Page 1 of 1

Duo at Dal-whinnie was Neigh Bother

PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 11:45 am
by Craig 7483
My initial plan was to do three munros at the Cairngorms at the weekend. With it being a 3.5hr drive away and wanting my preferred early start, I didn’t fancy leaving the house at 0230 for a day on the hills. I booked a B&B at Kingussie for the night before it and with planning, realised I could bag Carn na Caim & A’Bhuidheanach Bheag on the way up prior to stopping over.

Northbound on the A9, I used the lay-by just before Dalwhinnie as my start point. Crossing the road and heading in the direction I had been travelling, I went through a gate describing the wildlife you could expect to see.

The track starts here and would guess that for at the very least 60% of this route is on an ATV track before forming into a path at later stages; coupled with the cloud not being a nuisance, navigation was particularly straightforward on this occasion.

I didn’t waste time and in under an hour I was at the fork in the road. I elected to take the left and tackle Carn na Caim first. I was going slightly faster than my normal pace here, I tend to be slower and take in more of my surroundings but with half an eye on my Cairngorms outing tomorrow, I didn’t really want to spend more than necessary on the hillside today.
Left to Carn na Caim

Sticking to the track, it isn’t long before the cairned summit or Carn na Caim is in view after hanging a left. You can even make it out from the track on a clear day as seen below.
Cairn visible in centre of photo

I could make out a flattened path in the distance to the summit too. After sticking to the track and coming out of the dip further ahead, I then came off the path and took a short cut across the boggy looking area which was solid due to the good weather, eventually merging back onto the path and straight on to the top of Carn na Caim. I was just under one and a half hours at this point and was pleased with my progress.
Carn na Caim

A case of retracing the steps back at this point and back on to the ATV track from where I left. Heading back to where the path veers to the right at almost 90°, you can head straight on at this point and again, pick up on the track which didn’t take too long on the route to A’Bhuidheanach Bheag. There was a couple of boggy sections which were solid enough to walk on rather than pick your way through it. At this point my presence startled the only mountain hare I saw on my journey - as advertised on the gate at the start of the walk - but they move like greased lightning and a photo opportunity was impossible!

Soon enough was back on the track and moving expeditiously towards the second munro of the day. I had done my homework and was aware to keep an eye out for a quartz cairn highlighting the route ahead. A good Samaritan has even marked an arrow with the stones which marked the correct way ahead.

This leads to you losing a bit of elevation before heading uphill again on a beaten grassy path. The trig pillar came into view and I made my way towards that. It was about an hour and a quarter from Carn na Caim.
A’Bhuideanach Bheag

From here I roughly retraced my steps and made what appeared the quickest route back onto the path which lead to the grassy ascent. It is plain sailing once on to the ATV track back to the car although you do have a couple of undulations to tackle, nothing serious but if you were to do this route described in inverse (taking a right at the fork), you’ll have virtually no ascent from Carn na Caim when heading back to car, making it an easier walk for tired legs. It took me about an hour and a half from trig pillar to car.

I’m glad I done these munros but I don’t think I’d be rushing back to do them anytime soon. I found the views good at times but in comparison to what I’ve walked I think I’ve been spoiled and found these two a bit bland in comparison. I also benefitted massively from the good weather where I found it easy to navigate and bogs were solid enough. I think this is the first time I’ve done munros and not had to clean my boots after it!

Re: Duo at Dal-whinnie was Neigh Bother

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 11:16 am
by dhowie5
Hi Craig,

What were the sheep numbers like when you walked? Heading up this weekend and always good to know in advance what their like for the dog.



Re: Duo at Dal-whinnie was Neigh Bother

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:37 pm
by Craig 7483
Hi Daniel,

You’ll be greeted with the sheep straight away once you cross the gate after crossing the road. There was maybe a couple of dozen or so scattered over a large area right up until the point where you can go left or right to either munro.

I don’t recall seeing any after this point on the open hillside until the same points on the way down.