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Rainy Weekend in Glen Ey

Rainy Weekend in Glen Ey

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Aug 08, 2021 10:42 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Socach (Braemar), Beinn Iutharn Mhòr, Càrn a' Ghèoidh, Càrn an Rìgh, Càrn Aosda, Càrn Bhac, Glas Tulaichean, The Cairnwell

Date walked: 08/08/2021

Distance: 65 km

Ascent: 3333m

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This weekend had been earmarked for Knoydart, given that Allison seemed to be managing with a big pack. But that was before Storm Fleur hove in, making a change of plans necessary. I'd drawn up a comprehensive toddle around the Lochnagar/South-Eastern Cairngorms and Tops, but had to abandon this plan too on Thursday morning because high winds would make camping up high on Thursday night untenable. Back to the drawing board I went and came up with a circuit of the Cairnwell Munros from Inverey. We'd be able to camp fairly low in the glen on Thursday night and should hopefully ward off the risk of thunderstorms predicted for some point over the weekend.

Invereysi1.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Allison messaged me to say she was getting away from work early, whilst I was stuck in a queue in Lidl, with numerous things still to do before getting away. Life is busy :lol: So it was a bit of a rush to get everything packed and her picked up - I was hoping I hadn't omitted something essential. As you do. One advantage was that we arrived in Inverey around 6pm rather than 8pm, which was when the heavy rain was forecast to begin. An unexpectedly dry walk-in and pitch. It was quite windy and we searched for a spot near the united buildings at Auchelie, where we'd take the track up Carn Bhac the next morning. Protected from the gusts by a bed of reeds, we settled down for the night.

ImageED921D58-79CF-4428-84ED-8D1984199A77_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image7FE438F4-09E5-46CA-A97A-DA9875918CD9_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

It didn't seem to have been too windy after all, we both got some sleep and woke to midges and clag on he highest tops - not bad. Up the track - which I'd say is a preferable route to the standard WH one - in rain, the waters anxiously running down the hillside to rejoin their fellows in the river. The track does terminate at 730m leaving a bit of open hillside to be crossed before picking up the other path to the summit. Clag and intermittent drizzle. Over to the 920 Top before descending towards Beinn Iutharn Mhor. For some reason I'd decided that we should head west into Gleann Beag and pick up the track to Carn an Righ, doing that and Glas Tulaichean before Iutharn Mhor. But looking at the terrain I rethought my route and headed for one of the less steep parts of Iutharn Mhor's defences. We had memories of fighting our way up here one stormy and claggy day, with snow still lying despite it being mid-May...today's ascent was much more pleasant - we even found something of a path. Summit reached, over Mam nan Carn and Carn an Righ awaits - a short, steep pull on a path of sorts. From here it was a walk along the track in Gleann Mhor, with the only obstacle remaining an ascent of Glas Tulaichean.

ImageA4DE2A9A-5A04-4CCB-B87E-6B7E6CEF4EA3_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Carn Bhac
ImageAAE7250D-8994-4DB1-B59D-BD216CBC8A5B_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Iutharn Mhor
Image960ABBE4-B309-479C-98C1-C8DC201E1F14_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image9F881402-99A0-4A66-AF10-349A3F041B95_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageB392418F-CE65-49A0-A138-B28094F7DBC3_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Towards Carn an Righ
Image116F7E15-73A2-4D8E-9B4C-610B436AFE05_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Carn an Righ
Image7762AC84-3424-4F06-BFEB-6CA7D1841F2B_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

The wind and rain had taken a bit out of both of us, and Allison was looking a bit peaky by the time we had come steeply up the grassy side of Tulaichean to reach the 922m point, where we met with the path to the summit. Her expression on that summit photo tells it all. On the way down I could feel the need for food - my arms were all tingly, and a bit of Trek bar helped. Our goal now was to get somewhere to camp for the night. Everything was wet and sodden, tussocky and boggy. We headed over to Loch nan Eun, where I know folk camp, and found a wee spot, lumpy but better than anything else we could see around (in the clag, that wasn't very much :wink: ) We got pitched and prepared for a rainy night - we were not disappointed in that.

