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Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine


Postby LucyScott » Sun Apr 14, 2024 10:22 am

Route description: An Lochan Uaine and Ryvoan circuit

Date walked: 14/04/2024

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 200m

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Lochan Uaine is a Lochan steeped in folklore and a fabulous mystical aura. Its stunning colour is relatively unexplained if you don’t believe that the colour comes from the fairies washing their clothes in it, although it is theorised that the stunning colour may come from the reflection of minerals in the rocks and the reflection of the pine trees. It really is a very magical place with a very beautiful atmosphere of calm and tranquility.
We chose a longer route with a tiny bit of a climb and to continue past the loch onto the Ryvoan pass to visit Ryvoan Bothy. We started at Glenmore visitor centre but we parked on the roadside as the car park was full. We followed the Walking Highlands online walk guide and started by climbing up above the Reindeer Centre onto a steep hill with beautiful views of Loch Morlich and Cairngorm. I’m usually good when climbs are early in a walk but my body seemed to protest at being thrown so abruptly into a steeper climb than I expected. The views were more than worth it as was wondering among the Granny pines linking us to the Caledonian Forest.
The walk grading was two boots which indicate a slightly tough walk, I was wondering why when looking at the profile and terrain, but again was not expected just how ‘rougher’ the path became. The path traverses a hillside over very gnarly terrain with lots of rocks and tree routes, it really feels like an adventure though and we absolutely loved it, walking poles would be a good investment for this part. The path then descends for a while with some boarded sections and lots of rocky steps, my ankles definitely knew we had walked on rougher ground.
Once you descend the hill you go over a bridge and then the beautiful green of Loch Uaine lays breathtakingly before you. There is an air of awe and tranquility, despite this being a relatively popular spot with an easier, more accessible path than we took. We spent some time soaking up the aura of the place and paddling at the edge of these beautiful waters. We are desperate to go back for a wild swim but need to research what to do if we become host to a leech as it’s rumoured the loch has quite healthy population of them.
We then followed the path along the length of the loch and up the Glen following the sign for Nethybridge, the weather was beautiful and reminded me why the mountain passes are my favourite type of walk, you feel so cocooned and held by the majestical landscape and can so easily see how the glaciers would have traversed the earth carving the landscape we see today. We followed the path to Ryvoan Bothy to introduce the girls to the history and, occasionally controversy, of Scottish mountain Bothys. I really recommend reading Cairngorm John for a special insight into the Cairngorms and some of the Bothy demolishments over the premise that they offer a false sense of security in a treacherous landscape. We enjoyed a water stop and discussed if the children are would fancy a stay in a Bothy, one loves the idea, the other is definitely against the idea! I love the idea, but not sure I’d love the reality.
We then retraced our steps, enjoying the view over to one of the snow filled corrie’s of Cairngorm before we reached Lochan Uaine again. Unable to resist its pull, we enjoyed some time on the beach at the end of the Loch and another paddle.
We then took the easier, level path to the car, past Glenmore outdoor centre, and back to the visitor centre. We were out on the walk for roughly three and a half hours but that was with lengthy stops. Perfect walk to take a picnic on, with sheltered spots along the side of the Lochan and obviously the shelter of the Bothy.
Distance 10k
Fall count - 0 for the first time ever!
#cairngormhikes #familyhikesscotland #lochanuaine #hikingwithkids #scotlandhiking #cairngormsnationalpark #hikingadventures #aviemore
Attachments
IMG_2639.jpeg
Play in the stream on the way back
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The sandy beach at the end of the Loch
IMG_2556.jpeg
A taste of Bothy life
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Teasing us for another day
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Easygoing towards the Bothy
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Just beautiful
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The steep descent gives way to the whimsical steps down to the Lochan
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Beautiful streams frequent the walk and we just couldn’t resist feeling the cool freshness
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The path becomes pretty rough
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The initial small climb provides stunning views
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Re: Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Sun Apr 14, 2024 10:35 am

Great photos, looks like you all had a great time!
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Re: Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Postby AHillTooFar » Sun Apr 14, 2024 5:57 pm

Been a while since I was there as it can be a busy place.

