Blown white out the gorms
by basscadet » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:06 am
Route description: Beinn a'Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac
Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chaorainn (Cairngorms), Beinn Bhreac
Date walked: 16/03/2013
Time taken: 10 hours
Distance: 30 km
Ascent: 892m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
So at about 9, we all piled into the one car for the short trip to Linn of Dee.. T’was a beautiful clear night with a million stars and the moon blindingly bright, despite being almost new. The track was hard with frost for the hours walk in to Bob Scotts, where we were greeted by a pack of barking dogs.. Oh so much barking! A quick cuppa and we set up the tent. T’was a chilly night to say the least, tent was frozen inside and out when we put it away in the morning..
So the plan was to walk over Beinn Bhreac and Beinn a Chaorain, up to the hutchie hut, then Beinn Mheadhoin on Sunday before the walk out.. Easy enough route you would think!
So we set out in high spirits on Saturday morning at about 10AM.. Along, through the beautiful pine forest in lower Glen Derry. The ground was solid but the weather fine and the winds light. Before long, the wee cairn was found and we weaved our way up the stalkers path, the going increasingly snowy underfoot.
We saw a party far up ahead, I didn’t think we would catch them, but they stopped a while and we did. Turned out to be a troop of fellow Walkhighlanders! After introductions were made we set off together.. I’m nae good at talking whilst going uphill and was trying to keep up with Dougie so we ended leaving them behind us as we ascended into the mist.
Hopefully they will catch up later so we could have a proper chat I thought, but the snow and wind was unforgiving and even when we did meet again at the top of Beinn Bhreac, conditions had got too bad for hanging about.. Visibility was only a few yards, the wind was strong and there was a constant pelting of snow to contend with. Dougie and I waited patiently for Dad to have a rather long kit faff. Dougie said he wanted to go down, but Dad has this way of getting people carry on.. ‘We’ll just go to the bealach and descend to Glen Derry from there’ he said. Sounded reasonable, but I knew he just wanted to carry on. I was well used to his tactics – that’s what has made me grow up so tough!
So we set off, Dad first, me next, Dougie behind. Wind and snow in our face, trudging through the snow which was actually quite good underfoot – fine and grippy without too much sinking. Navigation was very difficult, I was keeping tabs with my GPS, Dad had a bearing he was following, we would confer every now and then to check we were both happy with the direction of travel. I offered to go in front at one point, as I knew breaking trail could be tiring, but I just led the party round in a circle! Dad was back in front in no time.. Dougie was grumpily quiet.. He doesn’t like challenging weather. So after a couple of hours of heads down into the wind, the odd rock sticking out of the snow being the only feature in an otherwise whiteout, we started to ascend again toward the summit of Beinn a Chaorainn.. I could tell dad was knackered as he fell behind a bit and I had to wait a couple of times to keep him in sight. Too close to turn back now.. The terrain flattened out, and then it was just a case of trying to find the cairn. So different to the first time I had done this hill I thought - I had basked in the sunshine, and got given a bunch of grapes by a kind stranger.. This time though, I couldnt find the cairn. I saw shapes through the mist, went there to find nothing we did eventually find a large snowy cairn with a couple of footprints round it. We stopped briefly for a quick munch, before heading down on a bearing. Easy gradient to begin with, but the final descents down to Glen Derry were steep. We stopped for a cigarette and both Dougie and Dad said that they wanted to bail, so we set off back toward Bob Scotts The conditions hadn’t improved with the drop in altitude. Visibility was so poor that after a way, Dad asked me where the turn off for Etchechan was, and I had to inform him it was a couple of km’s back! The wind was at our backs though and so we were wearily blown back to Derry Lodge, and the warmth of Bob Scotts. Oh we were a cold and achey lot, so after a 3 course dinner, and a banter with some MBA guys that were in, it was to bed before midnight.. Oh what a day!
Sunday was cold and wet, so nae regrets about nae doing Mheadhoin – The hour walk back to the car was enough.. Nice soup and scones in the café in Braemar was just what the doctor ordered before an early drive home.
Sorry for the lack of photos, didnt seem like much point in the whiteout
by ChrisW » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:48 am
I offered to go in front at one point, as I knew breaking trail could be tiring, but I just led the party round in a circle!
made me laugh out loud.
You might not have been able to get many pics but the story is a cracker as always
by quoman » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:16 pm
by kevsbald » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:35 pm
by jonny616 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:21 pm
by ScottishLeaf » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:29 pm
kevsbald wrote:Great effort. Looking forward to meetin you and Dougie on the 5th. Fit div ye dee fan ye find a trumpet in yir gairden?
Glad to see youse made it back alright.
Some perseverance for a repeat! Well done
by gammy leg walker » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:37 pm
by basscadet » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:58 am
ChrisW wrote:Great report B, bloody tough going at times by the sound of it, this bit
made me laugh out loud.
I'm glad my ineptitude amuses you so..
quoman wrote:IT was good to meet the three of you even if it was ever so brief,i could see you going round in circle because we were the same we got as far as 750mtr after Beinn Bhreac and turned back but the good point was the bum sledging joony616 got 41.8kph on his first one .
Aye, good to put faces to names
Must of been some steep slope to get that kind of speed up.. thats mentul
kevsbald wrote: Fit div ye dee fan ye find a trumpet in yir gairden?
Sell it on ebay?
jonny616 wrote:As Quoman says it was nice to meet you albeit briefly. Glad you made it across the plateau and down safely. It was bloody atrocious up there
ScottishLeaf wrote:Glad to see youse made it back alright.
Some perseverance for a repeat! Well done
Aye, t'was rather white up there, still better than staying at home though
It was a repeat for me, but not for my dad.. I was more in it to repeat Mheadhoin and see the new hutchison hut.. so obvectives for the weekend failed
gammy leg walker wrote:Like I have said on my TR,qudos for carrying on in that weather it was full on,hope we meet somewhere and manage to have a talk in better weather.
Aye, would be nice if the summer ever comes..
by simon-b » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:00 am
by Scotjamie » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:51 pm
Respect to all of you for that trip for perseverance and guts.
and as for the strangers you met!...well....they don't come much stranger
by dawnfoth » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:13 pm
by rockhopper » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:12 pm