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Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Total Solitude in the Cairngorms


Postby L-Hiking » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:07 pm

Route description: Ben Macdui and Cairngorm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm

Date walked: 19/06/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 3200m

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This was one of those exiting days in your lives when you think this is it!! At last I am going to be able to venture onto the Cairngorm Plateau. Don’t really know what I am getting excited about after all I am only 56 years young! :lol:

The forecast for the Cairngorms was good with 80% chance of clear Munro tops, which was in stark contrast to the weather further south where the North of England and South of Scotland were suffering flash floods.

Arrived at the Ski Centre car park at around 9.30am and there was already lots of cars here with a coach party of similar aged people wandering about with cameras after just departing the Lochs and Glens Tour Coach. Oh eck let me get going quick I am not ready to join that trip yet!

From the car park there are some steps which drop down a little in front of you and then joins a clear path which heads roughly in a westerly direction.

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Initial track from Ski centre



The day was clear and there was a clear view ahead and all around the view towards Meall a Bhuachallie was especially picturesque and depending on how my old aching legs were after today could be the objective for tomorrow.

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Meall a Beauchallie



The route is quite a steady climb where the accent is not really noticeable, but what a lovely place as we approached the Alt Coire an t Sneachda the cliffs of the same name come into view they are without doubt very impressive with snow was still lying in many of the Northern most gully’s. Now this would be a good place for all those Lochs and Glen’s cameras, much better than the visitor centre.
.
P1010881.JPG
Alt Coire a t Sneachda


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Looking back to Ski Centre


Further up as we climbed a young girl passed at speed and I was pretty envious of the ease and grace in which she travelled, strangely as we levelled out near Coire an Lochain she veered off the path and appeared to be looking for something, with use of her map and what looked like a GPS. I watched at a distance to see what she was doing but as I did so I felt that the young lady did not appreciate being observed so we went on our way. I wonder if this is the new craze called Geo-Caching and she was looking for buried treasure and I had missed an opportunity to find a pot of gold. Anyway after a few circles of the area she headed back down towards the Ski centre.

My walk yesterday had allowed me my first view of the mighty Breariach and this time she came into view again oh what a mountain so majestic. I am lucky to be here and there peeping alongside Breariach was Sgor an Lochain Uaine and Cairn Toul. I pointed these out to my wife Carol who looked at me and said you are kidding me NO WAY!! :crazy:

I had a laugh to myself and had to explain that that was not our objective for today, but she never believes me, as so often on reaching a peak I say lets go and knock that one off it’s only over there!! :lol:



P1010884.JPG




The temperature had dropped as we travelled and increased our elevation and indeed were met with some of that lovely midsummer hail and we sheltered behind some boulders and had a coffee taking in the views across the Lairig Ghru.

Revitalised and refreshed the snow storm now well on its way we again climbed steadily reaching a high point with the slopes of MacDui ahead in the distance. We descended and passed a small lochan which I think is close to where the disaster in 1971 happened (I think) and again climbed towards a boulder field which we negotiated with care.

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Boulder Field


Eventually reaching the summit and my second Munro of the week and again there was not a sole around it was so quite the views were stunning all around. Take your pick of the wind shelters up here there are so many and I can imagine what it must be like in school holidays..Not today though ...Just Bliss!

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Carol locating a wind free shelter


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Lochnager


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Cairn Gorm


I wandered away from the shelter as I wanted to glimpse the view of the River Dee and the Devils Point, I was not disappointed and again was blessed with a wonderful panorama. Oh I have to come back here but I think with my tent next time and pitch close to Courror Bothy.

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The River Dee


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Majestic Mountains



So sadly it was time to leave and retrace our steps to Lochan Buidhe and then veer right again on a clear path towards our final objective of the day Cairn Gorm passing the impressive cliffs of Stob Coire an t Sneachda along the way It looks a long way from here :crazy:

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Cairn Gorm our objective



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Snow in Mid June


The path is clear and easy to follow however I do appreciate what a dangerous place this can be if the mist or the weather turned nasty up here so constantly taking a compass bearing just in case, as it was I didn’t need it and I think that the Highlands didn’t mind an Englishman enjoying their glory and beauty of Scotland today.

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Beinn Mheadhoin ( I think)


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Meall a Beauchallie



The legs were tiring a little now but the final objective was in sight and a quick look with the binoculars showed that there was lots of activity up on the summit of Cairn Gorm. At this point in the day we had not seen or spoken to a single person. That was soon to change as we passed and exchanged pleasantries with many groups and individuals on the final stretch.

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Getting Closer


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Ant Like People


We reached the summit of Cairn Gorm and again the views were stunning although it was hard to take any clear shots with all the people milling around up here. I couldn’t help notice one couple inadequately dressed in jeans and flimsy tops with no fluid. Oh Dear! Not for me to remind them of the dangers and rapid change of weather conditions.

