A Cairngorm Adventure Pt I – aka Bynack More
by PeteR » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:27 am
Route description: Bynack More from Glenmore
Munros included on this walk: Bynack More
Date walked: 04/03/20121 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The plans, had they come to fruition were to do Bynack More and the Cairn Gorm from Glenmore Lodge, and the weather forecast looked great. Imagine how green with envy I was when I saw the report and video from some lucky Walkhighlanders who were enjoying unseasonal sunshine from one of the very hills I had planned for myself that day
Of course, being the compassionate, caring type I made sure MrsR knew what I had missed Thankfully though she is now fully mended, so it was all systems go a wee walk. British Airways then did their best to scupper my plans by leaving me stuck in London on the Friday, but luckily I was able to get the Sleeper( ) home instead, which meant I was back home early morning Saturday. I don’t know why they call it the sleeper, as you don’t get much sleep, so I was pretty shattered all day Saturday. Not the best preparation for a good long walk.
Given the Walkhighlanders trip to Bynack More the weekend before I had thought to go elsewhere instead and all week had had my eye on Beinn Fhada and A Glas Bhein over in Kintail. I’d read walk reports, studied maps, Google earthed it and felt I knew the route inside out. MWIS then put paid to my plans with a less than stunning forecast, so it was time to look for alternatives.
All forecasts suggested the Cairngorms looked good for Sunday with a 70% chance of cloud free Munros. So I resurrected my plans from the weekend before and prepared myself for Bynack More and the Cairn Gorm.
And before I get asked....sorry Polly I didn’t see your hat
So with my plans made the alarm was set for not-quite-right-in-the-head o’clock and the drive to Aviemore and then on to the Glenmore Lodge. Parked up just beyond the Lodge entrance and took advantage of a few minutes kip before it was time to get myself shifted. Having seen last weekend’s excellent reports I was full of anticipation of what the day had in store as I set off about 8.30
The initial walk along the good track is uneventful, with little to catch my eye. But then I arrived at An Lochan Uaine. What an amazing place. It may only be a small body of water, but it has to be one of the most enchanting spots around. It was worth the early alarm just for this
I spent a few moments here enjoying the peace and quiet (but for the Grouse squawking about all over the place ). The opportunity was taken to try and sort my boots out, but to little avail as I would discover as the day wore on (I had my winter boots on, which are magnificent in snow, not so good on long, snowless tracks and completely useless on tarmac. To be honest I think they are done and probably ready for the bin. An expensive game this hill walking )
Eventually it was time to leave the Lochan and head on my way.
It’s just a nice, easy path that winds its way along, giving a brief glimpse of my first target of the day (cloud free so looking good ) as well as into Strath Nethy between Bynack More and the Cairn Gorm. Having said the path was easy I must say the gradual pull up onto Bynack More did seem to take an age to complete
Eventually though I was on the levelling of the ridge and making my way to the final pull up to the summit. This was more like it. A pleasantly steeper path making its way up. Another surprise for me though was that the actual cairn is further along the summit than I had expected. I was fully expecting it to be looming ahead of me as soon as I got to the top of the final climb up.
I was also confused when I got to the Bynack More cairn, as every other high point on the summit appeared higher to me than the cairn But then, when I went to these apparent higher points the cairn looked to be on the higher point. Just to be sure I spent a few minutes wandering about the top touching every rock that I thought might be the highest point.......just to be on the safe side
I spent a little while sitting on the summit taking in the views into the Cairngorms heart. And what views Ben Avon, Beinn a Bhuird, Beinn Chaorainn, Beinn Mheadhoin, Ben Macdui and finally the Cairn Gorm.
Eventually I was joined by the first two people I’d seen so far on the day. Shared a few pleasantries and then we went off on our separate ways. I decided to pay a visit to the Barns. I think I did both the little and big barns, but whatever I did visit they are pretty impressive tors on these hills
My plans from now were fluid. I was thinking about the Cairn Gorm, but the MWIS forecast had suggested a worsening of the weather and I’d noticed an increasing level of cloud congregating over the summit, so wasn’t sure if I fancied it.
So I decided to head on from Bynack More over A Choinneach and then decide what I would do when I got to the Saddle. It’s hard to believe looking at it from Bynack More that A Choinneach was once accredited the lofty status of a Munro as it looks practically flat as you head toward it. It’s not until you see it from the Saddle that you can perhaps see why the status may have been awarded, but compared to its neighbours it is still something of a diminutive lump.
