Parked at Linn of Dee - spent night at Corrour bothy - ascended Ben Macduie from the south west and walked back out to Linn of Dee.
route map attached...I think!
Left Dundee about 5pm on Tuesday (in hindsight maybe a little later than would have been prudent). An eventful journey starting with doing a loop of a kingsway roundabout before deciding where we were actually going. Soon followed by hitting a massive pothole just past the Glenshee ski centre (later to realise the exhaust damage it caused). Next was just before Braemar, came around a corner to discover I was actually amongst a herd of deer who unfortunately were trying to cross the road at 90 degrees to the direction I was travelling (evasive movements ensued). Finally just before the Linn of Dee, whilst distracted by a national trust sign I forgot to turn around a bend and nearly stuck it in a ditch/tree/both!
Eventually arrived at the Linn of Dee car park just before 7pm . Had to count all of the pennies in my ashtray to amass the princely sum of £1.60 for the national trust to have the pleasure of my car for the two days.
Finally got going at 7.07pm and it was dark! seriously dark! with no moon and the initial stretch being in the forest it was head torches only! At the Dee river crossing things looked up. just enough light to turn the torches off and walk by starlight. Saw a couple of fantastic shooting stars and even a satellite motoring overhead. Reached Derry lodge and cracked out the tootie-fruities ! Suitably confused at the crossing of Derrys Burn we couldn't find the bridge and so waded through. Next, same again, at Luibeg Burn no sign of the bridge so wading it was . Had got really dark by now and the torches were back out, leading to a discussion about wether a shadowy outline was a tree or a digger (obvious answer later).
Arrived at the corrour bothy about 10.30 - met two other guys, had a bit of dinner, stoked the fire, put every item of clothing I had on and slept through until 10am! The bothy must have been just above freezing but luckily was toasty enough for the night out of the wind.
Speedy breakfast of "GO fruit bars" for an assault on Ben Macdui (blissfully unaware at this point of the fact it was actually the second highest peak in the uk and still in pretty much full winter conditions at the top! got to love the naive!)
Ascended the first stretch from 600 to 900m following the allt clach nan taillear watercourse. Pretty steep but solid underfoot . Crossed to the left and carried on just above the scree field, getting gradually more snowy. Saw two jets in the valley below - amazing sight and must be an even better job! Ascended the last 100m on pretty much sheet ice polished by the wind, not cool! |ben macdui 1309|
The way down got even more precarious, the ice and snow carried on to Sron Riach with some impressive snow cornices some of which had broken over lochan uaine! Didn't want to slip here or it would be a 300m slide to somewhere you didn't want to be. Reached the edge of the ice sheet just as a search and rescue helicopter passed overhead - a timely reminder!
Came back down the nose of Sron Riach to reach the Luibeg Burn and passed one of the bridges we missed the previous night! Retracing our steps from the night before we trudged along to Luibeg forest before a coffee and snicker stop. Discovered it was indeed a tree last night and definitely not a digger!
Finally a jealous/envious look at Derry lodge before returning to the car about 6pm - just as the light was fading.
A cracking trip with near perfect weather!
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