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From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...


Postby andrewdoggett » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:23 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Mheadhoin, Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm, Derry Cairngorm

Date walked: 19/11/2011

Time taken: 8.3 hours

Distance: 29 km

Ascent: 1960m

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It's been a while since I've posted a report; horrible things like work have been getting in the way... I've a few reports to catch up on but for now I'm determined not to fall a further one behind... Two weeks since I've been up to Scotland; and therefore I was in need of a good hill fix... The best of the weather was in the Cairngorms so my friend Scraggles and I figured we'd make the most of that. We decided on a longish route taking in four Munros starting at the ski centre.

The sky was still pink when we set off some 20 minutes ahead of sunrise; but we made fairly brisk work of the ascent up Cairngorm... A fairly uninspiring hill; the skiers can keep it I think... From there our route was along the plateau to Ben Macdui; the second highest of these Munro things...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 1.jpg
The route from Cairngorm to Ben Macdui


It was easy going along the plateau; just easy high level walking with in the main a good path...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 2.jpg
Looking back at Cairngorm now bathed in early morning light...


Scraggles and Rocco were making a bee line for the summit of Ben Macdui; we'd placed a Sat Nav device on Rocco; it's always been a source of interest how much more ground her covers... Sadly though, this will need more practice; lost reception poor signal meant he'd covered less ground than we had!!

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 4.jpg
Scraggles and Rocco near the summit of Ben Macdui...


I'm sure we could have had a lot of fun picking out the various summits if it wasn't for the fact we were bathed in clag :)

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 6.jpg
2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 6


It's never a warm place; the Cairngorms; and today was no exception; any longer than 5 minutes sat about and it was freezing; onwards then...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 5.jpg
Me on the summit of Ben Macdui


Derry Cairngorm was a go; it was inside 10:00 AM and we'd bagged the first two; so we figured we had time to add in the 3 km detour and collect the extra summit...

We chose to follow the path on route to Derry Cairngorm; though I think staying up on the ridge might have been a better call; especially as a slight error in the navigation due to wandering along looking at the scenery had us reascending more than we needed to... No matter...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 7.jpg
En route to Derry Cairngorm...


2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 8.jpg
The view across Loch Etchachan


Not much to say about Derry Cairngorm; not because it's not nice; but because the ascent of it was in cloud... It's a short pull followed by a half km or so of scrambling across rocks. Fortunately they're grippy rocks!!

On the descent we did have a brief view back over to Ben Macdui...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 9.jpg
The view across to Ben Macdui from Derry Cairngorm


Then it was a good haul up to the summit of Beinn Mheadhoin; and a short easy scramble to the top of the tor that we decided was the highest...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 10.jpg
The summit of Beinn Mheadhoin


By now the legs were feeling it a little bit; but buoyed on by the achievement of all four summits and with just the 8 km hoof back to the car; off we set... The walk back will take you through some fairly stunning scenery...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 11.jpg
The walk home...


There's even a beach or two...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 12.jpg
The Walk Home...


The climb up the waterfall from Loch Avon is fairly steep; and the legs will hurt a little bit after today with the walk nearly touching 2 km of ascent. I was thankful for the top; and turning around the view from where we'd come was a good looking one; and we could now be confident we'd win our race against darkness...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 13.jpg
The view from the summit of the climb up the waterfall from Loch Avon


By now the sun was setting for the day; and the landscape was beginning to turn golden... A well timed walk we thought to ourselves and with climbing done for the day we began the easy descent initially along Fiacaill a' Choire Chais before dropping down into the landrover track and following it back to the car. Job done and another 4 bagged.

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui 14.jpg
Sunset; looking toward Loch Morlich from the top of Fiacaill a' Choire Chais


Clearly there are quicker ways around these four; chiefly by doing Ben Macdui first or last; but we didn't know the terrain and this route left us options later in the walk; for example we could have left out either of Derry Cairngorm or Beinn Mheadhoin if time started getting critical in terms of daylight... All in all; an enjoyable route; with a punishing last ascent.


2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



The stats, this walk just about do-able at this time of year - at least when there's no snow; would be a different matter in the white stuff...