Having just slagged A Choinneach I have to say that did offer increasingly good views of the mountains I listed earlier, with the amazing Loch Avon coming into the equation too. Great views from Ben Avon across to Beinn Macdui, with Beinn Mheadhoin and Beinn Chaorainn in between
Standing there looking at this amazing view my mind was made up. The weather wasn’t showing signs of improving on the Cairn Gorm, even though it was loooking good elsewhere. So that was it. I was definitely NOT going to attempt the Cairn Gorm today. No sir-ee. Not a chance. Instead I was going to enjoy the wonderful path down off of A Choinneach to the Saddle and then make my way back via Strath Nethy.
The path off A Choinneach was a real contrast to what I had experienced so far on this walk. It was far more rocky, and had a real hill path feel about it. Given that my mind was made up and I wasn’t even considering the Cairn Gorm today my pace was nice and relaxed as I just enjoyed the views opening up ahead of me Plenty of opportunities were taken to stop and soak it all up Especially with Loch Avon becoming increasing spectacular as I headed down toward the Saddle.
I was aware of the path that made its way up on to Cairn Gorm, but there still seemed to be a fair lump of cloud hanging on the summit so, although I was disappointed I was glad to be leaving that hill for another day. Eventually I was at the Saddle and decided it was time for a break and the opportunity for something to eat. Just at this point it started to snow and looking around I was thinking this might be the start of the worsening weather I was expecting to arrive at some point. To be fair the snow wasn’t bad, but there did seem to be a lot more, thicker, cloud coming over the Cairn Gorm and I sat there under a large rock overlooking Loch Avon and Beinn Mheadhoin. As the rock was sheltering me from the chilly breeze that came with the snow I was actually quite enjoying myself sitting there with the hillside and the vista all to myself
Rummaging around in my rucksack trying to locate my food the first thing I had in my hand was my map. “Mmmm, let’s take a quick look”, I thought to myself. It’s on such whimsical moments everything can change........
Part II to follow.........
by quoman » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:52 am
liked the report looks mean and moody up there,cant wait till part two?????
by SusieThePensioner » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:57 am
I really enjoyed your narrative for Part 1 and being able to share those wonderful views with you
Looking forward to the next part
How clever and astute are you???PeteR wrote:And as much as she told me she was ok with me going a wee walk I know enough about women to know what they say to and what they expect from their men are often two very different things And I was sure this was one of those moments when I was thinking that was the case
by gammy leg walker » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:01 pm
by Collaciotach » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:39 pm
by pigeon » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:44 pm
by tomyboy73 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:59 pm
by PeteR » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:24 pm
quoman wrote:Hi PeterR
liked the report looks mean and moody up there,cant wait till part two?????
Thanks quoman. I think I was lucky with the weather there as I seemed to do well with the sunny breaks
by PeteR » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:30 pm
SusieThePensioner wrote:Is this going to become a long-running serial over many weeks???PeteR wrote:And as much as she told me she was ok with me going a wee walk I know enough about women to know what they say to and what they expect from their men are often two very different things And I was sure this was one of those moments when I was thinking that was the case
How clever and astute are you???
by PeteR » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:38 pm
gammy leg walker wrote:Cracking report you have there Peter,looks like you enjoyed Bnyack More as much as we all did.
Thanks gammy. It's a cracking walk this one. Wasn't warm enough for any sunbathing when I was about there though
by PeteR » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:42 pm
Collaciotach wrote:Glad to see you back out
Cheers Colla. It was good to be out too. Just wish the west coast would forecast some sun though. I've a need to get in amongst some of those hills too
by PeteR » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:46 pm
pigeon wrote:Another good one pete,got me in the mood now ,heading to the cairngorms tomorrow
Thanks Pigeon. According to MWIS I'll be in the Caingorms tomorrow too Going where the sun shines the most I'll be the slow, steady plodded
by PeteR » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:50 pm
tomyboy73 wrote:Nice on Pete, and thanks for the pics of the barns, couldn`t see them for cloud when we were up there
Thanks tommy. I was a lucky boy with the weather Low cloud and mist came and went but never lasted long on this one. The barns look like a good playground
by pigeon » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:51 pm
by PeteR » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:58 pm
pigeon wrote:Yep looks like dry clear day but windy,Derry Cairngorm has eluded us twice so going to try that and maybe Beinn mheadhion
DC's a nice hill Hope you enjoy it. It's beinn mheadhion for me and then a trek to ben macdui Maybe we'll meet each other along the way at some point