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Cracked it!!


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Ben Rinnes


From here it was just a walk towards the cafe below on what is an excellent path way but I am not sure that it does the mountains character any favours. On entering the building we were asked to sign in which I thought strange, but now understand why after speaking to one of the waitresses in the cafe. No one is allowed out of the door onto the mountain when travelling up by the railway.

After the coffee we decide to be tourists and travelled back down the final part of the walk to the car park on the train. Tired but pleased with our efforts.
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L-Hiking
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:26 pm

Another cracker LH! The miles might be long but It looks to be worth every last one. I also like the idea of getting the train down :lol:
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby ChrisW » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:22 am

Great stuff LH, really enjoyable report and beautiful pics but I think you got something the wrong way around, surely you should go UP on the train and walk back down :wink: ....I'll bet your Mrs would agree with me :lol: That shot of a distant Ben Rinnes reminds me of the day I got to the summit of that particular corbett when the heavens opened and it lashed down all the way home....great :roll:
Glad you enjoyed the Gorms mate and happy to enjoy it with you :thumbup: :D
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby monty » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:48 am

Great report LH. Superb photos too. Would like some of that weather to come back :lol:
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby jonny616 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:32 am

Great pics & report. As Monty says 'please can we have our good weather back sir'? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby SusieThePensioner » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:08 pm

Geoff, really enjoyed your report and some fantastic photos :thumbup:

L-Hiking wrote:only 56 years young!
Yes, YOUNG :lol: :lol:

Great idea going back on the train :D
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby malky_c » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:26 pm

Glad you got good weather for your first venture onto the plateau :)

The views down to Cairn Toul and Braeriach from Ben Macdui are good enough to have you planning a return I'm sure.

I'm lucky in that when I'm at home, it's just about possible to squeeze in this route after work on a summer's evening 8)
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby L-Hiking » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:40 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote: I also like the idea of getting the train down


Cheers JK
I have to thank the Mrs for that idea :)


ChrisW wrote:Great stuff LH, really enjoyable report and beautiful pics but I think you got something the wrong way around, surely you should go UP on the train and walk back down


Ha ha, your'e probably right Chris, but coming from York the Grand Old Duke said When you were up you were down :crazy: You know the rest :lol:


monty wrote:Great report LH. Superb photos too. Would like some of that weather to come back :lol:


jonny616 wrote:Great pics & report. As Monty says 'please can we have our good weather back sir'? :lol: :lol: :lol:


Cheers Guys, I have ordered good weather for August when I am next having a wander up here :)



L-Hiking wrote::only 56 years young!

SusieThePensioner wrote:Yes, YOUNG


Luv you too Susie :wink: :wink:


malky_c wrote:The views down to Cairn Toul and Braeriach from Ben Macdui are good enough to have you planning a return I'm sure.I'm lucky in that when I'm at home, it's just about possible to squeeze in this route after work on a summer's evening


Thanks Malky, yes you are quite right well and truly smitten :)
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby simon-b » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:03 pm

That was a great day, LH. Well done with those views!

My first Munros were those two, with the same route, on 20/6/11! I got mist on the summits, though.

On 19/6/12? I might have seen you with a powerful telescope!...

P6190063.JPG


Thanks for a cracking report and some excellent pictures. And you picked a fine day during a period of very mixed weather in the East Highlands.
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby morag1 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:13 am

Loved this report :D Something really special about the cairngorms as your photos show

Lucky you getting some nice weather and great views 8)

I think the mountain railway is a lot of fun although some people dont like it.
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:51 am

Great stuff and super weather to be in the Cairngorms. The photo you think is Beinn Mheadhoin is correct and it is well worth a visit as it's a beautiful walk to the Loch once over Cairngorm and when you get there you have the Tors to play about on if you have any energy left :D
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby L-Hiking » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:07 pm

simon-b wrote:On 19/6/12? I might have seen you with a powerful telescope!...



Cheers Simon a great day out

Im waving back at you :wave: :wave:


morag1 wrote:
Loved this report Something really special about the cairngorms as your photos show


Thanks Morag, I was lucky with the weather

Johnny Corbett wrote:The photo you think is Beinn Mheadhoin is correct and it is well worth a visit as it's a beautiful walk to the Loch once over Cairngorm and when you get there you have the Tors to play about on if you have any energy left


Cheers Johnny I appreciate the confirmation of Beinn Mheahoin
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby Gavin99 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:05 pm

Lovely report and photos, looks like a day to remember , a wonderful place 8)
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Re: Total Solitude in the Cairngorms

Postby L-Hiking » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:43 pm

Gavin99 wrote:Lovely report and photos, looks like a day to remember , a wonderful place 8)



Cheers Gav,
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