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Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'


Postby Ray Mackay » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:32 pm

Route description: Braeriach, circuit from Whitewell

Munros included on this walk: Braeriach

Date walked: 09/08/2009

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 25.5 km

Ascent: 1217m

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So here is my story and how I got the Munro bagging bug, :D

I know that it's almost 2 years on now since bagging my first Munro 'Braeriach' but as my addiction to the mountains grow, as does everything involved with it, like this walk report which I only did my first a couple of weeks ago, but like I say, the addiction is growing so watch this space for more walk reports. :lol:

I live in Aviemore and have done all my life(I'm 37 now) and yes I know it's quite sad :shock: that I have been such a late starter to the Munro's, especially when I spent half my childhood skiing on the cairngorms and still to this day snowboard there, and yet I still never got to the summit of Cairngorm with my ski's or my board, I personally would have called it cheating to have claimed my first Munro anyway, going up most of the hill on the old side facing chairlift or on the funicular train. :?

So there i was on a late summers day back in 2009 enjoying the sun out in the garden, (with great views over the Cairngorms, i might add) and was talking about the hills with my neighbour,(Valmar1965) and I said that I always wanted to go up the 'Gorms' in the summer and see Loch A'an and the Shelter stone, so plan was made and next day we were off. Parked the car at the Coire cas car park and headed up Fiacaill a' Choire chais (the Fiacall ridge to us locals) with it's Cairn on top, still not a Munro Cairn though,
Fiacaill Ridge Cairn.JPG
Fiacall Ridge Cairn..still not my first Munro Cairn
started heading down Coire Raibert and viewed Loch A'an for the first time with Beinn Mheadhoin and it's Torrs in the background,
First view of Loch A'an.JPG
First majestic view of Loch A'an
think that was the defining moment of the start of my hill walking bug, just beautiful it was and awe inspiring, to see such a lovely loch surrounded in majestic mountains and waterfalls was amazing and to top it off, a BEACH...fantastic
Loch A'an beach.JPG
Loch A'an beach


So down we headed and had lunch on the beach, lovely sunny day sitting at a beach in the middle of the Cairngorms, amazing i thought,
Lunch at Loch A'an.JPG
Lunch with Keisha
then after a breef stop we then headed over to check out 'The Shelter Stone' and what a large lump of grey granite it is too, I posed for a photo which I tried to replicate from an old black and white postcard which I ended up standing in the completly wrong place :lol:
old shelter stone.jpg
1913 Postcard
Shelter stone.JPG
my modern take of the postcard


Then from there we headed up Coire Domhain and past the waterfalls
waterfalls.JPG
waterfalls
looking down from Coire Dumhain.JPG
Looking back down from Coire Domhain
and out down Coire an Sneachda back to the car park,
Coire an Sneachda.JPG
Loch Morlich in the background
Heading down Coire an Sneachda.JPG
silly hat
still no Munro in the bag :( as we discussed over a pint :) looking through the photo's on the camera, so then the next plan was hatched, MY first Munro, and it had to be a biggy and one that I would never forget,...Braeriach, it was decided.... :o

A couple of days later and a beady eye on the mountain weather forecast and we were off, being an amatuer we did our homework, spent a few quid getting the right gear and bought maps, downloaded instructions, got the plasters, the lot, even decided to go for the longer route from Whitewell as to not have to take Keisha (the dug) through the boulders at the Chalamain gap

Parked the car at the end of the Whitewell/Tulluchghrue road which is very popular with walkers parking up for a day in the hills, set off down past Barry's grave
Barry's grave.JPG
Barry's grave
and onto the long path into what is affectionatly known as piccadilly circus, where the paths break up in all directions to go to Loch Morlich or Loch an Eilein or Glen Einich or our path for the Day, the Lairig Ghru
Lairig Ghru.JPG
Start of the Lairig Ghru


A few miles in and just at the start of the 'U' shaped Valley which is the Lairig Ghru we headed up the East side onto Coire Gorm, from here theres a great view over to Creag an Leth-choin (Lurchers Crag)
Lurcher's Crag.JPG
Lurchers Crag


From here it was a fair slog up and with many false summit pretences with another summit behind each other and much higher than the one before, I soon learnt not to think that I can see the summit until i'm actually there, little did I know I still had a fair way to go, but with the thought of my first Munro almost bagged I was like a rat up a drainpipe
Heading up!.JPG
better warming hat this time.


