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In the Cairngorm Foothills

In the Cairngorm Foothills


Postby John Burgess » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:37 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Sgor Mor

Grahams included on this walk: Creag Bhalg

Date walked: 13/11/2009

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 22 km

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Getting away from work by 11:30 on Thursday meant that I could head off for a couple of quiet days camping and walking near Braemar :D
I got the tent pitched by the Quoich Water and just had time to bumble up Carn na Drochaide before the rain started and darkness fell.

Campsite.JPG


The meal cooked (Tortellini with a Lloyd Grossman sauce a la Trangia) I retreated to the sleeping bag. Warm and dry with the relaxing sound of the river - everything conspired to ensure a great nights sleep :) Then it was up early to drop the car at the Linn of Dee and cycle back along to the Quoich. The plan was to head over Creag Bhalg and Sgor Mor then return to the car via White Bridge.


Sgor Mor.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



First stop was the Punch Bowl - just above the Linn of Quoich. A favourite spot with a cracking view from the bridge.

The Punch Bowl.JPG


I followed a path of sorts on the North side of the deer fence heading up Creag Bhalg and kept by the fence until coming out of the woods at 108908. There is a stile across the fence here if needed but I was already on the right side so it was on up the ridge with pleasant views down into Glen Quoich and the first rainbow of the day. I always reckon that if you can see a rainbow it must be a nice day - there must be sunshine around somewhere close :lol:

Rainbow.JPG


The flat summit ridge is about 1km long with the highest point at the west end marked by two well constructed cairns.

Which is highest - take your pick.JPG


Looking East from Creag Bhalg Summit.JPG


I spent a while enjoying the view and, encouragingly, the clouds were lifting off Sgor Mor.

Sgor Mor.JPG


Eventually I set off down to meet the rather damp track leading to the bridge over the Lui water. On the way I spotted a strange example of regeneration. A seed had obviously lodged high up in the hollowed trunk of a dead tree.

Regeneration 1.JPG


Regeneration 2.JPG


Glen Lui.JPG


Lui Water.JPG


Whilst crossing the bridge I saw the only other folks I came across all day then headed up through deep heather past Creag an Diuchd to the ridge falling South East from Sgor Dubh. The views into Glen Derry were the highlight of this part of the walk.

Glen Derry.JPG


The ridge gave easy walking and it was a pleasant stroll up to the trig point on Sgor Dubh. When I first arrived fragments of the view to the North kept appearing through the cloud but eventually I got the best clearance I had all day and most of the big peaks were visible together.

A glimpse of Braeriach.JPG


Cairn Toul over Carn a Mhaim.JPG


View North from Sgor Dubh.JPG


It's a pleasant 3 km from Sgor Dubh to Sgor Mor. The walking is easy with fine views. To the South Beinn a Ghlo looked moody to say the least.

Towards Beinn a Ghlo.JPG


Sgor Mor Shelter.JPG


The summit has three tops to choose from - I wasn't convinced that the one with the shelter on is the highest :?
One of the other options is an outcrop with some 'rock sculpture' on it.

Summit 'Sculpture'.JPG


The weather had closed in a bit but the view into the Lairig Ghru improved as I descended South towards the Dee.

Lairig ghru.JPG


Once on the track it was a couple of km down to the Chest of Dee - always a pleasant spot to have a break before the final trundle back along the landrover track to Linn of Dee.

Chest of Dee.JPG


Chest of Dee 2.JPG


The rains returned again overnight and the Quoich rose. I had to be back home by mid-afternoon the next day but managed a damp and (unsurprisingly) solitary ascent of Morrone before leaving.
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John Burgess
 
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Re: In the Cairngorm Foothills

Postby kinley » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:00 pm

Interesting route to make a decent day out of 2 smaller hills.

They're both crackers in their own way. :D

Some lovely S Cairngorm shots given the weather 8)

We saved Sgor Mor and Creag Bhalg for good days - well worth resisting the temptation of the higher tops :D

With regards to the Creag an Diuchd ascent through heather - been looking at this the last few walks. Heading a bit upstream towards the forestry plantation there's a strip of grassy terrain along the side that might be easier.

Cheers 8)
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Re: In the Cairngorm Foothills

Postby John Burgess » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:38 pm

kinley wrote:With regards to the Creag an Diuchd ascent through heather - been looking at this the last few walks. Heading a bit upstream towards the forestry plantation there's a strip of grassy terrain along the side that might be easier.


I suspected there would be a better route but succumbed to the 'what the heck, doesn't look that bad' school of route finding :lol:
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Re: In the Cairngorm Foothills

Postby kinley » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:43 pm

John Burgess wrote:succumbed to the 'what the heck, doesn't look that bad' school of route finding


Yeah - the reason I've been looking is last time we climbed Carn na 'lc Duibhe from the white Bridge track through the deep heather. It's not very far but is hard going. :lol:
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Re: In the Cairngorm Foothills

Postby John Burgess » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:19 am

kinley wrote: Yeah - the reason I've been looking is last time we climbed Carn na 'lc Duibhe from the white Bridge track through the deep heather. It's not very far but is hard going. :lol:


Here are the slopes that I came down. Again a couple of hundred metres of careful descent through deep heather or tussocks looking for Pooh traps. Seems to be fairly typical of the whole side of the hill :(
A shame when the walking is so pleasant once you get higher up.

Sgor Mor_0036.JPG
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John Burgess
 
Posts: 208
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Re: In the Cairngorm Foothills

Postby kinley » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:25 am

The descent North over Creagan nan Ghabhar to the Lairig Ghru track is excellent, both in terms of terrain (other than the last bit before the track that's a bit boggy), and in terms of views with Bod an Dheamhain looming bigger and bigger.

I prefer Glen Luibeg too :)
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Re: In the Cairngorm Foothills

Postby John Burgess » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:39 am

Ah now that's useful information :D
I considered that but decided against it since I've been up and down Glen Lui several times recently. Like you I do prefer Glen Luibeg to the walk out through Glen Dee.
All the best,
John
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John Burgess
 
Posts: 208
Munros:282   Corbetts:137
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Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:111
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Location: Perth

Re: In the Cairngorm Foothills

Postby IainG » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:46 pm

Excellent photos there, really like the ones from Sgor Mor down the Lairig Ghru.

I would agree that the ascent up Carn na 'lc Duibhe is a bit of a deep heather challenge, but it is fairly short and leads onto an excellent high plateau walk. If I'd seen a grass strip, I'd have been heading that way though!
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Re: In the Cairngorm Foothills

Postby mountain coward » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:46 pm

Lovely pics of one of my favourite areas in the world! You made me really miss it! BTW - that 'odd regeneration' method isn't rare. In the Lakes there are lots of trees with another tree growing out of them - usually both living but sometimes one dead. Common culprits for colonising other trees are the (too) ubiquitous ash tree, the prettier rowan and sometimes hawthorn.
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Re: In the Cairngorm Foothills

Postby John Burgess » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:42 pm

mountain coward wrote:Lovely pics of one of my favourite areas in the world! You made me really miss it! BTW - that 'odd regeneration' method isn't rare. In the Lakes there are lots of trees with another tree growing out of them - usually both living but sometimes one dead. Common culprits for colonising other trees are the (too) ubiquitous ash tree, the prettier rowan and sometimes hawthorn.


Hi MC.

I'll have to pay more attention next time I take a wander through the Lakes! It's where I came from so I'm following events there with a rather heavy heart :(

All the best,

John
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John Burgess
 
Posts: 208
Munros:282   Corbetts:137
Grahams:65   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:111
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: May 9, 2009
Location: Perth

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