A damp Macdui
by basscadet » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:02 pm
Route description: Ben Macdui and Derry Cairngorm
Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui
Date walked: 24/06/2012
Time taken: 10 hours
Distance: 35.4 km
Ascent: 1542mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I set out Saturday afternoon to get out to Linn o Dee thinking I would stay at Derry lodge to save my feet the extra couple of miles in the morning.. I aquaplaned my way down Deeside in atrocious rain that had the traffic at a complete standstill in Aboyne due to flooding.. Finally made it to the carpark for 4, but the rain was still on heavy, so I had a wee snooze and waited for a clear spell to get going. I made it up to Bob Scotts for 6, and as usual there were a few other folk about for a banter. It was roasting in there as always - kinda handy seeing as some of my kit wasnt dry from the Lomond trip on Thursday night
When I got up this morning, the weather was lovely - sunny and warm with midges a plenty. By the time I had had a couple of teas and my porridge, it had dulled down a bit, and by the time I left the bothy at 8.30, the drizzle was on. It was still bright as I waved a good morning to the MRT guys on the way past their hut, and headed up toward Luibeg. They were the last folk I saw all day until I got back to Derry Lodge.
I carried on up the good path up Glen Luibeg, and took a right before the stepping stones/bridge to head up the burn. There was a river crossing that looked like it would usually of been a walk in the park, but the burn was raging, and tried to wash my legs out from under me.. Made it with dry feet, then it was up, up, up toward Sron Riach. It looks quite steep on the map, but it really wasnt too bad, and I made it up quite quickly. The wind was getting up though and I was going headlong into it, so keeping my balance on the boulderfields was challenging. My clothing was starting to leak as well, in the ever strengthening rain
I passed a tor before scrambling up a fairly steep boulderfield, then I was on the final ascent to Macdui There were an awful lot of windbreaks/shelters scattered around the hillside, and I found the remains of the old bothy that used to be up there. I stopped and sheltered in it, using the fireplace as a seat. It was so good to be out of the wind, that now had me walking at a 45 degree angle, and had pushed me over a couple of times
After lunch, I set off again, and found the top just a few yards away - could of seen it if it wasnt for the mists!
All the way up I had been contemplating my return route.. Carn a mhaim I fancied, because I have never walked its whole ridge, but I also fancied Derry Cairngorm because the boulderfields up there are fun.. But at the summit of Macdui, I was so keen to get out of the wind, I didnt give it any thought whatsoever and found my feet had taken me toward Derry. Visibility was only a few feet, and I missed the path over to derry, and found myself at Loch Etchachan. Maybe for the best I thought.. I was pretty wet and cold by this point, and the thought of going back up into that wind was not appealing. What was appealing however, was the thought of a wee bit shelter in Hutchisons. I found the path down had been much improved since I was last up this way, and the waterfalls which are always nice there, were spectacular in spate.
I got into Hutchisons, and hung up my waterproofs. Two minutes after I got in, the heavens just opened - I was so glad I was indoors, it looked and sounded horrific! I ate and sat there steaming for a good hour and a half waiting for the rain to get back to a managable level. Part of me was annoyed at myself for coming in - I knew I wouldnt want to go back out again! But eventually, the rain calmed down and I headed down in to Glen Derry. The squelch factor underfoot had increased somewhat
The wind was up, and I almost got blown off the wee bridge there, then I remembered there was another river to cross yet.. and it didn't have a bridge. I had never had trouble there before, but have heard tales and horror stories about it and the rivers were all huge atm. I began to worry. Quite rightly so, because I couldnt believe the force of the water coming down. I could see the usual stepping stones, but they were 18 inches under some pretty fast flowing water. I looked downstream, then up. Walked back and forth and stared at certain spots for ages, but it all looked pretty scary. I wasnt expecting to get across dry or anything, but I didn't want to get washed away which looked like a definate possibilty. Eventually I found a spot where I could get halfway across, then I found another stepping stone with my pole and managed to force my leg through the current to stand on it.. then it was just a couple of foot leap to the far shore.. I had been in above my knees, but my feet had somehow stayed dry and I was still alive.. Yaay! I'm such a chicken when it comes to river crossings..
After that, the rain actually went off and I had a pleasant, fast trot down Glen Derry. I took the path on the West side of the river for a change through some beautiful woodland, back to the Bothy to pick up my gear.
After a wee snack and a blether to a couple who were eating their dinner, I got up the motivation for the last leg when the sun came out, and by the time I got back to the car I was more or less dried out.
This was a walk of perseverence rather than enjoyment I think.. I'm bored with all this dreichit, cold weather now, and I'm bored of all my gear constantly hung up, making the flat look untidy too. Next weekend better be better
by Gable Gable End » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:28 pm
by basscadet » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:32 pm
by tony.cee » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:51 am
and aye, that is a rather dreich photo, last time i saw a dreich view like that was when a hobbit was trying to get rid of a ring. grim indeed.
by Cairngormwanderer » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:33 am
As a general guide, though, if the normal crossing point at the path is not passable, there is an alternative 20 or 30 metres DOWNSTREAM. If you head upstream the topography of the stream and the banks means you'll have to go all the way up onto the plateau.
See http://cairngormwanderer.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/escape-from-the-fords-of-avon/ for further info...
by basscadet » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:42 am
I'll remember to go downstream further next time, thanks for the tip I spose its just instinct to head upstream, as theoretically, the burn will get smaller that way..
by Johnny Corbett » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:30 pm
by Gable Gable End » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:39 pm
I headed up to Corrour after Scotties on Friday during the day for a brew and a dry out; it was empty too (took a small bag of rubbish with me). I didn't see a soul until White Bridge (DoE group); just fantastic to be back out in the Gorms again.
by Cairngormwanderer » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:42 pm
by rockhopper » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:35 pm
by basscadet » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:42 pm
Supposed to be up Glen Affric this weekend with a fair weather walker and I am still going to go whether he chickens out or not