This probably accounts for the best hill walk i've ever done in Scotland. It was a sunny day in July when we ventured out from Whitewell in Rothiemurchus Forest - i have to admit, i seriously underestimated the length of this route and the height of the Munros involved. These factors, combined with the heat of the July sun, made for a very tough day!
Starting from the car park at Whitewell the route heads out of Rothiemurchus and follows Glen Einich almost to the shore of Loch Einich with the cliffs of Sgor Gaoith looming above. This long approach serves to warm up the leg muscles before commencing the steepest part of the route. This is the climb via Coire Dhondail to the plateau but an excellent path makes the going relatively easy. Once the plateau has been gained, continue in an easterly direction to reach the edge overlooking the Lairig Ghru.
Now the fun really starts with three quality Munros ahead. First head east to climb Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak) followed by Cairn Toul. Then, return to the same point (you can bypass the summit of Sgor an Lochain Uaine) and follow the rim of the plateau as it curves to the north-east and easily reaches the summit of Braeriach. The views across the Lairig Ghru to Ben Macdui dominate and the source on the infant River Dee is passed on route.
From Braeriach descend the long ridge extending northwards from the top of Sron na Lairige to eventually reach the Lairig Ghru path by the former site of the Sinclair Hut. It was whilst on this descent that it suddenly dawned on me that this is a very long route! Somehow, the curvaceous nature of the Cairngorms had lulled me into a false sense of security and now the distance and height gain covered so far really began to catch up!
Luckily, it was all downhill from here and Rothiemurchus provided welcome shade from the sun. However, it remained a fair distance back to Whitewell and the day ended by limping around Tesco in Aviemore for some much needed aftersun lotion!
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