The slog up and over Coire Gorm soon opened up as we rounded Sron na Lairige and the view South down the Lairig Ghru with Ben MacDhuie on the left and Cairn Toul on the right was just amazing, with the views getting better and better I knew we were not far off the summit now,
South down Lairig Ghru.JPG
Looking South down the Lairig Ghru


The views kept opening up with Cairn Toul and The Angels Peak standing out proud and majestic with the Lochan Uaine seeming to be floating in the middle of the two of them
Cairn Toul and Angels Peak.JPG
Wow, look at that view
and the view of the start of the River Dee was great as well
Lairig Ghru from Braeriach.JPG
River Dee on it's slow and meandering way to the East coast


There it was, the Cairn of Braeriach
Braeriach summit Cairn 2.JPG
THE SUMMIT CAIRN :)
and MY first Munro 'In the Bag' 8)
Braeriach Cairn 1.JPG
My first 'In the Bag'
and every hard earned step was worth it as the view from the top was just breathtaking,
Braeriach summit 2.JPG
at the top
I gave Braeriach a five star rating, not just because it was my first but I thought that it deserves it, I felt like I was on another planet and that me and my Neighbour had the third highest Mountain in Britain all to ourselves, even Keisha looked like she had a sense of self accomplishment and achievement,
Keisha.JPG
Keisha on her first Munro at the age of 10
and so we should too, picked a long and hard Munro for my first but standing at the Cairn on the summit looking over to Cairn Toul I knew then for sure there would be many more moments like this to come
image from summit.JPG
another view from the top
View 1.JPG
another summit view
View 3.JPG
and another
Braeriach Panorama.jpg


As I say my addiction is still growing and I am still a fair weather walker :) as I want to see the best views I can from each summit, maybe the addiction will lead onto winter bagging, who knows, time will tell, Keisha is now 12 :shock: and still bagging with me, just wish I started earlier with her, she has 20 to her name to date and I have 25 and counting, thought last year when myself and Valmar1965 did the Lochnagar 5 (report to come) that I should leave her at home for that one, so we will tick of the easier one's for her for now..
Last edited by Ray Mackay on Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ray Mackay
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby Ray Mackay » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:19 pm

Forgot to mention how amazing the cold pint of beer was in the pub after bagging my first Munro :lol:
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby Stretch » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:22 pm

Fantastic Ray, really enjoyed the pics and report.
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby Alastair S » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:23 am

Great first report - & welcome to the club :D
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby HeelanGal » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:26 am

If that report had of been a book it would've been my most FAVOURITE read ever, WELL DONE Mackay ~ from a beginner bagger YOU have inspired me to want more & more & more ~ I'm soooooooo impressed ~ photos are FANTASTIC too :D
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby Border Reiver » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:41 am

A great report that brings back lots of memories for me. It's nice to see a pic of the Goat Track, It's years since I last used it. Braeriach is my favourite mountain, I could sit up there for hours, then wander across to the Wells of Dee and follow it to the plateau's edge, go to Einich Cairn and take in the vastness of the Moine Mhor. The Cairngoms have an atmosphere, that once you become familiar with them, you become part of them.
Your dog's doing well. My Golden Retriever was past climbing the bigger hills with my by the time he was 10.
Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby Ray Mackay » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:59 am

Thanks for all the comments everybody, I wanted to add the .GPX map route that i took but i'm at work on an oil rig of the coast of Israel and for some reason they have blocked the opening of maps, strange country, even on the smart phone on google maps, Israel is just a grey shaded area, anyway will add map route when i get home,

I couldn't agree more with you Border Reiver " The Cairngoms have an atmosphere, that once you become familiar with them, you become part of them." I read some where the other day that if you get bored of the Cairngorms, your bored of life itself, so true.

been at work only 3 days now and sick of the sight of the Sea allready, no place like the Mountains of Bonnie Scotland, Hame :)
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby Ray Mackay » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:04 am

HeelanGal wrote:If that report had of been a book it would've been my most FAVOURITE read ever, WELL DONE Mackay ~ from a beginner bagger YOU have inspired me to want more & more & more ~ I'm soooooooo impressed ~ photos are FANTASTIC too :D

Your too kind HeelanGal, but hay you are my sister after all, :lol: :lol: can't wait to get you up your next Munro, my next report will be of our walk to Ben MacDhuie, YOUR first Munro, watch this space..xx and it will start with our walk through the Lairig Ghru, weird how we both started with a long walk in the Cairngorms before deciding to bag a Munro :lol:
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:57 am

Wow wow wow!!!

No wonder you got the bug. Climbing your first munro in such idyllic surroundings with great weather :D :D

Shalom :D
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby Morag M » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:17 pm

Great report and photo's, 8) looks like you really enjoyed this trip, looking forward to more TR's. :D
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby valmar1965 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:51 pm

i think will just pop up tomorrow :D dad will love it
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby Ray Mackay » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:56 pm

pollyh33 wrote:Wow wow wow!!!

No wonder you got the bug. Climbing your first munro in such idyllic surroundings with great weather :D :D

Shalom :D


Toda Polly :lol:
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Re: Braeriach, first Munro and how i got the 'Bug'

Postby alfredo143 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:18 am

One word FANTASTIC! :D
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