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Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin


Postby dogplodder » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:59 pm

Route description: Beinn Mheadhoin via the Shelter Stone

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Mheadhoin

Date walked: 19/07/2013

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After leaving Mum with Pete for a whole day the previous week I wanted to be back by 5.30 so I could see to her evening meal. Rob and Mary were happy for an early start so that's how it came about I set the alarm for 4.15 am, picked them up at 5.05 am and we were on our way from the Coire Cas car park by 6.00 am - the earliest I've ever started a walk and I'm blaming soulminer and his ilk for setting an example towards such eccentric behaviour.

But leaving in the cool of what turned out to be a seriously hot day was the best thing we could have done - and there's something so alluring about the hills in the morning light that I owe soulminer et al big thanks.

Loch Morlich in the cool of the morning
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Rob on path up the Fiacaill a' Coire Chais ridge
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Northern corries with Cairn Toul and Braeriach peeking over
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It's an excellent path and we reached the cairn at the top in good time and headed straight over to pick up the path to Coire Raibert.

Coire Raibert with Beinn Mheadhoin on left and Derry Cairngorm in centre of picture
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For the past three years since Moira broke her ankle at the foot of Beinn Mheadhoin the 'middle hill' has hung over me like unfinished business - an unresolved challenge that wouldn't go away. I wanted to wait until Moira felt like doing it so we could do it together but every time I floated the idea she wasn't keen and recently she said she felt it highly unlikely she'd ever want to do it, which is understandable after what she's been through on account of it! So early on that morning when I set off to conquer the tors of Beinn Mheadhoin I donned the trousers Moira wore on the day she was airlifted to hospital (and which were very nearly cut off her). It somehow seemed appropriate if Moira couldn't go at least her breeks (which I've inherited) could go and finish the job!

Work is currently being done on the path down to Loch Avon. No-one was working on it when we went down but then it was only 7.30 in the morning. Care still has to be taken in a couple of places but it's an easier descent than it was when Moira and I did it three years ago.

Steep path down to the Loch Avon basin
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Moira and I had kept to the east side of the stream right down to Loch Avon but this time we crossed and took the diagonal path towards the head of the loch.

Carn Etchachan and The Sticil (Shelter Stone crag)
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Path we would follow up to Loch Etchachan in centre of picture
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Water level of the Feith Buidh was low and we crossed easily by two sections of stepping stones and stopped on one of the beaches for breakfast. It felt surreal to be sitting in such a remote and idyllic location so early in the day.

Stepping stones and our descent path
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After a leisurely seat in the sun we took a short cut up the grassy slope to join the path which climbs up towards Loch Etchachan. When the path levelled out we reached the wet area where Moira broke her ankle boulder-hopping.

This is about where it happened
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Three years earlier
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That time we never got a sight of Loch Etchachan but this time there was no problem as we followed the path with the loch on our right, looking for the path going up Beinn Mheadhoin on our left.

Loch Etchachan (largest body of water at this altitude)
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From path up BM
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Ben Macdui reflected in Loch Etchachan
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Tor studded summit
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Nearly there
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It's an easy scramble up the grippy granite, with just one slightly awkward move coming down..

Mary and me on top
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Braeriach and Shelter Stone crag from top
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We spent a bit of time on the top, identifying surrounding peaks with Rob's road map and my pop up summit map, before dropping down into the cool shade of the tor for an early lunch at 11.30. It was by now very hot and we knew the hardest part of the day was still to come, climbing back over Cairngorm via the Saddle.

We took a north easterly line from the summit roughly in the direction of Bynack More, before dropping down to Loch Avon avoiding the crags on our left.

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The Saddle path - our return route
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Easy slopes down to east end of Loch Avon
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This was the day for idyllic eating spots. After breakfast at the west end of the loch and lunch in the shade of the summit tor we stopped again for a break at its east end before wading across the outflow, which was bliss to the feet! We then followed the path on the north side of the loch leading up to the Saddle, which was bouldery in places requiring a bit of hands on just when you thought all that was over for the day.

