walk I did with kids wasn't entirely successful. It wasn't in the Cairngorms but the same principles apply. I blame myself for what went wrong.... partly down to poor child psychology!

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=98196
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