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Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Devil is not so black as he's painted...


Postby BlackPanther » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:25 pm

Route description: Carn a'Mhaim from the Linn of Dee

Munros included on this walk: Carn a'Mhaim

Date walked: 05/10/2013

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 22.5 km

Ascent: 735m

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Most walkers climb Carn a'Mhaim in combination with Ben MacDui and Derry Cairngorm, in a grand circuit from Linn of Dee. But as we had linked BM and DC with Beinn a'Mheadhoin earlier this year, Carn a'Mhaim was left as an outlier to climb on its own.
I had nothing against a shorter day, especially with weather uncertain and the time needed to get to Linn of Dee from Beauly - 2.5hrs in the car each way :roll:
Of course, this route is so well known and so popular, for the circuit or for a single-top walk, that detailed description of each step taken seems a bit pointless... Let's concentrate on views then. I knew that this Munro was a good viewpoint and certainly it deserves the reputation it has - looking down to Lairg Ghru and across to Devil's Point is simply mind-boggling!

Having NOT enjoyed the drive from Inverness (I got terribly motion-sick :sick: :sick: :sick: ) I felt so relieved to jump out of the car when we eventually reached the car park... I noticed that the car parked next to ours had Walkhighlands logo on the back window - so who else was in Linn of Dee last Saturday, he? :lol: :lol:
The parking area was packed full...
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Our route:

Track_CARN A MHAIM 05-10-13.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


We started through the forest and soon joined the main track in Glen Lui. The day looked semi-good, it was warm but a few showers lingered...
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Soon we saw our target - from the distance it looked terribly steep :?
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Lui Water below, water from heavens above... We walked through drizzle...
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All the way up to Derry Lodge I thought that we kept a good, fast pace, so I was surprised to be overtaken by another pair of walkers, who didn't really look like they were pushing too fast :? Am I losing my fitness???
The glen felt very much autumnal - summer's over for good...
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Having crossed the footbridge past the lodge, we turned left and continued along the river:
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Looking back east. The track/path is cycleable almost to the bottom of the Munro...
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As soon as we got closer, I started studying the slopes. The rocky frame of Coire na Poite looked daunting to say the least, but logically, there should be an easier way to tackle this hill...
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Beinn Bhrotain. Another M' yet to climb:
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The closer we got, the easier, the more friendly it seemed...
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The path leads through some nice woodland...
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... and to the ford. There is a bridge a few hundred metres up the river, but we opted for boulder crossing :lol: :lol:
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The above mentioned bridge, in the background - Ben MacDui with cloud cover...
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...but luckily, our hill was clag-free and I kept all digits crossed it would stay that way!
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A good path leads all the way to the summit area and as we gained height, the first good panorama was back to Glen Lui:
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Derry Cairngorm to the right of us proudly presented its rocky top:
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I was happy that the cloud was slowly moving away and we had a good chance to not only have a clear summit, but also see the famous view to Lairgh Ghru and Devil's Point :D At the moment, I was keen on moving up :wink:
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After about 300m of steep ascent, gradient eased a bit and we stopped for a few minutes, just to record the views... It was my first Cairngorm Munro climbed from this side (what I've done so far, I did from Speyside) so I was glad to see the Cairngorms from a different perspective.
Glen Lui and Lochnagar on the horizon...
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Further south-east, cloud was still hanging low...
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We followed the main path, skirting around the lower top and hopping over boulders, until I stopped abruptly when the View to the Devil appeared...
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On the path just below the summit:
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Devil's Point... I've been planning to climb this one for ages, never got around to doing it, but seeing it in its full cruel beauty, I felt like it was teasing me :lol: :lol:
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Five more minutes and we emerged on the summit. There were other people about and no wonder - the day wasn't as bad as forecast predicted (again, 40-60 mph winds had been forecast and it wasn't THAT bad :lol: :lol: ). I run towards the top to pose for my cairn picture on my Munro No. 114...
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We dropped our rucksacks and enjoyed a high level picnic :D I was overwhelmed by the panos. Especially looking west, I felt like I was gazing down from a plane... WOW! Shame that the cloud lingered just above the tops, it made all photos a wee bit grim, but on the other hand, would you expect the devil to smile?
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DP with Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochan Uaine to the right:
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Ben MacDui, Derry Cairngorm (to the right) and further back, in the middle, Beinn a'Mheadhoin:
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Breariach (summit in cloud) and the "arete" between Carn a'Mhaim and Ben MacDui. One summer day, I hope we will come back to complete the circuit, just for the joy of it :D
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Looking east towards Whitemounth mountains:
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Beinn a'Mheadhoin - zoomed:
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One more of these... just couldn't take my eyes of the devil! :shock: :shock:
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All the other walkers have long left, but we were still reluctant to leave this magical viewpoint. Eventually, the perspective of hot dinner made me gather up :lol:
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it was time to move on, cloud was slowly descending over the tops of the Cairngorms... One last glimpse to the devil... Perhaps moody, but not as black as he's painted!
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Before we left, Kevin stroke a pose with the cairn - his Munro No. 151:
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On the descent, we enjoyed the lovely view down to the glen again:
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The return walk was a pleasure though we lost the good light and Kevin gave up taking photos. We were overtaken by a few groups on bikes, but kept the pace going and eventually arrived back in the car after 6hrs15min, a large chunk of which was spent admiring the devil :lol: :lol:

