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A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

A day on Beinn Mheadhoin


Postby John Burgess » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:52 am

Route description: Beinn Mheadhoin and Derry Cairngorm from Deeside

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Mheadhoin

Date walked: 26/09/2009

Distance: 23 km

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Dawn light drifting through the bothy window roused me from the best kip I’d enjoyed for a while. The wind had dropped overnight and the last stars were just fading – in short the weather looked promising to say the least :lol: Motivation enough to have me crawl out of my cosy bag and start galumphing around. A brew, tidy the place, stow my kit and off.
It had been a surprise to have Bob Scott’s to myself on a Friday night but now I could fully enjoy the peace of an early morning at the Derry Lodge.

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0001.JPG
Bob Scotts bothy. Thank you to the FOBS


A few cheery greetings along the lines of ‘cracking morning’ were shared with the campers near the Lodge as I passed then it was over the Derry burn and along the path through the pine woods.

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0002.JPG


Out of the main woods, across the footbridge and round the first corner in upper Glen Derry my first objective, Stob Coire Etchachan, appeared with the Barns of Beinn Mheadhoin behind. I’ve walked past it often enough, the bold mountain face rising above the entrance to Coire Etchachan, always meaning to head up it one day. Today was the day :D

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0003.JPG


Heading towards the top of the Lairig an Laoigh the view into Coire Etchachan opened out, as did the view back down the Derry.

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0004.JPG

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0006.JPG


The slopes up onto Stob Coire Etchachan from the top of the Lairig an Laoigh felt steeper than they looked and the vegetation was deep in places. Not a place to rush the ascent, too many ‘Pooh traps’ for that. ‘Watch where you are putting your feet’ as the wise man said.

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0005.JPG
The slopes of Stob Coire Etchachan from the Lairig an Laoigh


Views of Ptarmigan, Deer and a Noisy Yellow Thing enlivened the ascent.

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0007.JPG

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0008.JPG

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0009.JPG
Only Joking - these 'Noisy Yellow Things' are a reassuring sight. Fortunately this one just seemed to be on a training mission.


The top was a fine place to sunbathe and enjoy the views across Coire Etchachan then it was off over a typical bit of gravelly plateau heading for Beinn Mheadhoin itself.

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0010.JPG
Derry Cairngorm

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0011.JPG
Loch Etchachan and Beinn Macdui

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0012.JPG


The summit is on top of one of the barns. Approaching from the South it looks impregnable but, on the East side, there is a relatively easy way up - though MC might disagree with that description ;-)

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0013.JPG
The Summit

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0014.JPG
The way up

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0015.JPG
Starting the descent.


The name Beinn Mheadhoin translates as ‘Middle Hill’ but Peter Drummond in his ‘Scottish Hill Names’ suggests that the connotation ‘at the centre, or at the Heart’ might be a fairer translation given its position. The view from the summit certainly supports this idea.

Next it was back over the 1163m top and then North West down easy slopes to Stacan Dubha – a really fine viewpoint for the head of Loch A’an.

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0016.jpg
The 1163m top from the summit with Macdui behind.

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0017.JPG
The head of Loch A'an from Stacan Dubha

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0018.JPG
Be honest, who needs the Carribean!


A kilometre to the South and I'd arrived at the high point on the path between Loch A’an and Loch Etchachan. From there it was a lazy potter back down Coire Etchachan and the Derry. Not a day to rush things.

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0019.JPG
On the way back to Loch Etchachan

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A last view of the hills from Glen Derry


In the late afternoon light the trees of the Derry seemed luminous.
Anyone know of a better way to end a day on The Hill :D

BEINN MHEADHOIN_0021.JPG
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John Burgess
 
Posts: 208
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby NevJB » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:43 am

Great report John, you were so lucky with the weather considering the deluge suffered by the highlands this 'summer'. Beautiful pics. Not good for me to view this being stuck in the office down here [in Essex] :(
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby John Burgess » Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:29 am

Thanks for the kind words.
As you say days like that have been too few and far between this summer. If it's any consolation it's horrible weather up here this morning. My son has just moved down to Basildon so I'll probably have to be visiting your neck of the woods before long. Can't say the prospect fills me with joy :crazy:
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby NevJB » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:11 pm

