walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui....

The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui....


Postby wilkiemurray » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:41 pm

Route description: Ben Macdui and Cairngorm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm

Date walked: 21/07/2013

Time taken: 14 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 900m

10 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Fiacaill Ridge, Cairngorm wild camp and finishing on top of Ben Mac



Hadn’t planned on getting out for a few weeks as the garden needed landscaped!! However quicker than expected erm landscaping?saw us finish at 15.00 and the forecast looked like the last good day/night of the recent great weather. So guide books open and internet on and a Cairngorm special was plated up! A possible cloud inversion may be possible the next morning and to increase the likely hood of this I decided to go high. Can only go one place higher than Macdui in the UK so I set off around 16.30.

By around 18.00 I was in the upper ski car par packing my tent and bag for the night. The only fly in the ointment were the high winds!! I had noticed the trees blowing around a fair bit on the drive up and on leaving the car I was surprised at how gusty it had become (a quick look at met office app – confirmed possible gusts of up to 50mph!! – was not on MWIS earlier). Anyway – thought I would head off and see as forecast was for winds to drop.

My plan of attack was to gain the plateaux via the Fiacaill ridge which I had never done before. I headed off and a bit of panting and heaving later I was walking along the start of the scramble on an airy ridge – fantastic. It was still windy but I deemed it safe enough especially as the steeper parts of the scramble were on the leeward side

Image

I kept left of the scramble on the way up as the right hand side of the scramble is handsin pockets stuff. There was nothing too technical and only slight exposure in a couple of places but this did not detract from the enjoyment. The views were outstanding, and the only other people I saw on the whole trip were camped a few hundred metres below in Coire na t-Sneadcha…..

Scramble completed and I had resigned myself to heading home due to the high winds lower down. However on the top the wind seemed a little lighter so I headed towards Cairn Lochan’s summit – hoping for a more sheltered spot on its leeward side toward the Lairig Ghru. Finding a pitch was harder than expected as the further towards the Lairig Ghru I got the steeper the slopes became – eventually I found a compromise with slight shelter and not too much of a slope…..

Image

Tent up, now about 20.30pm and I took a wander up round the rim of Coire an Lochain, stopping at the summit of Cairn Lochan to soak in the sunset. An amazing place and an amazing sunset. The cliffs shone red in the dipping light and to the south the rest of the Cairngorm plateaux slowly fell to darkness. A full moon rose to the south and the final embers of the sun died in the distant northwest.

Image

Usually not too impressed with Macdui to look at, I was pleasantly surprised tonight as it glowed red longer than all the other surrounding hills including the 1200m peaks across the Lairig Ghru who fell dark long before Macdui. An impressive sight with the moon rising behind it 

Image

So to bed- once again found it hard to sleep – might have been the gusty winds but I think I eventually dosed off around 02.00  Woke at 04.00 as sunrise was around 04.45. I peeked outside on the side facing north hoping to see an inversion - nothing just dark , clear hillside. I was about to (try) and go back to sleep but luckily opened the other side of the tent to see the cloud streaming through the Lairig Ghru hundreds of metres below me (could just make out the pools of Dee). The cloud was streaming in from the south so was not getting out to the north. My mind was immediately set on getting to Ben Macdui as I expected the views south over the sea of cloud would be fantastic – I was not to be disappointed!!

Image

Image

I cracked on and by the back of five I was stood on the summit of Britain’s second highest peak. The sun hitting the 1200m peaks west across the Lairig Ghru was a spectacle and I dropped to the north of the summit to take in the inversion and sat for nearly an hour watching it.

Image

I eventually dragged myself away and headed back along the tourist route to the head of the Goat track.

Image

Image

I followed the northern corries rim up and over Stob Coire an t Sneachda and descended to the car via Fiacall a’ Choire Chais. Way by 08.00am and home for 09.45 for a spot of coffee and breakfast. A great wee Micro Adventure…….

