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Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee


Postby Alastair S » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:52 pm

Route description: Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mòr , from Glen Feshie

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhrotain, Monadh Mòr

Date walked: 24/07/2011

Time taken: 8.25 hours

Distance: 35.9 km

Ascent: 1128m

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Walking: 20.5 km
Cycling: 15.4 km


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Another Cairngorm cycle-walk-cycle effort. Forecast was fair if breezy with the best conditions due in the afternoon. So not an early start & was on my bike just after 9am. I'd recced the MTB approach in April and parked up at the stream NN 997897 (Allt Iarnaidh). Forecast was spot on for once - a fair head wind up Glen Dee with a some a cloud covering the tops but slowly lifting as I made my way north.

Beinn Bhrotain Approach #1
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Beinn Bhrotain Approach #2
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Shortly before I reached Allt Garbh and the turn west I spotted a couple of folk making their way south towards me. One of them was carrying something largish & bright yellow in his hand. They reached the turn west just before me but they stopped for a breather soon after. The bright yellow object turned out to be one of those rubbery plastic gardening buckets. One had a pick axe strapped to his back-pack while the other had a spade. So yes, path maintenance was their game. They mentioned the National Path but I didn't quiz them as to whether they were employed by said authority or if they where doing volunteer work. Being a Sunday I'd guess the latter. I bid them well and cracked on. It turned out that they were to be the only people I spoke to all day.

For half a k or so their handiwork was much in evidence and appreciated. At one point the gravelled path forks but the northerly one abruptly stops after 15m. After that the path becomes a purely foot created one. Going was pretty good with lovely long slab waterfall section.


Wet Steps: Allt Garbh on the slopes of Beinn Bhrotain. This stream hasn't had time to cut out a valley - it has just exposed a thin strip of the underlying mountain. With the last ice age having retreated from this area just 10,000 years ago there hasn't been time to build up much in the way of soil up here.
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Allt Garbh (Beinn Bhrotain)
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It levels for a bit and with the path becoming more indistinct I left the stream and made for the 1108m east top. This was a bit steeper and recent inactivity came home to roost. In addition I hadn't eaten anything since I'd set off 3 hours earlier. So I struggled - being a doomed summit you keep thinking the top it just up there a bit further... and it isn't. Anyway got to the wee summit cairn, flopped down behind it and had my lunch. But at least it was now cloud free. The wind was fairly whipping by up there. I'd got a nice hand-held anemometer / temperature gauge from my wife for Xmas but had yet to find time to use it. But today I did. So I knew the wind was in the 30-35 mph range with a peak of 44. With the temperature at 5-6⁰ C this was giving a wind chill hoovering around 0⁰ C. So I after my sandwiches and a few piccies I didn't hang around.


Peaking: The Devil's Point with the peak of Carn Toul peaking out behind it. Across the Lairig Ghru Ben Macdui is still enclosed in clag. Taken from Beinn Bhrotain's 1108m east top.
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Bienn Bhrotain Plateau: from the saddle between the east top & the main summit
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Beinn Bhrotain Summit #1: view south
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Beinn Bhrotain Summit #2: view north
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Monadh Mor From Beinn Bhrotain: with Sgor Gaoith in the background
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From this east top to the proper one was easy going over the tundra like plateau. The descent to the Coire Cath nam Fionn bealach was not nearly so easy being very rocky, bordering on bouldery. Saw the only other walkers of the day on this bit but we were a couple of hundred metres apart so it was only a wave. Saw this couple again as I made my way back to the bealach from Monadh Mor but again it was only at waving distance. The planned descent down into Coire Cath nam Fionn didn't look too enticing but we'll get to that bit latter.


Coire Cath nam Fionn: from the bealach between Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor with the back of Carn Toul dominating the view.
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Carn Toul & Glen Geusachen: from near the summit of Monadh Mor
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Monadh Mor Panorama: from the summit of Monadh Mor
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The ascent of Monadh Mor from the bealach looked pretty steep from Beinn Bhrotain but in the end it wasn't too bad. My lunch had had the desired effect :D More easy tundra terrain across to the day's second Munro. Not the most spectacular of peaks - it hardly justifies that noun at all - but a great sense of isolation & space. While I sat and had lunch #2 I contemplated my return route. In planning I had thought of continuing towards Loch nan Stuirteag but thought that added too many k to my route. But having seen descent into Coire Cath nam Fionn - very steep & a mixture of gravel and scree - I had another think on this option. In the end I did return to the bealach. Took it very steadily, wishing my walking pole was an ice axe. After a few metres I found a faint path that zigzagged down - the path not being very visible from the shoulder. After about 150m of vertical decent the gravel gives way and the slope slackens but the path also disappears.


