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.

Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Bhrotain to Braeriach and back


Postby basscadet » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:58 pm

Route description: Cairn Toul - Braeriach traverse

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhrotain, Braeriach, Cairn Toul, Monadh Mor, Sgor an Lochain Uaine, The Devil's Point

Date walked: 10/08/2013

Time taken: 15.5 hours

Distance: 49.4 km

Ascent: 2247m

3 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).

This weekend, we had pretty much decided that we were doing the Ben Lui 4.. But the weather looked so darn misty and wet over there, we changed our plans, and opted for a Cairngorm trip we had been putting off for a while. :thumbup:
We met up in Braemar at about 8 on Friday night, and headed to Linn of Dee. Without much faff, we were on the track out to White Bridge. The heather is in full bloom just now and it was lovely!

Image

Down the glen, past the plantation, and over the flood plane – maybe an hours walk in the dimming light, to the fine camping ground on the south side of the bridge. Quite a busy place, there were cyclists and walkers passing until after midnight! :shock:
We had both arrived sleep deprived, so we were rather late up on Saturday morning. I’d forgotten how much hardier the Cairngorm midge is compared to its west coast cousin, even in the stiff breeze, there were still plenty about to harass me as I got the tea and porridge sorted. We set off at I think about 11. My watch is broken, and I’m usually the timekeeper, so the whole weekend, we weren’t really sure what time it was! :lol:
We walked a couple of miles along the south side of the Dee,

Image

before the baggers path heads up the Allt Larnaigh. The path was far more prominent, and far less boggy than previous times I have been up that way. Although there is still a section of path missing between the glen and the ridge.. We slogged through the deep heather and gained the higher path. From there it is an easy walk over slabs and wind shortened foliage up to Carn Cloich Mhuillin. In my opinion, a far finer peak than Ben Bhrotain. My Dad told me that this former munro was earmarked by Hugh Munro himself to be his last, but he never did make it there.. :? So a special place indeed for baggers, despite not being on any list. :D We hunkered down in the rocks near the summit for first lunch. It was a bonny day, but there was a chill wind blowing.
So onward, down a short rocky descent, and across the flat coll on the prominent path which peters out fairly quickly.

Image

We decided to head left for an easier gradient, and up easy slopes to the rounded summit, with cairn, shelter and trig. It was busy up there.. Loads of folk going about!

Image

We didn’t stop, just headed on, picking our way down the boulder field, saying hi to any folks we passed.

Image

Near the Bealach, we bumped into Di and Rocket Ron who had come up from Glen Feshie. Nice to see friendly faces :D
We lay on the grass, on the lea side of the bealach for second lunch, before the short, steep pull up to the Monadh Mor plateau. I remember walking in circles in the fog up here once, but no such difficulties today, as we could see the crowd at the summit from miles away. We stopped a while at the summit for some mountain chats with some strangers and enjoyed the views. :D

Image

From there, it’s a long bouldery descent down to the bealach. I’ve never really enjoyed bouldery descents since my epic fall down the back side of Nevis, so I was perhaps a bit slower than I could have been. :? No rush as we seemed to be making good progress.. Not that either of us had a clue what time it was.. :crazy:
It was a long pull up to the other ridge, we skirted round heading for a bealach. The clag was fairly rolling in :roll:

Image

Dougie chose a lower route to me, and this resulted in no stops or food, and we arrived at the ridge somewhat tired. :?

Image

A look at the map showed us that it was just a mile or so to our planned camp spot up at the Wells of Dee. It was busy up here too, with many groups of walkers seen along the ridge.

Image

An easy, but windswept wander took us along the path, to the big plateau. The sky was getting darker and it looked like the clag was coming. :roll:
In our tiredness, we kind of skipped the Wells, and ended up picking a nice camp spot a bit further downstream. It’s a harsh landscape up there, with just a few patches of grass clinging on to gravel with short weak roots.. It struck me that maybe this is the highest I have ever camped – it would be hard to find many suitable camp spots higher in the UK anyways! :lol:
We got the tent up and were inside just as the rain hit. We had a cup-a-soup and waited for it to clear up a bit, before a wander without packs up toward Braeriach. I saw a weird animal out of the corner of my eye, the like of which I had never seen before. I thought it was a donkey at first, but the head wasn’t right.. Then it dawned on me – it was a reindeer! We weren’t that far from the reindeer centre so made sense. It seemed unconcerned by our presence so we approached it, and found a wee calf, that can’t have been more than days old. It had the most piercing blue eyes.. Awww soooo cute :D

Image

Image

Image

Not much of a climb saw us at the lofty summit.

