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My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm


Postby Ray Mackay » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:03 pm

Route description: Ben Macdui and Cairngorm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm

Date walked: 22/04/2011

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 17.5 km

Ascent: 932m

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Okay time to write up my next report which also includes 2 walks like my first Munro report where I Walked to Loch A'an and the Shelter stone before I found my love for the hills proper, apart from sliding down them on a snowboard in the winter that is,

So this report also includes 2 walks like i say but more Importantly, it includes my sisters first Munro, Ben MacDhui, and her second 'Cairngorm' thought may as well whilst we are up there,when in Rome and all that, I was so glad that I was there with her as I knew what the feeling was like standing at the summit of your first Munro, and I was chuffed to be there to experience that feeling with her,

But I'll start with the Lairig Ghru, which is a walk my sister Isla (HeelenGal) always wanted to do, growing up in Aviemore and moving away she never got round to it, I had walked it from Linn of Dee when I was 12 for the annual Rotary Club sponsored walk with an uncle and to be fair always knew i would do it again some day,

Isla got her taste for the hills living in North Wales and has walked a couple of the 'Welsh Munro's' so the occasion arose when she visited home for a few days and she had arranged for a few of her friends to tag along and to make a day of it and that is was, there was no hurry, plenty of time to stop, eat, hydrate take in the views and catch up with the banter and most importantly, have a good old laugh

Also arranged for a couple of friends to take us through from Aviemore to Linn of Dee so we could finish in Aviemore so we wouldn't have the long journey back after a good walk in the hills (thanks Peter and Charlie) and just as well we did as we had a bit of a casualty in Eilidh who REALLY struggled with the last few miles with the very last one she was almost crawling to the finish, which was part of the day being such a success and an achievement for some,
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Luibeg Bridge, fresh as daisy's
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Devil's Point
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Through the Ghru....North
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Highest point of the lairig Ghru
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Almost finished at Rothiemurchus Estate
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HeelanGal tired and worn out at the car
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Eilidh and Louise almost burst, well done girls


Onto the Isla's next visit and her first Munro, Ben Macdhui, the warm April spell was perfect timing as Isla had been building up her excitement for a couple of months and I was trying to contain that excitement as April is normally still cold with lots of snow and winter walking equipment normally a requirement, but April past there was uncannily warm with most of the snow melting in just over a week, beautiful blue bird blue sky day, perfect timing,

we were up and I had made us all the obligatory Munro Baggers Brekkie, big bowl of porridge, great start to the day, jumped in the car and headed up the 'Gorms' to the Corie Cas car park, got our boots on and started walking, 9 oclock on an April's morning and we were walking up the hills in T-shirts and shorts, weird, anyway well prepared as I am a bit of a wimp and always get cold on the summits when i stop walking,
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Coire Cas car park
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HeelanGal basking in April sunshine


Of we trundled up Coire an Lochan past patches of snow and ptarmigans shedding their winter foliage up over the top of Coire an Lochan there was a fair head on breeze but still wasn't cold, it was a fairly uneventful and easy going walk up to the summit of Ben MacDhuie
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First sight of the Western Cairngorm Massif
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Cairn Toul and Angels Peak
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Me in shorts in April, oh and Keisha


HeelenGal chuffed to have 'bagged' her first Munro but she said that she found it much easier going than she thought it would be, and that's where i told her that she might be standing on the top of the second highest mountain in Britain but the hardest part was yet to come,
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Isla's first Munro
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HeelanGal's first summit
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Munro distance's stone (What is the right name for theses stones,anybody tell me?)
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Isla and Martin on Top of Great Britain, well second highest people in the country at that point :)
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Ma and my sister in the old bothy fireplace just off the summit


I had allready planned the circular route round and down past Loch Etchachan and down into the Loch A'an bowl and to show her and Martin the shelter stone crag and to sign the visitors book that has been a new edition since i was there last, and then up Coire Raibert to 'Bag' Cairngorm before the easy stroll back down to the car.

so that's exactly what we did, strolled down past Loch Etchachan and down into the Loch A'an basin before stopping for lunch at the shelter stone and a few photo's before setting off again,This was to prove the hardest part for HeelGal, crossing the river of fresh snow melt that feeds Loch A'an, but with a little encouragement she jumped across with little hesitation and only one wet foot to boot,
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first view of Loch Etchachan
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Loch A'an
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Me and ma sis inside the Shelter Stone
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crossing the river


On the other hand Martin didn't need any encouragement at all when he pipes up "I'm going for a swim, do you fancy it," "are you mental" I asked "That water is fresh snow melt and is freezing", but turns out it's quite a common thing for him to do when walking in the hills of Wales so here's the photo to prove it, hardy Welshman..
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Nutter, that water was freezing


Then the start of the accent up Coire Raibeirt beckoned, and as many of you know, it's a steep Coire where hands are needed in places, this was to prove a little trickier for my sister and as we exited the Coire at the top she was showing signs of tiredness, from here I pointed out the top of Cairngorm for her second Munro and that spurred her on to the summit,
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Looking down Coire Raibeirt
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Almost number 2
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Isla and martin on Cairngorm summit


the summit was awash with people on the guided walk from the funicular top station and there were a few straggler skiers and snowboarders that were jostling for what little snow there was left, just the descent down to the car park to go and we chose the man made path that goes down the east side of the Coire Cas along the side of Sron an Aonaich which turned out to be really slippy on the loose stones in many places, was easier and safer to walk to the side of the path which is fround upon i know on the Cairngorms :?