Did the meal a'bhuachaille route which you hinted at climbing although I first went to craiggowrie. Probably easier going up meal a'bhuachaille first IIRC the steps are quite steep.

At least you got the weather going your way.
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Re: Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Postby The English Alpinist » Mon Apr 15, 2024 6:15 pm

You must return to do the Buachaille! Great views of the cairngorns and a safe (if strenuous) path for a family. I have fond memories of visiting the lochan and bothy en route. I also think the idea of staying is probably better than the reality, but planning to sample some to get the Cairngorms done in future. 'Demolishing them because of false sense of security' - what crap! They're a great asset and suit the landscape.
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Re: Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Postby prog99 » Mon Apr 15, 2024 9:16 pm

The English Alpinist wrote:'Demolishing them because of false sense of security' - what crap! They're a great asset and suit the landscape.

I assume you know which ones and why?
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Re: Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Postby The English Alpinist » Tue Apr 16, 2024 3:36 pm

prog99 wrote:
The English Alpinist wrote:'Demolishing them because of false sense of security' - what crap! They're a great asset and suit the landscape.

I assume you know which ones and why?


Yes, the ones 'in a treacherous landscape, and because they offer a false sense of security'. If you have an opinion or know more then you could write it up as your first contribution to this site. I'd be interested. The OP told us about Cairngorm John so I might give that a look, but I think the premise already tells me what I need to know, and I disagree with it.
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Re: Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Postby prog99 » Tue Apr 16, 2024 5:00 pm

The English Alpinist wrote:
prog99 wrote:
The English Alpinist wrote:'Demolishing them because of false sense of security' - what crap! They're a great asset and suit the landscape.

I assume you know which ones and why?


Yes, the ones 'in a treacherous landscape, and because they offer a false sense of security'. If you have an opinion or know more then you could write it up as your first contribution to this site. I'd be interested. The OP told us about Cairngorm John so I might give that a look, but I think the premise already tells me what I need to know, and I disagree with it.

They were not what you would think of as bothies in the traditional sense. One escaped , its high up on the edge of cairngorm.
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Re: Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Postby jmarkb » Tue Apr 16, 2024 5:22 pm

The English Alpinist wrote:Yes, the ones 'in a treacherous landscape, and because they offer a false sense of security'. If you have an opinion or know more then you could write it up as your first contribution to this site. I'd be interested. The OP told us about Cairngorm John so I might give that a look, but I think the premise already tells me what I need to know, and I disagree with it.


Some background reading for you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairngorm_Plateau_disaster
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Re: Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Postby LucyScott » Sat Apr 20, 2024 5:11 pm

There’s been some awful tragedies. The book I mentioned is wonderful, very readable while being highly informative, there are some heartbreaking sections though so definitely don’t go into the book without being prepared. Theres a more thorough delve into the politics and arguments around the demolitions, but ultimately a group of teenagers lost their lives. This link gives a little detail https://gb.readly.com/magazines/trail/2023-01-19/63c1f56d885e693064607e59

We will definitely be doing this walk again and expand it slightly. Has anyone swam in the loch? The children are desperate too but I’m a little cautious, not just because of the leeches but because my daughter found a stick which seemed to be coloured in the same way my Grandads arm was from his copper bangle! I’ve heard that if indeed it’s copper causing the colour , that any sludge at the bottom could be potentially poisonous, although I’ve not researched this.
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Re: Ryvoan Bothy and Lochan Uaine in the April Sunshine

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Apr 21, 2024 5:20 am

I dont think anyone is suggesting that bothies like Ryvoan should be demolished.

It was before my time but I know the positions of 2 shelters that were demolished high in the cairngorms. There are and were differing views on whether they should go and it was a terrible tragedy that highlighted that the shelters might be an issue.

I'm not 100% sure why the El Alamein shelter survived but I believe it may have been down to politics and the old County lines had the other 2 in Banffshire while El Alamein was in Inverness-shire???

If you are ever up on the plateau heading for Macdui by the normal route from Cairngorm, I think the shelter was situated just across Lochan Buidhe not far from the path. When there, I have a thought for the people who were lost near there just over half a century ago.
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