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Braemar Gathering - Stuic in the middle
by Graeme D » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:54 pm
Munros included on this walk: Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor
Date walked: 11/08/2012
Time taken: 8.2 hours
Distance: 21 km
Ascent: 1010m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
In the true traditions of these meets, it had been a late one on the Friday night and there appeared to be another Saturday morning bug doing the rounds again. Yours truly had come scandalously unprepared for this meet and so the first task of the morning was to head round to what passed for the local shop (while the shop along the road past the Fife Arms was temporarily closed for refurbishment and extension) to get some coffee and breakfast. It was like something from the Third World, scarily reminiscent of the shops as I remember them from the few weeks I spent in an inflation crippled and Mugabe ravaged Zimbabwe in 2002. A two pack of iced buns for breakfast it is then and a rather dodgy looking pasta salad thingy for lunch.
After a monumental amount of faffing in and around the bunkhouse, Bod, Paul, Basscadet and myself all drove our cars along to the car park next to Auchallater Farm, the latter three of us leaving our vehicles there before all heading back to HQ in Bod's car. Then, after further faffing, we all got into 2 cars driven by Bod and Nathan (well, nearly all of us, it was only as the wheels were beginning to move in the hotel car park that we realised that Basscadet was about to be left behind!) and headed to the car park at Keiloch. Close thing there Basscadet - you nearly spent the day doing Creag Choinnich in yer sandals 'cos yer walking boots were about to leave without you!
We parked at Keiloch and after a spot of last minute faffing, we were off. Nathan appeared to have been elected leader (seems like it was his weekend for getting himself elected!) and he immediately set out his stall as a "lead from the back" leader. To be honest, I don't think anybody really felt like taking charge of the navigating and route planning this morning. Nathan and Paul certainly had smart devices for navigating by and Basscadet knew the territory, so I was quite happy to wander along in blissful ignorance, only occasionally getting my compass out of my pocket to check we were still heading vaguely in a south easterly direction.
The old Bridge of Dee
Nine plus one dog cross the bridge
Through the Ballochbuie Forest
Onto open moor alongside the Feindallacher Burn with Carn an t-Sagairt Mor in the distance
It was really only when we reached the hut and left the track at NO204874 and I got my OS sheet out and asked Nathan to pinpoint us that I really picked up my bearings and woke up for the day. That bug had taken a wee bit of shifting but the long, hot slog up the forest tracks had seen it off. Let's get down to business!
A landrover pulled in just behind us as we were discussing tactics and a clearly well to do family got out and started gathering their gear together for a picnic at the Sandy Loch. Bod and Valerie (who was suffering from some rather painful sounding blisters) decided to stick to the track and head on up through the col between Carns an t-Sagairt Mor and Beag to pick up the path skirting to the north of Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach and reach the top of the Stuic that way. The rest of us headed across the springy heather and moss of the Druim Odhar towards the Sandy Loch with the Swiss Family Robinson in hot pursuit, picinic hamper and fishing rods in hands. Hey Boo Boo, I can smell picinic hampers!
Leaving the track by the metal hut and heading over the burn and onto the heather
Back to Londonwalker, Iain, Paul, Nathan and Basscadet
Despite protestations from some about being hungry, we decided to plough on to the Sandy Loch before stopping for lunch. This certainly was a fine spot for a bite to eat, even if my pasta salad thingy turned out to be borderline inedible.
Iain arriving at the Sandy Loch
Across the corner of the loch to the Stuic buttress
Then it was off towards the base of the Stuic, although by now we had been reduced to half a dozen as Paul decided to skirt around to the west and up the long north western ridge.
Pause for discussion en route to the foot of the Stuic
Getting close to the start of the real ascent
Lochnagar across Loch nan Eun
Iain and Basscadet dwarfed by the buttress
A final pause for breath before the hard work begins
The Stuic is an excellent scramble, requiring a lot of hand work and providing a fair degree of exposure but always offering options in terms of exact route through the boulders. The views back down to the Sandy Loch, Loch nan Eun and various other little unnamed lochans dotting the landscape below were truly exhilarating.