Going to Basildon doesn't fill many people with joy - it has little to recommed it. I rarely venture south of the A127 - the dividing line in Essex!
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby monty » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:32 pm

Hi John,
Great report and stunning pictures. The summit looks amazing, like a great big meteorite fallen from space and plonked on the top. I haven't seen a top like that yet. Cant wait :D
monty
 


Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby kevsbald » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:00 pm

I was planning on doing this exact route next week. I see nothing in this report to suggest I should deviate from that.
fab clarity of views and photos. I suspect I'll have a chillier sojourn but really enjoyed that description, John.
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby Alan S » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:09 pm

A cracking report there john

love the "carribean" pic 8)
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby David.Ferguson » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:12 pm

Hi John

Beautiful pictures,these trip reports are an inspiration for newbies like myself.

Cheers

David.
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby John Burgess » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:13 pm

monty wrote:Hi John,
Great report and stunning pictures. The summit looks amazing, like a great big meteorite fallen from space and plonked on the top. I haven't seen a top like that yet. Cant wait :D


Hi Monty,

It's not quite the Inn Pinn but it gives a little spice to the ascent :D Hadn't thought of it as an X files plot though :lol:
It count's as one of your local hills so head up there and be thankthful that NTS are trying to care for Glen Derry. Mind you the deer fences round the regenerating pine areas are a nightmare for photographs - but I'll put up with that if my grandchildren can see some fine trees.

All the best,

John
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Posts: 208
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby John Burgess » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:18 pm

kevsbald wrote:I was planning on doing this exact route next week. I see nothing in this report to suggest I should deviate from that.
fab clarity of views and photos. I suspect I'll have a chillier sojourn but really enjoyed that description, John.


Hi Kev,
Hope you have something like the day I had. If you get the chance get down to Stacan Dubha. You have to go a bit below the top but the views down to Loch A'an are sublime. That said, you'll probably get one of those days I've endured too often in the Gorms :lol:
Good luck,
John
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby John Burgess » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:21 pm

alan sherry wrote:love the "carribean" pic 8)


Hi Alan,

Yep, I sat there thinking for 3 hours a year that could compete with anything :lol:
I actually saw two people making their way across the larger beach at the head of the loch. That's what made me think ...
It looked gorgeous :D

All the best,

John
Last edited by John Burgess on Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby kinley » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:25 pm

8) 8) Wow - a gorgeous Cairngorms report.

Beinn Mheadhoin is a nice hill, but I've not climbed it from the south.

Good to know about Stacan Dubha's view I was thinking about diverting to this one next time. Now I definitely will :D
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby John Burgess » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:31 pm

kinley wrote:8) 8) Wow - a gorgeous Cairngorms report.

Beinn Mheadhoin is a nice hill, but I've not climbed it from the south.

Good to know about Stacan Dubha's view I was thinking about diverting to this one next time. Now I definitely will :D


Hi Kinley,

Now that's a compliment if ever I had one :D

Stacan Dubha is definitely worth the visit - you just have to go a bit below the top if you want the best views.

Look forward to seeing your report :D

All the best,

John
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby John Burgess » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:55 pm

David.Ferguson wrote:Hi John

Beautiful pictures,these trip reports are an inspiration for newbies like myself.

Cheers

David.


Thanks David,

I quite envy you newbies - all this to see for the first time :D
Respect the hills and you'll get a lifetime of pleasure from them.
Enjoy.

John
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Posts: 208
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Re: A day on Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby doogz » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:18 pm

I cant believe it ..as victor meldrew says.....

this is the very weather i was expecting on MONDAY...2 days before your trip
Image

your hill on the right looks a bit trickier on monday than your stroll in the sun just 2 days after
[the dots are a group of helicopters heading to inverness i was told]
great pic .... i still have this hill to do and spoke at length on monday whether to go for it but the 30km was plenty without the snowy summit of Mheadhoin to tackle

might do it from this side as well though i loved the glen walk :)

doogz 8) 8)
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