Queen Victoria's classic view of the loch - but she came by pony
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Looking back to Beinn Mheadhoin from Saddle
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Toiling up the Saddle in the early afternoon sun made me thankful I'd not brought the dogs. The heat would have been too much for them. We refilled bottles from a burn and I soaked a spare tee shirt and draped it dripping over my head which might have looked odd as I passed a residual patch of Cairngorm snowfield - but that's how it was on this hot summer's day after the late snow we'd had.

Ben Avon in the east
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As we reached the high point the Ptarmigan was a welcome sight. The train was in and we could have bought ourselves a ride down but, purists that we are, we walked down the Sron an Aonaich ridge, reaching the car by 4.30 which was fine time for me to be home to give my mum her meal at 6.00.

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All in all a fantastic and very special day and thanks to Rob and Mary for their excellent company!
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby dogplodder » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:41 am

For those who like to see the mutts - here they are from the day they travelled home in a big yellow helicopter!

Jack
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Tess
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby morag1 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:52 pm

What a great walk, and what fantastic views you got in the sunshine :clap:

I like the bit about Moira's breeks going back to finish off the walk, but being superstitious I'm not sure if I would have worn them :lol:

Lovely photo of the Queens View, she got everywhere didn't she?

dogplodder wrote:For those who like to see the mutts
:thumbup:
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby mrssanta » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:47 pm

that was an excellent read, and I enjoyed the thought of Moira's trousers making it up the hill even if Moira didn't. One day, maybe?
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby Hill-loving lady » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:33 pm

A brilliant report - and your photos are stunning. Saw little on BM when I was there in early May, still in winter clobber with skiing on Cairngorm in full swing!!!

The 'breek's return' was classic!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

We must get your's and my dogs out for a plod together some day
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby dogplodder » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:42 pm

morag1 wrote:

I like the bit about Moira's breeks going back to finish off the walk, but being superstitious I'm not sure if I would have worn them :lol:



Naw I'm not superstitious and kinda liked taking them to finish what they started! :lol:
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby dogplodder » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:14 pm

mrssanta wrote:that was an excellent read, and I enjoyed the thought of Moira's trousers making it up the hill even if Moira didn't. One day, maybe?


Thanks Mrs S, I'll pass that thought on to her! :D
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby railton22 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:34 pm

Wow!!! Fab report and great piccies too. Congrats on not letting this one get the better of you, glad to read that Moira's trousies made it the 2nd time :lol: Brilliant :clap: :clap:
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby dogplodder » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:05 am

Hill-loving lady wrote:We must get your's and my dogs out for a plod together some day


Would love to - let me know when and where and we'll see what we can fix up! :D
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby rockwalker » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:38 am

Thanks for a fantastic day. Now I am registered I can comment as well. The early start was excellent and not in the least eccentric. I loved it and I am glad to have found someone else willing to enjoy the wonderful early mornings with us. Amazing photos of a great day.
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby dogplodder » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:53 pm

railton22 wrote:Wow!!! Fab report and great piccies too. Congrats on not letting this one get the better of you, glad to read that Moira's trousies made it the 2nd time :lol: Brilliant :clap: :clap:


And we couldn't have got a better day for it - if a bit hot! :D
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:48 pm

haha great stuff :clap:
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby dogplodder » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:30 pm

rockwalker wrote:Thanks for a fantastic day. Now I am registered I can comment as well. The early start was excellent and not in the least eccentric. I loved it and I am glad to have found someone else willing to enjoy the wonderful early mornings with us. Amazing photos of a great day.


Welcome to the site Rockwalker! It was great having your company and if you want to add any of your own photos of the day please do. :D
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby soulminer » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:07 pm

Not guilty Yer 'onour :lol: I didn't drag you out your bed at that time, you set the alarm !
Was up there myself recently, but came up from Linn o' Dee. The first time I was there was from Cairngorm to Loch Avon- tea on the beach :D , past the Shelter Stone(s)and snaked up the path towards the summit, headed to the outflow and up the traverse path- 99 and ONE hundred. Cracking walk Gromit :lol:
Looks like your enforced early start was an enjoyable one, less dramatic than the previous visit:wink:
Cheers :)
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Re: Rescue site revisited climbing Beinn Mheadhoin

Postby dogplodder » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:02 am

Collaciotach wrote:haha great stuff :clap:


Taing :D
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