Image

Image

The clag was back by then, so no point hanging about – we were hungry and needed our dinner! So we returned back to the tent for a fun but chilly evening, having the novelty of watching reindeer graze nearby in the mists.
I was awoken in the morning by high winds and rain pelting down – oh I thought the weather might deteriorate and it had.. There were a few heavy showers, but by the time we left in the morning, the worst seemed to be over - high, chill winds and persistent drizzle was the theme. :roll: We went up to the Wells for a look, but not much coming out just now, then retraced our steps back along the ridge toward Sgor an Lochan Uaine, managing to get a few fleeting views in the bealach below the clag. 8)

Image

We started the ascent, the going still fairly easy underfoot, and the angle of the ascent gentle. We were soon at the summit, albeit in thick mist.

Image

We hunkered down in some nearby rocks for a break, and were visited by a lovely wee snow bunting.. Right friendly little birdies so they are. :D

Image

A couple of groups of walkers came and left, so must have been there a while.. It was a bummer to leave our wee shelter and go back into the wind.. So cold!
An easy descent took us back down below the clag for a while

Image

and as we climbed up Cairn Toul, it showed signs of clearing and we got some views. :D

Image

The going was becoming slow, as we had hit the steep boulder fields that take a little more concentration on where you’re putting your feet.

Image

Image

By the time we reached the Summit, it was clagged over again, but there was a fine shelter there, so we stopped, and yet again a snow bunting came and hopped about in front of us to make up for the lack of views. This one was a bit more camera shy however..
We wandered along to the other summit cairn, before taking to the boulder fields again.. Felt like a long descent, with more than a few hairy moments.. :shock:

Image

While we descended, it cleared up though, and suddenly we were looking at views from Fyfe to Creag Mheagaidh. Just lovely..

Image

Image

Image

An easy climb up to a lump on the ridge, gave us some lovely views to the surrounds. :thumbup:

Image

Image

Image

We descended past the worst of the boulder field and stopped for a rest out of the still strong, chilly wind.. The devils Point looked rather small descending down toward it, I can see why it wasn’t a munro for such a long time – tiny compared to the hills round about. :crazy:

Image

Image

It was good to get the heavy packs off at the bealach to make the short climb to the summit with no weight.. The views from the Summit are amazing, and we could see our entire route spread out before us. :)

Image

Image

Image

Image

I was trying not to think of the long walk out and how sore my feet were going to be by the time we got back to Linn of Dee..
So we retraced our steps, picked up our rucksacks and took the steep path down to Corrour. The waterfalls, usually so bonny, only had a wee trickle coming down, so were nothing to look at disappointingly.. :(

Image

Image

We stopped in the bothy for a while – rude not to! Before heading along the path to Derry Lodge.

Image

My feet were sore before we were even up at the Bealach, and the path seemed never ending after the Luibeg crossing. :( I have been that way many times and it has always felt like just a short distance but not today. I was very grateful for the soft, peaty ground crossing toward the bridge at Derry Lodge, the rain now back on, we just wanted back to the car! :lol:

Image

We stopped again at Bob Scott’s, just for some food and a seat, but things were very busy in there for a Sunday night.. One chap kindly gave up his chair so we could get a rest – Thanks if it was you :thumbup: Sharing a chair isn’t the most comfy thing in the world though :lol: By the time we left, apparently it was 7PM – later than we had thought. I’m sure you are all well acquainted with the foot killing walk out from Derry Lodge, so I won’t bore you with the details.. A trial of endurance!
Loved this trip – best weather I’ve had in the Cairngorms so far.. Braeriach was my final munro east of the A9, but I’m sure I’ll be back to the area many times :D
User avatar
basscadet
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:51
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:31   Hewitts:10
Wainwrights:14   
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:48 am

A good haul that :clap:

I did a similar route back in May included Cárn a Mhaim and aye it is tiring on the feet especially with a full pack.

Back to the rainy seasons here in the West :(
User avatar
Collaciotach
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1681
Munros:282   Corbetts:91
Grahams:26   
Sub 2000:19   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby londonwalker » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:42 am

Hi BC nice report as ever. Not many to go now till you compleate, Have a lovey time on Skye
User avatar
londonwalker
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 135
Munros:282   Corbetts:64
Donalds:4
Hewitts:36
Joined: Jul 1, 2010

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby BoyVertiginous » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:36 am

Been up here a couple of times recently, though not from that start/end point. Plenty still to do so, good to be able to relate to the area and plan future visits. Some cracking pictures.