So 2 in the bag and back to the house in Aviemore where the weather was still beautifl and the first BBQ of the year was had, as well as many a bottle of fizzy and many a bottle of beer, great day out, my love for the Cairngorms grew another bit stronger :D

And please walkhighlands can we have a bigger limit than 25 attachments, i could have put over 50 on this one, but saying that it was reporting 2 walks :lol:
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Ray Mackay
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby JGKES » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:01 pm

Superb weather,great report and pictures.The stone direction indicators found on summits or viewpoints are called toposcopes.I did MacDhui in 1978 and !981;the walk across the plateau from Carn Lochan seems much longer than it looks on the ground.Deceptive.The 78 trip was at Whitsuntide but my walk journal tells me there was considerable expanse of soft snow on the slopes of MacDhui.I found it a long but straightforward ascent-just my kind of Munro- but conditions were good.I believe it's a different proposition in bad weather.Not a bad bag for your sister's first Munro!I hope I get your weather on a trip to Glenshee in a fortnight's time.
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby Ray Mackay » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:55 pm

JGKES wrote:Superb weather,great report and pictures.The stone direction indicators found on summits or viewpoints are called toposcopes.I did MacDhui in 1978 and !981;the walk across the plateau from Carn Lochan seems much longer than it looks on the ground.Deceptive.The 78 trip was at Whitsuntide but my walk journal tells me there was considerable expanse of soft snow on the slopes of MacDhui.I found it a long but straightforward ascent-just my kind of Munro- but conditions were good.I believe it's a different proposition in bad weather.Not a bad bag for your sister's first Munro!I hope I get your weather on a trip to Glenshee in a fortnight's time.

ah so they are called toposcopes, seen a couple of them now, another on Lochnagar and another somewhere else but i dont recall, need to look through photo's, thanks for letting me know, you first climbed Macdhui when i was only 4....hope i'm walking the hills for many years to come, was a bit of a late starter, only started 2 years ago, but got the bug bad now :)
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby Morag M » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:48 pm

Fantastic, really enjoyable report and great photo's, you can see you all had a smashing time, well done, and congratulations to Isla on her 1st and 2nd Munro's :D
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby JGKES » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:46 pm

I also came relatively late to hill walking,at the age of 26 when in June 1971 a workmate asked me if I fancied a long weekend camping in the Lake District,in Langdale.I'd never been before,but the weather at 7a.m.from the tent was like in your photo's-cloudless and of great clarity.The view of the Langdale Pikes was incredible;it was as if they were painted.Like you I was hooked and since then I reckon I've had 250 holidays in the Lakes,Scotland and North Wales.I never go anywhere else for trips away.I chose Glenshee for my upcoming Scottish visit as it's close to some of the easiest Munro's in the book,but I hope to do a more demanding one in the Southern Cairngorms,Carn a'Mhaim from Linn of Dee.So I've been getting in some training in the Peak District which is conveniently on the doorstep to where I live in South Sheffield.I know the Peak is small beer compared to the Highlands but yesterday I did a 15-miler and managed to cobble together 2700 feet of ascent through going up Win Hill twice.Four more of the same in the next 10 days should set us up.Coincidentally there was a toposcope on the route,on Lose Hill.I hope you have a long walking career and I look forward to reading your next pictorial reports.The beauty of this site is you can actually get,apart from description,a visual handle on terrain,steepness,views etc. of people's routes and judge if it's within your own walking capability.It's brilliant.
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby HeelanGal » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:10 pm

everytime i look at this report i either laugh or it brings a lump to my throat & every time i feel a gagging to go bagging i'll look at this & remember how many more walks i've fortunately got ahead of me.

Honestly bro, i've read heaps of reports on this site & yours are my VERY favourite, there are some LOVELY people leaving comments too :D

RIGHT ~ Next trip home (Aviemore) at the end of next month i shall return to North Wales & write my FIRST blog, might need your help though :lol:

EVERYONE i've shown this too has thoroughly enjoyed it Mr Mackay ~ We ALL look forward to your next walk :)

Your Sista Loves Ya xxx
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby Holly » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:19 pm

Brilliant photos, Brilliant report. Well done :D
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby Paul Webster » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:41 pm

Brilliant stuff... and well done to HeelanGal on your first Munros 8)
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby Ray Mackay » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:01 pm

Hi again JGKES, I think you are doing plenty of exercise and have many a Munro left in you by the sounds of things and not just the easy one's at Glenshee, I feel like you have the love for the hills which is unquestionable and like i say i only started the Munro's 2 years ago at the age of 35, and i have no excuse as the cairngorms are on my doorstep,

but it's never too late, Valmer1965 (my neighbour and fellow Munro bagger) his dad only started this year,(macbean12) and he is 71 and has bagged 10 Munro's allready, and some of them after a round of golf, hat's off to him.

I wrote on my first Munro report that the addiction is growing to the point where i am writing the reports now instead of just ticking my red balloons to make them go blue :lol:

but even now reading the feedback from everybody i feel my addiction getting worse, i think walkhighlands may turn into being my walking facebook social networking site, and by the way Paul, your site IS the only one that i bother with, too many jumping on the bandwagon in my opinion

So Sis, which Munro do you want to do next in July when you are up, and by the way, "Gagging to go Bagging" is now my favourite quote :lol:

Thanks again to JGKES, Morag, Holly and Paul for your kind feedback, i look forward to interacting more on the site, i feel part of it now :)
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby HeelanGal » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:30 am

I'm happy to go walking anywhere, as long as we've got our camera & peece's :lol:
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:28 pm

Loved your report on all of your adventures with your sister. The action shots are fantastic especially of HG jumping across the river :D
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Re: My Sisters first and 2nd Munro Ben MacDhui and Cairngorm

Postby walk aboot » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:06 pm

What a brilliant report, enjoyed reading it :) .

Ben MacDhui is my favourite hill I've still to do (if that makes sense) and I'd love to swim in a loch/an but so far I've been too feart brrr :D
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