Beinn Bhrotain From Monadh Mor: Beinn Bhrotain looking a lot more interesting from this perspective.
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Glen Geusachen: the cloud that had been clinging to Ben Macdui all morning finally lifts
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The going for the next 1.5 km is pretty rough but not too boggy. But then I picked up the path shown on the 1:25,000 maps (was worried this was a phantom one as I couldn't see it on the on-line aerial views) and I was home & dry as far as navigation was concerned. This section though Glen Geusachen was great, with the great wall of The Devil's Peak on one side & a much more impressive looking Beinn Bhrotain on the other. But 20km of walking was enough for me & I was glad of the bike for the 7km blast back to the Linn of Dee, arriving back at 5:20 pm.


The Steep Bit...
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Glen & Burn Geusachen: The Devil's Point on the left with Carn a' Mhaim across the Lairig Ghru
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The Devil's Confluence: confluence of the Geusachen Burn and the River Dee below the impressive presence of The Devil's Point.
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Glen Dee & The Devil's Point
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Flickr slideshow over here - slideshow as this report is benefiting from the new wider 700 pixel pictures this site now allows - which is bigger than the std Flickr view size.
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Alastair S
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:01 pm

Thanks for posting Alastair S,great to see all the views we missed on our walk on Sat.

PS thanks for the info about the peat hags in Glen Ey
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby csimbad » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Absolutely stunning pics Alastair S and cracking report thanks for sharing. :thumbup:
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby kev_russ » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:37 pm

Quality report and pics :)
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby Stretch » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:02 pm

Lucky man! Gammy wasn't following you on this day! :lol: :lol:

Really nice pics, perfect skies for photos! Thankfully I've seen the Gorms from nearly every angle on equally nice days so I wasn't too worried that Gammy and I didn't see much on these two summits. But we did get a peak at Beinn Bhrotain's north face, it's deadly looking!
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby rockhopper » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:31 pm

Cracking photos as usual Alastair :thumbup: This was the start of a pretty good weather week for the area and you certainly picked the best day.

Oddly enough I was up these same hills just over a week after you and also descended down into Glen Geusachan. However, I headed towards The Devil's Point mostly on the north side of the Geuseachan Burn which was probably a mistake as it may have been easier staying to the south.
Your photos of the two summits are so much more scenic than mine :shock:
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby Alastair S » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:34 pm

Thanks all :D

Not be very active around here for various mundane reasons but hopefully full service is now resumed.
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby 147cjl » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:16 pm

Really nice pictures, think I need to get myself a half decent camera!
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby kevsbald » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:04 pm

Lovely Al. I feel a wild camp coming on up on Beinn Bhrotain.
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby timmunro86 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:29 pm

Great report, thanks for writing! I'm planning something similar and had a question about the MTB access.

You said you parked up your bike at the Allt Larnaidh, was that as far as you could easily get on the MTB or would it be possible to continue further up the path as far as Glen Geusachan for example? I'm trying to maximise the cycling and minimise the hiking (on this occasion).

Thank you!
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby jaffa61 » Mon Jul 31, 2023 10:57 pm

I found the descent from the bealach right down to Glen Geusachan bottom to be some of the roughest ground to cover I have been on over 202 Munros 😳. Scree deep Heather boulders bog . Total nightmare. The path from there back towards White Bridge was for the most a bog fest too. Wishing I had retraced my route back. Great views though !
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby 1Magnus » Tue Aug 01, 2023 7:20 am

To make jaffa61 feel better, I should say that I went in the opposite direction from the bealach, and I had a terrible time there too! I too had wanted to avoid the climb that retracing my steps over Beinn Bhrotain would involve. So I headed southeast from the bealach, down the corrie towards Cnapan Mor, and then west, hoping to spot White Bridge in the distance... Awful terrain and took forever! Goes to show that there's no point trying to beat the system in hillwalking. The climb back home over Beinn Bhrotain really sounds like the best option for that route...
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby 1Magnus » Tue Aug 01, 2023 7:22 am

Correction, sorry: heading east, not west. Just thinking of that day gets me worked up, clearly....
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Re: Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from the Linn of Dee

Postby jaffa61 » Tue Aug 01, 2023 10:52 am

I had pitched tent night before near Allt Larnaidh and it took over 4 hours from bealach to get there. Although my poor old dog was struggling to walk at a decent pace. Overall it was 9 hours. Aided by a very kind stalker who took pity on my dog and gave us a lift from White Bridge to the Linn.
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