If Carlsberg did sunny days for a mountain walk....
by weescotsman » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:38 pm
Route description: Ben Macdui and Cairngorm
Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm
Date walked: 30/08/2010
Time taken: 7.5 hours
Distance: 17.5 km
Ascent: 932mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Decided to go with some friends from the Edinburgh Meetup group to tackle Ben Macdui and Cairngorm on the Saturday. Knowing it was a long drive plus long walk I fancied going up on Friday evening and camping nearby, but as usual I left home too late, and got fed up with the slow pace on the A9 so pulled off into Pitochry looking for a tent pitch. First site full up so drove on to Blair Atholl and managed to get the Emergency pitch next to the shower block. Twas then I realised that I'd not used my smaller tent for several years.... as unfolding it revealed a few large mouldy patches as well as a few mousey nibbles. I wasn't really caring as I was well tired after a long day working and only needed somewhere to rest my head.
Fitfull sleep was rudely awakened early doors by a humungous crowd of what I assumed were crows high above me ( what's the collective name for them ? ) And that was more or less me cat-napping until about 7 am.
Then came the next problem, and quite a big one at that. I was using my works van, which given the nature if my job is a secure van with all the locks operated via a fob control apart from the rear door. Tis a sliding side door which had my proposed breakfast in it along with the frying pan. Occasionally this sliding door won't open but there's a release cable via the back door to open the lock. Unfortunately, when I tried to release the lock, the cable loop on the lock decided to come loose in my hand..... ouch no breakfast and no tent bag etc etc. Mild panic set in as this compartment also held my work kit for Monday morning. Officially I'm not meant to use the van for personal reasons.... hence the panic.
Wasn't much I could do so had to pack everything into the back of the van and get moving. At least my walking gear was in there as well.....
Drove up to Aviemore without further incident and Mr Tesco came to my rescue with food and drink for breakfast and for the trip.
Set off from the car park about 10 am and it was already starting to burn up. At least I was suitably lathered up in F40 lotion....
Plenty stops en-route for drinks and rest as it was a hot day to be out on the mountains but I was loving the views as I'd never done this area before. Didn't even realise till later on that 4 of the 6 highest peaks are in the Cairngorms.
A few wee puffy white clouds were on show but the sky was bright blue otherwise.
Stopped to talk to some folks repairing the path and could have sworn one of them had been tangoed, but it was just his safety jacket reflecting onto his body. This photo wasn't mine.... honest !!!
Onwards and upwards and the stunning views across to Braeriach and Cairn Toul came upon us. I've not done either of these, but definitely on my list to do...
Onwards again and the heat was taking it's toll, sweating profusely, decided the hat was coming off and the bandana going on, but I forgot to spray the F40 on my scalp and found out later how painful a burnt scalp can be even under a relatively cool shower....
What can I say about the Macdui boulder field apart from it just seems to go on and on for ever..... at least some of the boulders are big enough to be able to bounce off them like the proverbial mountain goat....
Got to the summit cairn of Macdui in about 2.5 hrs which was pretty good going for me on a hot day; 1 girl in the party was setting a good pace and we kept going at that rate. Turns out she was also doing a 10k race on Sunday..... Good on her...... I wasn't planning on doing much at all on Sunday myself other than watching sport.
Following the recent craze for planking I thought I'd have a go. Didn't fancy doing it on the main cairn so had a wee go on the mountain guide trig point instead.
Didn't seem too difficult.....
After a leisurely lunch we re-traced our steps back down towards the small lochan and headed across towards Cairngorm. A dark, angry looking cloud was above Cairngorm but it didn't drop anything on us that I can think of. Any rain wouldn't have lasted long, I'm sure it would have evaporated quickly.
Some stunning views across to Lurchers Gully, no idea why it's so named but I'm sure someone can enlighten me.
The view from the Macdui boulder field towards the rising slope of Cairngorm gave a false impression of how far it was to go, the drop is quite significant before the upward slog to the cairn but it was well worth it.
Spotted a couple of folks doing the vertical route up rather than my preferred method of longer but easier, fair play to them I'm not experienced enough to do this yet and don't really fancy it either...
The thought of a cold beer awaiting me in the Cairngorm bar was driving me onwards and upwards ( who's the genius who thought of putting a bar / restaurant on a mountain summit should be given an OBE for services to Hill / Mountain walking....
Didn't manage to get a photo of the pint as it didn't last long enough in the glass..... but what stunning views from the balcony right around. A tourist magnet indeed....
And once we had vacated the bar about 4.30 the staff transformed the restaurant area for a wedding reception taking place in the evening. No idea who the lucky couple might be but an amazing place to have the reception. If I ever get married I might consider this venue.........
The climb down took about an hour, knees were beginning to grumble at this point though. 7.5 hrs for this round trip was pretty good for my book and a great day out with great company.
Oh and did anyone lose a dog lead at the Cairngorm cairn.... if so I have it. Meant to leave it at the pub but I forgot.
by Onefootinthe » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:06 pm
If Carlsberg did sunny days for a mountain walk....
Then what kind of drink sums the next day up
Went up via the Goat Track into a howling gale and no views. Was looking over the shoulder to see if GLW was following me.
no chance of seeing the Big Grey Man everything was grey
- Posts: 27
- Joined: Aug 24, 2010
- Location: West Lothian
by Steve B » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:47 am
The collective for the Crows is 'a murder'. No idea why!
Thanks for the report.
by JGKES » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:25 am
by Johnny Corbett » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:28 pm
by Gable Gable End » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:57 pm
Onefootinthe wrote:Was looking over the shoulder to see if GLW was following me
by weescotsman » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:33 pm
Johnny Corbett wrote:Another amusing report, maybe not for you but it was for me. I don't think you should have mentioned using the van though on this site, what if your boss reads your report?
Fortunately my boss is based down in Leeds and I don't think he's even seen a mountain..... let alone climb one.
Fleet engineer sorted the van out in a couple of hrs on Sunday...... but things took a dramatic turn for the worst on Monday morning when I inadvertently locked the keys in the van across in Baillieston. With the spares somewhere at home. One of these vans that locks automatically as soon as you shut the door....
Mild panic set in until I could arrange for an AA man to assist.... took him less than 5 mins to jemmy the door
open enough to slide his wee metal rod in and release the catch to open the door..... phew.
Still haven't found the spare keys...............