Summing up: despite the distance to walk, one of the easiest Munros in the Cairngorms (if climbed on its own) and a real treat it would be in winter conditions. The final ascent is steep-ish but on a good path. I will surely return to Linn of Dee to tackle Beinn a'Bhuird and a few other tops still on my list, but for now, I'm glad to have ticked off another M hill. Meow! :D
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BlackPanther
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby Sabbathstevie » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:20 pm

Great report as ever BP! :clap:

Had my first Cairngorms outing on Braeriach a couple of weeks ago and desperate to get back - got a good view of your hill from there but not a peep of the devils doodah so will have to do this one from the south like you! From Braeriach, it looked the climb up MacDui from the arete was massive! did it look so bad from Carn A'Mhaim?

Lovely pictures!
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby David-Main » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:35 pm

Nice report BP. We were on Derry Cairngorm at the time you were on the summit of Carn a'Mhaim.
The views opened up nicely once we reached the summit of DC, We also were impressed by DP.
Thanks for sharing the pics- nice. :clap:
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby riverlodge » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:39 pm

great report & pics.
good reminder of my trip (decade ago :shock: ) over Cairn a Mhaim, Macdui and Derry. camped on the CaM ridge and as you have brilliantly shown, waking to a view across to Bod an D was just stunning.
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby laconic surf » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:54 pm

Have you changed your camera? Your pictures look exceptional there :D
Am planning on this route when the white stuff has fallen. Great report :D
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:47 pm

Great report and photos BP.

The Devil's Point always looks so impressive from below on the Lairig Ghru but I was surprised when I climbed Carn a'Mhaim last summer that it didn't seem to look nearly as impressive when height was gained. Either way, still to do it so looking for a long summer's day next year to take in Braeriach down to DP probably from the north.
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:44 am

Thanks, everyone :D Happy to share a few more views from a hill... This report was more about showing off, really, than advertising the route :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sabbathstevie wrote:Had my first Cairngorms outing on Braeriach a couple of weeks ago and desperate to get back - got a good view of your hill from there but not a peep of the devils doodah so will have to do this one from the south like you! From Braeriach, it looked the climb up MacDui from the arete was massive! did it look so bad from Carn A'Mhaim?


It does look just as bad, if not worse :shock: It's 500m of steep ascent in one, long push. Yet I will do this route one day, just for the pleasure of walking the arete.
I remember my Braeriach walk, long time ago, lots of snow on higher ground... I went back to my photos from that day and found this. Looking along Lairg Ghru towards CM from the summit of B:
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Carn a'Mhaim looks so small from Braeriach!

laconic surf wrote:Have you changed your camera?

