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.

A week in Braemar

A week in Braemar


Postby simon-b » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:24 am

Munros included on this walk: An Sgarsoch, Beinn a'Bhuird, Beinn a'Chaorainn (Cairngorms), Beinn Bhreac, Beinn Bhrotain, Beinn Mheadhoin, Ben Avon, Carn a'Mhaim, Carn an Fhidhleir (Carn Ealar), Derry Cairngorm, Monadh Mor, The Devil's Point

Date walked: 21/07/2013

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Driving over the Cairnwell Pass on Saturdy 20 July, my car's thermometer was showing mid 20s deg C. On a beautiful sunny afternoon, I checked in at Clunie Lodge B and B in Braemar, having booked seven nights.

Sunday 21/07/2013: Carn an Fhidhleir, An Sgarsoch
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cairngorms/an-sgarsoch.shtml
Time: 10.8 hours

Another sunny, dry day was forecast, so it was a good time to go for these two remote Munros, given that the river levels would be low. I parked at Linn of Dee and set off walking to the White Bridge. It was very warm, but with sun cream, hat and plenty to drink, conditions were perfectly bearable. The river crossings were very easy, and I passed Geldie Lodge, where a couple of cyclists were resting. Eventually I made it onto Carn an Fhidhleir.

P7210031.JPG


As I was about to leave the summit, another two walkers arrived. They were the two cyclists, who'd left their bikes at Geldie Lodge. Next I moved onto An Sgarsoch, and again the bike-and-hikers caught up just as I was leaving. As I began the descent, four of the five highest mountains in Britain dominated the view in front. They appeared more Monadh Ruadh (red mountains) than Cairn Gorm (blue hills) from this angle, in this light.

P7210045.JPG


So I made the long walk back to Linn of Dee, inevitably overtaken by the cyclists along the way. At least in the hot, dry conditions, there were no tricky river crossings.


Monday 22/07/2013: Beinn Bhreac, Beinn a' Chaorainn
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cairngorms/beinn-a-chaorainn.shtml
Time: 9 hours

This day started off rather cloudy. I returned to Linn of Dee, and this time began the walk to Derry Lodge. After turning into Glen Derry, I turned uphill through the woods towards Beinn Bhreac. As I reached the summit, the clouds were breaking and lifting. Beinn a' Chaorainn was visible as I moved towards it.

P7220075.JPG


There was an excellent view from the summit of Beinn a' Chaorainn, with all summits now clear, including Carin Gorm to the north.

P7220088.JPG


The Monadh Ruadh look spectacular when you get into the heart of the range, in fine weather. I made the descent towards Lairig an Laoigh, with a view in front of Coire Etchachan backed by Beinn Macduibh.

P7220098.JPG


Conditions were hot again as I made the long walk back along Glen Derry, and finally back to Linn of Dee.

That evening I met my friend Jimmy (jamesjones from the WH forum) at the Fife Arms for a pint. We agreed to go ahead with our plans for the next day, although the weather was forecast to become more showery.


Tuesday 23/07/2013: Beinn a' Bhuird, Ben Avon


bhuirdgpx.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Time: 10.5 hours
Distance: 35 km
Ascent: 1220 m

Jimmy drove us in his van from Braemar to Linn of Quoich, and we set off through the woods along Glen Quoich. After the walk in we climbed onto An Diollaid, and up into the cloud. As we approached the edge of Beinn a' Bhuird's eastern corries from the west, conditions became drizzly. There were breaks in the cloud, allowing us to see down to Dubh Lochan.

P7230131.JPG


We navigated our way to the summit cairn, where there was not a lot to see. Next we set off towards The Sneck, across misty, featureless, pathless terrain. Approaching The Sneck, we picked up a path which made things easier. Then a heavy shower started, and we began the slog up towards Ben Avon. On our way up, the rain eased, and the clouds cleared. The summit tor, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe, was fully in view as we moved towards it.

P7230140.JPG


The pinnacle on the right (south) of the tor and the one next to it look to be of very similar height, so we climbed both to make sure. The southern pinnacle was the trickier one to scramble up.

As we began the descent back to The Sneck, there was a fine view all around, with Lochnagar peeping over an inversion.

P7230150.JPG


Soon, we were back at the Sneck.

P7230157.JPG


We made the left turn to begin the walk out. Cloud was moving in again, and as we descended, there was an impressive view, looking back to Beinn a' Bhuird's eastern cliffs.

P7230160.JPG


We reached the point at which Quoich Water turns west, away from the main track. We took a path along the north side of the burn, and rejoined the track on which we'd walked in. Back at the van, Jimmy had completed the longest mountain walk he'd done so far. He'd managed fine, but we both agreed our feet were feeling sore by now, having also walked on previous days. We both had a rest the next day.

On Wednesday, Jimmy drove to Aviemore. I stayed in Braemar, and spent the afternoon sunbathing on a rock in a field, just to the west of the village.


