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Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Ben Avon From Tomintoul


Postby Alastair S » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Avon

Date walked: 08/09/2012

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 42.7 km

Ascent: 1630m

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Walking 16.7km, 6hr 20min
Cycling 26km, 1hr 40min



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Ben Avon from Tomintoul profile.JPG


It's been a while since I've posted any reports but hopefully I should get back into the swing of things now that autumn is on the way.

I'd come up with this route a year ago when I'd explored Glen Avon on my bike (Glen Avon by MTB). I wanted to return to Ben Avon as it was clagged out on my previous visit and this northerly approach would give me the chance to take a look at some of this hill's many tors and also bag its northern Murdo.

So an early start and I pulled into the small Queen's Cairn carpark a bit after 6am. By the light of a clear dawn I took the landrover track out of the carpark. This soon joins the tarmaced road from the west side of the glen. The tarmac continues till just about a km short of to the immaculate estate house of Inchrory where it turns to a good quality track. Past Inchrory, take the bridge over the Builg Burn and then left before the deer-fence high gate. This track rises steeply so I was soon off the bike and pushed it to the end of the track. About 40 minutes cycling and 10 minutes pushing at the end.

No sooner had I stopped than I was in a cloud of midges. But I was ready for the little blighters. A generous spray of my 100% DEET repellant and they immediately dispersed. Result. The initial path up is bit confusing in that there are several faint paths going in a variety of directions. Further up the way was clear, although it just disappears for a bit due to the gravelly ground. But the going was good pretty much the whole day.


Below is the confluence of the River Avon (flowing in from the left/west) & Builg Burn with the land rover track I used clearly visible. This was taken at 7:40am.
Image
Warmed Up


The immaculate estate house of Inchrory catching the morning light at 8am. The location of this house is obviously no mistake. The break in the otherwise steeply sided glen offers both light and easy access to Corgarff Castle/Cock Bridge & Don-side. My only previous visit to Glen Avon started at Corgarff Castle and came over this gap. This was taken from about 650m on the Carn Fiaclach bit of Ben Avon.
Image
Inchrory Morning


West East Meur Gorm Craig from East Meur Gorm Craig. Catchy eh? These two are minor tops of Ben Avon, both being Munro Tops with with the western one also being a Murdo (a Scottish mountain over 3000ft in height, with a drop of at least 30 metres on all sides).
Image
Meur Gorm Craigs


Looking back at the way I'd just come.
Image
View North From East Meur Gorm Graig


Surprised this fellow on the summit of West Meur Gorm Craig.
Image
Ptarmigan On Craig


Impressive tor of Clach Choutsaich, about 1km east of the main summit of Ben Avon (visible on the extreme left). Really needs someone standing in front to give an sense of scale. I'm glad this isn't a main peak as I'd struggle to get up on my own.
Image
Clach Choutsaich


The NW side of the tor. This side looks a good deal more accessible.
Image
The Back Of Clach Choutsaich


Detail from one of the boulders lying around Clach Choutsaich. The 'cup' was (& probably still is) about 25cm in diameter and twice as deep.
Image
Shape


Summit tor of Ben Avon from the NE. This tor is more impressive from the more usual SW approach but as you can see from this angle the route up the rocky summit is quite easy.
Image
Ben Avon Summit


The well worn SW approach paths to the summit of Ben Avon. In the distance are the east facing corries of Beinn A' Bhuird with Garbh Choire being the nearer corrie. Taken from the summit tor.
Image
View SW From Ben Avon


These (~3cm) holes must have been made by the Ordnance Survey and are on what I take to be the highest point of the tor. I guess they thought even then that sticking a trig pillar on this tor would have been an act of defacement. These days even these holes would be frowned upon by some. I don't recall seeing them on my previous visit a couple of years ago so maybe I didn't properly bag it then. But conditions were a bit different (see below) so I may have just missed them in the wind and ice.
Image
Trigged


From the summit tor.
Image
View North From Ben Avon


Same view from May 2010
Image
Ben Avon summit tor in the clag


Various un-named tors on Ben Avon. Looking NE from just east of the main summit.
Image
Ben Avon Plateau


Loch nan Gabhar - the Cairngorm one. I don't recall ever seeing an photo of this lochain here and this is probably the only photo of it on Flickr. The only other photos I could find are on Geography.org.uk. Not hard to see why - its in an out of the way place in the heart Cairngorms and in a steep sided corrie. The northern flack in scarily steep and 10m further back the lock wasn't visible at all. Nor is it visible from the Munro Top & Murdo of West Meur Gorm Craig (out of sight to the east/left). This is stitch of 2 exposures.
Image
Loch nan Gabhar


