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Braeriach, circuit from Whitewell

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:32 pm
by bio-man
Took the sleeper from Perth for this one. A very early start. Took the taxi option to Whitewell rather than the bus to Coylumbridge. Wier's of Aviemore, very helpful. I'd planned to walk back to Aviemore, but after the walk, there was no chance of that, so they came and picked me up. The walk to the "cairned" crossroad is a pleasant forest walk, which would be ideal for the bike, especially on the return. Only thing was that there wasn't a cairn at the crossroads!! Or at least, I couldn't see it!! If you were returning by the outward route, it would be possible to bike up to the edge of the forest, bit trickier than the start, but OK. The Lairig Ghru is pretty impressive and you can sense that the area would be extremely inhospitable in winter. The cattle drovers were certainly made of stern stuff!! There have been several attempts to repair the track, with a number of "stepping" rocks having been laid down. Bit awkward, but necessary. The turn off the Lairig Ghru is on a newer path and there are man-made steps iinitally on the slope of Sron na Lairig.
The cloud base was down to 750m and soon the wind picked up. Heading up to the summit of Sron na Lairig from here was very difficult and the wind made the boulder fields a bit awkward. Would not like to be stuck up here in conditions like this. While the right turn to the summit of Braeriach is obvious in good conditions, it is rightly mentioned that careful navigation is required in poor visibility. There was no lingering at the summit and I headed straight back down the way I'd come up. Once out of the clouds, I stopped for lunch and could see that the return route mentioned would've been a good one.

Heading back up next weekend, weather permitting and aiming to take in Cairn Toul as well, hopefully getting better views.
Oh and forgot to mention, saw four Ptarmigan near the summit of Sron na Lairig!!! Still in their autumn colours!! Tried to photograph them but the viewfinder in my camera has been damaged and I can't focus properly, so they didn't come out!! But they're there!!

Re: Braeriach, circuit from Whitewell

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:42 am
by Paul Webster
Shame about the weather you got Bio-man, as Braeriach is one of my real favourites. If you get luckier with it the walk between Cairn Toul and Braeriach is fantastic - I was in clouds for the first half before it cleared. All very tiring though! Thanks for mentioning that the cairn has gone - I've taken it out the description.