Gavin gets hands on on the Stuic
Nathan and Basscadet
Iain and Londonwalker
Basscadet snapping away
Full on scrambling by Gavin and Nathan
Iain soaks it up
Gavin powers on, Londonwalker and Iain take a breather
Iain standing sentinel at the top of the Stuic
Paul, Bod and Val (and of course Ritchie) were waiting for us at the top and after a quick break for a bite to eat and to tog up further against the effect of the wind buffeting the plateau, we headed the short distance to the summit of Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach.
Arriving at the summit of Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach
Looking back to the top of the Stuic buttress and the edge of the plateau
We didn't linger before heading north west off the summit to pick up the path leading down into the bealach between Carns an t'Sagairt Mor and Beag before leaving the path and angling up the dome of the second Munro of the day.
Leaving Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach headed for Carn an t-Sagairt Mor
It wasn't long before we started coming across pieces of wreckage from the crashed Canberra, Gavin in particular forging on ahead to try to find and study the next piece.
The first piece of Canberra wreckage on the slopes of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor
Back to Cairn Bannoch, Broad Cairn and the Dubh Loch
Arriving at the main wreckage site
Wing and a prayer
Nathan studying the twisted wreckage
At the summit cairn of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, our collective photo was taken by the kindly old gentleman with the small dog as previously mentioned in Basscadet's report and Gavin was so overwhelmed by the strewn pieces of aircraft wreckage that he had to..... well, I think that has already been alluded to. Don't think my photo sheds any more light on what he is actually doing!
Reaching Munro # 2 in dribs and drabs
That summit shot again!
The boys in blue
Then it was down the winding path to Callater Lodge where Bod, Val and Gavin went on ahead while the rest of us popped into the Lodge for a spot of hospitality.
Descending towards Loch Callater
Single file above Loch Callater
The distinct shape of Tolmount at the head of Glen Callater
As Basscadet has already said, she knows the folks who keep it and the rest of us were also made very welcome with a wee drop of tea. I had been there one wet and windy night back in May when I stayed in the bothy before tackling Tolmount the next morning and Keith remembered me from that evening.
We then speed marched back out along the landrover track, catching up with the others just before reaching the cars. I then drove Bod and Nathan to Keiloch to collect their cars before heading back to Braemar for the Saturday night festivities including a damned fine curry and Kev's Cairngorm/Deeside hill quiz.
Stragglers almost back at the cars
by kevsbald » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:01 pm
by Graeme D » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:10 pm
kevsbald wrote:The Stuic looks might interesting. BTW, who won the quiz?
It certainly is. Have you not been up there before?
The quiz? Oh yeah, did ye nae ken? It was won on a tie break question by myself, Stuart (GGE) and the 2 Hawick lads Stuart (Radman) and Kev. Just one thing though - who the f*** is/was Besom Jimmy???
by ChrisW » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:44 pm
by Sabbathstevie » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:44 pm
by kevsbald » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:40 pm
Graeme D wrote:kevsbald wrote:The Stuic looks might interesting. BTW, who won the quiz?
who the f*** is/was Besom Jimmy???
Hee hee, you should read the Cairngorm books by Ian Murray - very interesting. He used to live in a cave on the South side of Gellaig - I plan to find that cave.
by Graeme D » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:49 pm
kevsbald wrote:Hee hee, you should read the Cairngorm books by Ian Murray - very interesting. He used to live in a cave on the South side of Gellaig - I plan to find that cave.
I was going to do Geallaig Hill on the Sunday of the meet before heading home but opted for Morrone instead. Let me know when you're going cave hunting.
by pollyh33 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:25 am
Big petted lip now because I missed a fantastic bunch of people on a meetup with decent weather
by Bod » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:06 am
by Gavin99 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:45 am
Innocent Your Honour !
by iainwatson » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:07 am
i had walked the lochnagar cicuit the usual way in clag last year and had never even heard of loch callater/Glen callater
what a delight it was! a beautiful area and has really opened up my eyes to different routes on previously climbed hills and even though i've done a few hills,there is so much still to see of this stunning country
by Bod » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:47 pm