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Avon calling, A'Bhuird too!

Avon calling, A'Bhuird too!


Postby RussellR » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:59 pm

Route description: Ben Avon via Gleann an-Slugain

Date walked: 28/07/2012

Time taken: 9.3 hours

Distance: 38.3 km

Ascent: 1230m

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Following a great couple of days out in the Cairngorms this weekend last year, we set aside this weekend with similar hopes. Expectations were high early in the week with the news that the gulfsteam was on the move, however we were soon brought back to earth with MWIS giving between 20% to 60% chance of cloud free summits over the weekend. The eastern Cairngorms looked the best bet and Ben Avon was our most easterly Munro remaining.
Gee'd up by the fantastic Opening Ceremony at the Olympics on the Friday, we woke to a rather overcast morning and took our time by enjoying an excellent bacon roll at the glenshee chairlift watching a few walkers head up into the clouds. By the time we arrived at Kelloch car park ready for the off at a rather late 10:30am, there were a few breaks in the clouds appearing.
The WH route description had indicated that the first few km were good for the bike so we set off along the tarred estate road up past Invercauld Estate.
Image
Easy going to start by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
After a few km the tar ran out and the track gradually became a bit rougher and steeper, we ditched the bilkes about 1km short of the ruin of Sluigain and set on up the good footpath up the side of the Glas Allt Mor.
Image
Slugain ruin with a'Bhuird beyond by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
Image
The wide upper valley by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
Walking was easy going all tthe way up to the Sneck at 970m with good views up to the corries of Beinn a'Bhuird, from there it was a short sharp pull up to the plateau of Ben Avon at 1130m. I had read about and anticipated the granite Tors, however they were still a strange sight as they came into view.
Image
Ben Avon Tors by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
Image
Granite Tor of Leabaidh an Daimb Bhuide by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
The last 10m was a good scramble up onto the top of the large tor of Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe at 1171m in a little under 4 hours.
Image
Time to take in the view by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
We took in the views across to Lochnagar and the Glenshee hills which were gradually losing the cloud cover.
Image
Beinn a'Bhuird from Ben Avon by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
Our plan was to return by the same route, however a quick study of the map of the route up to Beinn a'Bhuird indicated that for a few more km we could take in this also.
Image
Descending to the sneck and the way onward by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
As we descended back towrds the Sneck the route was clear, up over the top of Cnap a'Chleirich then along the top of the corrie to the North Top at 1196m, probably the least impressive summit we have seen!
Image
Unimpressive summit by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
To the north, the Cairngorms were also coming into view out of the clouds. It was great to see these hills and to understand their geography from this aspect.
Image
Ben Macdui by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
As we continued round the corrie the views back to Ben Avon were excellent and also down into the lochan below the great cliffs of a'bhuird.
Image
Lochan by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
After crossing over the uninspiring south summit we had to scramble down a large boulder field before passing close to a large patch of snow our our descent towards Carn Fiaclach, across the upper Quioch burn to pick up our inward route just above the ruin of Slugain.
Image
The way down by Munro Bagger, on Flickr
Just at this point, the rain came on and we were glad to retrieve our bikes and knock of the last 8km in a little over 30min. All in all weather turned out to be much better than expected and we had a bagged an extra munro into the bargain!
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RussellR
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Re: Avon calling, A'Bhuird too!

Postby skuk007 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:05 pm

Great photos Russell, glad to see the views I missed when I did these two.
I'm sure it's a couple I'll need to get back to on a good day.
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skuk007
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Re: Avon calling, A'Bhuird too!

Postby dogplodder » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:27 am

Great report for me as I've these two to do!

How long would you estimate this to be without the bikes? :wink:
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Re: Avon calling, A'Bhuird too!

Postby RussellR » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:49 pm

dogplodder wrote:Great report for me as I've these two to do!

How long would you estimate this to be without the bikes? :wink:


I would estimate another 1.5 hours, it was slow going on the way in but a breeze on the bikes on the way back, plus a long way. Good luck!
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RussellR
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Re: Avon calling, A'Bhuird too!

Postby Owen b » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:01 pm

I did these two last week and managed to get a mountain bike as far as the confluence of Allt Dearg and Glas Allt Mor. Once up the steeper bit of the track by the ruin it becomes a nicely surfaced path which apart from a few lateral stone drainage channels is good for biking and saves quite a lot of time. The only snag is the steep and virtually pathless route up Allt Dearg to Beinn a' Bhuird.
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