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Barn to be Wild(camping)

Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby nathan79 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:14 pm

Munros included on this walk: Bynack More

Date walked: 08/10/2012

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 28.82 km

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4 days off work. Plan was to see where the forecast was looking good and have some outdoor fun. Reports were looking good for a fair few areas but i decided on the Cairngorms. Aside from being only ~100miles away it's one of my favourite areas.
I'd initially intended on just hostelling, but after seeing yet another sickening series of wild camp pics from Mountainstar i decided i'd spend the first night camping. Also a perfect opportunity to test out a new sleeping bag.
Bynack More was to be my target. Looking at previous reports and the map it seemed like a perfect option. A fairly long slog to the summit, but not too much steep ascent to add to a heavy load carry.
Parked up by the road in Glenmore and headed into the forest at 2pm aiming to hit the summit at 6pm. Started off well with a right when i should have gone left, but i soon realised my error and tracked back to where i should have been heading.
The weather up high rather than being the beautiful blew sky I'd been expecting was looking more :(
"That weathergirl promised it'd lift late afternoon, and she sounds trustworthy" I told myself.

The path along to green lochan and Ryvoan bothy was a familiar one to me, a few other walkers out enjoying the delights to be had here, including this little guy

Nathan meets Newt

Harrassed him for a few minutes, in a gentle way of course before powering on past green lochan. No desire to stop there this time, I had a summit to be on.
The backup plan comes in to view. Good to know it’s there should the night turn to hell
The hopefully unecessary back-up option

Time to turn of the Ryvoan path. Almost immediately as I start up my new direction I move aside for a 4x4 coming down which just about hits me with the splach from some water-filled treadmarks.

I was surprised how easy the going was. Even with a loaded pack I didn’t feel myself toiling too much. Likely in part to the fairly gentle incline, a couple of kilo’s shed and some time spent on the stepper in the gym. I was getting some pain in my hips that’d been bothering me recently, but nothing too troublesome.
Still a looong way to go, the path clearly visible in this somewhat blurry shot.

Reached the bridge over the Allt a' Garbh-coire and stopped for couple of snaps. A lot of chopper activity at this section. Not Mountain Rescue thankfully, I think it related to some path repair going on.



Stays breezy as the altitude increases, but it almost looks like it’s ready to lift.

Bynack's More and Beg

Still looking promising as I reach the final steep pull up to the summit

Dam and blast. Crossed fingers clearly count for nothing here. Mist shrouded summit.


One of these rocky mounds just has to be the ruddy summit, surely!

FOUND IT! And the sun almost wants to show itself but not quite. It seems like everytime I put my camera away it peeks out, course by the time I’ve unholstered and switched on it’s gone again. We do this merry dance 3 or 4 times before I give up.
6:05, 5minutes after my intended time. I can live with that.
DSCF4935 f.jpg
Another summit conquered

Summit made and objective number 1 met, it was time to find the Barns, a nice sheltered spot and pitch the tent. Easier said than done amid the cloud and slowly fading light.
Can this be them? Seem a bit small but I investigate for a suitably sheltered pitch.
These must be the Barns, right?

No decent pitches so getting grumpier by the minute with hands chilled by the icy northern breeze I settle on a spot that looks good enough to bivvy on, glad I brought my bivvy bag as a backup.
The cloud decides to blow away all of a sudden so I grab a couple of shots of the setting sun.
Not Bellis-ian, but it'll do for now.

Turning around to face east I’m met with a very welcome sight. THERE THEY ARE!
A-ha! There be the big Barns

Phew. Totter down to find the most sheltered spot I can and find what seems to be the perfect pitch so it’s bag off, and tent up. Almost nightfall so I break out the headtorch for this. Camping altitude 3200ft, that’ll do me nicely.
By 8pm the tent’s pitched, the gear unpacked and dinner’s on the go. A pint to anyone who can tell me what I’m cooking.

At last. Snug as a bug in a large down sleeping bag. Dinner eagerly consumed, followed of course by a wee bit of whisky and chocolates for dessert.

8:15 was far too early for sleep so I entertained myself with a mix of my Kindle App and some podcasts until the eyes got heavy. Peeked out of the tent to see clear skies and sparkly stars, definitely a cold night coming. With sub-zero temperatures forecast, I wonder how the night’ll go.
Aside from a couple of brief awakenings I slept soundly as if I was at home in my bed. Still a little discomfort in the hips but not enough to keep me awake and easily vanquished by shifting to my side.

Next thing I knew it was 6am and I was feeling refreshed and cosy. No point looking outside yet as I knew the sun wouldn’t be showing yet. Finally did at 10 to 7 to see my tent, rucksack and surroundings covered by frost. Found it hard to fathom given how comfortable I was. Sleeping bag was definitely a good buy.

