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A Gheoidh Gem

A Gheoidh Gem


Postby old danensian » Mon May 27, 2013 2:04 pm

Munros included on this walk: Carn a'Gheoidh, Carn Aosda, The Cairnwell

Date walked: 21/05/2013

Time taken: 3.45 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 768m

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I wasn’t going to pen a report of this jaunt. I was simply going to park, wander amongst the detritus of the ski centre, then head for home to tick off another three in my book.

There’s a shabby sadness to an out-of-season ski resort: stone-scarred hillsides, rusting metal work and the bleached and broken timbers of fences that bear their own scars – as presumably do the skiers who crashed through them. In all, I hadn’t expected this to be a particularly inspiring day out.

Cairnwell-01.jpg
Not the most attractive approach - The Cairnwell scrapyard


But mountains have that pleasing ability to surprise and make sure you never take them for granted.

Admittedly the first thirty minutes or so won’t rank in my top ten summit approaches. The short, sharp burst to The Cairnwell does what it needs to: get you to the top and the starting point for the next couple of hours or so.

Cairnwell-02.jpg
Carn a Gheoidh from The Cairnwell shelter


Once I’d simply turned my back on the radio masts and ski tows, the outlook improved significantly.

Cairnwell-03.jpg
Carn a Gheoidh


The circuit of the impressive Choire Dhirich curved around, the views to the west and north stretched away in the blue sky and the way to Carn a Gheoidh was an enticing prospect. Even to the east, as the detail of man’s impact on The Cairnwell and Carn Aosda merged into the haze or shadows, the panorama across the Mounth appeared unblemished.

Cairnwell-04.jpg
North to the Cairngorms from Carn nan Sac


Cairnwell-05.jpg
West from Carn nan Sac


A leisurely saunter round the rim of the Creag a Choire Dhirich, visiting the cairns to Carn nan Sac, led comfortably to the enjoyment of unexpected solitude on Carn a’ Gheoidh. Half an hour alone at the summit cairn, working out the identity of the surrounding hills, admiring the sweeping coire wings of Glas Tulaichean, and plotting future routes, was a truly unexpected pleasure.

Cairnwell-06.jpg
East across The Mounth from Carn a Gheoidh


Cairnwell-07.jpg
Glas Tulaichean from Carn a Gheoidh


The return to Carn Aosda proved to be just as enjoyable; the views and position compensating for the final trudge up the stony track to the summit between the pistes and tows.

Cairnwell-08.jpg
A superfluous signpost to Carn Aosda


Cairnwell-09.jpg
North to the Cairngorms from Carn Aosda


Like the start of the day, get it over with. Tolerate the first and final thirty or forty minutes, and revel in the time in between: three Munros that can be enjoyed.

I once thought it was a trio to tackle in the mists of a clag bound day. Now I realise what would have missed.
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old danensian
 
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Re: A Gheoidh Gem

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon May 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Hi again Nigel, funny you should post this, I have just returned from taking two young family members One for his First and the other his Second Munro up Carn Aosda, very wet and very windy, but mission accomplished I'm glad to say. While there I managed to pick up two plastic bottles and a discarded plastic lighter, probably by skiers from beneath the tows. A bit of an eyesore and no views at all today but as you say a wee gem out to the West, with some cracking views all around. Hope your keeping well :D
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