No... It's still good old bridge cam Fuji Finepix HS10. :D I wouldn't change it for all the tea in China, as long as it works. I guess it's just the spectacular views speaking for themselves :lol: :lol:

Gordie12 wrote:The Devil's Point always looks so impressive from below on the Lairig Ghru but I was surprised when I climbed Carn a'Mhaim last summer that it didn't seem to look nearly as impressive when height was gained. Either way, still to do it so looking for a long summer's day next year to take in Braeriach down to DP probably from the north.


Having done Braeriach on its own (from Sugar Bowl) I'm opting for Glen Feshie approach to Cairn Toul trio, it's slightly shorter and I know it has been done that way before. But as you said, a long, good summer day is needed to complete this round, so it has to wait till next year :( Hillwalking is for patient people :wink:
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:29 pm

BlackPanther wrote:But as you said, a long, good summer day is needed to complete this round, so it has to wait till next year :( Hillwalking is for patient people :wink:


Or you could camp or stay in bothies to do it over several days....
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:07 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:Or you could camp or stay in bothies to do it over several days....

True and I'd love to, but sadly, the nearest holidays booked for March 2014... :wink:
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:23 pm

Gnaw your own leg off to get off work ! Of course, this may be conter-productive. Best if you gnaw someone else's leg off... put it down to stress and demand paid leave to deal with it. :D
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby heatheronthehills » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:57 am

Great report and amazing pictures! The Autumn colours look stunning :-)
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:04 am

heatheronthehills wrote:Great report and amazing pictures! The Autumn colours look stunning :-)

Thanks, I love autumn, always the time for the most interesting photos.

There's more to come from last Sat, a bit further west :D
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby BigT » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:55 pm

My plan is to do this walk this weekend Sunday 20th October, weather permitting. Is the path negotiable if the ground is frosty or some of the white goodness is about? I have no crampons, but can put on a b2 boot for the ascent. It's a long hike in to not get to the top and finish the job - if you know what I mean.

It's coincidence I'm in the area, never walked in Cairngorm area before. I'm going to read a few other reports for this walk, but any advice welcome, as I am inexperienced.
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby Ibex » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:08 pm

Nice report and photo's there.
When we did Beinn Bhrotain, I was looking down that way and wondering what it looked like from the perspective of the valley floor. Now I know. :)

I must admit, with a name like Black Panther, I was expecting to see photo's of a black guy not a white, blonde woman. :lol:

Devils Point is a really impressive peak, for such a relatively small bit of rock. Can't wait to get on top of it some day!
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Re: Devil is not so black as he's painted...

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:49 am

BigT wrote:My plan is to do this walk this weekend Sunday 20th October, weather permitting. Is the path negotiable if the ground is frosty or some of the white goodness is about? I have no crampons, but can put on a b2 boot for the ascent. It's a long hike in to not get to the top and finish the job - if you know what I mean.


Hi :D I don't think you'd need crampons on this particular hill, especially this time of the year. I climbed in Glen Shiel last Sat and there was very little (if any at all) snow on the high ground, though Cairngorms usually get more white stuff. The path to Carn a'Mhaim is very obvious and unless it's terribly icy, you should have no problems whatsoever. It's like climbing a neverending staircase :lol:
I agree the walk-in is long, but it's on an excellent track/path all the way to the bottom of the hill, so it can be walked quickly. If I can suggest anything, start as early as possible, days are so much shorter now, you'll need about 7 hrs of daylight. And don't forget to have fun up there - isn't that what mountains are all about? :wink:

Ibex wrote:Nice report and photo's there.
When we did Beinn Bhrotain, I was looking down that way and wondering what it looked like from the perspective of the valley floor. Now I know. :)
I must admit, with a name like Black Panther, I was expecting to see photo's of a black guy not a white, blonde woman. :lol:
Devils Point is a really impressive peak, for such a relatively small bit of rock. Can't wait to get on top of it some day!


Thanks, well, I'm no black man, I'm a mountain-mad blonde :lol: :lol: The nickname goes very far back and it's a long story - and it has nothing to do with my hair or skin colour.
DP is on my shortlist but so are dozens of other hills, it's always a problem which one to do first when a good day arrives. Aah, choices :roll:
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