That band of cloud better shift! Retreated back into the tent for the moment, but keeping my eye on what was going on outside.



So snug I dozed off again! Hadn’t missed much though. The sun was up but that band of cloud was still hanging low.

A friendly pilot buzzed by with my requested wake up call at 9:30 but I was fully awake now and enjoying a mocha and breakfast.
Last edited by nathan79 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby nathan79 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:24 pm

Continued ....

Really wish I’d gotten out to take a picture of my frost encrusted tent, but no way that was happening. Finally got out of the bag and tent at almost 10am.
barns tent stitch.jpg
Less than portable windbreak

Good to see my pitch in proper light. Fantastic looking things the Barns. Especially this one. Don’t tell me that’s not the face of a granite giant waiting to come to life.


Finally packed up, ready and willing to make a move at 11am. Sunny but chilly, the frost was gone by now. I’d initially intended dropping down to Loch Avon then revisiting Cairngorm, but I decided I’d just retrace my steps .
Much better conditions as I headed back to revisit the summit. And some lovely colours to be seen.

A glance back towards the little Barns.

Summit view much improved this morning.
Summit somewhat sunnier

A sure sign of how cold it still was could be seen in the ice attached to the grassy vegetation up here.

And the familiar scalloped pattern of ice on top of this wee lochan

Pleasant stroll down in no rush at all. Passed half a dozen folk on their way up, making the most of the lovely clear day. Hunger growing, but I’d my heart set on lunch at green lochan.
Had to stop to bother this nectar hungry bee as it crawled about some Devil’s bit Scabious.


Glad to reach the lochan to silence the hunger rumbles, one last quick snap for the day as lunch cooked.
Lochan lunch at last.

8-9.10.2012 Bynack camp.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

5 hours up, 4.5 hours down, a whole lotta fun.
Glad to get back to the car, down rucksack, change shoes and savour the satisfaction of my first Munro summit camp. Even with the dodgy weather the previous evening I enjoyed every second of it. I could end up doing a lot more of this business, but for now my next targets are Tesco for supplies then to Cairngorm Lodge for a much desired shower.
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby Graeme D » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:36 pm

Brilliant Nathan! This was one of my favourite wild camp spots too, although I was on the other side of the Barns from your pitch. 8)
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby Stretch » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:10 pm

Great stuff pal, but I'm shocked to see that you didn't haul a large Dominos pizza up that hill. :lol:
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby rockhopper » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:23 pm

Nice one nathan - is that a banshee 200 ? Looks a great spot....maybe cold but at least there'd be no midges now - cheers :)
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby Bod » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:57 am

Lovely report Nathan, a night to remember! :wink: :D :clap:
Great pictures too, a special spot, well done :D
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby monty » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:32 am

An enjoyable read Nathan. You look snug as a bug in that bag :D

Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby PeteR » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:47 am

Enjoyed that one :D Love the phot of the tent below the Barns. Thise early morning shots are great too. Love those crisp, frosty, mornings :D
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby mountainstar » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:52 am

Nathan said...
but after seeing yet another sickening series of wild camp pics from Mountainstar i decided i'd spend the first night camping.

Pleased to be of assistance :)

Nathan said...
Not Bellis-ian, but it'll do for now.

Keep doing it and you will be rewarded :)

Look what we found meal? close enough? Possibly Beef Bolognese?....Free pint?
So glad I inspired you....this wildcamping up high gets in your blood.
Great report Nathan :clap:
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:06 pm

Nice one and well worth the effort of camping to get nice views the next day :D
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby nathan79 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:39 pm

Graeme i looked at your report in particular. The south facing side of the barns offered perfect shelter from the wind and possibly more importantly a view of sunrise.

Stretch, you know i had that pizza when i got home.

RH it is indeed a Banshee 200. Impressed how well it fared in the conditions. I didn't even realise until putting it away that i hadn't even pegged it out fuly. I did wonder why i had so many pegs left. :lol:

Alan - wrong guess on the food.

Cheers for the comments guys. I think Bynack More's a perfect location for a hill camp, i'd highly recommend it.
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby Moobli » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:20 pm

Great report. I really enjoyed reading all about your adventure and seeing the fabulous photos. :clap:
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby malky_c » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:14 pm

Nice one - I like how you pitched right at the foot of one of the barns :D

Need to get out with the tent again this year and try a cold weather wild camp.
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby dooterbang » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:50 am

Well Nathan, fab report.

Camping affords you the luxury of a lie in eh :wink:
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Re: Barn to be Wild(camping)

Postby ChrisW » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:13 pm

Fantastic Nathan, great read and lovely photos - the one of the newt early on is a brilliant shot :clap:
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