Thursday 25/07/2013: Beinn Mheadhoin, Derry Cairngorm
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cairngorms/mheadhoin-derry.shtml
Time: 9.3 hours

Back to the hills again, and this day was cloudy with showers. There were breaks in the mist allowing some views, though. I made my third visit to Linn of Dee, and second walk in to Derry Lodge. Walking along Glen Derry was enjoyable, even though I was retracing my footsteps from Monday, in the opposite direction. The Barns of Beinn Mheadhoin were visible at first, but then lower, thicker cloud moved in. I made the turn towards the Hutchison Memorial Hut, and a heavy shower arrived. Even so, things were pretty spectacular as I approached the hut, dominated by Creagan a Choire Etchachan (doesn't creagan mean little crag?).

P7250177.JPG


I reached Loch Etchachan and began the climb to Beinn Mheadhoin, looking back to the loch.

P7250182.JPG


The Barns were in sight as I walked towards them, but disappeared into the mist just in time for the scramble onto the summit tor.

P7250183.JPG


The return was made to Loch Etchachan, where I met a walker bound for Beinn Macduibh, as I made my move towards Derry Cairngorm, one of the blue hills among the Monadh Ruadh. On top of the Blue Hill of Glen Derry, I met a walker, resting after a very long route. He admitted he'd bitten off more than he could chew; he was fatigued and out of water. I had enough fluid to spare him some, to keep him going until he reached the outflow of Loch Etchachan. There was just a peep of a view under the clouds on the summit, but I didn't hang around to let the weather get worse. I descended south along the ridge, back towards Derry Lodge, Glen Lui and Linn of Dee.

P7250200.JPG


When I got back to Clunie Lodge, the weather outlook wasn't sounding too bad for Saturday, and the room was still available for that night. So I booked and eighth night, hoping to finish all the walks I'd wanted to do.


Friday 26/07/2013: Carn a' Mhaim, Bod an Deamhain


cmhaimgpx.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Time: 9.5 hours
Distance: 30 km
Ascent: 1390 m

My very first post on WH asked about linking these two Munros. Thanks are due to guyincognito for suggesting a descent next to the Taylors' Burn.

Again I parked at Linn of Dee, where I had a chance meeting with Jonathan, a walker I'd met in 2011 at the Ben Lawers car park. We then did four of the Lawers group together. This time, he was cycling in to Derry Lodge, then climbing "the one next to Derry Cairngorm"; I assumed he meant Beinn Mheadhoin. So I set off on my third walk in to the lodge, and Jonathan overtook me on his bike. It was a fine morning, and Carn a' Mhaim was clear as I walked in.

P7260205.JPG


I walked along Glen Luibeg, then turned up onto Carn a' Mhaim. On reaching the summit, there was Jonathan. By "next to Derry Cairngorm", he must have meant across the glen. Conditions were beautiful with good views, although the highest peaks were in cloud, and deteriorating weather didn't look far away. So after a quick chat, I said goodbye, and moved north along the arete, Ceann Crionn Carn a' Mhaim.

P7260222.JPG


A shower started, and the forecast had given a thunder risk, so I didn't want to spend too long on a narrow ridge. Fortunately, the rain was only light, and there was no sign of lightning. So I was able to enjoy the arete, especially when Carn an t-Sabhail appeared in all its glory from out of the cloud.

P7260224.JPG


I left the Beinn Macduibh path as it turned right and uphill, and contoured the slope towards Allt Clach nan Taillear. Turning downhill alongside the burn, I picked up a path, with that old Devil called Bod in view ahead.

P7260226.JPG


After reaching the Lairig Ghru track, I walked to Corrour Bothy, and began the climb into Coire Odhar. The weather was hot and sunny during the ascent. As I approached the bealach, a walker on the way down told me there was some bad looking weather moving in. So I picked up the pace as I reached the bealach and turned towards Bod an Deamhain, and found yet another gear when I heard a rumble of thunder. I wasn't going to give up now, but a pointy mountain top is no place to linger in an electrical storm. On reaching the summit, I quickly took in the excellent view, including Lochnagar to the south-east.

P7260235.JPG


Then I was soon on my way back down into Coire Odhar, as thunder continued to rumble. I didn't get caught in any storms, and crossed the Dee, on my way back to Glen Luibeg. Next, it was another walk out to Linn of Dee.


Saturday 27/07/2013: Beinn Bhrotain, Monadh Mor


bhrotaingp.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Time: 9.3 hours
Distance: 34 km
Ascent: 1150 m

My fifth and last visit of the week to Linn of Dee was followed by my second walk in to the White Bridge. It was another glorious, sunny morning. Showers, possibly thundery, had been forecast for later. After crossing the bridge, I turned north-west along Glen Dee, with the Beinn Bhrotain massif ahead.

P7270251.JPG


Suddenly, a small adder darted across the path; the first one I'd ever seen.

I turned left uphill by Allt Larnaidh, and climbed Carn Cloich-mhuilinn. There was a nice view south from this top, and no sign of any threatening weather moving in.

P7270256.JPG


After descending to the bealach north-west, a fairly long plod up to Beinn Bhrotain followed. Conditions stayed fine and views were clear. Next came the descent north-west over boulders to the next bealach, above the impressive Coire Cath nam Fionn. Then followed the fairly steep ascent onto Leac Ghorm, before an easy walk over the 1110 metre top, and on to Monadh Mor. I made my descent towards Loch nan Stuirteag.