2011 - 11 - 19 - Ben Macdui.jpg
The Stats...
Last edited by andrewdoggett on Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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andrewdoggett
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby Bod » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:34 pm

Very nice Andrew, impressive effort! Did you have time to check out the shelter stone? Love the photos, been a long time since I passed these ways ... :D
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby victoriajarrett » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:16 am

Your reports are just not the same without the monsters ;) But, as usual, great all the same... and photo's xxx
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby Huck Finn » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:01 am

Good report, really good photos, the view across Loch Etchachan and the beach's really caught my eye :thumbup:
Love the idea of putting the sat nav on the dog, one of the walkers I go wiht takes the dog and I would love to see how much area he covers, I may pinch your idea and suggest it to Iain :D
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby monty » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:01 am

Nice report Andrew. Certainly the most scenic area of the Cairngorms. I was totally in the clag when i went around these munros. At least you got some views. Good effort on another big walk. :D
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby tamw51 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:17 pm

Nice work thats a good stomp and report to match!! Was up Macdui and pals in july and got sunburnt in the blazing sun! Was my first trip into the gorms, cracking place!
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:40 pm

Oh nice report Andrew, there are a couple of things I fancy in it. :D

Love the beaches and the idea of walking up through a waterfall- in much warmer weather though 8) 8)


Could you please translate for the thick/lazy/me.... what would the easier/faster route have been?
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby rocket-ron » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:47 pm

pollyh33 wrote:Oh nice report Andrew, there are a couple of things I fancy in it. :D

Love the beaches and the idea of walking up through a waterfall- in much warmer weather though 8) 8)


Could you please translate for the thick/lazy/me.... what would the easier/faster route have been?


thick/lazy/me :D
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby andrewdoggett » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:39 pm

Bod wrote:Very nice Andrew, impressive effort! Did you have time to check out the shelter stone? Love the photos, been a long time since I passed these ways ... :D


I'm going to say no... There are a number of stones in the area by Loch Avon that would work, but the specific one on the map is a little further up the corrie, and we were getting worried about the light...

pollyh33 wrote:Could you please translate for the thick/lazy/me.... what would the easier/faster route have been?


Essentially don't go direct between Cairngorm and Ben Macdui - it would be a touch shorter doing that either clockwise or anti clockwise; going anticlockwise means a long descent from Ben Macdui to finish - follow the Ben Macdui / Cairngorm route described on here that goes over Miadan Creag an Leth-Choin

monty wrote:Good effort on another big walk. :D


Thanks Monty; how have you been progressing; I might catch you up yet ;)

Have a place booked on the Isle of Skye (www.skyeboatlodge.co.uk) for a week in May next year to take on the Cuillin; could make space if you're interested... :)

Huck Finn wrote:Love the idea of putting the sat nav on the dog, one of the walkers I go wiht takes the dog and I would love to see how much area he covers, I may pinch your idea and suggest it to Iain :D


Go for it; let us know how you get on :)
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:06 am

Heck of a walk at this time of year but looks worth it :D . Nice report as usual 8) . Unbelievable to see no snow at this time in the 'gorms but it must be on it's way (was that a correct apostrophe ;) ?).
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby wolf1973 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:11 am

Jelous much . . . . . . . . That would be a YES!
Your pics are fantastic, what do you use????
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby andrewdoggett » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:37 am

wolf1973 wrote:Your pics are fantastic, what do you use????


These would be taken with all the magic of an iPhone 4s...

For proper photography which I've not really done since my dog Whiskey died a year ago (was always something we did together) I use a Canon EOS 40D with Lee Filters... Link on my profile page here if you are interested, or just google me.
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby monty » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:27 pm

Have a place booked on the Isle of Skye (www.skyeboatlodge.co.uk) for a week in May next year to take on the Cuillin; could make space if you're interested... :)


Hi Andrew. That place looks smashing. I am hoping to do the Cuillin in May but can't make concrete plans just yet. If you still have space nearer the time then I may take you up on that offer. :D 8)
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby Collaciotach » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:42 pm

Good report .... being a Ghaidhealachd West coaster i don't know the Carn Gorms at all......... you have put me in the notion :D
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Re: From dawn till dusk; just mac du it...

Postby kevsbald » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:51 am

No pic of the Shelter Stone?
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