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Munros Two Hundred and Thirty Eight to Forty One

Munros Two Hundred and Thirty Eight to Forty One

Postby Chris Henshall » Tue Jun 06, 2023 8:14 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Socach (Braemar), Càrn a' Ghèoidh, Càrn Aosda, The Cairnwell

Date walked: 31/05/2023

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Wednesday, 31st. May
Camped high at Loch nan Eun, Alex, Chalky and I woke early with the sun streaming through our condensation coated tent walls and encouraging us out to view a cloud-filled Gleann Taitneach below us.
Day 4a - Morning at Loch nan Eun.jpg
Morning at Loch nan Eun (31.05.2023.)
The air temperature was very high – almost oppressively so – but our efforts to dry the tents were cut short as mist from the inversion below drifted up from the glen on a weak southerly wind and shielded us from the rising sun. Time to pack up and head out, we thought.
A couple of kilometres brought the col between the Allt Cac Dubh and the Baddoch Burn underfoot with, divertingly, a good half dozen hares tooling around on the heathery peat hags. We dumped the heavy bags (making an easy to re-find “sack henge” in case the rising inversion mists made navigation difficult) and clambered on to the western end of An Socach’s summit ridge to catch another mesmerising snapshot of the slowly changing panorama of the northern Cairngorms.
Day 4b - approaching An Sochach.jpg
Heading east from Loch nan Eun and approaching An Sochach (31.05.2023.)
Day 4c - Bag Henge.jpg
Bag Henge (31.05.2023.)
Day 4d - Summit of An Sochach.jpg
The summit of An Sochach (31.05.2023.)
It was especially apparent hereabouts that the spring has been a dry one and that the heather moorland was in an appallingly degraded and overgrazed condition. A gentle pull from the bags over the north east shoulder of Carn a’Chlarsaich startled a herd of about forty of the principal over-grazers and led to both an irresistible (for Chalky, at least!) plunge pool in a tributary of the Allt Elrig and the peaty col at the foot of the long slopes to the west of Coire Clashach. We then hit low gear for the grassy climb but, fortunately, there was enough mist from the earlier inversions around to keep the worst of the sun at bay. It wasn’t long, therefore, before the summit of Càrn a' Ghèoidh was underfoot and we were being offered jelly babies by three jolly women up from Glen Shee.
The end of the day was now within relatively easy reach as we wandered eastwards towards the rusting detritus of the doomed skiing industry – well, doomed unless melting of the Greenland Icecap cuts off the AMOC and triggers a cooling event in North West Europe. Abandoning our bags again, we plodded up the bulldozed track towards The Cairnwell, crossing paths with some whooping joyriders in a noisy diesel buggy going in the opposite direction before we encountered the sinister electrical hum surrounding the collection of repellent towers on the summit.
Day 4e - Summit of The Cairnwell.jpg
Someone being irresponsible on the defaced summit of The Cairnwell (31.05.2023.)
Keen to escape this hideous desert, we turned for the marginally less denatured, marginally less sullied top of Carn Aosda before heading off pretty sharpish to the north east and descending to the car, parked on the A93.
Day 4f - Summit of Cairn Aosda.jpg
Looking north from the summit of Cairn Aosda (31.05.2023.)
By contrast with the wastelands of the skiing industry, the tarmac, racing cars and dead hares of the main road felt positively welcoming. All that remained was to check in to the excellent Ballater Hostel, have a beer and a(norther) curry and then reflect on the last three days of sun-baked wandering.
The route from Loch nan Eun to Glen Shee
Next Report: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=118924
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Chris Henshall
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Joined: May 30, 2014

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