P7270273.JPG


The showers never arrived, and the last walk of the week ended in fine weather. I walked out along Glen Geusachan, and into Glen Dee. On the path I encountered another adder, this one larger than the first. Finally I made it back to the White Bridge, and on to Linn of Dee.

On Sunday morning, the rain truly arrived in Braemar. A good day to go home, after a fantastic week in the Monadh Ruadh!
Last edited by simon-b on Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
simon-b
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1914
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:156
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby Cairngormwanderer » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:35 am

You'll be needing a new pair of boots after that lot! Sounds like you had a good time. :D
Cairngormwanderer
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 707
Munros:124   Corbetts:16
Joined: Oct 31, 2011
Location: Fife

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby Hill-loving lady » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:24 am

What a great week you had! A super report and wonderful photographs. Thanks for sharing :clap: :clap: :clap:
User avatar
Hill-loving lady
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 332
Munros:164   Corbetts:17
Grahams:9   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:13   Hewitts:33
Wainwrights:16   
Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Location: Dufftown, Moray

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby L-Hiking » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:32 am

Simon

Awesome mate awesome! A great report and pictures.

Some long days but worth the effort

Got my taste buds going

Cheers
User avatar
L-Hiking
Walker
 
Posts: 545
Munros:60   Corbetts:7
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:142
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
Location: York, North Yorkshire

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby rockhopper » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:56 pm

Epic week, Simon - well done :thumbup: Great area and this would let you get really immersed in it. Did wonder though whether you'd ever thought of camping to save on some of the walkins/walkouts ? - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6401
Munros:282   Corbetts:207
Grahams:60   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby simon-b » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:07 pm

Thanks, everyone.

Cgw, thanks to the extended winter, my summer boots have plenty of mileage left in them!

H-l lady, it was nice to get a week with some good weather.

LH, we'll have done all the Cairngorm Munros between us soon.

rockhopper wrote:Great area and this would let you get really immersed in it. Did wonder though whether you'd ever thought of camping to save on some of the walkins/walkouts ? - cheers :)

There are various options, of course, RH. Some would prefer cycling in, others using a bothy. All these strategies have their advantages and disadvantages. So has walking in from the car park every day. I know to keep an open mind for future trips.
User avatar
simon-b
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1914
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:156
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby gammy leg walker » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:41 pm

Now that's an epic week of walking in any mans book,bet you could walk into Derry Lodge with your eyes shut.
User avatar
gammy leg walker
Walker
 
Posts: 3265
Munros:261   Corbetts:7
Grahams:3   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Islands:7
Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Location: Central Region

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby simon-b » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:21 pm

Cheers, GLW.
gammy leg walker wrote:bet you could walk into Derry Lodge with your eyes shut.

That could be quite painful, seeing as the lodge has been boarded up!
User avatar
simon-b
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1914
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:156
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby simon-b » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:21 pm

Cheers, GLW.
gammy leg walker wrote:bet you could walk into Derry Lodge with your eyes shut.

That could be quite painful, seeing as the lodge has been boarded up!
User avatar
simon-b
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1914
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:156
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby dooterbang » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:02 pm

Plenty big walks there Simon :shock:

If you had a bike and added less than 10km to your walks you could have done all these in less days :wink:

Well done on a fine weeks walking.
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
Munros:255   Corbetts:57
Grahams:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby simon-b » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:09 pm

Cheers, DB.
dooterbang wrote:If you had a bike and added less than 10km to your walks you could have done all these in less days :wink:

I'm coming round to the idea of cycling in for the likes of the Ben Alder range and Lurg Mhor. Some long routes in and out are still worth doing on foot though; when I did the western Fisherfields from Poolewe in good weather, I enjoyed every step of the whole 44km.
User avatar
simon-b
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1914
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:156
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby soulminer » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:13 pm

That is what you call a holiday :lol: A lot of fine walking in such a magical place, great stuff Simon :)
User avatar
soulminer
 
Posts: 804
Joined: Mar 18, 2010
Location: Johnstone

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby andyroog » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:12 pm

That's some walk, fantastic effort by any means ,great pics and superb location well done
User avatar
andyroog
Backpacker
 
Posts: 104
Munros:21   
Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Oct 18, 2010

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby Silverhill » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:57 pm

A week well spent, well done! :clap: I may get up to the Cairngorms next year, so very handy to have all these munros in one report with timings. Thanks!
User avatar
Silverhill
 
Posts: 1267
Munros:282   Corbetts:3
Joined: Jan 13, 2013

Re: A week in Braemar

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:59 pm

Good on you for walking in and out so many times and getting so many Munros done. I walked it twice but third time i cycled and if i'm ever in again, yes i'll bike it. :D
User avatar
Johnny Corbett
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 2940
Munros:18   Corbetts:206
Grahams:160   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:269   Hewitts:1
Islands:14
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Livingston

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 now 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: No registered users and 26 guests