Image
User avatar
wilkiemurray
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Perthshire

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby spiderwebb » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:08 pm

Stunning pics :D
User avatar
spiderwebb
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1506
Munros:97   Corbetts:15
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:68   
Joined: May 18, 2011
Location: Miltonduff, Elgin

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby dtr42 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:22 pm

loved the video and the inversion pretty amazing although the ridge scramble aint for me :D thanks for making and sharing the video
dtr42
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 8, 2013

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby nathan79 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:30 pm

Awesome pics indeed. Fine way to spend a night.
User avatar
nathan79
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 879
Munros:101   Corbetts:29
Grahams:13   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:14   Islands:5
Joined: Jan 24, 2010
Location: The Kingdom of Fife

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby wilkiemurray » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:56 pm

spiderwebb wrote:Stunning pics :D

Thanks spider
User avatar
wilkiemurray
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Perthshire

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby wilkiemurray » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:57 pm

dtr42 wrote:loved the video and the inversion pretty amazing although the ridge scramble aint for me :D thanks for making and sharing the video


Thanks dtr - scramble not too bad :)
Inversion was brill
User avatar
wilkiemurray
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Perthshire

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby wilkiemurray » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:58 pm

nathan79 wrote:Awesome pics indeed. Fine way to spend a night.


Concur with that: :lol:
User avatar
wilkiemurray
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Perthshire

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby Stretch » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:52 am

As a fan of your films I must say, this is my fav to date. How could anyone watch it and not be moved by the beauty of the Gorms? Can't remember if you've won walk report of the month before, but if you haven't there is some serious injustice going on!

Keep these awesome reports coming!
User avatar
Stretch
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1714
Munros:146   Corbetts:8
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jun 15, 2009
Location: Morristown, Tennessee

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:15 am

Amazing film and photographs! :clap: :clap: :D :D More More!
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Walker
 
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby dooterbang » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:09 pm

Great photos :)

I spent all day Saturday in this area...was scorchio!
User avatar
dooterbang
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1828
Munros:262   Corbetts:58
Grahams:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Isle of Skye from Feb 2019 (Originally Glasgow)

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby wilkiemurray » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:16 am

Stretch wrote:As a fan of your films I must say, this is my fav to date. How could anyone watch it and not be moved by the beauty of the Gorms? Can't remember if you've won walk report of the month before, but if you haven't there is some serious injustice going on!

Keep these awesome reports coming!


Thanks Stretch - glad you like my wee films :) (I think you must be the first "fan" of steaming lots haha :lol:
Not sure I'll be out much so may have to wait a while for next film premier :lol: :crazy:

Thanks for nice comments
User avatar
wilkiemurray
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Perthshire

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby wilkiemurray » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:16 am

The Rodmiester wrote:Amazing film and photographs! :clap: :clap: :D :D More More!


Thanks Rodmeister - much appreciated :D
User avatar
wilkiemurray
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Perthshire

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby wilkiemurray » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:17 am

dooterbang wrote:Great photos :)

I spent all day Saturday in this area...was scorchio!


Thanks dooterbang - loved your report - that was one hell of a shift you put in!! Good stuff :clap:
User avatar
wilkiemurray
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Perthshire

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby malky_c » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:41 am

I'll have to assume the video is good as I can't see it at work, but if it's anything like the photos, then it's a stunner 8)
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5993
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:276   Hewitts:269
Wainwrights:122   Islands:36
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: The Fiacaill Ridge, a Cairngorm wild camp and Ben Macdui

Postby wilkiemurray » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:55 pm

malky_c wrote:I'll have to assume the video is good as I can't see it at work, but if it's anything like the photos, then it's a stunner 8)


Hope you like the video when/ if you get to see it :)
User avatar
wilkiemurray
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Perthshire

10 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Coop, dogplodder, Joyce skinner, Justdrums, woodie31 and 36 guests