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Plan B, Derry Cairngorm and Beinn Mheadhoin

Plan B, Derry Cairngorm and Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby neilfowlie » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:12 am

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Mheadhoin, Derry Cairngorm

Date walked: 23/07/2011

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 31 km

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It was time for a change of scenery. After spend most of my walking time in the South Cairngorms I really fancied something new, something different to look at. Don't get me wrong as I have enjoyed my walks to the south but a fresh change of scenery was needed. I have always fancied Ben Macdui but I had promised myself I would make sure the weather was good for the views before climbing this one. As I approached the Linn of Dee car park it was looking like game on for the second highest hill in Scotland but as I crossed the bridge over Lui Water looking up Glen Lui the clouds started to roll in and cling onto the very tops of the Scottish hills.
Looking up Glen Lui towards Derry Lodge

I had a plan B though. I originally thought about climbing Ben Macdui via Carn a' Mhaim but as the cloud base seemed to be just taking over the top of Derry Cairngorm and no more I decided to start my ascent up DC and take it from there. From Derry Lodge I took a path heading north towards Creag Bad an t-Seabhaig.
Creag Bad an t-Seabhaig

The start of my ascent

The view back down Glen Lui from Creag Bad an t-Seabhaig

Beinn Bhrotain with rainbow

After a few minutes rest to admire the view it was onwards to Carn Crom
Carn Crom on the left

Carn a' Mhaim just below the cloud line

You can almost see the summit

Final approach..

I could almost feel the cloud touching the top of my head now but it did seem as though the base was lifting.
Last view of Glen Lui as the cloud comes in

The wind had picked up by now. I guess it was always there but with it blowing from the north I had been sheltered most of the way up so I decided to stop just before the summit and take refuge for a bite to eat.
Stunning views from the summit!!!!!!!!

The path so far had been clear all the way up DC but the summit can only be described as one big boulder field were slight caution should be taken not to go head over heels.
Once I descended far enough heading north still, and out of the cloud cover, the path was easily picked up again.
Heading north with Creagan a' Choie Etchachan to the right

It was decision time as Loch Etchachan came into view, just. One minute it was there then 20 paces later it had almost disappeared. So my mind was made up to head east around the side of the loch and back down Glen Derry. As I neared the loch I met up with some fellow walks walking in the opposite direction and after a friendly chat they had convinced me to head for Beinn Mheadhoin. They told me the initial climb was quite steep but once on top it was fairly flat with the added bonus of their granite tors. That was it, I was sold and so I continued to head east towards my second Munro of the day.
Loch Etchachan...... just.

That's better

Plan B - Beinn Mheadhoin

My gamble had paid off. The cloud started to lift again as I reach the plateau with the tors coming into sight and with views over Loch Avon. Just awesome.
The granite tors of Beinn Mheadhoin

Stunning view of Loch Avon

Almost there

As the summit tor came into view I could see a couple sat up at the base. A delightful older couple started to tell me of the (if memory serves me well) 16 munros they had to bag before completing all 283. They had hope to reduce that by 8 over that coming week. Doubtful, but if they were to read this report I wish them the best and hope they completed bagging the rest.
Looking back, on top

The route home - Glen Derry

It was time to head home. It had been a long day so far and there were still a few miles to cover. It was great walking down Glen Derry with some stunning views of the summits I had just bagged behind me but by now I was really feeling it as I drew nearer to Derry Lodge. I remember thinking that the next time I would cycle from the car park to the lodge and had wished I had done that day. The last couple of miles back to the Linn of Dee was a long and sore trek but all in all it had been a great days hike.
Ben Macdui, well almost and Loch Etchachan

The Hutchison Memorial Hut

Beinn Mheadhoin summit, 1182mtrs

Derry Cairngorm in full sight

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Re: Plan B, Derry Cairngorm and Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby Graeme D » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:14 am

Nice one Neil! I did DC on Saturday evening from Derry Lodge via the same ascent route. What a fantastic evening it was. I got as far as Loch Etchechan before reviewing my options (I was camped near Derry Lodge). I considered heading for Mheadhoin but didn't have the required map and in any case, the cloud was clinging stubbornly to the summit, so I headed back down through Coire Sputain Dearg to the Luibeg Bridge. :D
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Re: Plan B, Derry Cairngorm and Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby neilfowlie » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:18 pm

Thanks Graeme, I really enjoyed this walk too. Just wish the views at times were better but it all adds to the excitement of the day I suppose. As I was descending from DC the cloud broke for a few seconds to reveal Lochan Uaine on the southeast side of Ben Macdui which was just picturesque but as quick as it appeared it had gone before I could take a photo. :( Have you bagged Beinn Mheadhoin before?? If not, make sure the next time you are in the area you squeeze it in.... Hopefully on a sunnier day that is :D
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Re: Plan B, Derry Cairngorm and Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:27 pm

Beinn Mheadhoin is a great Munro with it's views and Tors, i did it along with Cairngorm from the north and the views to Loch Avon were stunning :D
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Re: Plan B, Derry Cairngorm and Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby Meatball » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:28 pm

A magic place in the snow too!
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