An Tulaichean
ImageEA52C5C2-796B-4935-8804-BBB662AFB0CD_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Tent view
ImageABA3AC6B-F5E4-4C0F-8BC7-ADE36624F8D4_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Saturday morning - the rain stayed more or less off whilst we decamped. We had a couple of Tops to do first - Beinn Iutharn Beag, which I'd decided was easily enough reached from the north of Loch nan Eun and Carn Binnien on the way to Carn an Gheoidh. The former was straightforward enough, the latter needed a bit of navigating over bog and peat hags which have lost their benign dry form, experienced in recent weeks, and have reverted to slippy, wet places. We stopped for some lunch near the summit of Carn Binnien before picking up a vague path that leads to Gheoidh. I was wondering how many folk we'd see up there today - a hill that's always busy in my experience. Sure enough - loads - there was a hill race on :lol: From there over to The Cairnwell, we had runners approaching us from behind - I felt like a rear view mirror would have been useful on the narrow bits of the path. Anyway, we made it up The Cairnwell, passing a family that had come up on the gondolas to see the sights.

Beinn Iutharn Beag
Image1F3EAB58-FB7E-4396-9885-F1B10909C614_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Carn Binnien
Image75F25DF0-D5DD-46EA-8BBD-AF950672507D by Al, on Flickr

ImageE38082E3-C4C8-4823-8C93-64D79019CC3A_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image6893128F-2A3A-4004-9910-6FAC3458B8F2_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Next we had the luxury of a track from The Cairnwell over to Carn Aosda - normally The Cairnwell marks the end of the circuit and we have to mosey down between the gondola supports to the car park but not today! The last of the runners was setting off from Carn Aosda as we arrived. My plan was to head down towards the Baddoch Burn, up and over An Socach and spend the night somewhere around Altanour Lodge - however, the wether forecast suggested heavy rain at 6pm...we wouldn't get to Altanour before that. Heading down Sron nam Fiadh we noticed an ATV track going up the flank of An Socach - from a bit further east that we'd have chosen to go, but there looked suitable camping spots around the bottom of it. Deciding that a dry pitch was better than having to pitch in the rain, we opted for an early end to the day and set up camp, amidst some non-plussed sheep at about 4.30. This gave us time to get a few things dried off in the intermittent sunshine and breeze and to have our tea sitting outside for a change.

View over to Carn Aosda
ImageA88D4EFA-144C-4807-9C7C-2FA80DBFA3C0_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image3C6AA357-BA79-4093-ACFA-765A92994DC3_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageD8C557CE-D5E5-4DA5-82D6-25A8C8F91478_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image40ED5163-1027-476A-9860-A7416058EDE3_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image24875D87-AB58-4335-9275-048183C00F1F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Drying off...
ImageA1B99ABA-FD9D-4AC4-9884-48B77EFA101A_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

The midges caused us to retreat indoors before the rain came (at 6.45) and we had an early night, which wasn't a bad idea. More heavy rain overnight, sheep noises and the occasional grouse laughing. A dry morning with mist on the hilltops, the threat of rain never far away though. The ATV track to the gross butts proved useful in easing our way up the hillside and it joined on to the track one uses if coming in from the A93. At the summit we were surprised to see a walker coming up from Glen Ey - just as he was surprised to see us (it was only 8.30 at this point). We continued down to Glen Ey, noticing a group of 6 walkers on their way up, and more folk lower down. Jeez - a busy place this on a Sunday morning. We passed 9 bikes at Altanour Lodge - just as well we hadn't camped there - would have been like Sauchiehall St. We walked north up the track til we reached the second bridge, at which point we stopped for an early lunch and prepared for some Simms. I'd only given a cursory glance at what was involved in the three Simms to the NE of here...they turned out to be a little more work than expected :roll: For a start, the first - Carn na Drochaide - involved 350m of ascent, albeit some on track. We looked over to Morrone and to the other Simms to the NE of An Socach - I had no recollection of having done these, although Hill-Bagging assured me I had. Carn Mor involved a good bit of swampy ground and the final hill - Tom Anthon - was a real steep wee character. Views north to the Cairngorms showed storm clouds coming in.