Meall Gaineimh on the right.
Image
The Path Back


A wonderful day - a veritable tour of the tors - only slightly spoiled by blisters for the last couple of hours walking (I'd worn my hybrid cycle/trek shoes). If you want to avoid crowds this is the way to go. I didn't meet anyone all day - I heard a dog after I left the main peak and spotted a couple of MTB'ers heading up Glen Builg as I made my way off the hill. The cycle back down the glen was a delight (taking the slightly longer route on the west side of the glen near the end). Recommended. Next trip this way will be to visit Glen Loin (& not the Arrochar one).

Flickr set over here.
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Alastair S
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:18 pm

Merci Alastair :) . I've always fancied Ben Avon from this side and this report has certainly added to the bank of useful information :D .
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby simon-b » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:35 pm

Brilliant quality of photos as ever, Alastair. It does look an interesting route.
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby Benjaminnevis » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:12 pm

Alastair dose the track you cycled along go all the way to keiloch as i passed a few dudes on mountain bikes flying down the track leading up to Culardoch and was wondering where they had come from and noticed the track dose head on towards Ben Avon.
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby Stretch » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:55 am

Love it! Wish I had this weather when I tried to high camp up there. Don't remember seeing a report from you in a while, good to see some of those photo skills again.
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby Alastair S » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:56 am

Benjaminnevis wrote:Alastair dose the track you cycled along go all the way to keiloch as i passed a few dudes on mountain bikes flying down the track leading up to Culardoch and was wondering where they had come from and noticed the track dose head on towards Ben Avon.


Yes, there's a path along side Loch Builg that is apparently MTB'able for most of the way. I've not been down it but I did have a look at the southern end of said loch and it was pretty boggy. I've seen some photos of other bits of the path and it looks fairly good once you're by the loch, so it doesn't look like the boggy bit extends too far.

Incidentally I did a loop from Keiloch that included Culardoch a couple of years ago - details over here.
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Alastair S
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby basscadet » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:51 am

Oh what a fab report.. with excellent photos :thumbup:

Brought back great memories as well.. Did this route with my dad probably almost 20 years ago now.. And then there was the A'on trip last year when I broke my foot.. Thanks for posting.. I loved reading that :D
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby yellowbelly » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:56 pm

Great photos Alastair on an excellent day weather wise. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby Benjaminnevis » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:49 pm

Alastair S wrote:
Benjaminnevis wrote:Alastair dose the track you cycled along go all the way to keiloch as i passed a few dudes on mountain bikes flying down the track leading up to Culardoch and was wondering where they had come from and noticed the track dose head on towards Ben Avon.


Yes, there's a path along side Loch Builg that is apparently MTB'able for most of the way. I've not been down it but I did have a look at the southern end of said loch and it was pretty boggy. I've seen some photos of other bits of the path and it looks fairly good once you're by the loch, so it doesn't look like the boggy bit extends too far.

Incidentally I did a loop from Keiloch that included Culardoch a couple of years ago - details over here.


Great area for the bike Alastair think i will have to pop in to alpine bikes sometime and splash some cash.
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:54 pm

Superb narrative and ace photographs :clap: :clap:

Always a treat for the rest of us when you submit a report- cheers :D :D
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby mrssanta » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:01 pm

good to see you back with your lovely pictures Alastair - it's been a while since your last report
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby ChrisW » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:16 am

Hey, good to see you back Alastair - I thought you'd left us :shock: You're certainly back with a bang with this one too, beautiful photos mate and a good distance covered on both bike and foot, no wonder you were sporting a couple of blisters, I'd have got em in my good boots :lol:
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby Alastair S » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:18 am

Thanks all :D

Off to Assynt today for a long weekend & the weather isn't looking too shabby for once, so hope to get some nice walks & photos done.
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby Johnny Corbett » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:48 am

Good stuff, i was up Ben Avon yesterday. Can you confirm the summit is the Tor to the left in your summit photo? We went up both the high Tors at the summit except Mo, but was just looking to confirm the one to the left is highest. Cheers :D
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Re: Ben Avon From Tomintoul

Postby Graeme D » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:18 pm

Oh, good memories from a special place. Excellent report Alastair! Keep 'em comin'! :clap:
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