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Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uaine & Cairn Toul via Whitewell

Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uaine & Cairn Toul via Whitewell

Postby bio-man » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:50 pm

Route description: Cairn Toul - Braeriach traverse

Munros included on this walk: Braeriach, Cairn Toul, Sgòr an Lochain Uaine

Date walked: 06/10/2008

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I'd hoped to do this route and note the grid references and take great photos for a route on this site. Sadly and once again, the 900m cloudbase was the undoing. Not to worry, I'll be going in reverse next time, but from Braemar.

Munromagic have this route but via the Chalamain Gap and time it at 11 hours. This is a very optimist time. They include the Devil's Peak, but I had to forego that otherwise I would've been out all night!! MY pace was fairly quick and any stops were short. I had to race through the Lairig Ghru otherwise I would've missed the last train at 2123. I covered the 9 miles or so from Corrour Bothy to Whitewell in 3 hours, which was not bad considering that this was the last leg and the rocky terrain in the middle. I have to say, I did misjudge the Lairig Ghru's terrain where there are large areas of rockfall covering the track. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic day.

The Braeriach route is fairly straightforward, the visibilty was poor, but not too bad. Look for the obvious path off to the left, then a righthand cutoff, which heads downhill slightly, giving the impression that something's not quite right. Then the ascent to the summit appears and all is well. This is the second time I've been up here recently and both in poor visibilty. Another ascent, just to see the gulleys, cliffs and coires, is more than worth it. Heading SW off from the summit aim for the Falls of Dee. Once again, the expansive plateau of the Cairngorms can be confusing in poor visibilty, but the sound of the falls soon drag you in. Easy crossing, but would be tricky in icy condition. Splendid spot to re-fill your waterbottles.

Following the ridge, you eventually ascend East to Sgor an Lochain Uaine. A new Munro in the 1997 revision and one of the 4,000ers. Like Braeriach and Cairn Toul, there are extensive boulder fields guarding the summit. Add extra time for these, especially in the wet. The route is split between an reasonably obvious track, but be careful, in many areas it's difficlut to lose and I had to use the GPS a couple of times to keep on track. There is a small shelter cairn on Cairn Toul, which proved handy today, although the wind wasn't overly strong. Heading towards the 1213m top, the Coire an t Saighdeir opened up through the clouds. Very eerie, considering that was all I could see. Once over the top, I headed down to the bealach before the Devils' Point. I considered the Munro but was glad I decided against it. I headed down to Corrour bothy and had a nosy inside. Not bad condition and two guys had started a fire. I declined the offer of a seat and soup as I probably would have had an extensive power nap!! A quick pace through the Lairig Ghru for the train. 10 minutes to spare.

An excellent and very long day out. I started at Whitewell at 0830, so the return took just over 12 hours. An obvious alternative is a night at the bothy, which is what I'll be doing in May. Hopefully the weather will be better, but the time taken here will be in the back of my mind.
Munro compleatist
Posts: 344
Joined: Feb 20, 2008
Location: Perth

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