Image120A14B7-6AC9-4488-A183-96B6BAAEAB74_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageBDE162F2-36C0-424B-AEA1-29054DA23235 by Al, on Flickr

Image6C994574-7E0F-4E81-BB79-266C61A0DF84_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Glen Ey
ImageEB8F0937-20EC-4EB2-8E42-72DF92CC4AAA_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image603011E5-545D-45F5-A375-E23B516829E4_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image3E964561-AA3D-433B-9A5F-EF693B191C2C_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image5C78187A-D6FB-4A5C-B7AE-49A1F3DC187F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image5FAC7BD6-655C-4DC2-B4E5-CDD014148D0B_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image2A3C4DB6-69AA-4177-B0AB-DC3AD1B180BB_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Tom Anthon
ImageED57B49C-EF22-47E5-AF82-1C7CD8B6D635_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

From the top of Tom, we headed down, picking up a track that led all the way to the car park at Inverey. Those last 3 summits had taken longer than expected - 3 and a half hours - so my (unspoken) idea of nipping up Ben Gulabin on the way home was out the window. We stopped in busy Braemar for something to eat n the way down the road and had a fair bit of rainfall to negotiate on the journey, as well as roadworks and broken down cars.

Image1C7912AB-2F31-4500-A34F-2EB696CDA7DF_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr
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Re: Rainy Weekend in Glen Ey

Postby goth_angel » Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:50 pm

Impressive stuff. Do you never have a weekend where you look at the weather forecast and decide to do something else instead?

Genuinely curious - and also curious as to what your ultimate goal is in terms of what hills/ how many rounds?
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Re: Rainy Weekend in Glen Ey

Postby R1ggered » Mon Aug 09, 2021 5:11 pm

Fair play to you both you do not let the weather put you off. :clap: :clap:
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Re: Rainy Weekend in Glen Ey

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:22 am

I admire your dedication even in bad weather. We just went mushroom picking on Sunday :lol:
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Re: Rainy Weekend in Glen Ey

Postby gld73 » Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:19 am

You do some really impressive and interesting routes ...and as others have pointed out, in all weathers! I feel like an utter wimp in comparison, my tent won't leave my house unless there's something approaching a 100% certainty of the weather staying dry, and even a day walk up a hill has to be something with a good chance of decent weather!
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Re: Rainy Weekend in Glen Ey

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:07 pm

goth_angel wrote:Impressive stuff. Do you never have a weekend where you look at the weather forecast and decide to do something else instead?

Genuinely curious - and also curious as to what your ultimate goal is in terms of what hills/ how many rounds?

In answer to your first question- No!

As for goals, I don’t really have any :wink: I would like to get to 2000 Simms and would like to finish my third round of Munros. I’ve been considering whether I could do a triple completion of Munros/Corbetts/Grahams on the one outing, but that would be quite a way off. I think I can only do that in Torridon now, having twice climbed the Graham in Glencoe that lends itself to such things. But really, I just like getting out and these three day outings I/we have been doing recently are highly enjoyable. It’s also been edifying to see my fitness coming back a bit after the dismal months of lockdown. This weekend will be a bit different as we’re going to a Compleation on the Saturday, which will be a bit weird for antisocial me,
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Re: Rainy Weekend in Glen Ey

Postby Mountainlove » Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:01 pm

What a walk...your fitness level is really back to where it used to be. Well done for doing that round in the weather conditions. Can't believe the amount of walkers you encountered. Last time I did (at least the Munros in that area) I hardly saw a soul.
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