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Cairngorms Introduction

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:20 pm
by ianmcr
Friday the 25th May, I prepared for my first trip to the Cairngorms and my first wild camp. Checked tent, looked out stove, pans and sleeping bag and the usual day stuff.

Saturday 26th May I woke up at 5:00am, earlier than anticipated but that’s excitement for you, or maybe trepidation. Left the house at 6:00am and drove north.

Arrived at Linn of Dee at 9:30am, again earlier than anticipated. Locked car and checked gear again and started off on a warm sunny morning for Derry Lodge.

Path from Linn of Dee.jpg

Once through the trees and across the bridge the views opened up and gave a hint of what was to follow.

Lui Water.jpg

An hours walking saw Derry Lodge, and the campsite for the night, 5km from the car but not too “wild”. After pitching tent, I took the track up Glen Derry and saw another glimpse of where my efforts will be focussed over the next 2 days. I began ascending Beinn Bhreac after about 25minutes, reached the summit and enjoyed a fine cooling breeze.

From Beinn Bhreac across Moine Bhealaidh.jpg

From there I trudged over the Moine Bhealaidh towards Beinn a Chaorainn and was in awe of the scale of the Cairngorms, in all directions. The feeling of isolation was immense. From the summit of Beinn a Chaorainn this feeling was increased with cloudless views of Beinn Mheadhoin, Derry Cairngorm and Ben Macdui to the west and Beinn a Bhuird and Ben Avon to the east.

Summit of Beinn a Chaorainn with Beinn Mheadhoin behind.jpg

I descended SW and into Lairig an Laoigh and down Glen Derry back to the tent where I conjured up a delightful and satisfying pasta bolognaise using for the first time, my MSR pocket rocket stove. More accurately I warmed up mince, pasta, tomatoes and herbs thrown in a packet by Mr Tesco. I sipped on a cup of freshly brewed tea and waited on friends walking in from Linn of Dee. We shared a wee Balvenie doublewood on their arrival.

Room for the night.jpg

After a fabulous first day in the Cairgorms I hit “bed” early, even before I could see the stars, although the crescent of a new moon heralded the close of one day but gave promise of the next.

I did not sleep at all. It was freezing, or at least felt like it, the microlite sleeping bag, another one of Mr Tesco’s goods was well out of it’s league. I clambered out of it at 5:30am hopeful of some of the sun’s warming rays.

Glen Derry early morning.jpg

We sorted our bags for another day in the hills, I had company today, at least for some of it and we made our way up Glen Derry once more, way up past Hutchison Memorial Hut to Loch Etchachan.

Huchison Memorial Hut.jpg

Loch Etchachan.jpg

After a short break we climbed NE to Beinn Mheadhoin’s summit tor which we duly clambered up, a great finish to a fantastic hill.

Big Tor.jpg

We descended back to the loch and went our own ways. While my friends made their back down Glen Derry, I climbed SSW then SSE to the bouldery summit of Derry Cairngorm. Walking through large patches of snow on such a warm day was quite surreal and the snow clinging to the vertical sides of Coire Sputan Dearg of Ben Macdui seemed to defy the laws of physics.

Summer Snow.jpg

Derry Cairngorm.jpg

A descent S down the spur then SW down steep heather slopes to Glen Luibeg where the path lead back to Derry Lodge and I was re-united with my friends. I collapsed the tent and we all walked back to the car park at Linn of Dee together.

Back to car park.jpg

A total of 51.5km and 2214m of ascent later I had completed my first sortie into the Cairngorms Massive and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was only an introduction, but in the words of Arnie, “I’ll be back” but next time with a warmer sleeping bag.

Re: Cairngorms Introduction

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:51 pm
by Tomsie
Was up there today and might take your route next time to do Mheadain,
Nice photo's