How far would you say is cycle-able beyond Derry Lodge going in?
User avatar
BoyVertiginous
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1128
Munros:172   Corbetts:60
Grahams:20   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:36   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Jun 14, 2011
Location: california

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby Scotjamie » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:27 pm

Nice one BC, great report as usual, so well done to you and Dougie. A route I might well borrow (apart from Braeriach) in the autumn.
User avatar
Scotjamie
Walker
 
Posts: 1164
Munros:148   
Joined: Jul 27, 2009
Location: north berwick


Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:41 pm

BoyVertiginous wrote:How far would you say is cycle-able beyond Derry Lodge going in?


It is generally held that you can cycle to about the Luibeg Burn. I have done this myself despite being no cyclist so can't be too bad :) .
User avatar
LeithySuburbs
Ambler
 
Posts: 1888
Munros:251   Corbetts:49
Grahams:26   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:36   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:23   
Joined: Feb 19, 2009
Location: The Capital

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby basscadet » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:22 pm

Collaciotach wrote:A good haul that :clap:

I did a similar route back in May included Cárn a Mhaim and aye it is tiring on the feet especially with a full pack.

Back to the rainy seasons here in the West :(


Aye, I remember you're report.. I think you got better weather :wink:

Rainy season is better for me.. Can go faster and further without the heat :)

londonwalker wrote:Hi BC nice report as ever. Not many to go now till you compleate, Have a lovey time on Skye


Thanks Andy :wave:

BoyVertiginous wrote:Been up here a couple of times recently, though not from that start/end point. Plenty still to do so, good to be able to relate to the area and plan future visits. Some cracking pictures.

How far would you say is cycle-able beyond Derry Lodge going in?


Agree with leithy that you could get to Luibeg burn with only a couple of dismounts.. :thumbup:

Scotjamie wrote:Nice one BC, great report as usual, so well done to you and Dougie. A route I might well borrow (apart from Braeriach) in the autumn.


What you mean like this? http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=22917
So good, I had to do it twice :lol:
User avatar
basscadet
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:51
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:31   Hewitts:10
Wainwrights:14   
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby kevsbald » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:27 pm

I believe you bumped into Lego and Blondie.
Just fab, isn't it.
User avatar
kevsbald
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2093
Munros:257   Corbetts:108
Grahams:70   Donalds:50
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby basscadet » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:11 pm

kevsbald wrote:I believe you bumped into Lego and Blondie.
Just fab, isn't it.


You know their names? :shock: I hope I'm on your team for the quiz at every WH meet from now, to all eternity.. :lol:

Aye, pretty fab :D
User avatar
basscadet
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:51
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:31   Hewitts:10
Wainwrights:14   
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby morag1 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:56 pm

Really enjoyed your report, something really special about the Upland of Mar :D

That's a bit of a mammoth walk, well done to you both :clap:
morag1
 

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby jonny616 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:46 pm

Eeee that's a long haul. Well done. weather permitting doing 4 of these on Saturday.
User avatar
jonny616
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1517
Munros:253   Corbetts:12
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:17
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Aug 19, 2009

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby rocket-ron » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:58 pm

Nice to you you basscadet. You 2 dougie. I will maybe see you on skye this weekend. Am waiting to see on weather . If i do go it will be a day trip :D
rocket-ron
Walker
 
Posts: 895
Munros:102   Corbetts:32
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Jul 19, 2010
Location: Inverness

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby Bod » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:58 am

Cracking report and pictures there.....love the reindeer. See you soon :) :) :)
User avatar
Bod
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1489
Munros:67   Corbetts:33
Grahams:18   Donalds:17
Sub 2000:27   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:7   
Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Location: Cowdenbeath

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby ChrisW » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:46 am

wow, great stuff B, bloody good haul too :clap: ...that reindeer calf sure is cute :D
User avatar
ChrisW
Scrambler
 
Posts: 4938
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Bhrotain to Braeriach and back

Postby dogplodder » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:33 am

On that vast plateau it seems a bit unlikely to get so close to the reindeer but to see the wee calf as well is a real bonus! :D Down side of walking with dogs is the smell of them drives wildlife away! :?
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3279
Munros:218   Corbetts:51
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:22   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

3 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



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 36 guests